By Staff Reporter : PNG Today
The Grand Chief was born on the 9th of April 1936 in Rabaul where his father, Ludwig Somare Sanah was stationed there as a police man. He later married his wife Lady Veronica Somare in 1965 and then had five children.
Somare had a dream of independence for Papua New Guinea (PNG) and did not wait for the golden opportunity to come but seized the opportunity and there after the country gain independence from Australia in 1975 when he became the first prime minister. He remained in politics and served three times as prime minister up until his retirement this year.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in his tribute speech thanked the Grand Chief for his service and said the record set by him is going to take a long time to repeat.
The Speaker of Parliament, Theo Zurenuoc in his tribute to the Grand Chief had only words of thanks and admiration.
“We bid you farewell as we look forward to the next election with the hope to continue your dreams as a stable democracy,” the Speaker said.
“It is my sincere hope that current and future leaders alike will learn from your experience and that of your colleagues, other founding fathers, to be better equip to respond to challenges and opportunities of a rapidly changing society in a dynamic global environment. In fact we the young leaders of today should be more confident in our ability to address development challenges and issues.”
Meanwhile, the Opposition Leader Don Polye in his tribute, described Somare as a true leader and leaves behind a legacy of good leadership for young upcoming Papua New Guinean Leaders to follow.
Sir Michael’s term of 49 years in office is a record not only in PNG, but also in the Commonwealth.
Picture: Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare with wife Lady Veronica (far left) followed by family and colleagues leaving the parliament.