Why did Sir Michael choose his resting place?
I honestly don’t know and it’s something his family will probably write about in the future.
All I know is that sometime in 2004, while still PM, Sir Michael decided and picked that spot for him and Lady to rest.
He commissioned architects and the building project commenced.
Like the Pharaoh of ancient Egypt he built his tomb deliberately.
Before he was hospitalized he asked to be driven around the city and he made remarks about “how beautiful Ela Beach was” and “how remarkable that there is a Hilton Hotel” where it was.
And that there were significant changes to the Port Moresby landscape.Sir Michael lead the founding fathers.
So where are they? Mathias Toliman rests in East New Britain, Sir Tei Abal is in Enga, Kondom Agaundo is in Chimbu. Sir John Guise rests in Lalaura, Central Province (thank you Bryan).
Sir Paliau Moloat on Baluan Island in Manus (thank you Bap).
It would be interesting to find out where they all are resting.
Before I spoke to NEC I decided to check where the US founding fathers were buried.
George Washington, 1st President, Virginia, John Adams 2nd President, Massachusetts, Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President, Virginia, Abraham Lincoln 16th President, Illinois.
You will find in every location there is a shrine over the grave giving prominence to each founding father and President.
Americans do annual pilgrimages from state to state to visit these places and learn about their history.I feel strongly that this is what Sir Michael wanted us to do.
To go to the homes of the founding fathers and learn about their culture and history.
I read up on Mathias Toliman and Kondom Agaundo because of Sir Michael.NCD has Parliament Haus, the Supreme Court, Apec Haus, Central Bank, etc, etc. What does East Sepik have in terms of Institutions?
What does Milne Bay have? What does Hela or Chimbu or West Sepik have?
Why do we choose to pack every significant landmark in NCD?
Why would other PNGeans visit Wewak? There is nothing there except Sepiks and perhaps Vanilla and the War Memorial at Wom.
Why should PNGans visit New Ireland? Or AROB?
Is this what Sir Michael wanted? For future PNGeans to visit him in the place he loved and learn his history there?
I ask PNGeans to have an open mind. Sir Michael was the architect of independence and guided this country for a very long time.
Perhaps in his death, he is still trying to point out the way to us. It could be.
Or it could be as simple as Sir Michael and Lady Veronica deciding that like they were in this life, so they should be in the next life.
Like all of you, I loved him and I will always shed a tear when I think of the words he has spoken to me.
He has given so much and I have nothing to give him except honor his final wish.
He is not here to argue with us.
And who am I to argue against Papa Somare?
Let him rest in peace.
Words courtesy of East Sepik Governor Allan Bird