Somare

Why did Sir Michael choose his resting place? | Allan Bird

I honestly don’t know and it’s something his family will probably write about in the future.

All I know is that sometime in 2004, while still PM, Sir Michael decided and picked that spot for him and Lady to rest. He commissioned architects and the building project commenced. Like the Pharaoh of ancient Egypt he built his tomb deliberately.

Before he was hospitalised he asked to be driven around the city and he made remarks about “how beautiful Ela Beach was” and “how remarkable that there is a Hilton Hotel” where it was. And that there were significant changes to the Port Moresby landscape.

Sir Michael lead the founding fathers. So where are they? Mathias Toliman rests in East New Britain, Sir Tei Abal is in Enga, Kondom Agaundo is in Chimbu. Sir John Guise rests in Lalaura, Central Province (thank you Bryan). Sir Paliau Moloat on Baluan Island in Manus (thank you Bap). It would be interesting to find out where they all are resting.

Before I spoke to NEC I decided to check where the US founding fathers were buried.

George Washington, 1st President, Virginia, John Adams 2nd President, Massachusetts, Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President, Virginia, Abraham Lincoln 16th President, Illinois.

You will find in every location there is a shrine over the grave giving prominence to each founding father and President. Americans do annual pilgrimages from state to state to visit these places and learn about their history.

I feel strongly that this is what Sir Michael wanted us to do. To go to the homes of the founding fathers and learn about their culture and history. I read up on Mathias Toliman and Kondom Agaundo because of Sir Michael.

NCD has Parliament Haus, the Supreme Court, Apec Haus, Central Bank, etc, etc. What does East Sepik have in terms of Institutions? What does Milne Bay have? What does Hela or Chimbu or West Sepik have? Why do we choose to pack every significant landmark in NCD?

Why would other PNGans visit Wewak? There is nothing there except Sepiks and perhaps Vanilla and the War Memorial at Wom. Why should PNGans visit New Ireland? Or AROB? Is this what Sir Michael wanted? For future PNGans to visit him in the place he loved and learn his history there?

I ask PNGans to have an open mind. Sir Michael was the architect of independence and guided this country for a very long time. Perhaps in his death, he is still trying to point out the way to us.

It could be. Or it could be as simple as Sir Michael and Lady Veronica deciding that like they were in this life, so they should be in the next life.

Like all of you, I loved him and I will always shed a tear when I think of the words he has spoken to me. He has given so much and I have nothing to give him except honor his final wish. He is not here to argue with us. And who am I to argue against Papa Somare?

Let him rest in peace.

14 comments on “Why did Sir Michael choose his resting place? | Allan Bird

  1. Ernest Tauliso

    My exact thoughts that I shared with few friends yesterday. He wants people to visit him in his home town in the future

    Like

  2. I also thought of Independence Hill as his place of burial.
    However,by reading this I think it’s best we follow his wish..
    Thankyou and Rest in peace.
    Yu Papa blo PNG..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I never argued when I heard his Will was to be buried in his home town. Em papa ya wai ba yumi pulim taitim? Em tok Wewak so em Wewak nau. Nogat moa tok.
    Thanks Scott! We all should have some common sense and let the Chief have the final say as you rightly put!

    Like

  4. I’ve seen people on social media saying they wanted Sir Michael Thomas Somare’s resting place to be in Port Moresby, but after reading this piece I think it would be better if his resting place be at where he loved the most and desired. Rest easy now Papa.

    Like

  5. Sureni Siga

    Alot of people said for him to be laid in NCD but as the saying goes “samting blo ples mas go bek gen lo ples” let him rest as per his will.
    😪❤💛🖤

    Like

  6. Jerry Katoa

    I am one of those who also wished our Dear Founder (Papa Somare) be at rest in the Capital, but I am now grateful and strongly convinced by this article, and able to see something they way Papa Somare is seeing. Thanks.❤️🙏

    Like

  7. George Rudolf

    I always thought that all our great PM should be rested at the parliament area.
    However I came to realize that this idea is totally different.
    These PMs deserves to be given a decent burial to where ever they desire.
    I support A Bird’s history of world’s leaders, graves etc,our champion papa be buried to where he chose to.
    RIEP Champion Papa, M.T.SOMARE.

    Like

  8. Gerry Leahy

    Another beautiful legacy he leaves for us. RIP

    Like

  9. Ivero Johanes

    I love the wish of Our Papa…obviously the underlying message in His wish to Rest in Kreer Height, Wewak is for Him & Lady Veronica to be together in death. Our Mama has been with Our Papa all along their entire life and for Our Papa to be wish for Our Mama to lay beside Him in death is Super perfect.
    He has set another legacy at the end of his time, true love for his wife and his home land.
    Trupla Champ blon mipla olgeta PNGeans until the End of Time.
    Rest In Eternal Peace Papa

    Like

  10. Ivero Johanes

    I love the wish of Our Papa…obviously the underlying message in His wish to Rest in Kreer Heights, Wewak is for Him & Lady Veronica to be together in death. Our Mama has been with our Papa all along their entire life and for our Papa to be wish for our Mama to lay beside Him in death is Super perfect.

    He has set another legacy at the end of his time, true love for his wife and his home land.

    Trupla Champ blon mipla olgeta PNGeans until the End of Time.

    Rest In Eternal Peace Papa

    Like

  11. Pais Noki

    Well articulated piece by Hon Allan Bird. In his wisdom, Papa Somare knew the best for his decisions to be laid to rest at Kreer Heights, Wewak. Let us respect his decision and leave it at that. RIP Papa..mi karai na wari long yu yet.

    Like

  12. George.Tsikula

    Where there’s a strong Dad there’s a strong Mum at the back.Therefore as such both should be laid to rest side by side as per his wish.What God has bonded men cannot unbond.

    Like

  13. Kevin Tololo

    While it is commendable that the Govt has set aside a designated final resting place for all our Prime Ministers, the desire or choice of the recently deceased should be honoured, if previously indicated or instructed, as in the Grand Chief’s case.
    That Govt had to to meet or debate the final request of the Grand Chief is disturbing, and should have been a non-issue. The Grand Chief’s, or any other citizen’s last will is, to my understanding, a legally binding document or instruction.
    In future, in the absence of any legal instruction, the Govt would do well to consult the immediate family and seek their views, as is the melanesian way, to best honour the deceased, and not automatically assume or decree that they be interned at Independence Hill.

    Like

  14. Thank you Scot for sharing this piece. At least I can reason out his decision to be laid at Kreer Heights, Wewak, ESP. Rest in Piece Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare.

    Like

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