Morobean guitarist, Adrian ‘Sledge’ Gedisa, shares one of his new tracks

As a big fan of Papua New Guinean metal, I’ve been following the work of Morobean heavy metal guitarist, Adrian ‘Sledge’ Gedisa.

Sledge is a versatile musician able to express himself through various genres of music.

But he truly stands out with his “metal work.” A little over a year ago, He announced a project called Hyer. It is a heavy metal collaboration between various recorded and underground musicians like himself.

I bumped into him at Nadzab airport. While we waited for the same flight I asked about the Hyer project.

He said a few tracks had been released including this one called FALL APART (Hyer Ft. Sprigga Mek).

It’s a collaboration between Hyer/Adrian Gedisa and PNG rapper Sprigga Mek.

No video yet. But the track is a great example of Papua New Guinean ingenuity.

It features an intricate tapestry of musical storytelling by the Sledge himself. If you’re familiar with Adrian’s guitar work, you will know what I mean. You have to listen to it with good headphones to appreciate the complexity of it all.

Please listen to it and if you know a video producer who would be willing to put pictures to this song, let me know.

Hyer 2.0…The Sledge has spoken!

Peace!

Advertisements

70 years on, Martyrs School, a living memory of Aussie missionaries killed during WW2

Untitled3.jpegEvery year in September,  Martyrs Memorial Secondary School, in Popondetta,   celebrates Martyrs Day.  It is  an important event marking the establishment of the school after  the second world war.

But this year’s celebration  was  a special one.  2018 marks 70s years of the school’s existence.

For many generations of students, the Martyrs Memorial School,  as it used to be known,  holds  very fond memories.   It used to be an all-boys school.  Established  in  1948,  the Anglican Missionaries brought together students from all over the country.

“Students came from Eastern Highlands, From Jimi, Western Highlands,  from Milne and  New Britain. The whole of Papua New Guinea was here,”  says Lindsley Clement, Bishop of Popondetta and former student.

Former NBC Broadcaster, Winterford Suharupa,  was one of the early students of Martyrs  School.  Like  many other boys,  he  arrived straight from a village and received the best education the  Anglican Mission School could offer at the time.

“I came here as raw material. And this school gave me so much. It gave me direction and it made me see my future.”

In the 1940s and 50s,  bringing together children from all over the country  meant taking them away from their communities and parents for 12 months at a time.  Although the school was run almost entirely by Australian and British  teachers,  they  encouraged the boys to continue to practice their cultures and speak their languages while gaining an education.  They also tried as much as possible to make  the transition from village to school as smooth as possible.

“One of the things that was unique about this school was the ‘garden house system,” says former teacher, Phillip So’on.  “It allowed students to remain together. Even though they left their villages, they will have a house and a place they could call home.”

Each language  group had an allocated portion of land on which they  built  a garden house. Building a garden house meant, the older boys continued to practice important building  and life skills in the absence of their parents and younger boys learned from their older students.

“The older boys took care of the younger boys,” says former student Elijah Sarigari. “The school also encouraged agriculture. It taught us to be self-reliant.”

For their families, sending their children away to school was  a difficult decision.   But their decisions  sowed the fruits  of  national unity  nearly 40  years  before  Papua New Guineans began talking  of  political  independence  and nationhood.  Many of the students who came as boys formed lifelong friendships with those of other provinces.

Every year, the number of ‘old boys’ or former students, dwindles as new members are added.   For the older former students,  every  Martyrs day is an emotional reunion as they remember friends who have passed on and celebrate the bond they have.“When we sang the old school song, it brought many of us to tears,”  Winterford Suharupa recalls. “ It brought back so many memories.”

The school is a living memory of Australian and Papua New Guinean Anglican   missionaries who were  either killed by the invading Japanese army or killed for standing up for their faith.  They are now known as the ‘Martyrs of New Guinea.’

Some  of those who were killed were relatively young men and women. They  had come to  former colony before the war and refused to leave when the Japanese arrived.

Among them, were  four women. But two  the names that stand out in history of the province  are  May Hayman, an Anglican missionary  and Mavis Parkinson, a teacher.

Both were captured, starved  and later executed.  Others were also killed in the same period.     The school also honors two  Papua New Guinean evangelists – Lesley Gariadi and Lucien Tapiedi – both from the Milne Bay Province.  Tapiedi was killed as he defended the Anglican  missionaries he was with while Gariadi  died when the mission boat was attacked by a Japanese patrol.

What keeps resonating with generations of people whose tribal roots stem from strong warrior cultures, is the sacrifice by  the missionaries and the unflinching bravery in the face of death.

Many of the buildings are named after the men and women who gave their lives.   Many of the former students are named after the  Martyrs of Niugini.

In the 1990s, the school saw  some of its biggest  developments under Australian Missionary  principal,  Fr. Donald Johnson. Already close to retirement,   Fr. Donald mobilized  resources from overseas and  brought in Rotary Club volunteers to build  new dormitories and renovate   the classrooms.

The development also paved way for new changes that were to come  later  in the decade.

Mr. Phillip So’on, was one of the many influential teachers  who taught  at Martyrs School.  He was part of the team that made a decision to begin enrolling girls for the first time.  It was a decision that was met with much resistance but importance because of the need to meet the growing demand for education.

“I am proud to say that I was one of those who  made the decision to bring in girls. Criticisms came but at the end of the day girls are being educated.”

PNG entrepreneur, Jaive Smare, makes buying electricity much easier

appDidn’t know how tired I was, till I fell asleep this arvo on the balcony at Koki, my dreamless sleep unbothered by the smog of mosquitos and other little occupants of koki, launching their various entrepreneurial ventures on the land of poor opportunity called my body.

Tired mentally, bringing the application from months of work till now when its on the market and every afternoon, I watch the numbers climb, or decrease, depending on which key indicator of the dashboard I am looking at. Its hard to believe how hard I have worked on this and seeing it work on a nationwide scale. But there cant be no rest, no self rewarding time out. This truth in itself is exhausting.

I’ve lived my life fast.

No due consideration given to the consequences or repercussions of my actions. No forward planning, no vision of the distant future. I have lived it with one headlight going 300 miles an hour on winding dark road, where the only thing you can focus on is what is in front of you. Its helped me build this. With my poor ability to learn anything new, and my wonderful strength of perseverance and passion for this shit hole of a country called PNG.

This…is an idea. This …is a path. This is something that is way bigger than myself and will out last everything else I have done. EVER. I don’t have any children. I watch my friends teach their kids to fish, or shave, or throw a rugby ball and part of me cant help but feel awefull. I have been able to do what I have done now, because it doesn’t bring me any joy. It is not a passion. It is an answer to something deeply lacking in my life. When I first learnt of the death of Kato Ottio, the shock was immense.

He was young, and had so much infront of him. Yet he died because of a very poor health system. Our young people can’t die like this. I had to do something, but what? I knew how to write some code, about backend development, models and more. I was doing some heavy research in Western Highlands on power theft. When you open yourself to God, something happens. Its not crazy, its just cold. I found myself cold pitching the idea of all the stuff I built for PNG power to the management.

A five  minute meeting ticked into a 2 hour presentation. I had built 8 different applications to show the concept to PNG Power. After they said yes, lets give it a shot, I had to do all the work. Nothing was given to me for free.

I didn’t ask them for money. When the small Papua New Guineans down the line pushed back and invited others to show their power point presentations, I had two choices, quit or fight/work harder. I didn’t let recovering from major illness get in the way. I hacked a system together and did a live test in three  neighborhoods, burning money, reputation and everything on learning curve. And even after it all was done.

It still wasn’t over six  servers, countless new technology, non-stop communicating to their support team, I finally crossed the great unknown to put this application on the market. I know I drove a lot of people crazy. The emails I sent to PNG power are long, badly written and terrible. I had to do this. And now, here we are. 30+ agents across PNG and growing. You can buy esipay now at your community tuckerbox, small time entrepreneur, vendor.

You can buy it on FB or Whatsapp or sms with them. You can support your local champions. You can be part of the change led by PNG Power. I wanted to and I will fix some of the issues that arise with electricity supply in PNG, using our community of change agents. At the same time, at some point this year, we will fix a part of the system that killed Kato Ottio.

I don’t have kids. Not yet anyway. While others can show their kids how to do little things, maybe I can show a whole nation, how to do little things as well. I can tweak the way you think, in such a way, that the obvious answer becomes the clearest path for once. Please support my agents in the community. As you buy esipay from them, remember, you are building a community of change. You can also become an agent. Just inbox me.

Once upon a time, two Sepik sisters planted a small vine in Enga that would forever change the social fabric of the entire highlands, I hope that what I built, with the support of a few people, will have an impact in society as long lasting as the sweet potato. ……

Jaive

Miracle patient returns to school after sight-restoring surgery| By Anna Scott

As the boat pulled onto Emo’s shore, the first people to greet the team were two familiar faces that the YWAM team had come to know and love – Dura and his brother, Bray.*

Bray was one of YWAM Medical Ships miracle patients from 2016. When we first met Bray at 17 years of age, he was blind in both eyes from cataracts – he had to be led everywhere he went, and relied on his brother, Dura, to help him eat and dress. The once capable fisherman, soccer player and student was forced to drop out of school at grade three.

thumb__G3A2901_1024

When Bray completely lost his sight three years ago, his family waited and prayed for a miracle. The glimmer of hope they were given was from the local hospital when the family was informed that soon the YWAM Medical Ship would be coming with eye specialists who may be able to help Bray regain his sight.

The waiting ceased in May last year when the MV YWAM PNG dropped anchor near Bray’s village in Oro Province. Among the patients seen were Bray and his brother, Dura.

As the optometrist assessed Bray’s eyes, optometry clinic leader, Andrew Scott, shared with him the wonderful news; he was a candidate for surgery. And though they did not know how successful the surgery would be, there was hope that Bray’s sight may return.

thumb_1G3A3760_1024

Townsville ophthalmologist, Dr. Bill Talbot, performed the surgery on Bray’s eyes in the theatre aboard the MV YWAM PNG.

It was a beautiful moment when Bray returned the day after his surgery to find out how successful the surgery was. As the nurse peeled away the patch from his eye, Dura came over to Bray to see the result, as Dura bent down in front of him, a smile erupted from Bray’s face. Dura put his hand on his cheek and spoke to him in their language, they smiled together and shared a moment of joy – Bray’s sight had returned.

thumb__G3A3841_1024

Eight months later, Bray is a different person. The once-was blind boy is climbing coconut trees, laughing with friends, paddling in canoes, and playing sport.

20170122-IMG_8628

The gift of Bray’s restored sight, has not only deeply impacted Bray’s life, but Dura’s, who was once Bray’s primary care taker.

“In December last year my wife had a baby boy. We named the baby after Andrew, who took care of us before, during, and after Bray’s surgery. Our family will always be thankful to God for YWAM. Our baby, Andrew, is another reminder to us,” said Dura.

Next week, Bray will return to school, he is enrolled in grade 4 – determined to finish what he started.

20170122-IMG_8829

Are you an eye care professional with a desire to change lives, just like Bray’s? Two-week volunteering opportunities are available for optometrists, ophthalmologists, ophthalmic scrub nurses and orthoptists onboard the YWAM Medical Ship in Papua New Guinea. To learn more, visit www.ywamships.org.au/volunteer/

*Anna is the Public Relations and Media Manager for YWAM Medical Ships.

Home overrun by the nephews and poor aunt gets appointed ‘Band Manager’ | By Stephanie Waide

Picture by Izabell Druma

A few months back, my nephew Richard, requested for a meeting with me on a Friday afternoon, after work. My brief moment of hopeful peace and the splendid weekend high was paused, as I arrived home. I wondered what was so pressing that this meeting could not wait until Saturday or Sunday.

The agenda, was to seek permission to use the yard to do band practice. The Band had only 3 weeks, and that they would be taking part in the Battle of the Bands PNG 2018. They needed a place to store the equipment and instruments, they needed a yard to practice, and they needed assistance with logistics and transport. A short list of many needs for the Band; A Band which I had no idea, had existed until that day.

Richard explained that they had small gigs and were engaged for event set ups occasionally, but they wanted a stage to prove that they were good, so they registered for the Battle of the Bands PNGaudition, a couple of weeks earlier and performed with an acoustic guitar and a keyboard, under the name Tronix. That was my fair introduction to referenced band.

While I acknowledged their love for making music, their excitement, commitment and the richness of the pool of self-taught talented musicians, I was not too keen on letting them make ‘noise’ in the yard. After giving my list of conditions, I reluctantly agreed, as I knew they didn’t have any other place to practice.

My reluctant agreement, promoted me to be appointed Band Manager, well part band manager, as the responsibilities are shared with Richard’s mother.

A classy title, handed to someone with no experience at all, not even a basic job description of roles and responsibilities.

Well needless to say, Tronix Band used the yard to practice for the remaining weeks in the lead up to their first performance at the Battle of the Bands. Tronix is made up of a group of school friends, who identified with each other for their love of making music. Over time, each member built on their strengths in improving their skills in playing an instrument.

Richard used to do the drums, but now takes lead on vocals, Philip Mearu and Lorry Danny play the ‘meanest’ tunes on keyboards, their fingers work wonders, Leroy Danny gives the bass guitar its vibes and Josh Larewa on drums keep the beat.

Vali Johnny, Chris Santo, Chris Ankik and Stanley Ume are on back up vocals and they make sure Richard sounds his best when they harmonise… I say this with happy smile.

In time, the need to smooth out music requirements saw the addition of my younger brother, and their uncle, Shayanne, to join the band to take lead on guitar.

They were one of 20 bands that were selected to take part in the battle of the Bands, shortlisted on the 17th spot.

The first battle, introduced me to how good these children were, when they took the stage to perform. While not at professional level, most of what they show, and the skills they have are mirrored the hours on YouTube tutorials, practice and making ‘noise’ in the yard.

They were ranked in scores and performance, to 2nd on the ladder after their grand performance on the first battle of the bands in Port Moresby in June. You can see a cover version PEREN OH (B-RAD) cover by TRONIX BAND

I am pleased to say, the Tronix Band, will be playing at the Paga Hill festival in September as a registered PNG band. Here is one of their song that has a tune that sticks to you, Via produced by NOCCTRNL. Well here’s to my overgrown nephews and baby brother… It’s September ..Wishing you all the best in your practice, in my yard and the battle ahead.

Reporter bleeds from the mouth as villagers attack journos |National Newspaper

Original story: https://www.thenational.com.pg/reporter-bleeds-from-the-mouth-as-villagers-attack-journos/

SOME villagers affected by the volcanic eruption on Manam took out their anger and frustration on the journalists covering the event.
The four reporters had entered Baliau village after visiting
other affected village and were questioned on the purpose of their visit.
Villager Peter Sukua asked them why they were there and why they arrived one day after the volcanic eruption.
He said the villagers would rather see Madang Governor Peter Yama and Bogia MP Robert Naguri.
The National reporter Dorothy Mark said she was stopped by Sukua taking pictures and punched in the face and threatened that her camera would be thrown into the sea.
“While I sat face down and spitting blood, they kicked me until some people intervened and stopped them,” she said.
The journalists were rescued by ward councillor for Dugulava village Paul Maburau and walked for one hour through a bush track.
They arrived at the Bieng Catholic station where they arranged for transportation to Bogia.
Sukua and others were later taken away by police.

#EMTV journalist, Martha Louis, reports: ‘Houses destroyed, people in need of food and water’

EMTV’s Madang Correspondent, Martha Louis , reports that more than 5000 men, women and children on Manam island are without food and clean water after the volcanic eruption on Saturday morning. Two villages were completely destroyed on Saturday. Food crops and water sources were destroyed by the ash fall.  This is the second day since the eruption and islanders are now in desperate need of food and clean water.

EMTV Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/EMTVonline/?ref=br_tf