|Subject: Diaspora of PNG elite
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Date Posted: Tue, Jun 19 2007, 01:05:57am
This is a bit dated, but I thought I would post it anyway - ****great going guys and ladies****
Human resource cut and paste http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20070209/weekend04.htm
Diaspora of PNG elite
Yame is a typical Kagua village on the side of a mountain. Its history is steeped in folklore and tribal fighting.
It is famous for its hardy warriors – men with a passion for not retreating in a fight. Now that there is peace, it has become famous for its educated offspring – proud ones like Henry Kalambe, Mattew Elara, famous as footballer, Andreas Embe, fellow engineer and Anna Yakopa, ex Lihir, Regina Otmar, Veronica Michael, Mary Wapu and Mary Embe, just to name a few, all either working or studying overseas.
Not far from Yame is the Ake River. To get to Karia Community School, Henry had to cross the Ake. This is where his young mind got his first engineering lessons, watching the river flow, its fluctuations, its depth, its boulders, colour and its meandering life. Of course he wondered where it ended up, maybe into the Miaru River?
The work of Mother Nature is perfect and it left an indelible mark on the young, inquisitive and restless Henry who wandered among the tall grass and trees of Kagua and wondered aloud at God’s creation.
When Henry passed his grade six exams, his parents Kalambe and Esther were overjoyed to see their son get a place at Kagua High School from 1984-87.
The elder Kalambe, who was a colonial era painter and a cook at Kagua station for early kiaps back in the 60s, killed several of his pigs when Henry won a place at Passam National High School in 1989. The old man, now 55, knew his son was headed for bigger things when Henry graduated from Unitech and left Kagua and PNG for the different settings of Sydney, Australia for a year in 1993 at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
Looking back, Henry recalls: “For 10 years, I walked back and forth from school to my village in Yame on bush tracks through muddy jungle. Sometimes the mud was as high as my waist and I would get caught in it. Luckily we had a big river called Ake before Karia mission station where I would jump in every morning to wash off the mud before running to school at the sound of the school bells.
“Attending Passam, I did not know what to do but I was becoming more interested in science and maths related fields so I applied to Unitech to do foundation engineering in 1990.
“After first year at Unitech, I realised that I would like to do something very challenging and new. I wanted to do something different, nobody has ever done.
“In 1991, Mining Engineering Department wanted the top 5 per cent from foundation year and I got selected for the Mining Engineering course from 1991-1995.”
While working at Ok Tedi, Henry befriended Rose, now his wife. For her hand, Henry has committed 10 pigs but it is his father Kalambe and his Yame tribesmen who will have to slaughter more for the pretty part Pangia and Gembogl (Chimbu) woman.
Rose Kalambe, 27, is an accounting graduate from Goroka Technical College, who is looking forward to making her new home in Perth with her husband and children Jeddy 11, Trevor 20 months and Tracey five months.
While the parents take time to say goodbye to friends, their excited son Jeddy cannot wait to get on a big jumbo plane.
While he will miss his friends at Porgera International School, Henry adds: “Jeddy will be leaving many of his PNG classmates and teachers and heading down south with parents where he will make new friends.
“He will miss two of his best mates Francis and Vincent Angoloma at Porgera International School. Back in the village Jeddy will miss a boy called Jacky.”
When Henry gets to WA, there will be a burgeoning PNG population there, including some of his pioneer engineering classmates from Unitech, men like Yanjol Isaacs at Rio Tinto, John Martin (Roche), John Peter (BHP – WA) and former Lihir workmate Douglas Suk (Rio Tinto - WA), Andreas Embe (Rio Tinto — WA) and Robertson Reupena (BHP-WA) and former Porgera workmates, Peter Malupie (BHP – WA), Timothy Ricky (BHP – WA).
As for the tin can that brought you this story, it is proudly displayed on the shelf, away from the reach of the maid and aggressively guarded by Cookie Monster and a bunch of newly recruited mosquitoes.
On it are the words: “My first softdrink on Lihir Island, bought by Henry Kalambe, engineer, November 12, 2003.”
Good luck Henry and family, I will sell you the tin can when you come back!
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