PNG community celebrates independence day

A boy participates in celebrations for Papua New Guinea’s 42nd independence day in Honiara.

Papua New Guinea nationals in Solomon Islands celebrated their home country’s independence today.

A community event at the SMI grounds in Honiara honoured the 42nd anniversary of Papua New Guinea’s independence from Australia with music, food and games.

Freeman Odarua of PNG helped organise the event through the Papua New Guinea Solomon Islands Association.

He said the association has been holding independence day celebrations for PNG citizens living in Solomon islands since the 1990s.

“We Papua New Guineans are a very proud people,” Mr Odarua said. “We are celebrating our day it’s important to all of us.”

PNG-owned businesses that operate in Solomon Islands, including AirNiugini and Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Ltd., were also part of the celebrations, Mr Odarua said.

Reflecting on PNG since its independence in 1975, Mr Odarua said the country has made advances.

“PNG has moved on for a while,” he said. “Politically, we are strong enough. Economically, we are gaining economic power.”

He said he hopes the country’s new government will improve the national financial situation and, ultimately, the standard of living.

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