For the first time after 37 years, the Komo station in Hela Province came to life with traditional dance and songs as the community gathered to commemorate the country's 44th independence anniversary on September 16.
The operator of the PNG LNG Project, ExxonMobil PNG, is proud to be supporting this inaugural event, which is a culmination of the Komo youth's peace campaign early this year to promote peace through the sport of rugby league as the vehicle.
Komo Independence celebrations committee headed by Komo/Hulia LLG president Charles Delago and other community leaders were among those who organized this two-day Independence Day event.
ExxonMobil PNG Upstream Asset Manager, Kim Hahn, in congratulating the committee for their initiative, said, "The work that you have done within your communities to bring about this event is admirable."
"The youth's initiative to adapt traditional rivalries with the spirit of sportsmanship has brought about so many changes into your homes and communities in the past six months.
"This marks a significant achievement for your community, and what better time to celebrate this achievement than on the country's Independence Day," Hahn said.
Komo LLG Women's Leader, Patricia Wako, who was present at the celebrations, said, "This is a new pathway to bringing peace to Komo. People are now changing their mindset and moving to live peacefully."
"I think in five years, Komo will be a changed place. With people having a positive mindset and wanting to move up in life," Wako said.
The celebrations commenced with a parade around the arena by school students from St. Paul's Primary School, Mananda Primary School, Kukupalu Primary School, and Tiunte Primary School.
The students were accompanied by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary Police and the PNG Defence Force personnel for the flag-raising ceremony.
A total of 10 cultural groups, brass bands, and string bands performed throughout the day with over a thousand people from as far as Lake Kopiago and Tari township converged at the Komo station to be part of the celebrations.