Covid-1984: face masks, vaccine & the big lie
Sukundimi: Guardian of the mighty Sepik

A tribute to the founding father


GEREHU, PORT MORESBY - One never really thinks that someone like Grand Chief Sir Michael Tom Somare will eventually have to leave us at the end of his journey.

How can someone who is very much Papua New Guinea leave us?

He is us. He is PNG. The luxury that every child subconsciously takes for granted that, daddy is there.

But it's only when daddy is gone that, we realise the radar has snapped and we must manage on our own.

It is only when we are alone that we try to recall our father's counsel and wisdom. Why he did the things he did and said the things he said.

Although my personal interaction with the great man was minimal, there was one attribute that clearly resonated from his persona. Love for his people. All his people. Papua New Guinea.

He tried to weave us together, from the highlands to the coast and the atolls. Even to his last breath.

He is The Father of PNG. Our Papa who united us once in 1973 at self-governance, again in 1975 at independence and now a nation mourns in unison as one people.

Although different in certain respects, we all have our affinity and connection to this great man who was bigger than just his clan and tribe, larger than any region.

There would not have been a better person born of tribe in our land to unify us and cross the threshold of colonial Administration over to self-government and independence.

No bigger heart and none more tolerant than the father of a thousand tribes.

Papa, a difficult but worthy calling you took to heart from the start and made it your own even unto your final hour.

In the life of any nation, let alone one so diverse as PNG, there will rise only a rare few to stand beside you.

As we mourn his passing and celebrate his life, let us honour his memory by working towards unity.

He united us as a people, gave us an identity among nations and led us to be so.

Jackson Yalo Kiakari
Jackson Yalo Kiakari

The least we can do in honour of his memory is to grow stronger together As One People. He saw PNG as his own. No different from the children he was blessed with.

Only a rare few will have a seat beside you. A rare few. Every nation has theirs - we have you. In life and in passing, you are PNG.

Rest now Papa, you have run your race. Your legacy is indeed timeless.

Just as the mighty Wara Sepik, it will live on.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Corney Korokan Alone

Papua New Guinean sons and daughters all over the country and elsewhere understand your Melanesian valour, encompassing heart and resolute dedication to making the country independent and proud.

We treasure your beliefs and passion for beloved Papua New Guinea and will forever remember you on this first anniversary and the anniversaries to come.

Rest in power, Papa Sana.

Debbie Akane

Beautifully expressed tribute. Papua New Guinea is forever indebted to our Great Grand Chief, our beloved Sana and Founding Papa of this nation. May his legacy and dream be carried on in the lives of everyone of us.

Raymond Sigimet

A fitting tribute to the great man and our Great Grand Chief. RIP Papa blong Kantri, the Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Thomas "ToPalangat" Somare.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)