Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An eventful year for Papua New Guinea

And this blog helps to bring the news – good or bad – to you

Whether you spent 2008 with your nose buried in the politics or business section of your favorite newspaper, there were some major headlines on the front page that no one missed.

From the series of BSP bank robberies around the country to the atrocious murder of businessman Sir George Constantinou at the notorious Tete Settlement, Gerehu, it’s been hard to tear our eyes away from the life-changing events unfolding before us.

This is particularly in relation to the development of the massive gas, petroleum and mineral deposits of this country.

Are we going to be the ‘Arabs’ of the Pacific?

It is, however, a paradox that we are a rich country and yet are so poor, and our women and children continue to die for want of better health services as well as education.

I hope all of you, the many thousands of readers of this blog from all corners of Papua New Guinea and the world through the wonders of the Internet, have had a wonderful Christmas with your families and all the best for New Year 2009.

I had a quite Christmas period with my four children, watched VCDs, and read a lot of literature classics by Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities and Hard Times – to refresh my mind for 2009.

I am an avid reader of the classic works of literature, which I read over and over again, because it helps in a lot in my work as a journalist and editor.

 The year had a little something to offer everyone.

Maybe you were reading about the stock market's rocky trajectory and a massively flailing global economy - or that of Oshen’s career.

Perhaps you scanned the news for the latest updates on the LNG project, or you might've been focused on the US presidential elections.

The 2008 Paralympics event marked a significant new era for PNG as disabled athlete Francis Kompaon won the country’s first-ever silver medal at such an event and a K250, 000 bonus from the government.

The country’s first ever medal in an Olympic event was like setting foot on the moon – “one small step for a man but a giant step for PNG”.

Ryan Pini he made PNG proud with a brilliant performance in the 100m butterfly finals by splashing stroke for stroke alongside a  host of super stars including probably the world’s greatest-ever swimmer and record-breaking American Michael Phelps.

Pini was the flag bearer for Papua New Guinea at the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Pini ranked first in the third heat of the men's 100m freestyle, but did not make a qualifying time for the semi finals.

He also competed in heats for the 200m freestyle.

Pini competed in the 100m butterfly, where he was Papua New Guinea's most-widely anticipated chance at attaining a first Olympic medal.

He competed in the finals, and finished eighth overall, in a tough line-up which included American big fish Michael Phelps, who took gold.

Pini was the first Papua New Guinean ever to swim an Olympic final.

Remember how the Kumuls raised our pulses by leading Great Britain at one stage of their World Cup rugby league game in Australia but gave it away?

They continued to win hearts with commendable performances against eventual winners New Zealand and Australia.

Every year has its share of memorable news stories, but in 2008, many events transpired that'll have history textbook editors scrambling.

And if you haven't been keeping news clippings for your scrapbook, you might've forgotten what happened earlier this year.

That's where this blog comes in.

We're not just daily ‘bad news’ stories about rapes, murders, bank robberies, so on and so forth about.

We're ‘good news’ harbingers too – about the many positive developments in the country.

From Asia to Europe, North America to Africa, and even the land down under, the world was humming with activity.

And Papua New Guinea was no exception.

So pour a cup of coffee, settle into your most comfortable chair and read about some of the many memorable moments from 2008 that'll be recorded in the annals of history.


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