By Gorethy Kenneth - Post Courier

Christmas was bleak for more than 5000 people in the atolls of the Autonomous Bougainville region. as they scratched for food to survive - most only living on coconut and fish.

While the rest of PNG was celebrating during Christmas, the people of Mortlock, Tasman and Nuguria joined their fellow Carteret Islanders pleading for urgent relief assistance from both the ABG and the National (PNG) Government during the festive season.


 Much of the holiday time is spent swimming, canoeing or rubber ducking in rivers or Lake Koena - something the children miss when they live in Port Moresby. Above - enjoying a day at Lake Koena.

Papua New Guinea is one of the few countries in the world that rates air travel as the common & sometimes the only means of travel around the country. Most people who live and work in urban centres return home to their villages for holidays.

As we reach peak period, the two carriers - Air Niugini & Airlines PNG - are stretched to the limit. Satisfaction is definitely not guaranteed. Airports are choc-a-bloc with traffic, people and cargo from sunrise to sundown.


I went to Popondetta last weekend after an hour's delay on Airlines PNG and was relieved to find that the Girua Bridge (propped up by Containers) had been knocked sideways but otherwise could be crossed.

Just imagine for a minute that you have a stack of high standing  empty boxes on a table and then somehow you accidentally touch it with an abrupt brush of your elbow...then down they go, tumbling like dominoes. That's what happened when Girua river flooded and the torrents hit the Containers. The result was that the vulnerable bridge collapsed to the side making it impassable for vehicles.

When there is no rain and the river is normal or low, the wet crossing is quite drivable except for the rocks. There is work going on with graders attempting to smooth the path. Minister for Public Service/Government Relations, Mr Peter O'Neill flew over the province to see the damage caused by recent heavy rains & floods  and committed K2 million for relief work. Whether that has been made available for the grading work that I saw is unclear.

I was pleased that the vehicle that picked me from the airport took me over the Girua wet crossing to Popondetta. The good news also is that the big trucks transporting supplies & much-needed fuel from Oro Bay are still going through. So Popondetta shops and other outlets look set to be stocked for Christmas. The Christmas holiday travellers will certainly be moving freely - good weather permitting.

The one thing that I always find about Popondetta is the pace of the people. Come rain, floods or shine, they go about their usual business of harvesting, taking their produce to the markets and making their living from their abundant subsistence farming. It is not unusual for them to take the time to stop and catch up on gossip about the politics, economics or the lack thereof. For me, this is a nice escapade from Port Moresby's CBD where I work, to the reality of the world my family lives in. It is definitely a home, a solace where love and warmth reigns despite all odds.


Papua New Guinea has experienced nothing like it before. The excitement for the commencement of Papua New Guinea’s single largest project, the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project, is infectious. From the mountains to the islands, from the east to the west, the buzz is deafening. There is certainly positive anticipation in the air albeit the ink on the project agreement has barely dried.

Thanks to the many landowners who one by one, like dominoes in a pack, signed up to allow the final agreement between the project developers Exxon Mobile (Esso Highlands) and the Government to take place and the license to be granted.

The plan to pipe gas from PNG's Highlands to Port Moresby for export to Asia is predicted to double the country's gross domestic product and create thousands of jobs. It is expected to deliver 6.6 million tonnes of gas a year bringing in huge amounts of revenue for the PNG Government and affected land owners.


By Frank Rai - Post Courier

Papua New Guinea is crying for basic services in the rural districts but the political leaders are blinded by greed, power, money and cannot deliver services.

These were the comments from the Chief Ombudsman Commission, Mr Chronox Manek during the 39th graduation of Bumayong Secondary School last Thursday. Mr Manek said political leaders should be blamed for denying the rights of Papua New Guineans to basic services, as stipulated in the Constitution.

"Our dignity as human persons is being compromised and denied. We now stand at a crossroad and it is time to change the landscape of governance,"  Mr Manek said.

He said the Government's purchase of big plasma television screens for the Members of Parliament and the K120 million Falcom Jet for the Government was unnecessary and should have been pumped into services that would benefit the bulk of the population.

However, the Chief Ombudsman also challenged the students to become agents of change for a brighter future, adding that PNG would change if people could change their attitudes.


The force of Mother Nature cannot be controlled, and in a lot of cases, nor can it be predicted. Often, the devastation and the misery it causes cannot be fathomed. But as strong-willed as we are, and for the sake of preservation, we pick up the pieces, rebuild and move on with our lives. We find strength from the help that is rallied around us. Most importantly, somewhere inside us all, comes a strength that is beyond our comprehension yet, is so powerful. This is the resilient force that takes us out of degradation, humiliation and wretchedness into sustenance, longevity and hope. During good times, we are so busy with living that we do not acknowledge  this strength.


I'm going home to Popondetta this weekend but the news this morning is not good at all. The Girua bridge between the airport and Popondetta town has been damaged by floods from continuous rains. Girua bridge, or at least a temporary bridge, was the first to be reconstructed after the Cyclone Guba devastation in 2007. And there it goes down again...!

Priest - Poverty is High in PNG

        By Maureen Gerawa - Post Courier

The number of vulnerable people, including widows and orphans in this country is increasing with no sign of Government support, says a Catholic priest Fr Jude Ronayne-Forde.

While responding to comments at the launch of this year's State of the World's Children Report yesterday, he told a small gathering, that while there were many good things about the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and how this was being implemented through the various departments, his experience showed otherwise.

In the past 10 years, Fr Jude's work has extended to those living with HIV, including women & children and found that the number of widows, single mothers and orphans, especially in Port Moresby is increasing with no Government support in place for these people.


 The Papua New Games opens this weekend with Teams from almost all 20 provinces in the country.

The Prime Minsiter announced K1.5 million yesterday for the Games to be staged in Port Moresby. But sadly there are provinces still scrounging around for money to send their teams into the nation's capital. One such province is Oro. It was promised money by the Governor and the Ijivitari MP. The money from the Ijivitari MP was reported in the papers as having been contributed.

In a last minute bid to support Team Oro, fundraising activities by Port Moresby residents went into full swing including a Concert by Oro Gospel Group "Voice In The Wind" last Sunday at the Drill Hall, University of PNG.

Whatever amount being raised, not just by Team Oro supporters, but other province supporters, has all good intentions and I know will be channeled appropriately to make each one of us proud to be from our individual provinces.



 Fynn Knott of Port Moresby was fascinated by the Shark Jaw headdress on Luke Nunisa who travelled from Tufi to Alotau with a canoe & a dance troupe to participate in the Canoe & Kundu Festival in Alotau.

Milne Bay Magic can be experienced in 2 ways. There is one that is sunny and oh! so charming; and the other which smothers you with daily showers. 

Now....the Milne Bay people might brag to you about other "magical" things & beings that sail or fly by night but for me a week ago, I was either inundated by the sunny beauty or, the showers of blessings.

Milne Bay is steeped in rich ritual environment and strict protocols and that was the order of the 3-day Festival. The usual drizzle did not dampen the spirit of the Festival goers as seen by the  sails, canoes, paddles, young warriors and  admirers who made the Festival all the worthwhile.

LNG hedging on Australian aid for Governance, Transparency

From Industry News Newsletter

GOOD governance and transparency is at the core of Papua New Guinea’s discussions with Australia on aid for developing the PNG LNG project.

“We have held official and ministerial-level discussions on Australian assistance for development of a robust and transparent governance regime covering taxes and dividends from LNG received by the PNG government,” PNG Minister for Public Enterprises Arthur Somare said.

Somare, National Planning and Development Minister Paul Tiensten and Public Services Minister Peter O’Neill had met their Australian counterparts in Canberra last month for talks on the Australian government’s Export Finance Insurance Corporation providing loan finance for PNG LNG in the form of tied concessional loans to purchase Australian goods and services.

Australia had sought reassurances on the commercial risks of the PNG project and was seeking clarity on its potential to transform the PNG economy and the bilateral relations between the two nations.

Somare also noted the National Executive Council would consider establishing a sovereign wealth fund as a sustainable long-term vehicle for the 19.4% the PNG government held in the liquefied natural gas project through the Independent Public Business Corporation.

“With the help of Australian government experts, the PNG Parliament will be able to enact sovereign wealth fund legislation that will determine optimum use of LNG project dividends with an eye to maximising infrastructure spending through the development budget.”

Australian technical experts are also helping the PNG Ministry for National Planning and Development with economic modelling that will provide guidelines for the ideal use of government revenues from LNG, resource tax administration, implementation of a revenue stabilisation funds, creation of a sovereign wealth fund and other relevant areas.

Australia is also offering to support training and skills development to complement ExxonMobil’s plans for the Port Moresby Technical college by helping the college management administer the facilities.

Somare said major revenues from PNG LNG will begin to flow in 2015-16 and the current government wanted to make sure the government of that time would use the funds to improve infrastructure and service delivery through the nation.

“I believe this is the first time in our history that a PNG government has sought to have in place specific governance regimes to cover a major resource development.

“These measures will minimise corruption and ensure that the additional $US50 billion in taxes and dividends that will flow to the PNG government over a 20-year period will transform every aspect of life in PNG.”

Somare added that PNG was also holding discussions with the World Bank on the best ways to avoid the so-called “Dutch Disease” where a sharp upsurge in resource revenues can negatively impact on other segments of the economy.

Meanwhile, PNG’s National Superannuation Fund (Nasfund) said an independent and accountable sovereign wealth fund was essential to ensure part of the revenue from PNG LNG and other resource projects was preserved for future generations.

It said PNG remained largely unprepared for the proceeds of such enormous resource generated revenues pointing to a public sector that was unable to deliver basic services and infrastructure even with the 3-4 billion kina ($A1.2-1.6 billion) locked in a government trust account.

Nasfund said that by collecting part of the tax revenue stream from a project and investing it for future generations, a sovereign fund would, over time, reduce reliance on natural resources.


Bomana War Cemetery - just outside Port Moresby is a resting place for many of the WW2 casualties

From Post-Courier

Visitor numbers to the Kokoda Track have dropped by more than a quarter in a horror year that included the deaths of trail walkers and a fatal plane crash.

Visitor numbers to the arduous 96km track that crosses from the Oro to Central province - where Australian Diggers fought alongside allied forces against the Japanese during World War 2 - have fallen 27 per cent, the Kokoda Track Authority CEO Rod Hillman has said.

He told the Global Eco Conference in Alice Springs, Australia this week that 4200 people had attempted to walk the track this year, compared with more that 5600 last year.


From the Mining Seminar as reported by the Post-Courier

Despite hosting some of the largest mining companies in the country, Papua New Guineans are still "virtually poor", says Madang Governor and former Chief Justice Sir Arnold Amet.

He challenged the National Government and the bureaucracy to come up with proper benefit sharing mechanisms and policies so that Papua New Guineans saw tangible benefits from the mines they hosted.

He said PNG still ranked poorly in development indexes world-wide and "where does all these wealth go to?" he asked.


By Eric Tapakau (Post-Courier newspaper)

Many landowners continue to spend a majority of their benefits from the extraction of their minerals on immediate consumption rather than investment.

Mineral Resource Authority Managing Director Kepas Wali said this when speaking at the 2009 mining Seminar yesterday. His paper was titled "Mining Benefits and Responsible Equitable Distribution."


Amidst the shortage of office space in Port Moresby, Nambawan Super is gearing up for a new A-grade standard commercial office development in which construction is being planned for mid 2010. The six-storey building which will have a key unique feature with a design that will be based on “Environmentally Sustainable Design" (ESD) principles or more commonly known as a “Green” building may become the first of its kind built in the country.

The new building to cost K60 million will be built alongside the Hubert Murray Highway opposite the Murray Barracks. The new office complex will include five levels of commercial office space, ground floor of lobby and retail space and two levels of basement parking.

The building design will include a central atrium running the full height of the building in order to enhance and provide natural daylight to all the office floors, as well as allowing fresh air circulation to improve indoor air quality and environment. The atrium also allows for interconnecting communications stairs between floors to enhance flexibility and connectivity of the office environment. Among other Environmentally Sustainable Design initiatives being considered in the building plan will be to incorporate extensive sunshading to the facades and developing a management system to manage all the building services systems such as the monitoring of energy use, and water recycling.

The total development will be 5500 square metres with each typical commercial office floor covering 1000 square metres. It is envisaged that the two floors will be occupied by Nambawan Super, and the remaining floors for other services and commercial offices. The Architect, and the design consultant team will soon be appointed to start work on the design of the office complex while tender for a builder is expected to be announced next year in order to select a builder to begin construction work. The total development which includes design, planning authority approvals, tendering and construction will take at least 29 months to complete and should be available for tenancy by early 2012.



Jean Michel Cousteau’s love for the warm tropical ocean waters had its beginnings in a humble little group of Micronesian islands in the Manus called Wuvulu. Jean Michel is the “77-year-young” son of the famous ocean pioneer, the late Jacques Cousteau. It was in 1973 that the young Cousteau first came to dive in the caves off the coast of Wuvulu. He was mesmerized by the unusual blind fish and Orca whales in the caves, and has been enchanted by Papua New Guinea ever since.

When we in June last year in Port Moresby his eyes lit up when my girlfriend Eva Arni introduced herself and said she was from Wuvulu. His spontaneous open arms and tight embrace was enough to make you think that they were long lost friends. But that is the charm of Jean-Michel.

The formal interview I had planned turned into a lovely afternoon chat with someone who obviously not only has a passion for what he does but also has a genuine bond with the people who habitat he has ventured into and has explored.


The gush of warmth and enthusiastic energy was evident as he spoke; "I have a soft spot for Wuvulu." In a way he was trying to explain his all-embracing nature but at the same time, find a connection with Eva and I. Here I was in the presence of such a famous adventurer, ocean hero and philanthropist and he was speaking of the little known islands with such fondness! This was certainly a pleasant surprise and an inspiration for me.

As the conversation progressed I discovered he had even bought a small island in Wuvulu for a mere $20.00 in 1973 and it was still there with one coconut palm standing. During the conversation, Eva would recall the names of people from her childhood days who had worked with Jean-Michel on the islands, all those years ago. He remembered all the people and it was easy to see what a great mind he has.

Monsieur Cousteau is an architect by profession but has now become what you could call a roving ambassador for the vast ocean and its creatures. He travels the world raising awareness on the importance of protecting the marine environment. On his recent trip to Papua New Guinea he was amazed at how beautiful PNG still is with its "extremely varied diversity of life" still intact.

"I could spend a lifetime here trying to understand the cultures and their connections to the environment," he said. "The environment is our life support system; whether we like it or not. Even our happiness depends on it!"

Our meeting was after his two-week diving visit to Kimbe in West New Britain. The trip to Kimbe was especially dedicated to finding Orca whales (sometimes known as killer whales). With a group that included Orca biologists, scientists, researchers and film makers Monsieur Cousteau lived on Febrina live-aboard boat.

In his diary of Kimbe he wrote: "The coral reefs remain healthy as I remember when I first visited PNG in 1973. There are not many places in the tropics that one can still say that today."

Another entry read; "Today June 17th, has been our best day yet even though we have not seen any Orca yet but we have had sightings of 4 different whale and dolphin species including Spinner Dolphins, Risso's dolphins, False Killer Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins.

"We also did three dives on two different dive sites. As you all know, PNG is known for its high biodiversity of the coral reef. I have seen many new species of fish and invertebrates on every dive, making each dive really enjoyable.

"We are leaving PNG empty handed of Orca footage, but have captured their close cousins on film We also filmed the underwater world of the tropical Orcas."

At the end of week 2, Monsieur Cousteau wrote; "No Orcas...but we have given it an honest try. We covered just about the entire area of Kimbe Bay in the Bismark Sea, over 2700 sq miles in search of Orca. We did enjoy the rich biodiversity of cetaceans that Kimbe Bay is well known for with its sightings of 5 different species of whales and dolphins."

"In our hours and hours of search for Orca, we did our fair share of diving; logging more dives in two weeks than we did in the entire 8 months in Amazon and three months on expedition in the Arctic. We logged 35 dives at 16 different dive sites, totalling more that 40 hours underwater. We all have our most memorable moments."


This entry sums up the enormous potential PNG has to be the leading tourist destination in the Pacific: "PNG reefs are among the richest and most productive of any reefs in the world. Abundance and productivity is dramatically demonstrated by the large schools of jacks, barracuda, rainbow runners and unicorn fish that we have witnessed on just about every dive. Diversity and richness is demonstrated by the variety of crinoids, soft coral, sea fans and reef building hard corals, carpeting the bottom with almost 100% coral cover. There are many different architectural strategies that enable these living buildings to have rooftop gardens and  they make shelter and food for the entire community."

The Cousteau group spent long days in Kimbe; starting at 5.30am and going to bed by 10pm.

What is it about Orcas or whales that have intrigued Monsieur Cousteau sunce Wuvulu islands 35 years ago? It's simple he explained. They are mammals; very similar to humans and very organised.

"They are not unlike us. They are very wistful and we are very wistful," he said.

The difference, he said, was that humans were using whales' home as a "big garbage can"; hence he has taken the plight of the whales and other ocean creatures to heart - to influence government decisions and leaders so that the marine environment is protected for future generations to enjoy.

"I want the young ones to enjoy the same chance I had 35 years ago when I first came to PNG and saw what I saw, and experienced what I have."

He was very impressed with the work of the Mahonia na dari ("guardians of the sea") Research Centre at Walindi, Kimbe which was involving young people in outreach programs to carry out communications and awareness campaigns to promote environment protection.

What he would like to see also is the deterrence of dynamite and cynide on reefs, and better fishing practices, especially for commercial purposes to be adopted.

His mission to protect the environment for future generations is explained perfectly when he says:

"It has been a spiritual experience for me, personal and emotional. It's not only about saving whales but saving ourselves; knowing and being aware of our life-support systems. Everything on this planet is connected. We have an opportunity as the dominant species to do something about it."


By Maureen Gerawa

Poverty is a growing issue in Papua New Guinea and the Government and its partners have been urged to do all they can to tackle it.

This was also a commitment made by 189 countries, including PNG to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). A small group gathered on Friday in Port Moresby, mostly staff of the United Nations agencies and representatives from Government agencies like the Ombudsman Commission took time out to participate in the "STAND UP AND TAKE ACTION" - a global campaign in support for the fight against poverty and the achievement of the MDG.

The groups are calling on world leaders to deliver on their MDG commitments as the deadline to deliver is 2015.

There are eight (8) MDG goals:

1) Eradicate poverty
2) Achieve universal primary education
3) Promote gender equality
4) Reduce child mortality 
5) Improve maternal health
6) Combat HIV / AIDS
7) Ensure environmental sustainability
8) Create a global partnership for development


Leading super fund Nambawan Super Ltd last week slammed the PNG Land Board's decision on three portions of prime State land in the National Capital as an "illegal process."

Managing Director Leon Buskens also refuted claims by the Land Board Chairman Friend Kini that Nambawan Super had not sent its representatives to make its presentations.

The POST-COURIER reported last Thursday that the Land Board had awarded three portions of land, worth about K30 million, to a subsidiary of Malaysian giant Rhimbunan Hijau (RH).

Nambawan Super Ltd was the most prominent applicant but Mr Kini said its tender applications for the land at Badili Hill and Koke heights were not considered because the super fund had failed to send it representatives to make presentations.

Mr Buskens has refuted claims by the Chairman of the Land Board that it did not send its representatives to the Land Board to make its presentations as "factually incorrect."

Mr Buskens said; "The fact is that we withdrew from the tender process due to what became apparent as an illegal tender process."


By Simon Eroro

Strict measures have been adopted to control the conduct of tour companies operating along the Kokoda Track.

The Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) in consultation with all stake-holders by 2010 will implement a policy whereby any tour companies or individuals operating a tourism related business along the Kokoda Track must be licensed to operate.

KTA official, Mr Enage said the details of the scheme will be developed through further detailed consultation with the main stakeholders and Government.

This decision by KTA comes after this paper (POST-COURIER) last month investigated foreign tour companies operations evading Papua New Guinea tax laws, resulting in the country losing over K100 million annually.

Mr Enage said with the introduction of licensing, the country would see compliance with PNG laws.


Joyce Madu was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was living in Australia six years years ago & has has had successful treatment.She spoke to staff here at Nambawan Super during lunch-hour last Friday and stressed the need for constant self-examination of breasts by women. Her story is one of early detection, support from family and the nurses in Australia. Two months ago she established the PNG Breast Cancer Foundation to provide a support group to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Below is her story.

"This year, 2009 is my sixth year after diagnosis of breast cancer. My life living with breast cancer was very difficult, challenging and fearful as it was a journey of the unknown.

Living a happy life and given what every woman would want, I never thought one day I would be a victim of the deadly disease called breast cancer. I would only say that it was truly a miracle that my husband asked me to take our 3 sons to Australia for education.

While in Australia my diagnosis of cancer was done and I had an opportunity to be treated. My treatment included having masectomy and chemotheraphy radiation.

With the dedicated support from my family and good Doctors I have been given a successful treatment. Also constant support from a cancer support group had helped me to be very positive and strong, hence I have made my way back to normal life - a wonderful life I almost lost.

Breast cancer has changed my life completely and today I look at things from the other side of the coin. I am thankful for all the encouragement and confidence many people gave me to come this far to be with other women. I am touched, motivated and have the conviction to take a step further by helping other women by counselling them to live positively.

Helping and educating women on how to know and look out for breast cancer at an early age can have a better chance of successful treatment. The voluntary work that I have been doing over the last 5 years has brought many women together but still I find there are more women to reach out to.

October is International Breast Cancer Awareness month. I salute mothers and sisters of this great nation - Papua New Guinea - in whatever spheres of life you are in.

Be Breast Aware by doing self-examination. Remember - early detection is the key to successful treatment."

 For more information contact :

Port Moresby Cancer Relief Society 
P.O. Box 5954
Boroko, NCD
Papua New Guinea

Ph -  +675 311 3286 
Facsimile - +675 323 2087
email -



This article was published in Paradise - Air Niugini's  In-flight Magazine & in Fiji's Air Pacific In-flight Magazine

There is nothing more Papua New Guinean than a bilum. When I am overseas and I see someone carrying a bilum, something uncharacteristic happens. I stop in my tracks and check the person up and down. It is the association with all things Papua New Guinean that stirs the familiar wistful feeling at the sight of a bilum on a stranger.

The ethnic origin of the word bilum is unclear even though it is thought to be a Melanesian word. It is defined in ‘The Jacaranda Dictionary and Grammar of Melanesian Pidgin’ by Fr Frank Mihalic s.v.d as a carry-all by women throughout Papua New Guinea. In some areas, the net or woven string, is used as clothing thus the expression Meri i pasim bilum. Bilum is also defined as the womb, the placenta, or the pouch of a marsupial such as a wallaby.


This article was a Cover Story for the Fiji Business magazine.

I first met Mahesh Patel over 20 years ago. He was working at a pharmacy on the ground floor of what is now Malangan House in Boroko (location of the current Boroko Post Office). It was Port Moresby’s rainy season and I was looking for something to get rid of mould in the wardrobe at a flat I lived in on 3mile hill. He sold me jelly crystals assuring me that the wardrobe would be free of mould in no time. I had the bag of jelly crystals for as long as I lived in the flat; as well as the mould!


It is always great to get out into the country. You have that much-deserved break and to catch your breath from the rat race of the city. Madang, like all the maritime provincial towns in PNG, is Paradise, and I enjoyed being there last week.It's awesome coastline with endless long white beaches, coiled like a pearl necklace around a mountainous neckline, begs to be recognised for something more than its physical appearance.

It's recently declared maritime park on the North-Coast has hit a snag with landowners who want to reclaim the land from the government whilst in the South-coast, the giant Ramu Nickel mine has halted due to procedural contraventions by the Chinese developer MCC. This hasn't prevented them from building an impressive glass-walled office premises in Madang town.Meanwhile much of the informal sector such as the fish markets & the fast food outlets have been shut down due to the outbreak of Cholera in the neighbouring Morobe province which is in close proximity and accessible by road, sea & air. The fresh food market is thriving though, with a daily abundance of tropical fruits, vegetables and artefacts, sold in all of the colours of the rainbow.

Sad to say that the Air Niugini service to one of the country's most visited destinations is left wanting. The latest schedule is not adhered to & off-loading of passengers is becoming commonplace. Hopefully, the snowballing effect of cancelled or delayed flights will cease before the Chirstmas rush begins.


Over the years I have noticed the increasing prominence of RED, BLACK & GOLD colours being flown proudly on the streets, cars and by people of all walks of life around this time of the year.

On September 16 to be exact, as it is the date the Australian flag was lowered and the new PNG flag hoisted on Independence Hill, Waigani in 1975.

In memory of the late Kingsley Eroro

Today is 11th September and it is one month since the fatal crash that killed 13 people on the Airlines PNG twin otter in the Kokoda Gap.

One of the passengers was 55-year-old Kingsley Eroro, a Foreman at the Porgera minesite who was on his way for a break to see his family. He is survived by wife Grace (originally from Malo island in Vanuatu), 4 children, 2 grandchildren, his parents, 4 brothers & 5 sisters.

Tracking Kokoda with Culture & Tourism Minister

Last week my Oro wantok and Post Courier journalist Newman Cuthbert accompanied Tourism & Culture Minister, Mr Charles Abel on a walk across the Kokoda Track starting on banks of the mighty Kumusi river, whose bridge was washed away by Cyclone Guba in 2007. Below is what Newman relayed to me via email:


It's certainly not easy being a Blogger. I know...I know...I've only been at it for a few days but I have to say it. In fact I actually registered as a Blogger, by accident mind you, in February of this year when I was checking out the Google sites. Then I found out only last month that I did have a blogsite and was a "blogger". A bit slow aren't I really, especially when it comes to technology.

To tell you the truth, I phoned up and spoke to a couple of techno-nerds who I believe are experts in blogging, twitting and face-book craze and tried to assure myself that I was going to be Ok with what I was going to take up---you know in blogging.

So if you find my blogsite is lacking lustre right now, I promise you a big and brighter future lies ahead. Now...let me just go and find out how to post a photograph and, oh...install a counter etc while I'm at it..HAPPY VIEWING!!

The Brilliance and Beauty of PNG orchids

Papua New Guinea holds many world records – particularly in relation to its rich bio-diversity and unique fauna and flora. The varieties of orchids especially, have their basis in a rich gene pool that has fascinated botanists, gardeners and hobbyists worldwide. For the last five years the PNG Orchid Society has brought to the fore the remarkable brilliance and beauty of this gene pool in its annual show at the Sir Rabbie Namaliu Garden located within the National Parliament grounds in Port Moresby.


Just about everyone in Papua New Guinea has a legend or folklore that is animated into a traditional dance and performed at ceremonies. These stories, dances and ceremonies identify who we are and our uniqueness in the melting pot of urban centres where many of us now reside. Often these dances and myths have messages or lessons that are passed down the generations through this form of oral history.


ORO..ORO..ORO!! (Oro means "Welcome" in the languages used in the Northern Province of Papua New Guinea). The word conjures up images of graceful dancing warriors adorned with flamboyant headdress made from Bird of Paradise feathers and hornbill beaks, jabbing spears into the air, chanting "Oro...Oro..Oro" to visitors or new arrivals. With the same fervour and passion albeit humbly, I say "Oro..Oro..Oro" to you.
As often as I am able to, I will be sharing with you stories of my village Begabari, my province (Northern or Oro) and my beautiful country, Papua New Guinea. Let me just explain what my village means because it is important to know where one comes from, in order that one knows where he/she is going. Bega means "peace" and bari means "to take", or "taken". My village is located on the shores of Lake Koena on the North Coast of Oro province, and it is the place where peace was made after years of fighting long long ago.

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