The Grand Chief by bobfoto

The Grand Chief

A brief history lesson. After The Great War, Australia was given full responsibility of administering the eastern half of the World's second largest island; New Guinea. I mean Australia was just an infant itself, only 18 years of age as a united country, and now was told to look after the neighbour to the north. No one even knew how many savages lived there, and many of the areas were still unknown to the new colonists.

So we explored, got killed, found gold and discovered the Highlanders. Then the Second World War saw a young Australia defend itself in the mountains of the Owen Stanley Ranges and all along the northern coastline of New Guinea, from the Solomons in the east to Indonesia in the west.

Things then settled down for a few years and it was during this time, that the United Nations started asking questions about why certain countries were still hanging onto their foreign territories, and it was 45 years ago that Papua New Guinea had its own House of Assembly.

This Parliament would evolve into what we now know as the Independent Nation of what is now simply known as PNG. A young group of educated men formed that House of Assembly and one such man is now known as The Grand Chief; Sir Michael Somare. When I first travelled to PNG, Sir Michael was well respected and was comfortable in his position as Prime Minister. From 2002 to 2007, Sir Michael became the first PM to hold office for an entire 5 year term, but in the past few years, the tide has turned and two men have forged an alliance which toppled the Father of Independence and now sees Sir Michael fighting for his political future. But he has always put up a good fight... Somare declared in 2007 that he would retire from politics in 2012, but the O'Neill/Namur lead Parliament has meant that Somare is in the ring again.

When Sir William Skate died a few years back, Somare created a garden/park in the grounds of Parliament House to honour the Big Men of PNG and he started with sculptures of Sir William and of course himself. Not just content with being on the K50 bank note, Somare required a bust of himself in the garden.

Counting continues in the race to form the new Government of PNG. Kinda glad I am back in Australia watching from afar.

Photo taken 21 July 2006
Nice History Lesson!
July 12th, 2012  
@summitnsmile - Cheers Mark, thanks!
July 12th, 2012  
is that a statue of you?
July 12th, 2012  
Interesting background story, I can understand why you would be more comfortable away from the political instability. How do the people of PNG feel about the Indonesian control and colonization of Irian Jaya?
July 12th, 2012  
I am loving your photos and following your posts are so informative - a window on another world - thanks for sharing
July 12th, 2012  
Really insightful information.. Great shot and love your use of space.
July 12th, 2012  
I always wondered why it was called a bust when it just always stopped demurely above the bust. This guy looks like he would have a chunky bust.. on a pedestal I mean. (!) Great blue sky
July 12th, 2012  
Interesting bust of the big man
July 12th, 2012  
Nice composition of him!
July 13th, 2012  
Nice capture and most interesting history.
July 13th, 2012  
Great shot, framed very well against the blue sky.
July 13th, 2012  
Cool shot and beautiful vibrant blue sky!
July 13th, 2012  
Nice framing
July 13th, 2012  
great shot Jason
July 13th, 2012  
Nicely photographed!
July 13th, 2012  
@gypsylady - my twin brother from the Sepik.

@robv - Oh we call it West Papua now... and yeah, the PNG people feel empathy for their Papuan brothers. The border is very interesting and impossible to police... at times like these when Politics takes up the front page of the Newspapers, the border remains quiet, but in 12 months when government has settled, the issues at the border will be raised once again.

@mortisa @michelleyoung - Jane and Michelle, PNG is a fascinating country, I try my hardest to portray it in as honest a light as I can.

@filsie65 - He is not a huge man, quite short in statue, but from what the ladies tell me, he is one smooth operator. His charm is legendary, and he has a sparkle in his eyes... I have never officially met the man, but have seen him around the place.

@swilde - there's a teeny bit of ego here I think... ;)

@httpgeffed @tonydebont @abhijit @katrinacristy @kimmistephens @jolefont @swguevin - Thanks everyone, gotta love the blue sky here when the clods disappear.
July 13th, 2012  
Love the composition in this one.
July 13th, 2012  
Talk about self promotion!
July 13th, 2012  
@bobfoto you do a really good job at that
July 13th, 2012  
solid
July 13th, 2012  
@sangwann - Cheers Dione!

@kjarn - Word.

@mortisa - Thank you Jane.

@houdiniem - bronze.
July 14th, 2012  
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