Sir Julius marks 50 years in politics

This year’s New Ireland Provincial Day is special as Governor of the Province, Sir Julius Chan, celebrates his 50th anniversary in PNG politics.

Sir Julius’ golden jubilee was well celebrated by New Irelanders and fellow governors from Central, West New Britain, Eastern Highlands and Enga provinces.

New Ireland Provincial Day is celebrated every year on July 27th, the day the province received its Provincial Assembly Charter and when the Assembly first sat back in 1977.

Today marked the province’s 41st anniversary and Sir Julius Chan’s 50th anniversary; a milestone achievement the province is proud of.

His half century in PNG politics has seen remarkable national achievements, notably the creation of the banking, financial and economic systems of PNG, creating the Central Bank of Papua New Guinea and the kina and toea.

Sir Julius was the mastermind in devaluing the Kina and suspending all bank operations for a week in October 1994 and the result was that the kina gradually returned to parity with major currencies and ended up stronger.

Delivering his keynote speech, Governor Chan said while New Ireland has a lot to learn, the province also has much to teach to the rest of PNG. 

New Ireland has contributed much, and continues to contribute to the history and development of Papua New Guinea.

With autonomy high on the agenda, Sir Julius confidently said autonomy is not a threat to the country rather, it is the salvation for PNG and that the New Ireland Autonomy Model can be the model for all provinces to aspire to. 

The 41st New Ireland Provincial Day celebrations will continue tomorrow.

Carolyn Ure