Friday, October 26, 2012

Royal visit sparks excitement in PNG


The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be met with a 21-gun salute when they arrive in Papua New Guinea and the duchess will have a flower named in her honour.
Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, will spend three days on the Pacific Island from November 3.
Events Minister Justin Tkatchenko on Thursday told journalists the royal pair would participate in an ecumenical service and cultural display at the Sir John Guise Stadium in the capital Port Moresby.
The couple will visit an orchid garden outside Port Moresby for a garden party where the Duchess of Cornwall will see a hybrid orchid named in her honour - the Dendrobium Camilla.
"I am proud to say it is in full flower and will be ready for her to have a look at and see if it looks like her at all," Mr Tkatchenko said.
"The most important thing is that this visit touches the hearts of everybody right across the board - from our politicians, to our ambassadors, to our grassroots people, to our business men and women," Mr Tkatchenko said.
"I would like to also appeal to all the public, all the citizens of Papua New Guinea, to join in this very special occasion at Sir John Guise Stadium. You are all welcome."
In other engagements, the prince will visit a youth centre and the duchess will meet mentors and women at a refuge centre in the city.
There will also be a state dinner.
It will be Prince Charles's first visit to the country in 28 years.
Upon arrival at Port Moresby's international airport, the royal pair will be greeted by 750 school children as well as a "sing sing", or traditional dancers and a 21-gun salute.
Should the royal entourage peer out of their car windows, they'll see rows of British and PNG flags lining the highway, as well as banners celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
At a roundabout near the airport, a huge sign declares Prime Minister Peter O'Neill welcomes them to the country.
The country's capital has been in roadworks overdrive for the past month to repair some of the city's notoriously pot-holed streets in preparation for the visit at a cost of $A4.8 million.
Mr Tkatchenko said the projects had been fast-tracked for the visit.
Prince Charles, who is also colonel-in-chief of the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment, will present the infantry unit with new colours, Colonel Michael Daniels told reporters.
Mr Tkatchenko said the visit would be an opportunity to correct misconceptions about Papua New Guinea to an international audience.
"From the reports I initially got from London was that we're still cannibals," he said, referring to an article in the UK's Daily Star tabloid alleging travellers were too scared to come to PNG for fear of getting eaten.
"This is a scenario where we don't want to hear anymore of that bulls***, as far as I'm concerned.
"We need to change the attitudes and ways and open their eyes to show how good we are."

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