Harley Dickinson, kiap, MP, dies at 70
Seeking Peter Kerr, ex Mumeng kiap

There were many contributors to PNG

Stockholm, Tuesday: Sweden bathes joyfully in its long, warm summer days and I take a break between Carlsbergs….. There’s been just the merest frisson of concern about the PNGAA’s decision to support Chris Viner Smith’s initiative in asking the Federal Government to provide some form of recognition for the sterling work that kiaps performed in Papua New Guinea.


The view’s been expressed, and it’s a fair view, that maybe recognition ought to extend to the didiman, doktas and liklik doktas, tisas, rotmastas, koperativ offisas (pardon that rendition) and the many other professionals who served PNG so well in the years leading up to – and after, for that matter – Independence in 1975.


I thought I should clarify in these notes that nothing in the PNGAA’s support for recognition of kiaps precludes later efforts to recognise other field officers, but clearly - given that Chris Viner Smith’s initiative is in its early days - we should give it a chance to get off the end of the runway and see if it is able to fly.


It would be regrettable if there are people in the PNGAA who wanted to make the singling out of kiaps a cause for division. That would be a narrow and selective view of what Chris Viner Smith is trying to achieve.


The PNGAA believes the work of kiaps deserves recognition. It supports the Viner Smith initiative which seeks such recognition. But the PNGAA also wants it to be known that this does not derogate from its acknowledgement of the contribution of other field officers.


Finally, I might add, the PNGAA believes that its support of the kiap initiative does not preclude a future effort by the organisation to secure official recognition for the services of other field officers. But readers will appreciate such matters need to be approached one step at a time.


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