Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare

​‘We can transform the country’

An overwhelmed and emotional Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare stated this during his farewell yesterday at the Bomana Police College.

Thanking God for the gift of life, Somare said he has watched this nation grow from an idea to what is before us today, with the power to decide on our own destiny.

“We are going through the notion of nationhood so we must be patient,” said the Grand Chief.

“We must remember that despite going on to 42 years of independence this year, it is still quite young.”

​RPNGC farewells Somare

This was said by the Commissioner of Police, Gari Baki, during Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare’s Royal PNG Constabulary ceremonial farewell parade yesterday.

The Grand Chief’s arrival at Bomana Police College was accompanied with a police motorcade and welcomed by the Commissioner on the parade ground.

Baki, in his welcome speech, gave a brief recap of the life and accomplishments of the Grand Chief in his family life and politics.

He said Sir Michael was one of the very few vocal voices calling out for a united Papua New Guinea.

RPNGC to host ceremonial parade for Somare

The RPNGC farewell program was planned earlier on during Sir Michael’s departure in parliament, but has been adjourned due to the busy schedule of the Grand Chief.

Commissioner of Police, Gary Baki confirms that the program will commence at 2pm.

The ceremonial farewell parade will be a thank you farewell for the Grand Chief’s service.

Members of the public are invited to join to farewell the Grand Chief as well.

Sir Julius of Sir Michael: We have kept the faith

Sir Julius when recalling the memories they share together on Tuesday when farewelling Sir Michael said sometimes they crossed swords themselves. 

“But we have always – together – held the good of our country, the good of Papua New Guinea, as our highest calling.  Of that there is no doubt.  We have fought the good fight.  We have kept the faith.

“But it has not been easy.  The obstacles we faced, the hurdles we had to clear.  Even when we had created the Independent State of Papua New Guinea our battles had just begun.

‘Parliament is not the place to enrich yourself’

This was the remark from the country’s first Prime Minister and retired East Sepik Governor, Sir Michael Somare, to intending candidates.

“My counsel to those 4000-plus who are intending candidates, I hope you are sincere to the cause,” he said.

“If you want to change the lives of our people through elective leadership then stay out of business.

“Parliament is not the place to enrich yourself.”

Sir Michael challenged all Papua New Guineans to take ownership of the election and not disrupt the election process.

Grand chief’s final words

“Who would have thought, in 1968, that my journey into the world of politics will take this long and this far?

“I have been blessed with a long life and over the years, seen this country progress from a colony.

“I will go, but if need arises, I will still speak on important issues for the betterment of PNG,” he said.

He thanked the country for the support and farewell in particular.

He also thanked the Motu-Koitabu people for giving their land, years back, to make it Port Moresby’s national capital.

Chamber of commerce applauds Somare’s stability

Representing the business community at the farewell program of Sir Michael was the Chief Executive Officer of Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce, David Conn.

Addressing the founding father, Conn said “you brought stability”.

“We don’t need a government that flip flops on policy. We don’t need a government that makes us feel that they are hostile to us,” he said.

Conn stated that in the last 12 years of Sir Michael’s term, PNG saw sustained growth in the economy and the nation’s GDP.

Street to be named after Somare

National Capital District Governor Powes Parkop announced this when farewelling Sir Michael this afternoon.

According to Parkop, the hill at Four-Mile, where the grand chief’s Port Moresby residence is located, will be called the Michael Somare Hill.

Also, a street at Waigani, referred to as Somare circuit will be renamed as Michael Somare Boulevard.

Parkop said following the elections, a four-lane road will be built there and a big statue of the Grand Chief will be erected.

Sir Michael remembers late flag designer, Susan Karike Huhume

Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, while addressing the crowd during his final farewell this afternoon, acknowledge the contribution of late Susan.

“I want to also acknowledge the passing of Susan Karike Huhume who designed our flag who passed away. I thank her and her family, for the contribution she made to PNG.

“The flag flies all over the world, they see the Bird of Paradise, the colours and stars depicting where we are,” he said.

He passed his condolences and that of his wife’s lady Veronica, to the family of late Susan.



Sir Michael Somare given final farewell


He was released this afternoon with a guard of honour simultaneously accompanied by a 19 gun salute from the PNG Defence Force.

It was a sad but patriotic moment as a few residents braved the rain to farewell the father of the nation at Sir Hurbert Murray Stadium.

Sir Michael took the stage in the program hosted by NCD Governor Powes Parkop to thank Papua New Guineans for the love and tributes throughout the day.

Before departing, his final advice to people was to believe in themselves, one another and be proud.