MARTIN AWAYANG NAMORONG
PORT MORESBY - The Hela were some of the last people in Papua New Guinea to have contact with Europeans.
And one of the first outsiders to have contact with them was Jim Taylor during his 1937 patrol.
His daughter, Dame Meg Taylor, would retrace his journey decades later in her documentary ‘In My Father's Footsteps’.
In the film, she described how the Hela were thrust into the 20th century with the speed of a bullet.
Today a son of Hela leads the nation that Jim Taylor helped build and unite, and Taylor’s daughter, Dame Meg, helped lead Papua New Guinea towards independence.
But whereas her father led the Hela into a colonial administration, she was involved in separating the tribes from the coloniser.
And whereas her father may have thrust the Hela into the 20th century, a son of Hela could now thrust PNG into the 21st century by appointing Dame Meg Taylor as PNG’s next Governor-General.