MARK PALM *
| CEO & Co-Founder |Samaritan Aviation
Semi-conscious snakebite victim, Junior, safely on the way to Wewak Hospital aboard one of Samaritan Aviation's float planes. The aircraft provide an aerial ambulance service that has brought a new dimension to PNG health services
CALIFORNIA - Our floatplanes can turn a three-day trip to the hospital into a one hour flight. On a recent trip to Papua New Guinea, Jim Mott and I experienced a flight just like this.
We were on our way to deliver medicine to a remote village, when an urgent message came: 'Snake Bite - Chambri Lakes - 10 year old'.
Continue reading "Samaritan gives Junior a second chance" »
Microsoft Bing image creation
TUMBY BAY – Having reached an age well past the Biblical allotment of threescore years and 10, I’ve noticed in the scriptures there could be more – although it comes with a menace.
‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away’ – Psalm 90:10
Continue reading "Are we humans failing to secure our survival?" »
TUMBY BAY - A couple of days ago there was an interesting comment by Pauline P Kama on Michael Kabuni’s article, ‘At its core, PNG is corrupt. Easter showed that’.
Pauline referred to elections and the way decent men and women are turned away from voting while “violent and lazy voters” are corralled by corrupt politicians to “maintain the chaos” and keep them in power.
Continue reading "There is no such thing as a Christian nation" »
Chris Cooke (Samaritan Aviation medical director) and Oscar recount the story of his rescue following Oscar’s recovery
| Samaritan Aviation
MT HAGEN - It was early morning, and Oscar was getting ready for his day as a high school teacher in Pagwi.
As he walked to the well for his morning shower, he was bitten by a death adder.
Continue reading "Close call for Oscar after death adder bite" »
TUMBY BAY - Michael Dom and Paul Oates took issue with a comment I made about ethics and religion following an article by Chris Overland about the inexorable rise of stupidity in the 21st century, ‘The inexorable rise of the 21st century stupid’.
In my comment I wrote that you don’t “necessarily need religions to decide on what is right and what is wrong. All you need is a functioning brain."
Continue reading "The rules that guide us were created by us" »
Fr Rex Dokta speaks at his ordination
Leo Noki is CEO of the Mt Hagen City Authority.
This article is derived from the speech Mr Noki
gave on behalf of the KomKui community at
the ordination of Father Rex Andrew Dokta
MT HAGEN - The Catholic Church in the Western Highlands Province conducts its mission under the leadership of Archbishop Douglas Young with the support of the more than 200,000 Catholic congregation.
I should note here that Holy Trinity Cathedral in Mt Hagen was opened and dedicated by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle only in October last year.
Continue reading "Destiny fulfilled: Fr Rex enters the priesthood" »
Archbishop Douglas Young ordains Fr Rex Dokta, the first Catholic priest from the KomKui area
PORT MORESBY – On Thursday last week, at the Tiling ceremonial grounds in Mt Hagen, the people of Moge tribe witnessed the ordination of the KomKui area’s first priest, Father Rex Andrew Dokta SVD.
The KomKui people had made their Covenant with God more than 40 years ago, on 18 December 1980.
Continue reading "KomKui people celebrate first Catholic priest" »
| MAF Nederland
MT HAGEN - When Wilfred and Richie got off the plane in Wetap, people immediately came running and hugged the two pilots.
"It was very interesting to open a runway where no one has ever been," Wilfred recounted.
“Suddenly you have to decide whether you fly the circuit right or left. What is better, what is safer?
Continue reading "Overwhelming joy as aviation comes to Wetap" »
TUMBY BAY - In the late 4th or early 5th century AD, in the dying days of the Roman Empire, some Irish raiders captured a young bloke called Patrick from his home in Britain and took him to Ireland as a slave.
It turned out to be a big mistake.
After six years as a slave, Patrick escaped and returned to Britain where he trained to be a Christian cleric.
Continue reading "The unfortunate lesson of St Patrick the slave" »
"Even in the hell of life, God reminds us of the beautiful gift of children. I reached out my hand as tears rolled down my eyes. Their gentle hands were rich in kindness, gratitude and smiles. I could not speak"
West Papuan refugees at Hohola with visitors from Caritas and the Catholic Bishops Conference who have supported them in Port Moresby and PNG’s border provinces (Reilly Kanamon)
PORT MORESBY – The plea from the West Papuan refugees in Port Moresby was resounding.
“All we long for now is a piece of land we can own. A piece of land that is all we need to rebuild ourselves, that is home to us.”
Continue reading "The brutal life of West Papuan refugees in PNG" »
PORT MORESBY - The Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea has called on prime minister James Marape and his ministers (now in caretaker mode pending the outcome of the national election) to return to Port Moresby and address the current crisis of election-related violence.
Remember the good times, laughter and fun, the Grand Chief said. We united PNG into one nation of diversity and cultural heritage. Make me proud of what you will become
"Rambos appeared everywhere in the province. They stoned helicopters, blocked national highways, hijacked ballot boxes, set fire to property and triggered tribal wars"
WABAG - This year’s national election has been a disaster in Enga, and for Enga. It is one of the worst since independence. Perhaps the worst.
For the first time in my life – and in the lives of many town residents, educated elites and senior citizens in this country – we did not cast our votes on that gloomy Friday 8th of July.
Continue reading "Fury, arson, chaos and death by parliament" »
“This is who we are, this is what we are. We are on the Jesus trail. We are Jesus’ followers, and we need you to stay with us because this is all new to us. So stay here and keep living with us” - People of Yifki
Yifki airstrip - "We hiked everywhere and finally located the perfect valley in the Yifki area"
| New Tribes Mission | MAF | Edited
The Hewa tribe of somewhere between 3,000 and 6,000 people lives in little hamlets scattered over 100 km of rugged terrain in the Papua New Guinea Highlands. In 2000 the New Tribes Mission’s Jonathan Kopf, with his wife and family, began to live and work among these people. This is their story. Photos by Annelie Adsmyr
MT HAGEN -– When we arrived in Fiyawena village, the people were eager to have us there and excited to hear the message of the light.
“We’re in the darkness of the jungle, and we know you have the story of the light,” they said. “We want to hear that story.”
Continue reading "Life with the Hewas - the missionary's story" »
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, April 2022 - the right man in the right place at the right time (Wikimedia Commons)
| Pearls & Irritations
CANBERRA - In the last two months we’ve seen hope, and extraordinary leadership, come literally out of left field in the person of the 44-year-old Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Talk about the right man in the right place at the right time, although the ‘place’ is the vicious attack on Ukraine by Putin’s Russians.
Continue reading "What Christ’s resurrection means in 2022" »
A graduation ceremony at Pacific Adventist University in Port Moresby
PORT MORESBY - It is 12 years since I attended Dr Carol Tasker’s class on Spiritual Formation at the Papua New Guinea Union Mission study centre in Lae.
Dr Tasker is an Australian who studied for her doctorate, with a special focus on Adventist pastors’ spirituality, at Andrews University in the United States.
Continue reading "The teacher who makes the angels dance" »
I once walked the city’s dusty streets,
Homeless, aimless, penniless
Dropped-out, poor, no future,
Surviving on crumbs and goodwill
But with undying hope in my soul
I scraped a few coins to study,
And paid my way right through,
Sat in the university’s honoured halls
Now nothing to lose, all to win
And sensed God’s call in my life
Continue reading "Ode to an Adventist education" »
TUMBY BAY - I come from a generation born in austerity. ‘Make-do’ was the order of the day.
In those what seem now like ancient days, Christmas represented something that now seems irretrievably lost.
Unfortunately, it all seems to be the result of modern human beings having a remarkable ability to subvert good things into bad things.
Continue reading "Capitalism’s corruption of Christmas" »
Johannes Kundal and Rose with grandson Victor at their 30th wedding anniversary in 2009
TUMBY BAY – In between finishing my latest novel and starting a new one I’ve been proofreading a fascinating autobiography by Johannes Kundal.
Johannes is a member of Enga Writers Association and his book, The Legend of the Miok Egg, is being edited and readied for publication by author Daniel Kumbon, who founded the group.
A few extracts have been published in PNG Attitude over the last year or so.
Continue reading "Kastom & Kristen can be a perfect match" »
Wilfred Knigge - "As we set course for Wewak, Hagen township was already swallowed by rain"
| MAF PNG Facebook
WEWAK - It's Tuesday afternoon and I've landing at Mount Hagen. Andy, a colleague pilot from Wewak, tells me something is going on around a missing boat near the East Sepik capital.
We quickly walk to the operations manager’s office for some clarity. There are hardly any details. All we know is that a boat went from Wuvulu Island to Wewak, but failed to arrive there at the agreed time.
Continue reading "Search" »
PHILIP KAI MORRE
KUNDIAWA – I commend Michael Kabuni on his fine article, Do we pay too much reverence to pastors, about the problems we experience every day with some pastors and street preachers.
Most pastors from Pentecostal churches are not educated in either biblical studies or science, and being neither scientists nor medical doctors they are not educated in the causes, effects and treatment of disease or in how vaccines work.
Continue reading "Covid & the affliction of untrained pastors" »
ADELAIDE - The Christian religion is perhaps one of the most pervasive legacies of Papua New Guinea’s colonial era.
It was imposed or gifted, depending upon your outlook, through the efforts of many dedicated and determined missionaries.
Continue reading "Pastors, social media & perilous ideas" »
| Academia Nomad
PORT MORESBY - Do pastors, clergymen and religious authorities enjoy too much respect in Papua New Guinea?
Disclaimer: I’m a Christian. Baptised by a Four Square pastor. I once read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. And I completely read the New Testament twice.
Continue reading "Do we pay too much reverence to pastors?" »
City dwellers take shots with skyscrapers in the background or holding a whisky or SP. Others stand in front of 5-door cruiser or in their office. As a bush writer and adventurer, this scene is appropriate for me and where l think l belong
| Ples Singsing
PORT MORESBY - My late mum, Agatha, would tell me stories of what transpired before her eyes in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
It was a time when pioneer Catholic missionaries established mission stations and schools in various parts of the Wahgi Valley and further into the Jimi and other places.
Continue reading "How Palnge & Simbil built a new community" »
TUMBY BAY - Have you ever wondered why Capitalism and Christianity seem to sit so well together?
You have observed James Marape, for example, and politicians before him conflate wealth and religion ideas like making Papua New Guinea the ‘richest black Christian nation on Earth’.
Continue reading "The Bible as capitalism’s manual" »
TUMBY BAY - The recent report of the Constitutional Law Reform Commission recommended changes to Papua New Guinea’s Constitution to officially make it a Christian country.
Such a move, should parliament endorse it as seems likely despite some strong opposition, has many intriguing possibilities.
Continue reading "The naïveté of desiring a state religion" »
ADELAIDE –The notion that Papua New Guinea should declare itself a Christian state is an appalling mistake.
It is both irrelevant and a specious argument that 70% of those consulted supported the proposed change, given that almost all of them will have been Christians.
Continue reading "State based religion an ‘appalling mistake’" »
Chairman Kevin Isifu presents the 'Declare PNG as a Christian Country Review' to prime minister James Marape
| PNG Bulletin Online
PORT MORESBY – If Papua New Guinea is constitutionally declared a Christian country, this will not change the rights of people to follow other religions, faiths or beliefs, says Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC) chairman Kevin Isifu.
Mr Isufu made these remarks when presenting the final report of a review investigating whether the Constitution should be changed to declare PNG a Christian country.
Continue reading "Review recommends PNG become Christian state" »
The dome of the Bahá’í House of Worship has become a prominent landmark in the Waigani area of Port Moresby (Shannon Ambu)
OFFICE OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
| Bahá’í World News Service
PORT MORESBY - A major milestone has been reached with the completion of the complex steel structure of the Bahá’í House of Worship in Port Moresby.
This development comes after hundreds of steel components were individually positioned and linked with nine steel meshes to complete the dome structure on which the support frame was raised.
Continue reading "Splendid Bahá’í dome signals unity" »
The orchestra performing for parliamentarians at Vanimo in 2019
| Sipikriva Girl | Edited extracts
BUTAWENG – The Queen of Paradise Orchestra was established beside the sea in idyllic Baro Village in West Sepik in August 2018
The orchestra and its classical music school are the brainchild of the religious family of the incarnate word working in Vanimo, who were inspired by a similar project in Venezuela.
Continue reading "The marvellous Queen of Paradise Orchestra" »
ADELAIDE - Religion, by its very nature, requires that the faithful accept supernatural explanations for events in the material world in which we all live.
Consequently, religion frequently is irrational, anti-intellectual and anti-scientific.
In its more extreme forms it offers sociological and political ideas - like those of the Pentecostal movement - that are disguised as religious insights, hence the notion that becoming wealthy is a sign of God's favour.
Continue reading "We need rationality in our leaders" »
Pastor Alfred Kranz (1900-93) was a respected church leader who in World War II persuaded the Australian government to recognise the legitimacy of his students
MORRISET - It is true, as Phil Fitzpatrick has written, that that Seventh Day Adventists are socially and politically conservative.
It should be recognised, though, that much moderation of their worldview has taken place since the 1970s, when several theological disputes rocked the church.
They generally do not get involved in politics believing in the separation of church and state.
Continue reading "State, church & the Adventists" »
Prime minister Scott Morrison's Pentecostalism worries many Australians because of its extreme theology
TUMBY BAY - Both the Australian and Papua New Guinean constitutions contain sections related to the separation of the state and religion.
Section 116 of the Australian constitution is very explicit. It says:
“The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth.”
Continue reading "The religious nutters who govern us" »
| Kalang FM
PORT MORESBY - Church members of the Body of Christ have joined the Catholic and other churches in expressing great concern about the government’s intention to build a casino in Papua New Guinea.
An agreement was signed last Friday by the National Gaming Control Board and Paga Hill Development for the construction of a casino at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby.
Continue reading "More churches come out against casino" »
Artist's impression of the Baha'i house of worship now under construction in Port Moresby
THE BAHA’I FAITH IN PNG
Office of External Affairs | Edited extracts
Edited extracts from a submission to the Constitutional Law Reform Commission in response to the public inquiry into declaring Papua New Guinea a Christian country. Link here to read the full submission
PORT MORESBY - From the outset, the Baha’i Faith upholds and affirms our oneness as a people and we acknowledge that a vital component of our collective identity is our diversity.
Indeed, our country is a paradigm of diverse peoples, myriads of cultures and languages accompanied by respective beliefs, intricately woven together to form a complete whole.
Continue reading "One People: A vision for unity in diversity" »
Archbishop Anton Bal - "The democratic system of government established by the founding fathers is not to be renounced in favour of a theocratic one"
| Lecturer, Divine Word University
“We believe that the democratic system of government established by the founding fathers of the nation is not to be renounced in favour of a theocratic one embodied in a confessional state. Instead the government could opt for a public declaration of renewed Christian commitment to promote cooperation between the churches and parliament” - Anton Bal, Archbishop of Madang, Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea
MADANG - Thank you Catholic Bishops Conference for speaking on behalf of more than one million Catholics and other citizens of Papua New Guinea as a whole.
Those so-called pastors of other Christian churches - that hid behind the scenes and advised the prime minister and other politicians to amend the Constitution - had ulterior motives.
Continue reading "The Catholic bishops have got it right" »
| Catholic Bishops Conference of PNG & Solomon Islands
NOOSA - The Catholic Bishops Conference has expressed dissatisfaction at the Marape government’s lack of consultation with churches in initiating an inquiry about whether Papua New Guinea should be declared ‘a Christian country’.
“All considered, we do not deem it necessary to introduce amendments to the current PNG Constitution,” the bishops said in a statement.
Continue reading "Bishops oppose Christian nation move" »
ADELAIDE - The long and appalling history of religious influence on politics is so well documented that it is startling that prime minister James Marape should even contemplate writing a particular religion, in this case Christianity, into Papua New Guinea’s constitution.
A key axiom of any modern state should be a clear separation between church and state.
Continue reading "Christian constitution: what a bad idea" »
"The government has to recognise that declaring PNG a Christian country can prove detrimental to national unity"
| My Land, My Country
LAE - The Papua New Guinea government has begun a survey to draw public views on a proposal to change the constitution to declare PNG a Christian country.
The Constitutional Law Reform Commission is taking carriage of the task.
Continue reading "Does PNG need a ‘Christian country’ declaration?" »
KELA KAPKORA SIL BOLKIN
PORT MORESBY – At independence the constitution of Papua New Guinea did not separate church and state.
In fact, the constitution declared Christian values as a decent custom to be adopted, upheld and passed on to the next generation.
Continue reading "Christianity seems to have failed us badly" »
Philip Kai Morre - committed to his God, his church and his people
NOOSA – Philip Kai Morre – a regular contributor to our Comments section from Kundiawa in Papua New Guinea - graduated from St Fidelis College in Alexishafen in 1980.
He then completed a preparatory spiritual year in the Catholic Church at Erave in 1981 before progressing to the Holy Spirit Seminary in Bomana near Port Moresby.
Continue reading "The continuing mission of a man of peace" »
Early mission patrol in the Enga region (Harold Freund)
Mugang Mugarewec Bitengere- A Pioneer Missionary to the Highlands of New Guinea by Gabby Mugang, Marapa Publications, Waigani, 2018, K100 from the author at [email protected]
TUMBY BAY - The early Lutheran missionaries in the highlands relied very heavily on their Papua New Guinean pastors and evangelists to spread their message and extend their influence.
Continue reading "Grand-daughter's story of a pioneering pastor" »
St Nicholas - definitely not an atheist but a rich man who used his wealth to alleviate suffering
| Published in PNG Attitude, 25 December 2016
TUMBY BAY - I was about eight years old when I realised that organised religion was a giant confidence trick.
The thing that made me aware of this was my mother’s plan to send me to the local Catholic school.
We’d just moved out of the migrant hostel after arriving in Australia from England and I was bound to a new school.
Continue reading "Christmas for atheists" »
| DevPolicy Blog
PORT MORESBY - In a recent article, Dr Eugene Ezebilo of the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute asserts that “PNG’s Constitution does not recognise Christianity as the country’s religion”.
He proposes that if PNG wants to be a Christian state, Section 45 of the Constitution should be amended to specifically recognise Christianity as the state religion and a state church be established.
Continue reading "The unChristianity of becoming a Christian state" »
Alphonsa and Judy prepare to sew masks at Mercy Works in Goroka
| Catholic Outlook
PARRAMATTA, NSW - The people of Papua New Guinea have been hit hard by their government’s declaration of a state of emergency to combat the spread of Covid-19.
Thankfully these measures appear to be working with the number of reported cases remaining low.
The impact, however, on the lives of poorer inhabitants has been devastating.
Continue reading "Mercy Works Goroka deals with Covid-19" »
Chaplain Norman Kakeni issuing a bible to a soldier before deployment to Daru
PORT MORESBY - Chaplaincy is an intense and profoundly rewarding experience and chaplains play a distinctive role in the military setting.
They are strategically assigned to all military establishments and wherever there are military members, including in combat zones.
Chaplains tender to the spiritual well-being of soldiers regardless of religious background, provide confidential counselling and help personnel meet challenges in areas like religious education, ethics and morale.
Continue reading "Soldier without a weapon" »
Justin Kundain - five lessons to share with friends
PORT MORESBY – It was the greatest moment for me. Last November I graduated with a diploma in pastoral ministry.
Having been brought up in a dysfunctional home where my parents eventually divorced, I had grown up without a moral anchor. To me the words ‘dad’ and ‘mammy’ were strange.
Continue reading "Lessons I have learned" »
Sr Dorothy Fabritze MSC with Sr Bernard Overkamp MSC whom she met in PNG
MICHELLE N LYNCH
| The Reading Eagle | Extracts
READING, USA - Bushwhacking her way through the jungles of the South Pacific was just the sort of adventure Sister Dorothy Fabritze, now 72, imagined when, as a young teen, she felt called to join the Missionary Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The international order, known as MSC, was founded in 1900 to work in the island area of Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "The calling of Sr Dorothy MSC" »
| Adventist Record | Extracts
SILVER SPRING, USA - Adventist Aviation Services (AAS) in Papua New Guinea has ceased operations until at least 1 June.
AAS quality and safety manager Colin Dunn said the coronavirus outbreak had significantly impacted the operation.
Continue reading "Coronavirus grounds Adventist air fleet" »
Rev James Chalmers (Tamate) - his name & the names of many other heroes of PNG will be remembered forever
WABAG - Today, 8 April, is the anniversary of the untimely death of Rev James Chalmers – ‘Tamate’ – who was killed and cannibalised along with Rev Oliver Tomkins and local missionaries on Goaribari Island in Western Province 119 years ago.
When I think about their horrible deaths, the names of four friends come to mind who were all posted to serve in the Western Province at some stage of their careers in the 20th century.
Continue reading "That their names may live on" »
SDA church in Goroka
| Adventist Record | Edited
MARYLAND, USA - Preachers from other parts of the South Pacific will no longer be going to Papua New Guinea for a harvest program scheduled for May.
Church officers consulted with the PNG Union Mission about the inherent risks of the coronavirus pandemic before taking the difficult decision.
Continue reading "Coronavirus forces changes to SDA program" »