President of Catholic Professional Society, Paul Harricknen, said: “The fundraiser is to fund the Society’s two major events in 2020, namely laity convention and the Catholic Expo and the Dr Scott Hahn visit in 2021.”
Prime Minister James Marape was the chief guest at the event.
The Prime Minister reassured the Church that more would be done by the government to assist its efforts to help the people take back the country.
“The country is at a crucial point in its development and there needs to be an effective partnership between the State and the Church to serve the people better,” he said.
He explained he was looking forward to this partnership and commended the Catholic Church and Catholic Professional Society for the great work they have done over several decades.
“I encourage the Church to continue as the moral compass of the country. It is the Church that knows the pain of our people,” he said. “For PNG to become the ‘Richest Black Christian Country’, our lifestyles have to become Christian-based. This will ultimately anchor and bring together this country of a thousand tribes.”
Bishop of Kavieng and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of PNGSI, Bp Rochus Tatamai, spoke of a ‘meaningful and constructive dialogue among all development partners’ that is critical to take the country forward. Issues of climate change, seabed mining, tuition fee free education, health services, refugees and asylum seekers, Commission Against Corruption and other issues were highlighted.
The funds included payments and pledges by Prime Minister Marape, associates, partners and benefactors to help assist in realising the goal of CPS and the Catholic Church.
The dinner was complemented by entertainment by the Max Meauri band, West Papuan dancers and the Bougainville bamboo band. Lucky draw prizes, auctions of paintings and artefacts from PNG and Fiji were part of the event.
(West Papuan dancers during the event)