Less than a week ago, Alexander Nara stunned PNG Attitude readers with a magnificent documentary piece about a family tragedy entitled Silent Tears. The article has so far drawn more than 1,100 'likes' from readers and this comment from Michael Dom, “What an explosion you have made!” Barbara Short had introduced Alexander to us and yesterday morning she chatted with him on the internet. Here’s the transcript - KJ
ALEXANDER - Morning Ma'am...
BARBARA - Good morning, Alexander.
Thanks. God is in charge here. He's putting me in hospital on Wednesday for a new hip. Where do you live?
I live at Tokarara in Port Moresby
And who do you work for at the moment?
I am working with Post Courier as a sub editor-reporter. I write and design the four- page Hunters supplement that comes out every Wednesday in the Post Courier. Apart from writing, I do graphic designing, video filming, editing and productions as well as radio....
That sounds interesting. I just read the Post Courier online each day and I haven't seen the Hunters supplement.
It is a new supplement. Next Wednesday would be the fourth supplement to be released.
I studied graphic designing - very short course - with Phyllis Shillit, a famous design lady in Sydney. It helped me with work I was doing for the Presbyterian Church and with my life as a teacher.
Yes it is an interesting skill..
I was a keen photographer - photography has changed a lot during my lifetime!
Wow...that is what I love doing to but I cannot afford a good camera.
You should save up and buy one. I love these photos they are taking with drones.
I will. In fact I just started with Post Courier three months ago, March 15. I am still on probation period. Hey and thanks very big for the publicity of the Silent Tears story. I submitted it for the Crocodile Prize as you have advised.
Yes, Keith Jackson and Phil Fitzpatrick can see you have a gift in writing. They love helping PNG writers! Phil is the one who is actually producing the books. He is a publisher. Keith runs the blog PNG Attitude.
Thanks. I am interested in getting in to start writing books. It was really a dream that I dream of doing some day.
I guess it would take a long time to write a book. I did some history books, one called ‘Tuum Est’, the history of Keravat National High School. Also two books of family history - one on my father's side and one on my mother's side. I also did one ‘Four Years in the Sepik’ and another one on my world travels in 1965-66.
Wow. That is a lot to a man like me. Can’t imagine me at that stage.
I think the secret is every time you feel in the mood to write, then write and keep a copy and gradually you will see the shape of a book. I hear some writers say they just get an isolated place where they can work without interruption and go there every day and write away and the spirit leads them. I would hope it would be the Holy Spirit, God's Spirit... But maybe there are special ‘writing spirits’? I don't know about that one. But I do know that when you are in the mood it just flows out. I love ones that involve history and real life.
Yeah. That sounds so true. I will definitely try...
Good talking to you. Please keep giving us some stories on the Sepik writing page. Some of the teachers are loving your work and will use it in their teaching. Will have to go and join my poor husband at breakfast. He feels deserted!
Hahahaha. OK. It’s sweet talking to you. Cheers, Barbara.
Alexander came to the Post Courier from three years in the position of Principal Public Relations Officer in the PNG Defence Organisation, based at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby. While with the PNGDF he received a Commander’s commendation for excellence in public relations.
Before that he had been Media and Communications Officer with the West New Britain Provincial Government in Kimbe after a stint with the National Broadcasting Corporation as a broadcaster & program producer.
Alexander has degrees from Divine Word University and the University of PNG and says the causes he cares about are social action and human rights.