Sir Julius when recalling the memories they share together on Tuesday when farewelling Sir Michael said sometimes they crossed swords themselves.
“But we have always – together – held the good of our country, the good of Papua New Guinea, as our highest calling. Of that there is no doubt. We have fought the good fight. We have kept the faith.
“But it has not been easy. The obstacles we faced, the hurdles we had to clear. Even when we had created the Independent State of Papua New Guinea our battles had just begun.
“For PNG was no single group of people. It was not just three, four or five different groups.
“When Papua New Guinea was born, it was an entire United Nations in its own right. Over eight hundred languages.
“A thousand cultures and a thousand nations. Our incredibly diverse country made the mighty United Nations look like a small elementary school classroom,” Sir Julius recalled with tears in his eyes.
He said it would have been so easy for our new nation to split apart but there were many who worked to make that happen.
Sir Julius attributed all the hard work to Sir Michael as he was at the fore front.
“Today we have an educated population, a younger generation from every corner of our incredibly varied country that can work together to take us into the future.
“And I believe that future must be based on our founding vision – the vision of diversity as a strength.”