Friday 15 September 2023
NCD Residents participated in the Unity Walk from Murray Backs to Ela Beach on Friday 15 September 2023. (photo credit: NCDC Media).
On Friday 15 September 2023, in the early hours of the morning, a sea of people gathered for a very special occasion: the 48th Independence Festival Unity Walk, organised by the National Capital District Commission (NCDC).
It marked the beginning of a series of celebrations that would shine a light on Papua New Guinea’s remarkable journey towards independence.
The Unity Walk kicked off from Murray Barracks and wound its way through the heart of Port Moresby, taking participants on a memorable journey down to the Sir Hubert Murray roundabout and eventually concluding at the serene Ela Beach.
For this event, the left lane of the road was reserved exclusively for the patriotic walkers, ensuring their safety and the smooth flow of the event.
The event was a testament to the spirit of unity and patriotism as both the NCDC and the Regular Police stood guard at road intersections, making sure everyone could participate safely.
What’s more, our very own Governor for NCD, Hon. Powes Parkop, proudly joined the Unity Walk, setting a powerful example of leadership and unity.
This wonderful event was organized by the Amazing Port Moresby team and served as the early morning patriotic prelude to the grand 48th Independence Celebrations.
It was a time when schools, correctional services, communities, and even the international community joined hands in celebration.
The Festival also included a vibrant craft market, lively bands, captivating cultural shows, and a deeply symbolic flag-lowering ceremony at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.
The significance of the flag-lowering ceremony is profound for Papua New Guineans.
It symbolizes the end of nearly seven decades of Australian governance and the beginning of a new era as an independent nation. Unlike some other countries that faced turmoil during their journey to independence, Papua New Guinea’s path was marked by celebrations throughout the country, and not bloodshed.
In the words of Sir John Guise, the first Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, “We are lowering the flag, not tearing it down.” This message reflects the spirit of cooperation and respect that defined this momentous occasion.
Governor Powes Parkop, during the launch of the Independence celebrations on the 31 August,, underscored the profound significance of this year’s celebration.
It not only commemorates 48 years of independence but also sets the stage for the grand 50th Golden Jubilee in 2025.
It’s a unique opportunity for Papua New Guinea to proudly showcase its national identity to the world and elevate its status as a premier tourist destination.
As we celebrate our nation’s journey, let us come together as one big family, showing the world the strength, unity, and pride that define Papua New Guinea.
This year is not just about looking back at our past; it’s about boldly stepping into our future with heads held high and hearts full of hope.
NCD Governor Hon. Powes Parkop, attempts his cultural dancing skills on the main stage at Ela Beachafter the Unity Walk on Friday, 15 September 2023.
[All Pictures courtesy of Amazing Port Moresby Independence Festival]