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18 September 2017


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Barbara rightly suggests sticking a needle into PNG's ailing body politic.

Could this be considered a "Short and sharp" solution?

People in leadership roles in any organisation like churches, government departments, politicians etc are indeed seen by ordinary people as their hope for a better future.

Leaders must bear in mind that the people are the strength of any nation.

The youth are the future.

A free, literate, knowledgeable, happy population will always be the key for a country like PNG’s future success.

Often, it will be simple ordinary people who will express their feelings how the leaders conducted their public lives in eulogies, letters, radio and television documentaries, autobiographies, books and poetry.

I wish to share a poem written in the first decade of PNG’s independence.

It was dedicated to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea, Dr Gabriel Gris, who died on 14 March 1982.

Because it was dedicated to a university administrator I wish to pose a question why we see so many recurring student strikes in some of our country's higher learning institutions?

‘He Will Miss’ is the title of the poem by Sorariba Nash Gegera who published it in PNG’s Literary Magazine, 'Ondobondo' Issue No 7 (1985–86).

We heard it-
Loud and clear,

He was a man-
Our Doctor,
Father of our University
A figure of dignity-
In our nation-
And people,
His people.

Spent four decades-
Among us,
Growing in mind and body
Without reservations-
He took and gave,
Then he fell,
In a foreign soil

National tune played-
After mid-day
Last prayer said-
And silence-
For his name,
To live,
In our memories

There he lay-
Far away-
From his garamut sounds,
Of Manus
The sounds of winds,
The smell of rotting seaweed
Music of the crashing waves,
He will miss

His mother’s people-
His father’s people-
Warm sunshine of the islands
Caressing stings from the rains
Loving breeze from the Oceans
And from the mountains
He will miss

Songs of late fisherman
Mother’s chant of praises
Father’s secret message
His woman’s voice
Children’s voice
Smell of home-
He will miss

Wonderful, Sam Koim. Yes, the people from the various tribes are now all mixed up, and are celebrating Independence Day, dressed in their brightly coloured clothes,and the Sepiks in Simbu are feeding traditional Sepik food to Simbus.
Amongst the members of this 42 year old body are healthy human beings who know right from wrong and who want to make changes for the better so the whole country can be more healthy. I just hope the "sick" members of this body will start to listen to the new "doctors" who can see the problems and are right now trying to work out how to solve them and heal the nation.

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