Wednesday, 31 January 2018

THE PLIGHT OF KADAWAR ISLANDERS - Will It Become The Next Manam?


More than 500 people displaced by the Kadawar Volcanic Disaster in East Sepik province wants the government to provide a permanent resettlement area.

Kadawar village councillor Stanley Muren has welcomed the Government's commitment to bring normalcy to their plight, but also wants immediate actions to acquire land for their resettlement.

East Sepik Governor Allan Bird and Wewak MP Kevin Isifu have both made commitments to deliver permanent resettlement for the affected people.

Men, women and children from Kadawar Island have camped at the Dandan care centre in Turubu on the Eastern coast of Wewak. Health officials at the Dandan Care Centre in East Sepik province have reported shortages of medical drugs to treat patients.

Since January 11th , health workers have been doing their best to contain health complications and prevented possible outbreak of viral diseases.

People will be affected if medical drugs run out.

Relief supplies through donations from people and organisations across Papua New Guinea and abroad have sustained their livelihoods for the last three weeks.

Life at the care centre at Dandan is quite challenging for many. Stanley Muren, the ward councillor for Kadawar told NBC News that they need a permanent land for resettlement.

Clean water for cooking, drinking and sanitation is one of their many challenges.

The East Sepik provincial Government is doing it's best to bring normalcy to their plight.

Governor Allan Bird says the provincial government will support the Wewak District to provide assistance to their plight.

"We are doing our best to at least bring back normally to the plight of Kadawar islanders, say Governor Bird.

The National Executive Council (NEC) has handed over resettlement responsibilities to the Wewak District to facilitate. The National Government has also committed K2million to the National Disaster Office to assist in the resettlement.

Wewak MP and Minister for Inter-Government Relations Kevin Isifu says a permanent resettlement area is in the priority list for the affected people. I Minister Isifu says he will be taking a bill to the National Executive Council (NEC) to revisit the Manam Restoration Authority Act.

Minister Isifu who also oversees the operation of disaster and emergency response says the plight of the Manam people has been an ongoing issue for decades.

With issues on the resettlement of displaced people from the Kadawar volcano in East Sepik, Minister Isifu says there must be laws to ensure the Manam and Kadawar Restoration Authorities are functioning.

Kadawar Islanders at Dandan are still rebuilding their lives. Relief supplies are short term assistance, but they say if given a land they will be self reliant in rebuilding their homes and gardens.

Will the government let Kadawar become the next Manam? Will the government live up to it's commitment to provide a permanent solution to their plight?

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

THE IRON FIST LADY - Building Her Way to The Top



Tribute to Late Dorothy Misikaram

She dreamt of becoming a pilot and follow the footsteps of her uncle Colonel Peter Aimos. She is part Sepik, East New Britain and Morobe but was arguably the finest of the three cultures put together.

She was a woman with heart of man, someone who cannot be easily distracted from achieving her lifetime dreams and goals.

Dorothy Misikaram or "Dodo" as known to many of her friends is in her mid 30s and started off her career at a later age. She finds motivation in her 7years old son. Juggling work and looking after her son, she always spends time with friends and even her beloved softball games (of which she donned the Morobe colours for some good years).

I was working on a story about Dodo for my personal blog. She carries that personality and drive that I see will be of great value for aspiring Papua New Guinea women and girls.

She attained two diplomas , one in building and the other in business management which she now has a Bachelors Degree. Dorothy started off as a cadet builder and made her way through to be a building engineer and contracts administrator with Hornibrooks until Thursday November 2nd 2017 when she got promoted to a higher position.

She was the only successful female building engineer in Lae whom I knew who worked among men in many big projects around the province.

Dorothy was the only female engineer who was part of the construction team that built the new Namabawan Super Building in Lae (formerly IPI). Having to see buildings rise up in her beloved hometown gives her a good feeling of accomplishment. She built the new Bishop Brothers warehouse, the TransWonderland (TWL) warehouse at 2mile and recently completed the new Lae Biscuit Factory at Speedway in 2017.

She was amazing, she was without a job for two years when her mother passed away. That didn't stopped her from pursuing her dream and of her son's.

I was due to interview Dodo on her birthday on December 6th 2017. I was busy with other work that I haven't made it for the interview. She could have told me a lot of things about herself.

Her messages are still in my phone, overtime I scrolled through I could imagine "Big Sist Dodo" what I called her. Is this how you wanted me to conclude your story? I knew you have a lot to offer to the great nation of PNG.

I will stop my story here and I know you are smiling down from Heaven, knowing that Syl has missed out on that interview. Rest in Peace bikpla Susa Dodo.

Monday, 22 January 2018

WANTED ESCAPEE IMPERSONATES POLICE: Issued Uniforms, Firearm, Drives Police Car and Arrested a Man



NBC Morobe EXCLUSIVE News
A wanted criminal and escapee, who was on the run for nine years, could be the most daring police impersonator in the country, after spending the last three months as a police officer in Finschhafen district, Morobe province.
It is normal to hear of criminals dressed up in uniforms and impersonating police officers especially when commiting a crime, however Adam Peter from Inge Village in Maprik, East Sepik Province, managed to verbally convinced the Police Station Commander at Gagidu station that he was a transferred officer from Batas, West Sepik province.
Morobe Provincial Police Commander, Augustine Wampe, confirmed that the suspect was arrested just over a week ago and is currently awaiting court appearance facing multiple charges.
Adam Peter, the suspected police impersonator introduced himself as Officer Brian Mulo and since October, 2017, he was involved in police operations around Gagidu station in Finschhafen.
According to Chief Superintendent Wampe, the suspect lied to the station commander that there were lots of infightings in West Sepik which led to him transferring and that he had no uniform and driver’s licsense.
The suspect managed to get uniforms from his new police officer friends and even was allowed to drive the police vehicles, issued a police firearm, got involved in police operations and eventually made his first arrest recently.
Chief Superintendent Wampe, says Mulo raised the suspicion of police officers when he could not write in his incidence report as the arresting officer in police shorthand style and performed poorly during his first marching drill with them.
His short stint as an officer was interrupted unexpectedly by a couple of visiting off-duty officers from East New Britain who accompanied a dead colleague’s casket to Finschaffen for burial when they spotted the impersonator.
They confirmed that he was convicted in 2009 for an arm robbery case in Kokopo but escaped while serving his three year jail term and has since been on the run.
Chief Superintendent Wampe says the normal police transfer procedures normally includes signed and stamped transfer documents from an officers’ last commanding officer, will contain personal details like rank and file number and also includes telephone conversations between superiors to cross check.
However all of these were not followed and the unnamed Gagidu Police Station Commander, will be suspended indefinitely and will be penalised accordingly after the police hierachy investigates this matter.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

AGAINST THE ODDS - A PNG LOVE STORY FROM THE 80s



Many of us that grew up in the 90s had seen and used payphones and even received hand-written letters through mail or from human messengers (if it’s from a secret friend).

In the days, when our parents were growing up, it was love at the first sight and then through research, it leads on to intimate nightouts at the village disco or church gathering and eventually some of our bigger brothers and sisters were born.

It wasn’t an easy task, one has to go through several councelling process until they are fit and proper to start their own families.

Here is an example shared by a friend as tribute to her late mum.

On January 15th 1985, two people who'd only been communicating briefly with each other via the telephone, met for the first time (in person) at (the then) Jacksons Domestic Airport, Port Moresby -and now they "warn" us about "phone friends". Keep in mind, they had so many things going against them prior this meet.

There were no mobile phones back then and travelling off to find a working public landline was her means of getting in touch. HE was 15years older than her, had previously married twice and had five children from those two previous marriage.

He is a one “strongpla blut” Markham in Morobe and she was from Ahi mix Central and resides in her hometown in Lae and he lives in Port Moresby.

They’ve never met in person, but were set up by his friends and her cousins – so maybe relying on relatives to “matchmake” wouldn’t be so bad afterall.

So here they are at Jacksons airpoirt with nothing but a name,a nd physical description of what they’d be wearing – he was too chicken so he brought a mate of his to come “scout” on his behalf. Needless to say when he realised who she was after the throng of people pilled through, he knew  “em win pinis” – she was a stunner.

Her first impressions of him in person? (Translated to English)

"If I'd known he'd already had a head full of white/grey hair --even if he was just in his early 30s --I'd have not even gotten on that plane."

Anyways fast forward a year later, on January 14th 1986 (a day shy of their 1 year anniversary), they welcomed their first biological child together, in addition to their little boy and girl: a daughter --who now describes herself as a bit of a "nutter.”
His work and their shared passion for sport (particularly basketball) brought them many friends and experiences; from the Highlands to the islands of Papua New Guinea, they travelled with their small brood.
They went on to have 2 other children (a girl and boy), and 4 grandchildren, in addition to the growing and thriving Joses tribe (which is alot), despite the surprising death of their eldest daughter in 1998, which scarred them, but didn't entirely break them.

January 15th 2018, would've been 33 years together, Samuel Ancheng and Judy Rebecca Pono Joses.

Their first daughter Fredah wrote, “We don't know why you were called so early HOME, Judy, but we thank you for the life you and Samuel built for yourselves, each other, your children, and everyone you loved You taught these people so many things, that are invaluable --like having the courage to pursue "love" when you know it's right (no matter the odds.)

Thank you, mum and dad for everything. Blessed belated anniversary in Heaven, mum.We infinitely love you both’
Fredah 

(Your first daughter whom you never got to name "Stephanie") 

This story is aimed at reminding today’s generation that love is not just a feeling. Love is not just about the beauty of the eye. Fullfilling the real meaning of love in marriages is not just about sex and having kids. It is all about giving your best for someone, it is a sacrifice that not a lot kids these days would wanna know about.
Love is not what we see on social media or the attention we get with materialistic value. It is sacred as in the heart itself, wrapped in the centre of our body as a vital organ for survival.
Today communications technologies have improved. We can see and hear our loved ones from the day we make contact until we depart this earth.
Countless teenage relationships have been forged on social networks. Needless to say, there is no control and no councelling like back in the days of our parents.
We take love as fun, making friends on Facebook, sends a messages to someone, go out on a drinking spress, a night stand, a baby is born and there we have a teenage couple without any financial backing to support their small family.
Hope we learnt something form this story.

Additional Story and Picture Courtesy of Fredah Joses


Sunday, 14 January 2018

ALAN McLAY: A NATION BUILDER (Part 1)




Excepts from a tribute by Phil Franklin- Former Australian Consulate in Lae

Born in Melbourne Victoria on January 16th 1945, Alan Mclay was a keen sportsperson playing representative water polo and rugby union. He also played AFL and was an avid supporter of the Essendon Bombers.

Like the Bombers, Alan was not afraid to accept life’s challenges and so in November 1964 he arrived in Papua New Guinea as a Cadet Patrol Officer (kiap).

He worked alongside senior statesman Jerry Nalau during the pre independence Australian Government and carried on with this service in the years following independence.

After tours of duty in East New Britain, Chimbu, Bougainville and Madang, in 1977 he took up the role of Deputy District Commissioner in Lae.

For all Kiaps, there are many stories about events that took place during their service. Some have been told so many times they have become folklore and others have become individual standout moments.

As Phil Franklin wrote;

The first story was told to me by a Papua New Guinean who served with Alan as a trainee patrol officer in Chimbu. We have to remember that kiaps were also magistrates authorized to preside over court with powers of sentencing and jailing.

In 1974, 44years ago and the year before PNG gained Independence, Alan was alerted that two clans were engaged in a savage tribal fight at Nembari Kuima in Sinesine, Chimbu.

He arrived at the fight to find two people had been killed and many more wounded with spears and arrows. With his arrival there was a bit of lull and hesitation in the exchange of arrows and ceasing the moment he marched up to the fight leaders of one clan an dafter speaking to them took their bows and arrows and broke them across his knees.

This took many by surprise. He then did the same to the other clan and with the support of his police officers stopped the fight subsequently. The administration arranged a huge raid and arrested all the warriors of both clans involved and were duly courted and jailed by ADC Mclay for 6 months with hard labor.

For years afterwards, warriors who had been jailed or their families brought Alan gifts of food in gratitude for the lives he had saved by treating both sides fairly to stop the fight.

The second story was in 1975 the year of Independence when Alan was escorting a 27year old Prince Charles through large numbers of PNG tribesmen and women who were all traditionally dressed.

I am sure you all can all envisage the scene with chanting singsing dancer in their finest regalia. Alan was introducing the Prince to the various dancing groups pointing out the different headdress plumages. The Prince seemed very with the ladies’ traditional dress.

Being an expert interpreter, when the Prince asked what the ladies were saying, Alan turned the talk from shy “askim” about the Prince into general welcomes to Your Highness.

In 1985 Alan left the government to join Sullivans Ltd, a large private sector wholesaler and retailer as Administration Manager. His knowledge of PNG and government processes has been a great benefit to a rapidly expanding business.

Alan's contribution to Lae will be covered in Part 2 of this story.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

ALLAN MCLAY – MANGI LAE, WHO SERVED THIS BELOVED NATION WITH PASSION


This afternoon I followed the casket of Late Allan Mclay from the funeral home to his family home at Wagtail street in Lae where he will spend his final night with families and friends. Late Mclay was a true patriotic son of Lae. Someone who committed his life and contributed immensely to Lae’s growth and transformation for more than 60years.

Late Allan Mclay was born on January 16th 1945 in Victoria, is the second of two sons and went to school in Melbourne. In 1960, he volunteered to become a Cadet Patrol Officer – KIAP and came to PNG.

Late Allan Mclay was one of few expatriates that I have come to know who have truly served as the mouthpiece of the people in his capacity as a KIAP and the President of Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

One day in 2016, he told me how appreciative he was about what the media was and had been doing in Lae highlighting issues that are of great concern for everyone in Lae and Morobe. He pointed to the dusty pot-hole ridden Milfordhaven road and told me how important the road is to Papua New Guinea’s economy – the road leads from the second largest port in the Pacific, the Lae Port.

A few years forward and in 2017, the stretch of road from main wharf to Snack Bar was sealed. All thanks to the Mr Mclay who was vocal in pushing for that road to be fixed.
Late Allan Mclay was also instrumental in pushing for the Lae roads rehabilitation program in 2012 of which almost all parts of Lae City now enjoying concrete sealed roads.

He once told me told that there must be no pedestrian crossings 100meters apart in the miles area -  a once notorious area known for car jacking and armed hold-ups. A week later, the contractors working on the new four-lane highway were advised to remove the crossings and only marked one at 5mile and 6mile.

He was instrumental in setting up dialogue between politicians, inter-government agencies, NGOs, the business community together with the people of Lae. He was someone despite his age  and health was more concern about the wellbeing and growth of Lae and the fruition of commerce and industries.

Late Allan Mclay had a lot in store to make Lae a better place, he was passionate in everything he does. He was well supported by a strong woman in wife Nellie, who always stand behind her husband to move agendas that are greater concern and wellbeing of women and children in Lae.

As I quote from Lae MP John Rosso’s statement;

“I have known him and his wife Nellie since High School when his wife was my teacher. His passing will leave a big gap in the business community in Lae as someone who is passionate about commerce and devlopment in the country.”
Late Allan Mclay has been an icon in Lae who has been vocal on everyday issues affecting the lives of businesses and communities in the city. He was proactive in keeping the people of Lae informed on the latest development in the city and also engaging healthy dialogue between the government, business community and the tax payers of Lae.
He has been supportive in restoring Lae back to it’s glory days like how it was when he first came to PNG as a KIAP. He always contributes ideas and guide decisions that will be of the greater benefit of all the people of Lae and the neighbouring towns.
He was just 12 days away from celebrating his 73rd birthday when he passed away on January after being ill for the last three weeks. He leaves behind his beautiful wife Nellie and two chidlren Alister and Kathreen.
Late Allan Mclay will be laid to rest on January 11th, and I know he would be celebrating in Heaven with all the angels.

Till we meet again on that Golden morning. Rest in Peace Mangi Lae.





Tuesday, 9 January 2018

PNG UNITED IN MOURNING A PROMISING KUMUL

I have never seen national unity like these in many years; The 2017 Rugby League World Cup games in Papua New Guinea and now the sudden passing of a great hero and role model Kato Ottio a true PNG Kumuls star.

I was personally devastated with fellow country men and women across our great nation, neighbouring countries and rugby league followers worldwide. I never believed a young soul, a gifted and promising athlete would have been taken away so prematurely by our good Lord.

I never came to meet this great brother Kato, but have followed his career with keen interest and pride that he is a blessing to his single mother, his family, tribe and the nation of PNG. His elevation to become one of the few role models in the sporting arena in PNG is a testimony to all grassroots athletes in our country.

Kato is due to join his new English Super League club Widnes Vikings for the 2018 season following an outstanding performance for the Canberra Raiders in 2017 and his mamagraun in the 2017 RLWC. PNG rugby league followers were left jaw-dropped, many of us didn’t want to accept the fact that he’s gone. I had to call PNG Rugby League to confirm his passing.

PNG is a very diverse country, rugby league has certainly united this nation despite political and financial setbacks. It’s people like Kato Ottio that have set the stage for national unity.

From humble beginings, Kato has rose up to represent PNG in volleyball and later to rugby league. He moved on represent PNG overseas, bringing a large PNG alliance of supporters to his former club Mounties and Canberra Raiders.

Today a nation is mourning, people from all age groups, from all walks of life are reading your life brother Kato. We never expected for you to be lying here lifeless, we were gearing up to celebrate national unity in rugby league. It was a promising year for five of our Kumuls to join English Super League, you were part of them.


You broke our hearts Kato, rugby league would never be interesting for some us without you. Thanks for being a belessing to our beloved sport and beloved country.