TRIBUTE BY NCD GOVERNOR POWES PARKOP
Sir Michael Thomas Somare, hundreds of thousands of words have been published and 100’s and thousands more have been spoken about you since your passing but none of them were really quite adequate.
Words cannot adequately describe all you have achieved and the sense of loss we are all feeling at your passing.
Sir Michael Thomas Somare lived a life of sacrifice for a greater cause and service towards bettering a young nation, as flawed as it may seem then to our colonizers, but a nation he nonetheless believed in, loved, honored and eventually freed.
This courageous visionary man who brought independence and freedom which we have enjoyed for the past 45 years is no ordinary man. A country may be filled with ups and downs, differences in political ideologies and legislative products but it’s foundation will never be weaken if it was laid right from the start.
Grand Chief was the master architect and engineer who got it right from the beginning. Despite all that we have witnessed, his vision and his deep love for our country remained steadfast and remains the rock of our nation Today as a nation, we have lost a great grand chief who understood the institution of independence and democracy, glorified its overwhelming responsibilities and discharged his duties with passion, humility, love for God and family, respect for traditions and pasin tumbuna and inspired everyone, from the young to the old, all the same.
Grand Chief was all of that and more. He was a man filled with a joy of giving. Giving love, giving advice, having faith and most importantly, giving forgiveness for he knew, the diversity of our cultures meant that differences could not be avoided.
Forgiveness and understanding were his greatest traits that we all can learn from. He was a husband to one, a father to many. He is a role model and a legend of our times, the Great Grand Chief. A humble man full of love, strength of character and such an encouragement to us all. In life and now even in death, you have united us all.
I remember the day in 2010 when he invited me up to his house at 4 mile hill and himself and Lady Veronica were sharing their insights and visions for the development of our capital city.
This was the capital city he chose, so naturally he had deep concerns about its welfare too. After talking about the entire City, he then told me to look down the hill pointing to all his neighbors who were not looking after their yard, no landscaping and some were a mess. You got to fix this Governor.
Help our people to change their attitudes and their mindsets, and I told him I would do my best. He envisioned the capital city and its people to live healthy, wealthy, smart and wise, as outlined in the vision 2050 that he himself helped to create.
That conversation further strengthened my visions and plans for our city. It was a great privilege and honour to enter Parliament during his time as Prime Minister and although I was in the opposition, we all admired him and he had the greatest respect for everyone.
He was resourceful and optimistic especially about Papua New Guinea and its future. Many thought and fought against the idea of Independence. But freedom is a birthright of everyone.
And while our freedom was ruled and governed by someone else, our Grand Chief returned that freedom back to us and today we are free in the glory of the uniqueness of who we are as a nation of a 1000 tribes and 860 languages.
For that I am truly grateful. We are all grateful! I join the people of our capital city in saluting you and thanking you Grand Chief for your life, your passion, conviction, dedication, confidence and faith in our ability to build a nation and unite us all as one people, one nation and one country.
We thank you Grand Chief for the legacy and lessons that you have left with us. To alway be friendly; to be peaceful and promote peace; to alway have faith and believe in God; to live purposeful and useful lives, to promote Unity of our country and our people and to see our diversity as an asset and not a liability.
But most of all you taught us to live our lives serving the highest good of all. These are values and virtues we will hold dearly. Grand Chief you a legend and legends never die. You will live forever.
To Lady Veronica, Bertha, Arthur, Sana, Micheal Junior and Dulciana, all grandchildren and extended family, do not fear that your husband and father and grandfather will just be a figure in our history books.
Many people are working to make Grand Chief’s memory alive and as for me, as Governor of NCD, I have already told the Prime Minister, that we will give the land next to the parliament at the Independence Boulevard to be turned into Somare Peace and Unity Park.
This will be the most appropriate memorial to be created in his honor as the Sana of our country. Together with the National Government, we will construct a statue of the Grand Chief that will hold a deep meaning to his aspirations to our country. He will be forever remembered and immortalized for generations to come.
On behalf of the people of NCD, my family, I extend our deepest condolences to the greater Papua New Guinea family for the loss of our Founding Father the Great Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare.
Thank you for giving us the Papua New Guinea that we will treasure and honor for the rest of our living generations.
Bamahuta Grand Chief,
Kalau Nau ki piram Topalangat,
O mem, Odi nugal ee,
Siman Guan, au wooh,
Ari Nam nufan bini
Paramount Chief, Kukurai e kol Asi, Kune wa,
Wa wa wa wa!
Thank you and God Bless Papua New Guinea
Co-host of National Haus Krai and NCD governor Powes Parkop