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16 September 2016

PNG's Independence Day 16 September


It was in the dying days of 1974 when I received an urgent telegram from TOTAL - Compagnie Française des Pétroles to fly to what was then Burma to take up a new position as chief accountant in their exploration office in Rangoon.

I was at the time living in Papua New Guinea which was heading towards independence the following year. When the then Chief Minister Michael Somare - soon to be Sir Michael and Prime Minister of the independent country - heard of my impending departure, he expressed his regrets that I wouldn't be there for this momentous occasion. "However," he said, "the least we can do is make our Independence Day the same as your birthday."

And so it came to pass that my birthday and Papua New Guinea's Independence Day are celebrated on the same day each year.


P.S. Of course, if you believe this, you'll probably spend the rest of your life doing a convincing impression of a cabbage! ☺