I WAS reading this week of the celebration of the 80th birthday of Father John Glynn at the Jubilee Secondary School in Port Moresby.
Headmistress Bernadette Ove said Fr Glynn has done so many things for the school in the past 15 years that they wanted to honour his contribution by naming an award for him.
And so each year the Fr John Glynn Resilience Award will be offered to a Grade 12 student who displays spirit and strength in their study despite all odds.
The award will be presented for the first time this year during the Grade 12 graduation in October.
I was living in New Ireland when I first met Fr Glynn.
After some time with Fr Bernie Miller at Lavongai, I replaced a Catholic volunteer, Kevin, from New Zealand as plantation manger.
I was a Baptist and my voluntary work for the Catholic Church was an association that raised a few eyebrows in both denominations.
Kevin, knowing I was not of his flock, said: “Arthur don’t imagine all Catholics are like the priests you will meet here in this province.
“After all they come from one of the richest diocese in America with a budget bigger than some cities. What they consider normal we New Zealanders consider luxury.”
Fr Glynn, an Australian who had trained as a teacher on the e-Course in Rabaul in the early 1960s, was not an overseas missionary but, since independence, a Papua New Guinean citizen employed by Kavieng diocese as a local priest.
Accordingly he was on local wages and, when I visited him at his Parish in Karu along the Bulaminsky Highway, you could see the lowly stipend reflected in his Spartan lifestyle.
I met up him again later when I had many hours to spare in Moresby awaiting a flight to the United Kingdom.
Fr Glynn kindly picked my family up and we visited his home on the outskirts of the capital.
Over the years I have continued to read of this dedicated priest following his heart in ministering to the kids of Port Moresby.
God bless you, Father John.