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26 July 2018


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Mathias Kin

Thank you all my friends for your comments. This is Chapter 9, the last part to our history book on Chimbu. Hopefully our book will come out shortly.

Gordon, Michael Danga was indeed the first Chimbu to play in the Kumuls in 1966. He has been accorded ample time in the book.

There was also a Joe Gandhi and David Tinemau and later years Bal Numapo who has played more games for the Kumuls than any other.

Fr Roche, I agree with you on the spread of Chimbus across PNG since the 1960s. In modern times educated Chimbus of all disciplines has blessed PNG and so many of them are currently working in countries across the globe.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Here's another interesting aspect to the influence of the Chimbu people. It's from an article researched and located by Robert Forster:

'Getting the Numbers - PNG style.....'

In the 1972 elections there were 102 seats in the House of Assembly. The conservative, anti-independence United Party won 42. Somare's Pangu Pati won 24. The United Party was sure it would form the next government, but Pangu Pati expertly put together a coalition.

Iambakey Okuk; a MP from the highlands region played a key role in forming the government that took the country into self-government and independence.

Here is Iambakey Okuk's own version of how it was done, taken from an address to some University students in 1982:

"We went and greased up one bloke (an MP) called Kaibelt Diria.‟ (In Pidgin grisim‟ or `to grease‟ means to trick somebody into doing something by flattery or lies.)

"Kaibelt Diria was a deputy leader for the United Party. And, you know, we told him: 'Papa, the Australian Government has already announced that Somare is to become the first Prime Minister.' And he says: 'WHAT!' And we said: 'Yeah. They announced it on the radio that we have already got the number and we‟re forming a government. But we don‟t have enough Highlanders and we want to give some ministries to some people'.

"So we said, 'But Papa, there is only a few of us and we are still young and we are looking for some elders to take the important positions.' And he said: 'Yeah? Wait, wait .. OK! We go now!' And we said: 'Look, hang on, hang on, it‟s OK. The position won‟t run away. You‟ll get it. But you must also bring another five or something like that.'

"'Oh, that's no problem,' he said. `I‟ll bring seven!' So he brought back seven people (newly elected MPs) so we made the number. This is how Somare claims he got self-government.

Okuk said, "But we did the dirty job which you don't know. I had to tell lies to my old father who had more pigs and more wives than Somare, you know. Many, many wives - many, many pigs. Big coffee plantation – more things than Somare, myself or Chan put together.

"Anyway, the poor guy, we greased him so he had to come and become a minister.

"We made him the Minister for … Telephones!"

Garry Roche

Regarding Chimbu people, it is clear that they have spread far outside Chimbu since 1933, but an additional query may be how far have they spread outside PNG since 1933 ? I once met Ludger Mond, a former Chimbu politician, in Dublin, and while he was only visiting the place, I do know of at least one Chimbu man (from Neragaima) living and working in Ireland on the staff of University College Dublin. I presume there are some in the UK, and there would be many in Australia. I remember reading about one Chimbu scientist was working in the USA. By the way - is the spelling “Chimbu” preferred to “Simbu” ? Just asking.

Lindsay F Bond

Eloquence emitting endearingly as the hand of Mathias heralds hope emerging from events in space-time. Bravo.

Journey mentioned by Chris has, since Hermann Minkiwski in 1908, diagrammatic representation known as spacetime.

Humanity as a whole has now an imperative of accommodating the concept, thus not only folk of Chimbu.

Rising to the challenge via education are the endeavours of learners and teachers throughout PNG and for a focus on accomplishment, it might be remembered UPNG School of Natural & Physical Sciences notes the first national PhD graduate was in 1983.

In 1917, one of my grandfathers was employed driving locomotives hauling coal. In 2017, one of my brothers was employed driving locomotives hauling coal. Australia's economy has yet to evolve from coal, prolonging both advantage and limitation.

In "village subsistence economy and hold[ing] loyal to our wantok system", similarly limitations and advantages.

Gordon Shirley

This is a good summary regarding the Simbu people, Mathias.

I have been married to a Simbu woman for 45 years, and although most of those years have been spent in Australia, we have travelled back to Simbu on quite a number of occasions and stayed with her people at Goglme.

I speak a little Kuman and used to listen to many interesting stories in the men's house. Some of those stories were very funny, as Simbus have a great sense of humour. But other stories were very serious,and I learnt a lot about the Simbu this way. My old departed mate Terry Shelley did this too.

I would like to point out that Michael Danga was the first Simbu to represent PNG overseas in rugby league and he toured Australia with the PNG team in 1966. I knew him well. Sadly he is long gone.

Chris Overland

This is a very eloquent piece of writing by Mathias Kin.

It serves as a useful summary of the pre-colonial, colonial and post colonial eras in the Chimbu that, incredibly, have all occurred within the space of 80 years or so. I doubt that this has happened to many groups of people anywhere else in the world.

That many Chimbu people are struggling with the transition from their traditional societies to modernity should therefore come as no surprise.

And they are not alone: it is a struggle in which we are all engaged.

There are many countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia that, under a superficial cloak of modernity, have barely changed in many important respects.

Ancient enmities and suspicions still bubble beneath a surface calm, periodically being expressed through the ritualised conflict of football or not so ritualised open conflict.

Truly, we are collectively both modern and ancient.

So, Mathias, the struggle towards modernity may seem more obvious and pronounced for the Chimbu, yet it reflects a wider struggle for humanity as a whole.

To use a hideously over worked form of expression, we are all on a journey together. While our individual destinations are, of course, pre-ordained, that of humanity as a whole remains mystery.

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