Monday, August 17, 2009

Tribute to Kokoda Track plane disaster

By James Wanjik

Port Moresby, 15 August 2009



I was among seven young brave men who took on the track 25 years ago and our memories of test of will and stamina are still fresh.

Those who lost lives last week in the plane crash are people who will be remembered for having kind hearts helping people of Kokoda Track in their own way of selfless service of people.

 God of life will give them life in eternity.
Thank you and God bless.
Walking the Kokoda Track is many people’s will and stamina put to the test.

Twenty five years ago I was one of seven young brave men taking the track World War II angels walked to help allied forces battling the Japanese Imperial Army.

PNG would have fallen into the hands of invading Japanese.

Recently when the invading miners wanted to mine the Kokoda Track it was the Australian Government that influenced PNG Government to reject renewal of the exploration licence in the interest of State of PNG.

On 10 August 2009 a plane carrying nine Australians, one Japanese, and three Papua New Guineans surrendered their lives to angels of life to be with God of life.

PNG will be now more true to their love for life.

Looking back 25 years ago Kokoda Track was ignored by our Government.

There were no organised trekking companies.

No book on how to do on Kokoda Track.

 No planes dropping rations along the way.

Our only support was now Member for Sohe, Anthony Nene.

Names of places along the track he knew.

It took us 4 and 1/2 days to cross over from Owers Corner in Central Province to Kokoda in Oro Province.

On the track we had real adventure.

The first day saw us put up a tent on the foot of Imita Ridge.

Rain was falling cats and dogs.

 Having cup of coffee in the bush with peers was like powering a dead World War II jeep.

The night walled us from problems in store.

The second day saw us trekking to Naoro river crossing.

We came to a place that led us to a tangent for good 4 hours.

We retreated to refresh our memories.

We decided to trek back to where we had got led astray.

 Having made the connection of our route we rolled down a cliff.

We found the crossing and made it on logs supported with cane vines.

On this day we lost our coffee bottle.

A member of our peer felt the fatigue of Kokoda Track.

We exchanged angry word or two and we let it to pass.

We were a team and we would remain as a team until we reached Kokoda our goal.

Something told us to be courageous under problem situation.

It was not long my bag lost its both straps.

 I had to shoulder carry from then on.

Then in less than an hour a friend of ours fainted.

We quietly sat down to divide up the contents of our friend’s bag to ease the burden.

Now problems and powerlessness looked like taking its toll on us.

That was when I volunteered to carry our friend’s bag and shoulder carry mine.

We were on track trekking again.

On the third and fourth days we trekked pretty well.

On one leap we had no water.

Local knowledge and keeping connected to nature helped us.

About halfway up the steep slippery climb we stopped to contact nature for help.

 We were rewarded with water from the bamboos.

On half day of the fifth we crossed the famous Templeton Crossing about 3 times at different points of the Track.

It was as cold as water from a refrigerator.

Literally we were made to feel lost of our manhood.

The distinguishing things of men had leaped into our bodies.

Such is the spirit of Kokoda Track.

Words will never wipe away the memories of Kokoda Track.

Politics of Kokoda Track is in the memories of many lost and living souls.

It is a worthy politics.

Politics where people of Kokoda will win.

Nene upheld ‘name’ Jesus Christ for help.

Real leaders of real people will come to help Kokoda people.

Kokoda spirit God Father is ever powerful and gracious.

May those who lost loved ones in last week’s plane crash be consoled by knowing that PNG appreciates many kind hearts who have made our country a blessed nation.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful tribute from James. The Kokoday Trail is a living memorial in the minds of many who went, saw and conquered like James. Nature has healed the country side and restored its sovereignty over the Kokoda Trail but people are still going to carry around their own memories of that place for many many years to come. Thank you.