Prime Minister Michael Somare has told heads of PNG government departments that the country’s administration is entering a new era of austerity. This includes a blanket ban on overseas travel by departmental heads, unless the trip is sanctioned by Somare himself for some national purpose.
Dick Arnold comments that Dr Pagelio’s presence “would certainly have added something extra to the Saturday evening's atmosphere and I'm disappointed he will not be with us physically. I believe many of us contributed some of the best efforts of our professional lives to PNG. It is very disheartening to think that we will be celebrating our beginnings at ASOPA without the benefit of sharing the occasion with a representative of the country where the enthusiasm of our youth nurtured the beginnings of an independent nation.”
It is understood that Joe Pagelio will offer some remarks to be read to the gathering which will acknowledge the legacy of expatriate teachers up to Independence and beyond - with a special reference to ASOPA graduates.
But let’s leave the last word to Dick Arnold: “I can unashamedly state that my family's term in PNG between December 1961 and April 1976 were the most rewarding years of our lives!” Many of us would add hear, hear to that sentiment.