Ronan Keating’s inspiration

Irish sensation Ronan Keating’s inspiration to come to PNG has always been his Australian wife Storm Uechtritz Keating.

The If tomorrow never comes singer says since meeting Storm six years ago, he always wanted to come to Papua New Guinea.

So it was a dream come true when the singer and wife stepped onto Jackson’s International Airport, Port Moresby, on Tuesday at around 4pm.

In a brief meet with the media, Ronan spoke about his wife’s Papua New Guinea connection and the love for the country.

“The family history here in PNG is incredible; I’ve only touched the surface on the history so it’s wonderful to be here.

“Storm’s brother still lives here and her dad and the family frequently come over and back a lot so I’m hearing stories constantly and it’s good to be able to see it for myself. They’re very proud of their PNG heritage and honestly, it’s at the forefront of every story so that’s phenomenal,” he said.

Storm is the daughter of Debra Uechtritz (née Hastings) and Gordon Uechtritz and has three brothers.

According to an old report from The Cairns Post, Storm’s connection is from her great-great grandmother Phebe Parkinson, the younger sister of legendary Samoan American princess “Queen Emma”.

Storm also addressed the media, speaking of her time growing up in parts of Wau and Salamaua, in the Morobe Province.

“So many memories, but my fondest I think is running around through the villages. We were very wild kids growing up in Wau and Salamaua so yeah, running around with the village kids and spear-fishing in the shallows in Salamaua.

“The last time in PNG, I was here for the re-burial of my great grandmother actually, about 7 years ago and then I moved to London and this is my first time back. It’s great that I can come back with Ro, makes me very proud.”

Her pride for the country is apparently obvious, where the Australian television producer turned blogger was pictured in the Daily Mail UK carrying a Wosera bilum from Sepik Province, when still dating Ronan, a picture that went viral on social media.

Ronan and the band performed at the Stanley Hotel on Wednesday night for the fundraiser of People’s National Congress party, alongside some local musicians like the Jokema Band and Sybil Taule.

Despite the brief stay, the artist made the most of it, travelling to Salamaua for a few hours. Storm updated a picture on her Instagram account “stormykeating” with the caption: Showing my man@rokeating the area where I grew up in #PapuaNewGuinea #Paradise #Remote #FamilyHistory #Ancestry #Wau #LakeWanum #Salumua #Lae #NiuGuiniDirt

The group travels to Australia today to continue Ronan’s “Time of my life” album tour, beginning tomorrow.

Gloria Bauai