MY early December statement, PNG Attitude – A long journey & a short goodbye, had proven painful to write.
But your consequent comments were even more painful to read. To paraphrase the Song of Solomon, “They captured my heart / They held it hostage.”
I was moved by the kind and generous words. There were many of them; some written with an anguish that greatly discomfited me.
Raymond Sigimet - Thank you Keith, with your family, for selflessly giving and sharing 10 years of your life in fostering people to people dialogue through the PNG Attitude. Your blog inspired me to put pen to paper and I believe many others as well. Yu stap long longpela resis na yu win tru / na nau yu kamap long mak bilong yu / yu strongpela man stret / stori bilong yu bai stap longpela taim yet.
Arthur Williams - Just read the bad news which makes this drizzling grey Sunday morning worse.... What will life be like in March when Attitude has gone? You guys brought me some hope for PNG's tomorrow as more PNG writers and readers were attracted to Attitude.
Some readers cajoled, flattered and reproached me, while others offered a simple thank you.
Slim Kaikai - Mi 2 sad. Very sad. Your contribution has been immense. Will there be life after u go? Frobably!
Paul Oates - All of us who have appreciated Keith's ongoing commitment to this project would obviously like it to continue. We must however accept and appreciate that this was not just a labour of love. PNG Attitude and its predecessors were a personal commitment to PNG and her people from Keith and the community he caused to create.
The gravity of what you had to say gave additional burden to the weight of what I was contemplating.
Francis Nii - In my five years association with PNG Attitude, I have benefited from many good things. It is through Attitude that I could freely express my thoughts on issues of concern to PNG and Australia. It is through Attitude that I can now confidently edit other people's writing. Thank you so much Keith and Phil for your editorial sword.
Phil Fitzpatrick - I don’t think we should be mourning the loss of PNG Attitude. Rather, we should be celebrating it and lauding its outstanding achievements. I don’t know whether Keith would agree but PNG Attitude is a singular achievement that will be long remembered by many people, especially in Papua New Guinea. It is now a significant and historical fact that should go down in the annals of the Australian and Papua New Guinea relationship. And so should the man who created it.
My decision to cease publishing PNG Attitude had clearly dismayed many people and the consequence of this was to force further consideration.
Johnny Blades - I count myself as one of the beneficiaries of PNG Attitude's remarkable range of writings. As an outsider and student of Melanesia, I've found them frequently fascinating, informative, challenging and gritty, these depictions of PNG and its cosmos. I would think that in years to come, the sheer importance of the service Keith has provided will come into increasingly sharp focus. An amazing body of work that still has the power to effect change. So here's to you, your regular contributors, the writers and authors you have helped nurture and most importantly, to PNG! Aroha nui.
Marlene Dee Potoura - I just want to thank you for helping me make my writing grow. I appreciated the way you published my work and how the readers reacted. Thank you for being who you are and the heart you have for PNG writers.
Reader reaction was voluminous and strenuous. It gave me cause to review the wisdom and necessity of ceasing publication. And to think what I could do to continue the blog while removing some of its demands upon me.
Kela Kapkora Sil Bolkin - No, no! PNG Attitude has to press on. This news spoilt my day.
Fr Giorgio Licini - What?
Rashmii Bell -Throughout the past nine months, PNG Attitude has been both a sanctuary and platform where I’ve sloughed away at topics about which I’ve felt, in equal measure, opinion and passion. Given Keith Jackson’s recent announcement that his blog site is to come to an end in February, I am somewhat inconsolable. There goes the history lessons, the poetry, the debates, the giggle. But above all, I hate goodbyes.
As Ed Brumby has proposed, so I will dispose: my new determination is to see a succession plan implemented for when that inevitable day of departure arrives. As I recalibrate my effort there will be changes but you can be assured they will not diminish the quality of what PNG Attitude has to offer.
I'm pleased to be able to add that Phil Fitzpatrick (seen here looking unusually chirpy) has also granted a reprieve to Pukpuk Publishing. Phil's announcement that he was considering ceasing production had occasioned a significant outpouring of disappointment and regret.
Like me, Phil will reduce his workload - which has been substantial - by being much more selective in what he chooses for publication. Only the very best writing will catch the editorial eye and be given the Pukpuk imprint.
Michael Dom - Diamonds are more valuable after they have been cut and polished - that requires a master jeweller.
Raymond Sigimet - Thank you Phil for giving Papua New Guinea 33 books in a space of six years. That's about five or so books each year. Like Keith, I acknowledge your immense contribution to PNG literature and mentoring of PNG literary talents during those years. I had a look at the Inspector Metau series (downloaded through PNG Attitude) and I believe they are classics. I believe PNG writers can learn something from your style and use your work as a reference point in fiction writing.
Baka Bina - Thank you Keith for having being the stalwart for PNG in many things but the rightful kudos should be for lighting the fire for Papua New Guineans to write. I have benefited immensely from your site and it has brought me out to publish my four works. I could still have been wandering around with my manuscripts had it not for the kindly assistance through PNG Attitude and Phil.
I have realised afresh that we outside friends of Papua New Guinea, who have known and loved the country and its people, have a responsibility to stick with it especially during a period when there is a broad apprehension that its good people are finding life tough and the road ahead looks even more unpromising.
I believe, furthermore, that I should publish this blog in the run-up to the 2017 PNG national elections. I want to be able to offer a voice and a forum that speaks bluntly and without weasel words for honesty and competence in governance.
Daniel Ipan Kumbon - It will be like a bad dream for me when PNG Attitude goes. I stumbled upon it by mistake only early this year and fell in love with it at first sight. What amazing stuff I saw there. Through PNG Attitude you and Phil have impacted the whole country. Gentleman, the two of you have touched the hearts and minds of a young generation of working-class men, women and students who have been lacking fatherly advice, awareness, insight, guidance, encouragement, self-esteem and a chance to think and express themselves critically. You provided them with a platform and a voice to argue and express themselves not only through comments but through literature.
Chris Overland - I think that PNG writers as a group owe Phil a debt of gratitude for being a publishing trailblazer for them. He has shown a true entrepreneurial spirit by undertaking the arduous and largely thankless task of organising the publication of works that might otherwise have languished, unread and unappreciated, in a cupboard somewhere.
These past two weeks have reinforced my understanding of exactly how PNG Attitude has become an important platform and information source for many people; it is more than a mere ‘flannel channel’ or 'PNG Platitude' as it was once unkindly described by a man who wanted more bellicosity.
Mathias Kin - Thank you so much, Keith and Phil. You have inspired many in PNG through PNG Attitude and the Crocodile Prize. Our discussions on issues have been enlightening. I have learnt so much from everybody who has taken part here in this forum. Thank you to all. Whatever happens, Keith and Phil, sapos yutupla tru bai lusim mipla, mipla lo Simbu tok thank you tru long olgeta gutpla helpim na wok yu mekim lo mipla. I guess all good stories end sometime so ating displa stori bai end long hia?
Jimmy Awagl - Thanks Phil for your laborious help to enhance writers for their publication. Once you are gone we will be all gone, dead in the literature world. Most of our writing will be collecting dust in the cupboards. I am too saddened to read such an article.
There was a compelling third reason that forced a re-think, and this was the relationship that exists with many people I have never met but with whom I feel a strong personal connection. And the relationships between those people.
Dominica Are - It is through PNG Attitude and Crocodile Prize that I have been motivated to write and read more. I totally enjoyed this blog!
Chris Overland - What a show it has been over the years. It is my strong impression that it has, certainly in recent years, been required reading for those with an interest in PNG and its affairs. There has certainly been some tremendously good material published over the last 10 years….
Fr Garry Roche - I only discovered PNG Attitude last year, but I found it very informative and interesting. Also I managed to reconnect with a few former friends through it.
And so the blog will continue. Co-editors, mainly Papua New Guinean, will be appointed. Some of the finest writers in Melanesia will continue to be recognised and published. We will continue to harry the corrupt. Expose the venal. Admonish the incompetent. And a great people, culture and heritage will continue to be acclaimed.
Rob Parer - Wow, Keith, you have raised the bar so very high. Sincerest thanks for the extraordinary unique product that is PNG Attitude. As I have said previously, you have achieved more for PNG than the two daily newspapers and the universities - and all done offshore. What a mighty effort.
Allan Kidston - From a former broadcast & film technical officer to the former station manager, well done Keith. I have followed PNG Attitude avidly over the years & one cannot fail to see the love Keith has for PNG and its people.
Sorry for the false alarm. The old dog has struggled out of its pit. Now write, you good things, write!