A Tribute to the Late Bernard Narokobi

By Freda Talao, TC Beirne School of Law,University of Queensland, Australia

"Narokobi, I have been reading your works, I have been enriched by the visions you had of PNG as a philosopher and one of the  founders of this great nation, you dreamed of an egalitarian Papua New Guinea when you so staunchly advocated for the end of colonialism and the birth of this new nation before independence.  This was what you said:
"We wanted to see an egalitarian society with justice, equality, fair play, and opportunity for all.  We believed deeply in human dignity, equal worth and social obligations. We saw enormous opportunity in Papua New Guinea’s villages and saw real darkness in neon lights".   Narokobi in the CPC Report 
You argued that PNG was very much a civilised society, even before the white men came! That our history did not begin when the westerners came...that colonialism was nothing but suppression  that Melanesians now need to break out of..
You challenged the norm in those days..with full knowledge of your critics.. that every race, every nation needs an ideology or philosophy.. to be united as a nation ...... some called you racist.. pushing for the Melanesian way but you had a dream.. and you wrote to make in your own words 'Melanesians feel  six feet tall and walk with freedom and dignity on the land our ancestors gave us.. you wrote to tell Melanesians that we should never again, surrender  our sovereignty to foreign exploiters, that you wrote to unite all Melanesians and all men and women of good will to struggle for justice and freedom everywhere".. 
This was one part of your dream Sir.. The Melanesian Way"...
Sir, some of us have caught your vision... some of us have caught the fire.. we will work hard.. and get there.. and fight for the rights of our people as you did.. Your work will not be in vain.. your work will inspire many more yet to come.. your words as a founding member of this Country will be a beacon that will continue to remind us all of the great vision that you all had for this country..
I salute you , Great Orator, Great Philosopher, Great Statesman, Great Papua New Guinean,  Im so sorry I will not pay my last respect to you in person.. my many friends will on my behalf..Till we meet again, rest in peace



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