Digicel PNG and the Motu Koita Assembly announced this today and at the announcement Digicel Vice President, Lorna McPherson said Education is important to Digicel as evidenced by the amount of money spent on education through the company and the Digicel Foundation.
“To encourage the education of the Hiri Queen is something that is very important to us. We are also working with the TVWan team to create content and be able to show that culture and history to everybody and to the world.
“For every country and region throughout the world and in Papua New Guinea, culture and heritage is very important. It’s very important to know where you come from and who you are, and it’s very exciting for Digicel to announce its gold sponsorship of the Hiri Moale festival and we’re proud of that,” Ms McPherson said
She said: “The whole part of having communities and culture goes back to who we are as an organization. Digicel covers the length and breadth of PNG and we sponsor communities and grassroots festivals right across the country and this is something that we have sponsored for a very long time and we want to continue doing so.”
Chairman of the Motu Koita Assembly, Dadi Toka Jr confirmed that the dates are set for November 19-21st.
“So the 19th will be a sponsors night, which is a Friday and on Saturday 20th, there will be a host of activities at Ela Beach ranging from cultural performances. There will be an announcement soon on the vanagi or canoe racing festival and on top of that, it will culminate with the arrival of the Lakatoi,” he said.
The crowning of the Hiri Hanenamo Queen will be on Sunday at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium. Mr Toka Jr made assurances that the event would comply with special COVID-19 measures that are in place.
“At this stage, the measures are constantly changing, depending on what’s happening in the city. Closer to November, we should have a fair idea of what kind of event we can hold. Whether we control the crowd participation, we live stream or cut numbers. We will customize it according to the measures.
“Closer to the event, we see the status of the pandemic and make appropriate decisions.”
Reigning Hiri Queen, 23-year-old Sara Vani encouraged young girls from Motu Koitabu villages to participate in the festival, saying that it is an opportunity for them to learn more about their rich history and culture.