By WATSON GABANA
“IT IS fair to share with care and not to stare from over there”. This rhyme was used to express the idea of volunteerism in a special award giving ceremony this week.
Governor-General Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane said the idea of volunteerism is embedded into PNG culture and that this needs to be promoted and individuals recognised for their work.
“Helping each other has always been a Papua New Guinean tradition. The more you give, the more you receive,” Sir Paulias said.
“Me, my and mine mentality is bad. We should think of and help others,” the Governor-General said.
He made these statements in a ceremony held to award long-serving volunteers of the Order of St John for their services at Government House on Tue.
The volunteers were council members of St Johns PNG who received their medals from their president and Governor-General. Those recipients include principal chaplain, Commissioner Andrew Kalai, Sir Ramon Thurecht, Aloysius Aihi and Robin Yanopa.
The Governor-General also presented a 30th anniversary medal and St John’s commemorative medal to Dr John Pearn, president of St Johns Queensland. In return, Dr John presented Sir Paulias a commemorative medal and a Surgeon Generals medal.
Commissioner Pearn also gave St Johns PNG chairman and Police Commissioner Garry Baki and St Johns’ Chief Commissioner Douglas Kelson the Surgeon General’s medals.
Sir Paulias commended St Johns for its hospital and clinical care provided at the Gerehu clinic.
“The clinical support at the Gerehu clinic is superb. 18,000 patients get treated every week … but this increases to 25,000 in a busy week,” he said.
He however accused the media for promoting bad publicity.
“The media is interested in reporting bad news because they want to sell their papers. Bad news is good to know and good news is no news for the media in PNG,” the Governor-General said.
He appealed to media organisations to talk and report on positive happenings, especially on individuals supporting and helping organisations in the country. Sir Paulias commended two American volunteers at the Gerehu clinic who have been supporting the work there.
Heather Gitschier and Ken Hendrikson of USA have been regular volunteers at the St Johns Gerehu clinic.