By Emmanuel Narokobi

I was to have lunch today with Nick Constantinou, about rugby admin stuff and then the news came through yesterday afternoon that his father Sir George Constantinou was murdered by a group of rascals out at Gerehu. He was with an employee of his, on his way to a timber yard of theirs when the incident happened. The rascals tried to block him on the road and when he tried to swerve past them he hit a ditch and that was when he was attacked and killed. You can read more here.

Two and a half thousand years ago a Greek Philosopher Diogenes Laertius, when asked where he was from, simply replied ‘I am a citizen of the world‘. Today there are about a half a million Cypriots around the world and in PNG we had our very own Cypriot by the name of Sir George Constantinou. Arriving here in his teens and working in construction he started his own business in 1954 named Papuan Welders. Today at the age of 78 he has built an empire in his Constantinou Group of companies and without a doubt he has built half of Port Moresby. All our lives  are touched in one way or the other by his companies. Whether we are traveling on a road sealed by Hebou Constructions, enjoying a drink at Lamana Gold Club or sleeping at The Heritage Park Hotel in the Solomon Islands we are part of the legacy of a true business warrior who was a true nation builder. He may have come from Cyprus but he became a part of PNG and the pacific and he would certainly have made Diogenes proud.

It is a shame to us and the country that such a great man, who has given so much could be taken away in such a sad way. I’m angry and frustrated at the carelessness and lawlessness of the thugs involved. And again the question pops up why? Why do we still have to deal with this sort of shit and crap in our lives in PNG. The wise Diogenes had another quote which I want to draw on, and that is that, ‘The foundation of every state is the education of its youth’.

The education of our youth…a simple and true statement from a Greek that lived Two and a half thousand years ago. I have come to know Sir George’s son Nick fairly well in the last couple of years and when I see him and the way he has had to work hard to earn a place for himself in his fathers businesses, I see a young Sir George again. In fact I see the future, I see the legacy of a man who has obviously educated his son and all his children that it is through hard work that you get anywhere in life. It then becomes glaringly obvious that the parents of the 20 or so thugs that took away the life of Sir George had little or no education from their parents.

My sincere and heartfelt condolences to my friend Nick Constantinou and his family. May Sir George Rest in Peace.

NB:

BTW, 5 of the youth involved in the murder have been captured and are now at the Gerehu Police Station. They were brougt in by the Tete Settlement Coummunity. 6 more idetified are being looked for right now. Those involved are very young almost in their mid teens.

Update: 21/12/08

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Update: 16/01/09

Went to the Memorial Mass for Sir George today, which was held at the Don Bosco Church in Port Moresby.

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