Somare farewell

New Ireland prepares to farewell Sir Michael

Sir J said, it is only fitting that we give Sir Michael this farewell after more than 40 years in politics especially recognising and appreciating his contributions to the province and people of New Ireland.

Everyone in New Ireland is welcomed to attend this event which will start at 10am with a motorcade from the airport to the Catholic Mission field.

There will be singsing, dance and passim custom for the Grand Chief and his wife Lady Veronica.

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.

Sir Michael unveils second plaque at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium

Under the drizzle, witnessed by some residents, cultural groups, students from Sogeri National high school and Badihagwa secondary school and media, he walked the field that holds deep history, one more time.

It was here, 42 years ago, the Australian flag was lowered and the PNG flag raised. On September 16, 1975, Sir Michael announced the independence of Papua New Guinea.

The plaque, presented by the NCD Governor Powes Parkop, commemorates the Grand Chief’s long distinguished service in the country’s politics.

Somare unveils plaque to mark self-government

There, he was given a final walk to the “cabinet room” where a handful of elite Papua New Guineans then sat, brainstormed ideas and pushed for Independence.

As Chief Minister during self-government, Sir Michael gathered a few young men to push this agenda.

He is proud to visit this building again before he retires.

“I have great pleasure in coming here. It was in my young days I stepped on this step when I took over from the last Australian colonial administrators,” said Sir Michael.

“There is a cabinet room inside where Independence of PNG was achieved.”

Sir Michael’s farewell begins

Sir Michael and Lady Veronica were escorted for the last time from his office, then to the grand Hall and outside to the carpark where he was given a guard of honour.

Not many turned up, only for the parliamentary staff, some mothers and the media.

The program continues as the motorcade makes its way down to Sir Hubert Murray for the NCD Governor Powes Parkop's program.

Unfortunately, the program at the Constitutional Park has been canceled.

More to come....

Polye apologises to Sir Michael over political impasse

Polye was a member of the National Alliance Party who rebelled against party leader and then Prime Minister Sir Michael when he was seeking medical treatment overseas.

“Instead of me being the acting prime minister, Sam Abel was appointed the acting prime minister and I was very angry with that.

“Enga politics took a better part of me, and Peter O’Neill and Belden Namah became the Prime Minister and I apologise for that,” Polye said.

Lady Veronica acknowledged

O’Neill also recognised their children and family and their contributions to the country.

Lade Veronica was present today in Parliament chambers during Sir Michaels farewell parliamentary session.

“Mr Speaker, it remains for me to pay special tribute to the Grand Chief’s family, who have been his rock over such a long period in public life.

“I know the House, and the Nation, will join with me in expressing our gratitude and best wishes to Lady Veronica,” said O’Neill.

Future MPs urged to maintain national unity

That was the final message from retiring East Sepik Governor and Papua New Guinea’s first Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare in Parliament today.

Today was Sir Michael’s final day as a politician after 49 years representing the people of East Sepik Province.  

 “I practise national unity and I am proud to be called the father of the nation.

“When we swore to the Bible at the Government House, we are promising that we are the servant to the people, it is important to be fit and healthy in this house, to know the importance of parliamentary systems,” Sir Michael said.

Sir Michael receives standing ovation in Parliament

Despite the late start of Parliament, all Members of Parliament and people in the public gallery gave a standing ovation to the country’s three-time Prime Minister.

There was total silence in Parliament as Papua New Guinea’s first prime minister gave his final speech. 

Today marks exactly 49 years ago (April 4, 1968) that Sir Michael first entered the House of Assembly in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea as a politician.

A humbled Sir Michael said it was a privilege to serve the people of Papua New Guinea.