Imagine Independence


independence-day-1975-2

The raising of the flag ceremony on Independence Hill. Our two cherubs are outlined.

This series of blog posts is part of the A to Z 2019 Blogging Challenge in which I will write snapshot memories of my early married life in the then Territory of Papua New Guinea.

Imagine if you will a country with spectacular, awe-inspiring scenery from fierce mountain ranges clothed in almost impenetrable jungle to deep aquamarine seas with an abundance of tropical fish.

Imagine a country with hundreds of tribal groups, over 800 languages and specific cultures.

Imagine the potential for clashes between those tribal groups, the payback and potential for inter-clan fighting, and the translation of traditional sorcery into the recent horrors of witch-burning.

Imagine the variety of costumes and sounds when thousands of warriors come together from diverse places for a sing-sing, or music and dance. Where even other clans and tribal groups look on astonished at what they’re seeing.

Imagine being present when this diverse and challenging country gained Independence on 16 September 1975…No longer the Territory of Papua New Guinea, henceforth to be the nation of Papua New Guinea.

pauleen091

Prince Charles arrives for the flag lowering ceremony.

The presence of Prince Charles and dignitaries from PNG and Australia.

The gathering of tribes and sing-sings to celebrate.

The solemn and respectful lowering of the Australian flag at Hubert Murray Stadium.

The high school students in colourful costumes on Independence Hill

PNG flag

The raising of the national flag – a gold bird of paradise on red and

The Southern Cross on a night sky of black.

The sound of aircraft at the fly-over.

Profound memories.

You can read the original story along this theme here and about out Independence experiences here and here.

pauleen083

The Police Band looked very smart in their sulus/lap laps with Bird of Paradise emblem at Independence Hill

Tok Pisin

independs – Independence

insait – inside

inap – enough

i no

 

16 thoughts on “Imagine Independence

      • It’s grown quite a lot since we were there and while before it was almost entirely Milne Bay people there, now it’s got people from all over PNG, and the language used is Pidgin.

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      • Yeah all major towns in PNG now has people from all over PNG the locals are there but not like what it used to be before .. people looking for better opportunities and good life the price we pay for development i guess. Whilst the developments are good it brings more social issues with it..i guess that’s the same with the western society. The 3 main language now in PNG is pidgin, motu and English..

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      • Thanks Bob, yes I guess it is similar in many ways. I guess you still live there or visit regularly? I’m not sure about language in Alotau in the 70s…I think it was a local language rather than Motu which we heard more in Moresby. And English was very common in the district (now province).

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      • Funny i have not been to Alotau, such a shame,lol.. they do have their local langauge there still.. but the two common language throughout PNG is Pidgin and English…. also Motu is becoming popular which was once only heard in Moresby. I now reside in Port Moresby.

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