Postcards from Port Moresby 1973-1975

With the 40th anniversary of Papua New Guinea’s independence now almost upon us, there has been a small but noticeable increase in the number of visitors interested in old images from the seventies. This includes any photos of the events surrounding the country’s self-government, prior to or after independence. Given the amount of time we spent as a family in Port Moresby, I’m ashamed to say that I have kept and preserved very little of special interest to the general public. Worse, captions have been absent or insufficient. That now admitted, I will post a few more pics that might be of some interest to students of Papua New Guinea’s history. Photographer is the late Denis Williams. Happy anniversary to all those who call Papua New Guinea home. Hope you have a wonderful day of celebrations. For photographs of the Highlands during the same period, please click on this link: https://veronicakpeek.wordpress.com/

Chief Miniser Michael Somare and Australian Administrator Les Johnson signing the papers for self-government, 1 Dec 1973.

Chief Minister Michael Somare and Australian Administrator Les Johnson signing papers at time of self-government. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, c.1 Dec 1973. No explanatory note attached to this photo.

Albert Maori Kiki MP dealing with about 300 women protesters in Port Moresby, 1974. For several successive days they marched and campaigned for better price controls and a $10 pay rise for their wage-earning husbands. In the end they got what they wanted, more or less. There were a few risky skirmishes but the women generally behaved well.

Chief Minister Michael Somare in 1974, handing out free PNG flags to school children – or is that a high five? Every school child was given a copy of their country’s new flag and many still had theirs to wave during the Independence Day celebrations throughout PNG.

Governor-General John Guise signing a legal document to mark the end of the Australian administration of PNG, sunset at Hubert Murray Stadium, Port Moresby, 15 September 1975. The new PNG flag was raised the following day. On the right is John Haugie, Executive Officer for the Arts, Ministry of Culture and Recreation. Sir Sydney Frost, Chief Justice of Papua New Guinea (at rear) was a witness to the signing.

Queen Elizabeth II with Barry Holloway MP and his wife. Royal visit to Port Moresby, to celebrate the granting of self-government and the decision by the new government to become a member of the Commonwealth of Nations with the Queen as its Head of State. Missus Queen came to visit her new subjects and presumably to welcome them into the Commonwealth. With her was the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, and Princess Anne with her then new husband Mark Phillips.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II being escorted across the tarmac at Port Moresby (I think), with presumably the Commander of the Defence Forces, Ted Diro, behind her. There are also the two military escorts, one of whom managed to attract some royal attention. Royal visit to Papua New Guinea 1974.

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7 thoughts on “Postcards from Port Moresby 1973-1975

  1. Veronica – re the photo above with Sir John Guise signing independence documents – as I recall it was the Chief Justice of PNG at the time, Sir Sydney Frost who witnessed the signing of relevant documents.

    • Hi Arthur, thank you for your feedback on the photo you mention. It is much appreciated. It is important that the caption for this photo in particular is accurate and until now I had thought it was. Now I do have a doubt. I will change the wording and I hope that will be a step in the right direction.

  2. Hi Veronica,
    I would like to use the following photographs in a resource book for teachers.
    1. Chief Minister Michael Somare and Australian Administrator Les Johnson.
    2. Governor-General John Guise signing a legal document.
    I would appreciate any contact information you can give me regarding the proper rights holder(s).
    Otherwise, your permission confirms that you hold the right to grant the permission requested here.
    Kind Regards
    Michelle

  3. Hi Michelle, There is quite a big demand for these photos so I have to be a little selective now and request more details. Will your resource book for teachers be distributed free to teachers by a charity or govt dept or will they have to buy it?

    Kind regards

    Veronica Peek

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