See who I met at Grand Papua Hotel - & some thoughts I had
Bare Feet In Heels

Religious pretensions no basis for good government

Sr Ellen White
Sister Ellen White - Seventh Day Adventist church founder and remembered as a prophet and oyster eater


MORRISET, NSW - So now there are three Seventh Day Adventists in important positions in Papua New Guinea.

There’s new prime minister James Marape, chief justice Gibbs Salika and the parliamentary speaker Job Pomat.

Well I won't criticise them for their religious beliefs. Oh hell, I'll have a go anyway. And I feel somewhat qualified to pass judgement.

My great-grandfather was the first ordained SDA pastor in the Pacific and Australia. And both my grandad and dad were SDA pastors. That’s three generations before I arrived.

Great-grandfather received a testimony from Sister Ellen White, founder of the church and widely regarded amongst adherents as a prophet from God.

My grandmother had afternoon tea with Sr White at Sunnyside in Avondale in the late 1890s. The house still stands this day and is near where I live.

So I grew up in the SDA, and believe me it is no less open to charges of hypocrisy and procrastination than any other church.

Way back in the beginning, Ellen White loved oysters, forbidden by SDA dietary laws. My grandma was shocked to see Sr White tucking into a plateful when she had afternoon tea with her.

And my great- grand-dad (the first SDA pastor in Australia) got a scathing testimony from Sr White because he was seen hugging a female relative at a South Australia train station when she was leaving the family to tend her dying mother. The unjustified testimony was wholly based on gossip.

Then there was the time my grand-dad was pilloried for asking for SDA ministerial students to be exempted from military service during World War II. The request went all the way up to the federal minister, who ruled in his favour.

Peter Kranz and Pastor Russell Kranz
Peter Kranz and Pastor Russell Kranz

My father, Pastor Russell Kranz, was hauled before the SDA heresy committee for daring to suggest that people of other faiths could be saved. I remember this well. He was exonerated and went on to defend Lindy Chamberlain, which earned us death threats.

Dad’s primary life’s work was as a Seventh Day Adventist pastor and evangelist. For some years, he was in charge of communications for the church in Australasia and the South Pacific. He preached to many hundreds of people in Mt Hagen in the 1980s.

So yes, Papua New Guinea has some SDA leaders. But they are a pretty mixed bunch judging from my family's experience.


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Philip Kai Morre

Prime minister James Marape's encounter with a disabled person could be an angel transformed into a disabled person to test James Marape's faith.

Showing love and caring towards other people who need help - those who are rejected, neglected, terminally sick, the lepers, disabled persons, people living with HIV/AIDS, and those who are spiritually and emotionally broken - is a symbol of Christian practise.

We need to show unconditional love and comfort to those who need comfort, greet those who needs to smile at you, listen to their grievances, feel the suffering and pain they have gone through and experience their daily life.

Affective or deeper feelings motivate us to be concerned and caring for others in need.

Caring for others who are marginalised and helpless is a symbolic of moral conscience and expression of agape love where we feel the pride of assisting someone in desperate need.

Love of fellow human beings despite creed, color and nationally is universally affirmed in the teaching of Christianity and as well as other cultures.

It is important to learn from the Judea - Christian traditions, values and life stories from the prophets and Jesus himself in the bible that enriched us to be more affirming. A classic example is the gospel of the Good Samaritan.

I think that if all politicians, bureaucrats, business people, church workers and others really follow the teaching of Christ cantered around agape love, love of God and fellow men, we will transform our society and its people into authentically creating paradise on earth.

Then we can call it a Christian country.

Lindsay F Bond

James Marape on mandate, a mission to achieve re-election? Will the ship of state turn to his tenets?

Aghast in 2005 (before Peter O'Neill and his PNC) I visited the Anglican-initiated St Margaret’s Hospital at Oro Bay. Shock came at seeing deficit of equipment and provision, where, prior to independence, was the birthplace of my two children.

Yet a kind of rebirth came in 2012 with initiative of a parish in Melbourne and cohesive effort by agencies and people, when Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, marked the event and saying “the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea [is] a Church which is completely devoted to the service and well-being of the people of this country.”

Back in 1947, 'Out of Great Tribulation' was the title of a presidential address by the Right Reverend Philip Nigel Warrington Strong MA, Bishop of New Guinea.

Of education he said “…there has also been a corresponding attempt to capitalise on the misfortunes of the missions in having to face a downward grade in their schools on account of the war and to suggest rather subtilly [sic] from this that missionary educational work is unsatisfactory and should be done by government agents.

"We cannot help feeling that beneath this attitude there is something fundamentally dishonest and sinister. There is, I feel, little doubt that in some directions it has sprung from jealousy of mission influence over the natives and in others that it has sprung from a preference for secular rather than Christian education and a prejudice against any education which is linked up with the Christian faith or with religion.

"This attitude began to appear both in Australia and in New Guinea as far back as the beginning of 1943 at the Conference of Pacific Bishops.

"The Conference took note of the fact that certain specialists had been sent to New Guinea to inquire about mission education in the past and the Conference viewed this step with grave anxiety.

"These specialists were sent to New Guinea at a time when the school work was at the lowest ebb on account of the war and when the white teachers were for the most part still evacuated and unable to return however much they desired to do so, and the way in which the specialists were going about their work made it impossible to avoid the very unsatisfactory conclusion, that many of them had made up their minds before they came to the Territory and that they had been sent to confirm views…”


PNG Anglican leaders have included persons highly remembered and persons quite less.

Among PNG communities, medical intervention by the Seventh Day Adventists has so greatly benefited PNG people and hope is the influence of that provision and leadership will continue.

At Mount Isa, Queensland in 1980, I was aware of the SDA ministry and of the adult Chamberlains who reached out in earnest persuasiveness. That earnestness is of humanity and hope, rigour and recovery.

To that value of recovery should the ayes be put as people eye Marape’s manoeuvres.

Garry Roche

Peter, I spent a few months at Togoba Catholic Mission in 1970-71 and used visit the nearby Togoba leprosarium which was run by the Seventh Day Adventists. Staff there were always welcoming. If I remember correctly there was a Dr. Robson there who used also visit the leprosarium at Yampu in Enga which was run by Catholic sisters. I think Dr. Robson was from South Australia. Maybe in hindsight the various churches contributions to health and education can be seen as bearing more fruit than their efforts at 'conversion'?
While there was rivalry between SDA and Catholics there was also cooperation. Working with SIL in bible translation for the Hagen language, Lutherans, Catholics and SDA all worked together.

Philip Fitzpatrick

From James Marape's Facebook page.

"Good morning all friends out there, a new week has started and I am set for the bigger and greater challenges that lays ahead in terms of changing the course our country must travel on for better development for our people.

But firstly let me thank a host of many friends, families, and citizens of this country who supported one way or another, especially the many Christian prayer warriors, there were many ugly political currents at play even down to the very last minute but God of the Universe , God Yahweh made it possible and for that let me say thank you to many Christians of all denominations who not necessarily prayed for me but the need for safe country, God’s will to prevail and for our country to grow greater.

Former PM’s resignation, my election and all associated events took place under God’s watch hence I am greatly burdened to ensure the right thing is done for all of PNG’s citizens.

I have made huge commitments to our nation and none can be greater then to say that in ten years time this country must be the Richest Black Christian Nation. And that is because we have all the natural endowments; gold, copper, iron, coal, gas, oil, nickle, timber, tuna and fish, agriculture, tourism and culture, biomedicine and research, water, fresh unpolluted air and more in a nation of under 8 million people in a big land mass.

I have a band of like minded leaders sitting on both sides of the National Parliament and we are driving an agenda to grow the economy in a safe, secured, and educated country where all citizens are making honest productive living and all have equal opportunities as our constitution in 1975 envisage.

I will be tapping into these talents soon to get a line up of full cabinet with ministers who can share the vision with me, those who believe we can do it. I did a caretaker arrangement to appreciate the political structure we had as we took vote but this week I will fill in Ministers I assessed that can work in key sectors for productivity and not just for politics convenience. There will be a healthy mix in my cabinet for good performance based on talents and experiences and our development intend.

I will also be checking out our public service to ensure those leading them or working in the rank and file have a believe that they will meaningfully contribute to making our home, Papua New Guinea, a truly wealthy country as it supposed to be, where quality health, quality education and quality infrastructure and effective law and order system secured our country.

To our contractors of State, you have now, a Prime Minister, who expects nothing in return for giving state contracts. All we expect is do your fair bidding with right price and get your job done. Don’t offer inducement to me or any ministers or public servants from procurement offers and every other officers in the chain of procurement and contract management. I will instruct the new justice minister to bring Independent Commission Against Corruption ( ICAC), in the first instance so let us all play by the rules now going forward.

Contractors earn your money to limit as per work scope. Public servants and politicians earn your salary and don’t ask for special favors. It must start now if it hasn’t started yet! I will ask National Procurement Commission (NPC) to polish the contract ceilings where contracts under K10million are strictly for citizen and local companies and contracts above that threshold to have local partnership involvement also.

To local SME and contractors, we have a special incentive plan for you in this mid level, tidy your company books, pay your honest tax and if you want to go the next phase of your business, we will inject very soft term loans ( possibly 5% repayment rate over 40 year period). Tidy your books, including your taxes, prepare to be part of our program to resuscitate our businessmen and women.

To multi national companies who operate in our resources sectors, I am not here to chase you away but to work with you so that we can add value to the benefits that emanates from the harvest of our natural endowment. I will be meeting with key resources sector and I request you all to assist me as to how we must grow my Papua New Guinea economy.

I look forward to your interventions and I have a fresh team of PNG advisors looking into all our resource laws and I am putting you all on notice that laws will be tailored for implementation when our country moves past 50 years of independence in 2025. Presently all projects agreements that are in compliance and congruent to all our laws will be honored.

We are here to protect our genuine foreign investors who can respect our laws as it is now and our intend of policy and legal regime shift into the future.

To all young educated PNG citizens, I will be asking few of our leaders including myself on your views about Taking Back PNG (with GJ approval) to interface and pick your thoughts. Keep a look out on this space on forums we will organize for your voices to be heard. I don’t buy into outside advisors, we have in the intelligent and experience pool in country, let us mobilize into cohesive units.

To all our citizens, we are prepared to work, can I ask of one thing? Give me a good law and order environment, stop crime, stop tribal fights (my Hela please), stop torture of mothers and daughters, stop corruption at all levels, honor time by being punctual, do little things like stop littering and spitting the red stain of betel nuts,.

Let’s us all contribute, I am willing to make few hard calls going forward as the chief servant of my country, Papua New Guinea, please join me all citizens including businesses.

Keep a look out in this space as from time to time I will communicate with the nation using this medium. Please forgive me if I don’t reply as you all will outnumber me but at least you read my thoughts.

This Wednesday I will have a State of Nation Address on Radio and TV on some of these points plus others but for now you can see where my mind is and those of you who want to work with me please align here or offer me better solution to make PNG the Richest Black Christian Nation on earth, where no child in all part of our country is left behind.

God Bless Papua New Guinea!

Honourable James Marape, MP, Hulukumaiya
Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea"

Peter Kranz

Keith - dad is not late just yet! He's at the Avondale nursing home and about to turn 95!

My apologies and compliments to your dad, Peter. That error has now been fixed - KJ

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