A wet farewell!
BY MIRIAM ZARRIGA
A WET Port Moresby farewelled Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare yesterday.
He was visibly moved by the gesture of the city residents who turned up in numbers to farewell him.
He said that while he was leaving politics he would continue to support the nation.
A guard of honour was prepared for him at Parliament house where he was met by the parade host Captain Phillip Poloware and Deputy Speaker John Simon.
He inspected the guard of honour, took a brief break then toured the city in his motorcade, escorted by National Capital District police and National Capital District Commission reservists.
The motorcade arrived at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, Konedobu, where dancers from Morobe, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, East Sepik and Kairuku waited for him.
He was led onto the dais where master of ceremony Simon Anakapu welcomed him. Representing the business community was David Conn who, while thanking Sir Michael for his services, said that the there was a partnership between Sir Michael and the business community.
Governor Powes Parkop described Sir Michael as a visionary who taught people to have faith, trust and vision and be patience. “You held us together; you gave us patience and tolerance.
You taught us to gradually learn to respect, trust each other and to integrate as one people and one country.
“We will continue to honour your legacy and we salute you.”
In response, Sir Michael said that he was moved and at the same time humbled by the outpouring of love and tributes to him in the past couple of days.
“I am sure I will miss my old stomping ground, Parliament House, but am also looking forward to fishing, swimming and enjoying time with my people of Sepik, my family, and especially my grandchildren.”
Sir Michael was then given a last walk through an honour guard and a 19-gun salute was heard in downtown Port Moresby.
He waved goodbye to the crowd and left the stadium – the very stadium he stood at in 1975 to usher in Independence.