Papua New Guinea Celebrates 44 years as an Independent Nation

History

On the morning of September 16, 1975, the Australian Flag at the Hubert Murray Stadium in Port Moresby was lowered, and in its place was raised a proud flag of Red and Black with a Raggiana Bird of Paradise in flight silhouetted in the top right corner. This flag hoisting announced the introduction of Papua New Guinea as an independent state, and marked the day as one of the most important for its people.

This year, Papua New Guinea will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the passing of the Papua New Guinea Independence Act 1975. On that afternoon, PNG’s first Governor-General, Sir John Guise reminded that “It is important [that] the people of Papua New Guinea, and the rest of the world, realise the spirit in which we are lowering the flag of our colonisers. We are lowering the flag, not tearing it down.” This was an allusion to PNG’s blood-less path to independence, and that this was a day of celebration and a call to move forward and mould the nation to the image of its people. The Act was passed by the Parliament of Australia. It replaced the Papua and New Guinea Act 1949, and changed the status of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea to that of an independent Papua New Guinea. The Act set 16 September 1975 as date of Papua New Guinea's independence and terminated all remaining sovereign and legislative powers of Australia over the country.

Celebrations:

As is tradition, the country will celebrate the occasion with a variety of activities including official speeches, cultural dances, singing, a lot of music, craft fairs, canoe races, and the selling of art and craft. The country’s national colors of black, red and gold will be conspicuous throughout. The National Capital District has planned activities to mark the celebration of the day and once the final details are on hand information will be disseminated.

References:

  • Events | Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority | Goroka Show. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from http://www.papuanewguinea.travel/viewservices/News.aspx?Pop=1&rqEventID=65
  • Kolo, P. (2018, August 09). NGCB comes to the aid of Goroka Show 2018. Retrieved September 11, 2018, from https://postcourier.com.pg/ngcb-comes-aid-goroka-show-2018/
  • Light the Candles for Independence Day in Papua New Guinea. (n.d.). Retrieved September 11, 2018, from http://aglobalworld.com/holidays-around-the-world/independence-day-papua-guinea/