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Celebrating 47 years of Freedom

By Kristoffa Ephraim, Luther Kuelinad and John Kawapuro

       Gabutu, Port Moresby, PNG, 20 September 2022 -- Dressed in their red, black, white, and gold colors the Salesians, and Salesian educators of Don Bosco Technical School celebrated 47 years of the country's independence which falls on 16 September 2022. The program was held on 15 September 2022.

       The event commenced with a short enactment by Grade 11, Short course and ITC 1 students and was narrated by Luther Kuelinad. The enactment was based on how Papua New Guinea became an independent state after the arrival of the German colonizers who came to the New Guinea territory and the Australians who settled in the Papua Territory. Shortly after the arrival of both colonizers, the Papua and New Guinea territories experienced the second world war between the allied forces and the Japanese. The result was a drastic destruction to homes and property and countless loss of lives. This led to late Grand chief Sir Michael Somare (then Chief Minister Michael Somare) to pursue independence. After the enactment, the Papua New Guinea flag was raised by the ITC 1 Naval students followed by the raising of the provincial flags.

       The students then proceeded into the Kurongku hall for the second part which had spirited band performances, poems, dance sequences and a drama on caring for the environment, entitled: ‘The voice of Creation’, narrated by John Kawapuro. Addressing the students, Fr. Gregorio Bicomong Jnr, SDB Provincial Superior of Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea challenged everyone to a sense of responsibility, dedication, and commitment. He invited the school to reflect on J. F Kennedy's quote, "Ask not what your country can do for you but rather what you can do for your country".

       “The lowering of the flag, rather than tearing it down, is symbolic of a bloodless path to independence. It calls for a deep reflection on the violence and domination of the country”, said Mr Auya Kisava as he highlighted the history of the country.

       A Unity Dance by all four regions of the nation was performed by the EOSDT (Employment Oriented Skills Development Training) students and a Traditional singsing and dance by the Highlands students and songs by the grade 12 students.

       School principal Mr Martin Dai invited the students to reflect on the attitude of service rather than waiting for handouts. ‘Wan Kantri’ by the Barike band, was then led by Mr Vincent Numbos, Salesian educator and the music club.

       The day ended on a cheerful note, with singing and chanting from the students as they waved the red black and gold flag high and returned home.

































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