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A monument to the Grand Chief

Jordan Dean top
Jordan Dean says PNG should honour Sir Michael Somare with a monument and memorial park


SYRACUSE, USA - Winter in upstate New York can sometimes be unforgiving. Last month, the temperatures dropped to minus 25 degree Celsius in February and I had to double sweaters.

My apartment heater has been on since November. Thank God, there have been no power outages.

Apart from the beautiful eighteenth century architecture, the thing I love about Syracuse are the statues and monuments.

In fact, almost every city in America has statues of great men in their history. A four hour drive down to the south of Syracuse is the Big Apple (New York City) home of the famous Statue of Liberty.

Washington DC, the capital city of USA is like a time capsule. There is the Capitol Hill and Building, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, WWII Memorial, Washington Monument, Korean War, and Vietnam War Memorials, Library of Congress. The list is long.

A tour of Washington DC will leave you in deep reverence and respect for all those great men who lived before us.

We have just lost the founding father of our nation. Not only was Michael Somare our first prime minister, he was also a figure of unity among a nation of a thousand tribes.

He was a symbol of freedom, hope, dreams, aspirations, and strength for our young nation.

We must honour the late Grand Chief with a statue or monument and a memorial park in Port Moresby for future generations to remember and reflect on this great man.

Lincoln statue
Jordan, rugged up for winter, at the Lincoln statue in Syracuse

Port Moresby has two big roundabouts at Gerehu and Gordons.

The roundabout just outside the Department of Justice and Attorney General would be an ideal location for a monument.

It could be transformed into a memorial park with the late Grand Chief’s statue erected at the centre and a fountain surrounding it.

A plaque could have an inscribed ode by one of our poets dedicated to the founding father.

We should do the same for Sir Julius Chan, Sir John Guise and other founding fathers of our nation; great men who gave their best years in nation building.

One hundred years from now, a proud teenager will pose in front of one of those statues and take a selfie.

He will probably post the picture on Twitter with this caption #PapabloPNG #Respect!


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