The grand opening of the Western Pacific University in Ialibu, Southern Highlands Province planned for March 01, 2021 has been postponed to a later date.
Minister for Sports and Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology Wesley Raminai has announced that the planned opening of the University on March 1 has been postponed.
“Another event on 12 March that is being re-scheduled is the Graduation of the Divine Word University,” Raminai said.
This is in respect for the Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, who passed away on 26 February in news that has placed the nation in a deep state of mourning.
Raminai, on behalf of the Ministry of Sport and Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology and his people of Kagua Erave, passed his deepest condolences to the family of Sir Michael, the Founding Father of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
Following a special National Executive Council Meeting Prime Minister James Marape announced a two week mourning period which started on March 01, with a public holiday declared for the country.
The special period of mourning ends on 12 March, during which it is planned that a state funeral will be held to farewell the iconic leader of this country and the Pacific.
Raminai said Sir Michael’s visionary leadership for this country is well documented and over the next weeks a nationwide initiative will detail many of these crucial achievements of this great man.
Sir Michael as Chief Minister following elections in 1972 led the country to self-government on 1 December 1973, and subsequently became our country’s first Prime Minister when Papua New Guinea gained Independence from Australia on 16 September 1975.
“To be quite honest some of us were not even born that time so our memories of that significant chapter of our country’s history are from books, documentaries, stories that were told to us at school of this great man,” Raminai said.
“I am humbled to be even talking about this great leader. I humbly relay my sincere and deepest condolences to Lady Veronica and her children and the family of the Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, his relatives and the people of East Sepik for sharing him with us.”
“We have little choice but as a sign of respect like everyone else in the country, we have to cancel events that were planned for over the next few weeks.”
“This include the opening of the Western Pacific University which was set for 1 March, an important event but we have to re-schedule as a mark of respect. It is also the same for the Graduation ceremony of the Divine Word University in Madang, which will be re-scheduled to another date.”
Photo sourced: Western Pacific University FB page