The Sir Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby is significant to the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, for it was there that he lowered the Australian Flag and raised the Papua New Guinean flag on September 16, 1975 marking the birth and Independence of PNG.
March 12, 2021, this same stadium will experience another significant ceremony and that is the State Funeral of that very same man, the founding father of PNG.
This was announced by Prime Minister James Marape and his cabinet recently stating that that day as been pronounced as a public holiday as well.
Prime Minister James Marape also added that all former members of Parliament, premiers of the Provincial Government systems, pioneers of this country who are possibly alive, will be mobilized and brought into the City to be part of this occasion.
“We will celebrate their life and the life of the country as well as conduct the funeral of the Grand Chief.”
In other events leading up to the Grand Chief’s State Funeral will see the Parliament reconvene for a special Parliament sitting to pay their final respects to him on 11th March, 2021.
“The body of the Grand Chief will lay in state and the three arms of the Government will assemble in Parliament to pay him his last parliamentary respect,” said Prime Minister Marape.
These event will be broadcasted nationwide and schools sites will be set up throughout the country as a point of reference for citizens to gather around and watch this parliamentary proceedings but also the history of the Country and Somare.
The body of Grand Chief will rest with family on 13th March and leave Port Moresby for Wewak on 14th March where he will be received by the East Sepik Government, the people of East Sepik and his family.
The Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare will be laid to Rest at Kreer Heights, Wewak as per his signed will.