Narara: What template are you giving your children?

Granger Narara, grew up in humble beginnings in Milne Bay Province but made his way to become an international pilot in the world of aviation.

Narara was the guest speaker  at the  “Black bow tie only ” Gala during  the  Digicel PNG Foundation Men of Honour  event.

Narara was invited by the Digicel PNG Foundation CEO Beatrice Mahuru to speak to recipients of the 2017 Men of Honour event at the Stanley Hotel on Saturday April 29, 2017.

In this final episode of Granger Narara’s speech, he tells of  his brother Tim who joined him followed by his son. He also tells of his second son Duanne who has decided to follow and life his own lifestyle and who now lives in CHINA. Obviously a chip off his late grandfather.

He continues …

Tim or Tico as he is more known, is still flying A380’s in Emirates.  I always remind him that he is the first PNG commander of the A380 on airline operations, but the second to actually fly the aircraft, as I flew the test aircraft and did two touch and go landings with the French Airbus Test Pilots in 2005 during the desert testing phase in the UAE.  We laugh about that, but Tim has done really well and we both credit our father for giving us that confidence and drive and teaching us the “hard work” approach to life.  Guiding Tim along was good preparation for Nigel when his turn came.

I moved to Etihad Airways in 2006, as Vice President Flight Operations, and once again found myself on the ground floor in the start-up phase of an airline.  My father’s teachings and instructions on being confident and moving forward with one’s life when opportunities presented itself still rang through.  I moved from a nice comfort zone where I was very senior and number 85 on a seniority list of a few thousand pilots, to another new venture that promised very challenging work. It was a good move as it allowed me other opportunities like operating a flight that entered the Guinness Book of World Records, flying in formation with the Royal Air Force Red Arrows and the opportunity to do other Senior Executive Airline jobs, which I hope will pay off later.  It also allowed me the opportunity to fly with my son, which I have already covered.

Nigel started his flying training in the Royal Queensland Aero Club on a DAD scholarship. You all know what DAD spells don’t you?  On completion of his training, Nigel worked for 2 years with Milne Bay Airways on the twin otter, based in Moresby and Porgera. He moved to the UAE to fly as an A320 First Officer with a low cost airline called Air Arabia in 2008 where he worked for 4 years prior to joining Etihad in 2012. I only ever flew once with Nigel as I mentioned before, he became an A320 captain in Feb 2015 and now flies regional flights in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.  He lives about 4 km away from me in Abu Dhabi with his Australian wife Kristen and my 3 precious bubu’s.

My second son Duane, opted not to be a pilot though offered a flying opportunity with the Etihad Cadet Training scheme. Instead he completed his studies in QUT in Brisbane and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Marketing, he then asked if he could pursue his first love …. CHINA.

Duane has done exactly what his grandfather and I did, when we left our comfort zones and moved to the moon!!  Sound familiar, it seems to be a Narara trend and evidence of a good template.

Duane has lived in China for 3 years now, he is a teacher in a high school near Chengdu where he teaches World History and English to Chinese students …. in Chinese. He can read, write and speak fluent Mandarin, and as told to me by one of my Chinese cabin crew who met Duane on one of my flights, he speaks it with a heavy Sechuan accent, not a PNG one. I suppose that has to be a positive endorsement.

It would be remiss of me not to mention and give credit to my first wife Regina, Nigel and Duane’s mother, she was a rock and an excellent home maker and mother for the boys throughout my time in Air Niugini and Emirates. We have gone our separate ways now, but her strength and guidance helped form the boys into the great young men that they are today, and I am grateful to her for that. I am now ably supported by my Ethiopian wife Hana, and my two daughters Delina (11) and Moiya (8), they bring a new optimistic outlook for the future and we greatly look forward to the challenges ahead. Bring it on!

My life has been moving forward with such speed and momentum that I have never really paused and reflected on how I got here, I am grateful that through this interface with Digicel Foundation I have been able to examine and share how my life has unfolded and the basic rule that I applied for my success, in the hope that it may help others in PNG.

I have found that by doing what my father did, following the template he gave for my life, I have been able to help my brother and my sons to go out do much the same thing and this has brought about success to our family.  What template are you giving to your children?

The work that all the Men of Honour nominees have done and continue to do in the grass root and urban communities, is the real mining that is being done in our great country. The gold and precious stones that are being discovered in developing young lives and giving them hope and opportunity will be a paying dividends to the country long after the cash from other minerals has evaporated.

Digicel Foundation are doing tremendous work supporting many aspects of PNG society through their initiatives with education, human development and tackling the crippling issue of Domestic Violence.  Their work with the Men of Honour Campaign goes along with my line of thinking in how we can help in these areas, especially on the domestic violence front.

As I have reiterated through the telling of my life story, if we are aware that many young eyes and minds are watching our every word, our every action and reaction, maybe we will be more deliberate and careful with what we say and how we act and react.

I go one step further, for all men in PNG, we are all born as Men of Honour. It is not a choice, not a selection by others, but a more divine nomination from a higher source. This was the way of our ancestors… a time when all boys had to undergo the initiation ceremony to become men and took their rightful place in the long house with the other men. This was not a choice but a birth right and by default they were born to be warriors, protectors of the village, protectors of their village honour. 

Although the initiation ceremony and the long house no longer exist in today’s PNG, as men our behaviour and our awareness of this behaviour is the sign of our Honour. We must protect it at all times and always be conscious that we are being watched, being monitored and will be copied, there are many young eyes watching you.

So to all my brothers, wear your manhood privileges with pride, but be responsible and above all be honourable.  

Remember “little brother is watching you”.    Thank you very much !