Australians and Papua New Guineans had their thoughts about the timing and other changes made prior to Independence.
But come 16 September these thoughts were put aside because it was time to celebrate a very historic moment.
I had been repatriated in February 1975, before Independence Day, and returned to Australia.
Before I left, however, the Goroka Independence Committee asked me if I would return to stage a fireworks display for the people.
I readily agreed. After all, my purpose of working in PNG was to eventually see this wonderful country gain Independence.
I wanted to design a unique show which would highlight this auspicious day.
Once I placed the order, the explosives were sent to Lae as deck cargo as they were too dangerous to be allowed to travel in any other way.
Then late in June, my wife Anna and son Alfred returned to Goroka with me.
The Minogere Hostel owned by Goroka Council provided me with free accommodation, while Anna and Alfred went to Watabung to stay with Anna’s family.
Fortunately the Goroka Technical College agreed to let 10 of their students help me.
We made the frames for the fireworks and then attached the fireworks.
This was a huge undertaking and the students worked hard. They even welded the mortars for the aerial shells.
Then came the big day and we had to erect the frames at the same time avoiding all the fascinating activity going on around us.
There were more than 1,800 fireworks attached and the frame stood four metres high.
And that’s how Independence Day in Goroka went off with a real bang.