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Fahim Dashty - pioneer of Afghan press freedom

Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)
Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)

MARTIN HADLOW

SAMFORD VALLEY – Not long ago in PNG Attitude, this photograph was published alongside my article, ‘Taliban had time & are not so benign’.

It shows the Kabul Weekly newspaper being compiled by hand.

The newspaper was established by an extraordinary journalist, Fahim Dashty. And this is his story.

Continue reading "Fahim Dashty - pioneer of Afghan press freedom" »


Martin Hadlow: The broadcaster who dared

Keith Phil Martin nr Subic Bay Philippines 1986
Keith, the late Phil Charley and Martin murder a burger & shake near Subic Bay, Philippines, 1986. We were between running media management courses in Manila and Baguio City

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I really need to expound here on Martin Hadlow, who wrote the article above, a great friend of mine for nearly 50 years.

It must be a good friendship because it survived Martin taking over two radio stations from me, Radio Bougainville in 1973 and 2ARM-FM Armidale in 1977.

Martin continued to an illustrious career with Unesco and later academia – in both jurisdictions his skills in organisation and expertise in media and communications put to profoundly good use.

Continue reading "Martin Hadlow: The broadcaster who dared" »


Sonia walks free after life-changing surgery

Sonia Paua
Sonia Paua was "determined as hell" to finish the painful treatment. "She wasn't going to give up"

ZALIKA RIZMAL & WILL JACKSON
| Pacific Beat | ABC | Edited extracts

MELBOURNE - Sonia Paua flew to Australia from Papua New Guinea to undergo medical treatment that sounds on paper like some kind of medieval torture.

When seven years old, Sonia was diagnosed with a rare and painful bone infection, chronic osteomyelitis, in her left leg.

Continue reading "Sonia walks free after life-changing surgery" »


The day I gave the bad news to Kela Smith

Mal Kela Smith
Malcolm Kela Smith (PNGi). "Mal's response was furious and littered with profanities. Needless to say, my relationship with him ended acrimoniously"

WILL MUSKENS
| Ex Kiap Website | Edited

BARDON, QLD - The people who live along the Sepik River, who depend upon it for their livelihoods, are facing the fight of a lifetime.

The Chinese-owned Guangdong Rising through its subsidiary, PanAust, is seeking approval from the Papua New Guinea government to establish the Frieda River copper and gold mine.

Continue reading "The day I gave the bad news to Kela Smith" »


Landmark novel from a distinguished writer

Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton.  Kundiawa   2021
Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton. Kundiawa,   2021

KEITH JACKSON

The reviews will come but this is not one of them. Daniel Kumbon’s first novel, The Old Man’s Dilemma, was published this week and here I offer the Foreword I wrote accompanied by Daniel’s Preface. The book is now on sale.

The Old Man's Dilemma by Daniel Kumbon, Love, Grief, Happiness & Rebellion: A Modern Day Novel From Papua New Guinea. Independently published, June 2021. Paperback, 188 pages. ISBN-13:‎ 979-8526508247. Link here to purchase from Amazon. Paper $11.39. Kindle $1

NOOSA – Daniel Kumbon is one of Papua New Guinea’s most prominent modern day authors and he has accumulated a substantial collection of non-fiction writing – all of it offering a Melanesian worldview.

Continue reading "Landmark novel from a distinguished writer" »


‘Buy local like me,’ says the ice cream man

James Rice
I've been everywhere man. James Rice on one of his many trips through PNG

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE -The motorbike-riding Paradise Foods CEO, James Rich, has ridden his machine from Lae to Gembogl, travelled a portion of the mighty Sepik River, set foot on the banks of Lake Sirunki and admired the salt ponds in Enga.

His approach to living and working in Papua New Guinea has been refreshing for many of us who have grown weary of the negative attention of the media.

Continue reading "‘Buy local like me,’ says the ice cream man" »


Ignored & unpaid: The commitment of a teacher

Norm Ukuma
Mr Ukuma in the classroom at East Ambogo - "I continue to teach because my desire is to serve my community, my province and my country"

MICHELLE AUAMOROMORO
| Mim’s Diary

POPONDETTA - Teachers are the backbone of a nation. They are the foundation of every other profession - tough people who raise their hands to educate a nation.

In Papua New Guinea, we have heard news over the years about teachers going on strike for not being paid or not being paid well. But not all teachers raise their concerns openly.

Continue reading "Ignored & unpaid: The commitment of a teacher" »


Fr Dr Clement Papa - chip off the old block

Fr Dr Clement Papa
Clement Papa - priest, rector and now PhD from the Divinity University in Australia: the youngest brother in a remarkable family 

JOE KETAN
| Asia-Pacific Anticorruption & Human Rights Advocate Group

MOUNT HAGEN - Fr Dr Clement Papa is the youngest son of Pius Pii - popularly known as Kopi Kund Pii - a pioneer PNG Catholic missionary.

In 1947, Pius Pii, among the first students of pioneer American missionary Fr William Ross, upon completion of his training at Rebiamul, Mount Hagen, was sent to Anglimp-South Wahgi to establish the Kuli Parish.

Continue reading "Fr Dr Clement Papa - chip off the old block" »


Captain Happ & his New Guinea memento

Len Happ (R) of Park Ridge with local villager next to his fighter plane  Little Joe.
Captain Len Happ (right) with a fellow aviator and local villager alongside his fighter plane,  Little Joe, at Gusap

STAFF WRITER
| Chicago Daily Herald

CHICAGO - In the early phases of the Pacific War, Captain and operations officer Len Happ was based at Gusap Air Base, just south of Lae.

From the war zone in 1943, Happ sent a rare native tribal bow set with several arrows to his home in Park Ridge, Illinois.

Continue reading "Captain Happ & his New Guinea memento" »


Names of PNG: Oala Oala-Rarua

Oala Oala-Rarua as mayor of Port Moresby
Oala Oala-Rarua while mayor of Port Moresby, 1972

MURRAY GROVES
| Australian Dictionary of Biography | Edited

CANBERRA – Oala Oala-Rarua (1934-80) - teacher, trade-union leader, politician and diplomat - was born at Pari village near Port Moresby.

He received his early education in mission village schools before transferring to the Sogeri education centre in 1948 where he was trained, and then employed, as a teacher.

Continue reading "Names of PNG: Oala Oala-Rarua" »


Names of PNG: Camilla Wedgwood

Wedgwood PNG
Camilla Wedgwood taking the arm measurement of a young boy

DAVID WETHERELL
| Australian Dictionary of Biography | Edited

CANBERRA - Camilla Hildegarde Wedgwood (1901-1955), anthropologist and educationist, was born on 25 March 1901 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.

She was descended from Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), the master potter.

Aided by her famous name and the financial stability that flowed from the sale of Wedgwood pottery, Camilla was free to express her inherited independence, strong social conscience and streak of individualism.

Continue reading "Names of PNG: Camilla Wedgwood" »


Q&A: The life of a woman in PNG politics

Dame Carol Kidu (SMH)
Dame Carol Kidu - "Some PNG male politicians would say to me, 'We don’t mind you being here but we don’t want our own women here'

DAME CAROL KIDU

Edited extracts of questions from a talk by Dame Carol Kidu at the University of Papua New Guinea on 23 April. Dame Carol was an MP for 15 years (1997-2012). The current PNG parliament  (2017-2022) has no women members in its 111 seats.

Henry Murau, Student

As a female member of parliament what was the main challenge for you?

Dame Carol Kidu

As a female, the only female there, you’re kind of isolated. When you are in the NEC, the cabinet, and have a ministry, you are part of that.

Continue reading "Q&A: The life of a woman in PNG politics" »


My PhD journey, Covid notwithstanding

Angoro - Barbara Angoro
Barbara Angoro - the real pressure is on now

BARBARA ANGORO
| Duresi’s Odyssey

AUCKLAND - Time sure has flown. I’ve completed two years and two months of my PhD. I still have a fair way to go but that this journey is halfway through amazes me. Seems like yesterday I was attending doctoral induction day.

The real pressure is on now – no thanks to Covid-19 lockdowns (the first very long one began in March last year and there have been short ones since, including twice early this year).

Continue reading "My PhD journey, Covid notwithstanding" »


The continuing mission of a man of peace

Philip
Philip Kai Morre - committed to his God, his church and his people

KEITH JACKSON

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" »


We honour a giant who has fallen

Philip
Philip Kai Morre - "Michael Somare was not only a politician but a role model"

PHILIP KAI MORRE

KUNDIAWA - It is an honour to celebrate the life and death of a giant who has fallen.

Sir Michael Somare lived life to the fullest and with enlightenment. The Grand Chief is one of a few great politicians and advocates of democracy like Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

Continue reading "We honour a giant who has fallen" »


Thoughts on nominating for election

Jackson Kiakari
Jackson Kiakari, his son Kyle and supporters - on the way to nominate Jackson for election

JACKSON KIAKARI

PORT MORESBY - It rained intermittently in Port Moresby on Thursday.

No music played, no horns blared, no rowdy exchanges. It was a sombre day.

And this was the day I entered the political arena by nominating as a candidate for the Port Moresby North-West by-election.

Continue reading "Thoughts on nominating for election" »


An important lesson from Sir Michael

Sir-Michael-SomareBEE DURESI
| Duresi’s Odyssey

AUCKLAND - It has been almost a week since our country’s founding father, ‘Papa’, Sir Michael Thomas Somare departed for the spiritual world.

Papua New Guineans in country and worldwide are grief-stricken as we come to terms with the loss.

Many have shared their delightful experiences of meeting with him, his words of advice and times spent with him.

Continue reading "An important lesson from Sir Michael" »


Grand Chief chose home for resting place

Independence Hill
Papua New Guinea's Kumul flag flutters over Independence Hill, where a number of former prime ministers are buried. Parliament House is in the middle distance. Sir Michael Somare knew whence he came and chose his home town, Wewak, as his final resting place

ALLAN BIRD MP
| Governor, East Sepik Province

Before his death Sir Michael Somare had stated his desire that his final resting place be at Kreer Heights in East Sepik rather than at Independence Hill next to Parliament House in Port Moresby, where other former prime ministers are buried. Lady Veronica Somare and his family have since confirmed Sir Michael's wish - KJ

WEWAK - Judging from social media discussions, the people of Papua New Guinea are now aware that it was our dear Papa’s wish that he be laid to rest on Kreer Heights where he has prepared a place for himself and Mama Veronica.

How do we best honour this great man who gave more than 60 years of life in our service?

Continue reading "Grand Chief chose home for resting place" »


3 years since I got on a plane to NZ

Bee Duresi
Bee Duresi - brilliant scholar, great communicator, wonderful representative of PNG and, above all, a fantastic mum and family member

BEE DURESI
| Duresi's Odyssey

AUCKLAND - Time flies ae? I just realised I got on a plane around this time three years ago to come to New Zealand and start a journey of a lifetime.

It was a bittersweet trip – my marriage had just ended, I had been accepted to do a PhD at the University of Auckland, I had successfully secured a NZ scholarship for the entire PhD program, and I was leaving my beloved child behind.

Continue reading "3 years since I got on a plane to NZ" »


Pacific journalism and PNG’s ‘Game of Thrones’

Leanne Jorari
Leanne Jorari - "I am a firm advocate of Indigenous people creating their own narratives"

NEWS DESK
| Judith Neilson Institute

SYDNEY - Leanne Jorari is a Papua New Guinean media and communications specialist, producer and writer, based in Port Moresby.

A former journalist and producer at PNG’s national broadcaster, EMTV, she is now a freelance writer for The Guardian‘s Pacific Project, which is supported by the Institute.

Continue reading "Pacific journalism and PNG’s ‘Game of Thrones’" »


Kitch’s brilliant career rocks Facebook

David Kitchnoge top
David 'Kitch' Kitchnoge - news of his appointment to a top PNG financial post brought joy to social media

NEWS DESK
| Nambawan Super

PORT MORESBY - Chairman of Nambawan Super, Reg Monagi, has announced that David Kitchnoge, a sometime contributor to PNG Attitude, has been appointed Chief Investment Officer, the fund’s top investment job.

‘Kitch’ Kitchnoge is a well-respected and experienced investment professional with nearly20 years’ experience in PNG’s financial sector.

Continue reading "Kitch’s brilliant career rocks Facebook" »


The indispensable manki masta

Kure Whan at Balimo in 1972
Manki masta Kure Whan at Balimo, 1972

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - When writing about their experiences in Papua New Guinea, many old kiaps mention the special relationship they enjoyed with members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.

Very often they highlight the sense of teamwork enjoyed with the policemen under their command – those wise old sergeant majors and sergeants get special praise.

Continue reading "The indispensable manki masta" »


Kerenga Kua & lip ti no swit

Kerenga_Kua
Kerenga Kua - spoke about an embarrassing experience with a cup of tea during his high school days

DUNCAN GABI

LAE - Kerenga Kua, Papua New Guinea’s petroleum and energy minister, has occupied senior political positions since he was first elected as the member for Sinasina-Yongamugl in Simbu Province in 2012.

My story, though, is about his student days at Aiyura National High School as told by the man himself in 2014.

Continue reading "Kerenga Kua & lip ti no swit" »


Mi tu Kumul blong Morobe

Lae (Thor May)
Lae back in Henry's youth - a safe and pleasant town, unlike today

HENRY MOKONO
Graun Blong Mi (My Land)

PORT MORESBY - I am originally a highlander from Simbu who, like many others from the New Guinea Islands, Sepik, Papua and a few from the upper highlands provinces, migrated to Lae back then and call Lae home. I grew up in Lae from the 1970s to 1990s.

My greatest memories in life come from growing up in Lae City. Later in life I called myself ‘Simbu blo Morobe’, because Lae will always be closer to my heart.

Continue reading "Mi tu Kumul blong Morobe" »


Dominica Are & her Prized Possessions

Dominica’s book 'Prized Possessions'HAZEL KUTKUE
| Sipikriva Girl Blog | Photographs by Dominica Are

'Prized Possessions: A Collection of Poetry’by Dominica Are, paperback, 132 pages. Independently published, March 2020. ISBN-13 979-8622956454. Available here from Amazon for $US8.73

BRAUN - Poetry makes for beautiful literature.

Sipikriva Girl, despite not entirely embracing poetry, had the opportunity to speak to 34-year old writer, poet and accountant, Dominica Are, who recently published her first collection of poetry, Prized Possessions.

Hailing from the highlands of Papua New Guinea, Dominica works full time as an accountant with PNG Coffee Exports Ltd in Goroka.

Continue reading "Dominica Are & her Prized Possessions" »


A signature in the sand

Sir-mek
First graduates of the University of Papua New Guinea, 1970

ANDREW MOUTU
| Ples Singsing | Edited

PORT MORESBY - The boy grew up in the village of Kukipi, and at the right age he was enrolled at its small primary school.

There were no blackboards, no chalk and no desks where the children could sit, so the school and the village had to be innovative and work within the constraints.

Continue reading "A signature in the sand" »


A tribute to the brilliant Sir Mek

Sir mek
Sir Mekere Morauta - Argued deficit financing is necessary for serious growth. The world caught up with him this year

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - In school, economics wasn’t really my thing. At the end of one semester, the girl who became my partner got the highest grade and I nailed the bottom of the list.

But years later, the great journalist John Eggins said I had to venture into the realm of business and economics, because I had “the flair for it.”

Continue reading "A tribute to the brilliant Sir Mek" »


The gift of literacy & the story of Tony

Tony Heffernan
Tony Heffernan - "My father was terribly upset over the accident and never stopped blaming himself. My sister told me it was the only time she had ever seen Dad cry"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Our first grandson was born while we were living in Hervey Bay in Queensland. His other grandparents, who belong to a small Lutheran congregation nearby in Maryborough, organised his christening there.

The Lutheran pastor was an American who had been a missionary in Papua New Guinea. I was still scooting back and forth from Australia to PNG doing social mapping, so we had a common interest.

Continue reading "The gift of literacy & the story of Tony" »


Now a video record of an historic moment

Uechtritz
Alfred Max Parkinson Uechtritz shows his delight at receiving the first English translation of Dreissig Jahre in Der Südsee (Thirty Years in the South Seas) in 1999

MAX UECHTRITZ

SYDNEY - "Without Richard and Phebe Parkinson, we would be strangers in our own land."

These words were spoken by the wonderful Papua New Guinean historian Gideon Kakabin in our first conversation and formed the basis for our enduring friendship and shared passion for history.

My Danish great grandfather Richard Parkinson published his famed tome Thirty Years in the South Seas in 1907.

Continue reading "Now a video record of an historic moment" »


Wayne & the power of friendship

Gary  Wayne and friends
Gary, Wayne and friends - "We are all fortunate to know good people and have great friendships. They are precious gifts. Until we no longer have them"

GARY JUFFA

ORO - Some years ago - in the mid-eighties, I was this skinny kid growing up in Arawa on Bougainville.

I had a great friend at school, Wayne Grieshaber. I met him the day I entered Bovo Primary School.

I’d just transferred from Kokoda, where I spent three years schooling and living with my grandmother on our small cocoa plantation. No electricity and a hefty dose of challenge and difficulty.

Continue reading "Wayne & the power of friendship" »


Viewing life with love, courage & hope

Evah and sarah
Evah and Sarah

EVAH KUAMIN

Hi olgeta, this is an excerpt from my unpublished book. I am seeking sponsors to help me publish the book and spread the message about children with special needs. If you or know anyone who can assist me, please let me know - EK

I’m trying to find Evah’s email. If you can help, let me know in the Comment section - KJ

MADANG - When everything is going well and then suddenly life decides to take its toll on you, you lose your footing, your mind and all hell breaks loose.

The worst is the pain a mother feels seeing her own child succumb to illness and suffer.

Continue reading "Viewing life with love, courage & hope" »


A farewell to eminent communicators

David Robie
Prof David Robie - a Pacific islands communications icon and innovator

CROSBIE (CROZ) WALSH
| Croz Walsh’s Blog | Edited

WHITBY, NEW ZEALAND – The highlights of a symposium at the Pacific Media Centre of the Auckland University of Technology last week were the numerous accolades paid to PMC director Professor David Robie and Del Abcede, who are retiring at the end of the year.

David has lived in the Pacific, been involved in Pacific human rights and media freedom issues and taught journalism to Pacific Islanders and others for 40 years. He will be a hard man to replace.

Continue reading "A farewell to eminent communicators" »


A remarkable journo calls it a day

Mungo MacCallum  1979 (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mungo MacCallum, 1979 (Sydney Morning Herald)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Under the headline ‘That’s all she wrote’, one of my favourite journalists, Mungo MacCallum, announced today his inability to keep writing for the press. Very sad news.

“I never thought I’d say it,” Mungo wrote, “but I can no longer go on working. It takes all my effort to breathe and I’m not managing that too well. And now my mind is getting wobbly – hard to think, let alone concentrate.

Continue reading "A remarkable journo calls it a day" »


The story of Warrant Officer Yauwiga DCM

Lt Cdr Pryce-Jones  presents Loyal Services Medal to Sergeant Major Yauwiga
Lieutenant Commander Pryce-Jones of the Naval Intelligence Division responsible for Coastwatcher operations, presents the Loyal Services Medal to Sergeant Yauwiga,  Guadalcanal, October 1943

KEITH JACKSON

With thanks to Joe Herman in the USA who suggested this story to mark US Veterans Day in which we pay tribute to all Papua New Guineans who have served in war and those from other countries who have fought in PNG. This article is based on writings by Steven Winduo, Steve Rusbridge, Phil Fitzpatrick, Dennis Burns, the Australian War Memorial and the PNG Post-Courier.

NOOSA – When Paul Yauwiga Wankunale, known as Yauwiga, from Kusaun village in the Kubalia area of the East Sepik Province came into view, he immediately presented himself as an unusual man.

“He was the only famous Papua New Guinean fuzzy wuzzy angel with a blue eye,” wrote academic and author Steven Winduo.

Continue reading "The story of Warrant Officer Yauwiga DCM" »


Joe Biden’s deep connection with PNG

Joe_Biden
Joe Biden - his uncle Ambrose was killed when his aircraft was shot down in PNG in World War II and his body never found

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – United States’ president-elect Joe Biden is well acquainted with Papua New Guinea – two of his uncles fought there in World War II and one was killed, his body never found.

“Australia looked to America, and a generation of Americans - including two of my uncles - responded,” Biden said during a visit to Australia as US vice president in 2016.

Continue reading "Joe Biden’s deep connection with PNG" »


Finding Mac: Search brought us together

Search party
One of the many search parties looking for Maclarence

MARY TERRIETTE ASEARI
| Academia Nomad

A student from the University of Papua New Guinea is reported missing. A week goes by and he is not found. Students conduct one of the biggest searches the city has seen. Mary Terriette Aseari is a third year student at the university.

PORT MORESBY - Maclarence Akua - a 22-year old third-year student, a good friend and a course mate of mine at the University of Papua New Guinea - had been missing for almost a week.

Mac is of mixed East Sepik and Bougainville parentage but grew up in Kimbe.

Continue reading "Finding Mac: Search brought us together" »


An adventurous and rich life – John Philip Fowke

John Fowke
John Fowke

ANNA FOWKE

BRISBANE - My father was a big man, a tall man, a loud man, a funny man. A man with many moods, many strengths, and the usual amount of weaknesses.

He asked me to officiate at his funeral party, and so that means here I am, struggling to express my thoughts about a life lived, a rich, adventurous life.

As I collated my thoughts in the days following his death, I was struck by how many people loved and respected my father, but also how many different people he was to others.

Continue reading "An adventurous and rich life – John Philip Fowke" »


My father’s last moments on this earth

CHARLENE DINIPAMI NII
Charlene Dinipami Nii - Francis was very  ill, but insisted on making the tortuous trip to witness his father's burial

CHARLENE NII

KUNDIAWA - It was on Wednesday 1 April that bad news came to Francis in his hospital bed in Kundiawa.

It was early in the morning when the phone rang. The caller was his cousin Duma Paulus from Diani village.

In broken tones, Duma told Francis that his father, the chief, Nicholas Tura Duma, had passed away.

Continue reading "My father’s last moments on this earth" »


Fred Kaad: 100 years of courage & achievement

Brown 11 Brown Kaad
Bill Brown MBE and Fred Kaad OBE - two outstanding figures in the late colonial history of Papua New Guinea, Sydney, 2018 - KJ

BILL BROWN

SYDNEY - Fred Kaad is an inspiration. And this day, 12 September 2020, marks a notable anniversary for this remarkable man.

We salute his wonderful achievements, his steadfastness and courage and his contribution to all our lives and to the lives of so many others.

This is a tribute of respect and admiration for Fred Kaad on his 100th birthday.

Continue reading "Fred Kaad: 100 years of courage & achievement" »


Yeah, I know I’m getting on, but….

Phil Fitzpatrick recentPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - We’ve only got one pharmacy in Tumby Bay. I believe it’s been in the same family since it began.

The grandfather passed it on to the father and now the father has just passed it on to the daughter.

I was in there the other day collecting some diabetic gear: a box of needles for my disposable syringes; a couple of packets of test strips for my glucose testing gizmo; and my blood pressure tablets.

Continue reading "Yeah, I know I’m getting on, but…." »


The story of Francis Nii’s last project

Kin Francis bushfire rally
An ailing Francis Nii leads the big bushfire rally for Australia from his wheelchair in Kundiawa. He saw the huge funds raised from this poor province as a token of the close relationship between the two countries

MATHIAS KIN

KUNDIAWA - My friend Francis Nii rang me on a Friday afternoon in early January to say he wanted to meet me about something that had been bothering him.

He briefly told me over the phone that it was about the terrible Australian bushfires and that he was surprised the Papua New Guinea government and other organisations were not doing anything about it.

Continue reading "The story of Francis Nii’s last project" »


Two extraordinary PNG politicians

Iambakey
Sir Iambakey Okuk - the famed Simbu politician who died prematurely and is not a prisoner of the Vatican as the mythology would have it

ARTHUR WILLIAMS

CARDIFF – There are two significant moments in Papua New Guinea’s political history that I will never forget.

The first was when Lavongai’s bikman Walla Gukguk was persuaded by Wally Lussick and Goroka MP Sinake Giregire to stand for the Kavieng open electorate in 1977.

With huge support from the followers of Lavongai’s TIA (Tutukuval Isukal Association - ‘Stand Up Together and Plant’) and the main island’s TFA (Tutorme Farmers Association) Walla easily beat his opponents.

Continue reading "Two extraordinary PNG politicians" »


Paul Kiap in need & a friend indeed

Paul Kurai with Assumtha and his boys in Australia
Paul Kurai with Assumtha and his boys in Australia

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - An obvious sign of embarrassment and guilt appeared on Paul Kiap Kurai’s face as he recalled how in Mt Hagen 27 years ago he had been blindly betting on horse races and, over a three-year period, lost all his savings.

“They said I was a good gambler,” Paul said. “The one who bet on the right horse and always won.

“I thought they were telling me the truth and kept playing.”

Continue reading "Paul Kiap in need & a friend indeed" »


O’Neill's K15m Sydney home; sells another for K30m

Chateau Pete
O'Neill's new Sydney pad, the architect John Amory-designed residence in Warrawee, Sydney

LUCY MACKEN
| Sydney Morning Herald | Edited

SYDNEY - The wife of Papua New Guinea’s former prime minister Peter O’Neill, Lynda Babao, has bought a K15 million house on Sydney’s upper north shore just months after a Point Piper residence that was previously home to their son was sold on the quiet K30 million.

The Point Piper duplex was linked to PNG’s former first family in May last year just days before O’Neill stepped down from the top job following weeks of high-level defections from the ruling party.

Continue reading "O’Neill's K15m Sydney home; sells another for K30m" »


A letter to my dear friend Francis Nii

Francis and Daniel in Brisbane  2016
Francis and Daniel in Brisbane, 2016

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - Francis, I met you through your writing in 1985 in Ondobondo and later PNG Writer at the University of Papua New Guinea. But we never physically met.

Later I met you through your writing and comments in PNG Attitude.

I never imagined you sat in a wheelchair until I met you in Simbu in 2015 during the Crocodile Prize presentations.

Continue reading "A letter to my dear friend Francis Nii" »


Unfinished journey: Francis Nii & the struggle for PNG literature

Francis NiiBEN JACKSON
| First published in PNG Attitude, 3 July 2019

….If no one supports me
I alone will carry you

Until you smile and say
Papa, thank you I am healed

Then my heart will be at peace
My soul will rest….
                  - Francis Nii (2016)

PORT MORESBY - The twisted metal of a motor vehicle accident in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands nearly brought Francis Nii’s story to a dramatic end.

The crash, at the start of 1999, left him forever paralysed from the waist down and brought his promising career as an economist and financial adviser to a sudden halt.

Continue reading "Unfinished journey: Francis Nii & the struggle for PNG literature" »


Some of the wise sayings of Francis Nii

Francis Nii at Sir Joseph Nombri Hospital  Kundiawa  2014KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - In the late Francis Nii’s  many articles for PNG Attitude and in his books are hundreds of aphorisms and wise thoughts.

Here are just a few I’ve quickly gathered.

”Keep hoping and keep searching with patience and you shall find the answer”

“Every wickedness has a cost. At the ripe time the perpetrator will each pay his price”

“One can escape from the court of justice through cunning and false device but the court of conscience is inescapable and sometimes the justice meted is fatal”

“The rural grass roots are survivors. They know how to survive in the harshest conditions and difficult moments. They will still survive whatever the situation”

“Keep dreaming and keep writing. A man with no dream has no purpose in life”

“This is Papua New Guinea, the land where corruption is a way of life”

“When political heroes of today are gone tomorrow and forgotten forever, writers will live on beyond the grave - and that's the beauty about writing even though there is no money in it”

“Literary excellence is the key to unlocking the hidden treasures of life. A nation without literature is a people with lost identity”

BushfireFrancis’s final project – February 2020

From his hospital bed and in his wheelchair Francis was a creative force and a meticulous planner and organiser.

When terrible bushfires devoured eastern Australia last summer, Francis decided to repay Australia’s long history of assisting Papua New Guinea by asking the Simbu people to raise K400,000.

“The great news is that I set the target at K400,000, which everybody thought was impossible. But now we have surpassed that.

“We will be presenting a check of K425,000 to the national government-sanctioned fundraising PNG Heart for Australia Bushfire Appeal.”


The story of a highlands politician

Paul Kurai
Paul Kurai (left) with Daniel Ezikiel at Loniu Evagelical Church in Manus. Daniel served in Enga in the 1970s as a teacher and Paul presented him with K5,000 as a sign of his gratitude

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - Paul Kiap Kurai was only 24 when in 1982 he nominated to contest the Wabag Open seat against Sir Tei Abal, a distinguished leader and one of Papua New Guinea’s founding fathers.

He knew he was no match for the experience and status of Sir Tei, who had served four consecutive terms in parliament.

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