I FIRST MET PAULIUS when wandering around Kundiawa on my first visit to the Simbu. I walked down to Dickson's Oval and found the Simbu Warriors rugby league team in training, and took a few pictures.
Paulius had the body of a superhero and, as I was to discover, the heart of a lion and the soul of a lamb.
A month or so later the Warriors were playing in Moresby. As some team members were related to my wife Rose, they invited us to an after-match celebration at the Galaxy Warehouse.
Paulius came up to me and said, “Hey tambu, I remember you from Kundiawa! You came and took pictures!"
From that moment on we were friends.
As you may know, there are many suspicious characters in certain Mosbi clubs and you need to be careful when frequenting these places. Well, that night at the Galaxy, a young woman came up to me and proposed something irregular.
Paulius stepped between us, held up his hand and said, “'No!” The force of her body meeting his gigantic hand sent her sprawling to the floor.
No one was hurt and Paulius turned to me and said, “Mi laukautim yu".
A year later I was on a business trip to Lae and staying at the Melanesian Hotel (a fine accommodation, by the way). One night I was walking through the front door, and who should greet me but Paulius. The Warriors were in town.
He gave me a hug like a bear and said, "Peter - I'll take you out tonight!"
And he did. I never knew there were so many nightclubs in Lae.And it seemed that everyone knew Paulius and gave us the best treatment. Nothing untoward happened (although I don't recommend tourists go on a pub-crawl in Lae on a Saturday night).
Next time I met Paulius, he was in Mosbi again. We met at a pub and he came home and stayed with us for a few nights. (Actually he also fell in love with my sis-in-law - but that's another story.)
So God bless Paulius, may you live a long and rich life.