I was just 17 when I started my teaching career. I graduated from Madang teachers college in 1979, and was sent in 1980 to Oro Province, to Sasembata Primary School, at the foot of Mt. Lamington.
Due to housing problems I was living with my head teacher, Mr. Gordon Veata, and another single male teacher, Mr. Timothy from North Solomon Province.
The School is located 50 metres from a cliff, below the cliff was a small stream which runs over very big rocks.
One day, late in the afternoon, Mr. Timothy who was in his 30’s at the time, saw his girlfriend, a local girl from the village walking past the school with some friends.
They were headed towards the cliff and he wanted to pass a message to her so he sent me.
I was young and naïve then, so I went over with confidence and told her everything he told me to say. While talking, this was around quarter to six in the evening and the place was getting dark. There were some men from the village who were walking towards us. Men from this part of Oro tended to be quite aggressive; I was afraid they might beat me up for talking with the girls, so I hid behind some shrubs. After I reached the scrubs, I still felt they might see me, so I decided to crawl further down and next thing I know - my hands couldn’t hold on to anything else. I fell about 25-metres, head first, but in the middle of the fall, I cried out in prayer “my life is in your hands oh lord!”. I believe it was a miracle how my body flipped with my head coming up and my legs going down. A short while later, I opened my eyes and saw that I was sitting on a very big rock. Slowly I started feeling my body with my hands checking my bones or fo blood, but didn’t find anything wrong. My body was numb and I didn’t feel any pain. I slowly stood up, looked up to the cliff, thanked God and gradually climbed back up and went back to the school.
I was very angry at Mr. Timothy afterwards; in the end he didn’t marry that woman and I almost died for nothing!
From then on I never became a messenger boy ever again. This year 2020, is my 40th year of teaching service. I got married to Marie Alex from Gulf and we have seven children and one grandchild but I still don’t know where my good friend Mr. Timothy is. Porem Paul Kazia, Western Province.
Porem Paul Kazia - Western province.