Pacific Games 2015 brings back memories – Oala Moi

By Oala Moi – Tuesday 6 March 2012 – Port Moresby


In 2015 the Pacific Games will return to Papua New Guinea just 24 years after the country hosted the 9th South Pacific Games. Despite the name change, the spirit behind the Games concept is as alive and relevant as ever. And the Pacific Games 2015 Organizing Committee is on the hunt for volunteers. For many thirty-something Papua New Guineans, it is their chance to volunteer all over again. For them, this is special as it allows them to narrate to their children what transpired during the 1991 South Pacific Games Opening and Closing ceremonies. For me it is indeed special. I have my Certificate of Appreciation from the 1991 Games to prove it. These certificates were presented to volunteers as a commendation for their efforts. Mine was given as a token of appreciation for my part as a member of the ‘balloon brigade’ that took part in the opening ceremony. If you see the music video to a song performed by Loujaya Dunar & Tambaran Culture called ‘Keep The Fire Alive’, a track from the 1991 Games Album, the boys and girls surrounding a giant PNG flag with nets full of colourful helium-filled balloons ready to be released into the sky; that is the balloon brigade. I received my certificate way back as a fifteen year old kid attending Gerehu High School. For the 2015 Games, I am definitely volunteering. However, this time I want to help in an ancillary capacity. I think I owe it to the school kids today to take the 2015 Games Opening and Closing ceremonies to the next level. So that if and when the next Pacific Games should come back to PNG, they will tell their kids about Pacific Games 2015 the same way I am now telling my kids about the 1991 South Pacific Games. It may be all about sportsmanship and friendship across the Pacific. But it should also be about Papua New Guineans creating and remembering good times together.

This is the author’s Certificate of Appreciation. Note that one of the signatories, Bart Philemon, is also involved with Pacific Games 2015.

8 thoughts on “Pacific Games 2015 brings back memories – Oala Moi

  1. Great article Oala. I agree with you. Let’s all chip in and make this Pacific Games a memorable one. I will also put my hand up to volunteer. Go PNG!

  2. I love this article – I was 6 at the time, my family (parental unit and little brother) attended the opening ceremony. My brother cried when the Kapul came by to shake his hand. A little too young to volunteer then but this article has encouraged me to put my hand up and create some new memories.

  3. Thank you Oala for bringing back great memories of the 1991 SP Games. My most memorable moment was when PNG won gold in the 100m men’s relay. My 14 year old heart was bursting with pride and love for our country and I’m sure that in 2015 my 30 something year old heart will still feel the same pride and love. I’m looking forward to taking my children to the Games. Go PNG!!!!

  4. Love and blessings from Fiji and I’m expecting PNG 2015 to be the best games ever. I was there as a journalist 24 years ago and the souvenirs are still with me. This story brings back fond memories and the volunteers really made our day. See you all in 2015.

  5. I really love this article. It made me teary and tend to appreciate how successful it was then to see my country raising our flags high. I thank you those involved. I am living outside the country but comes 2015 I am raising my hand to volunteer. Ben, NZ

  6. I still have my certificate too, Oala. Thank you for re-living that moment again. I was a “tree”, just 13 and standing not too far from you. All we had as a cue was the music that accompanied the choreography and we did the whole routine without the instructors! Those compositions were magical as they are still today. Thanks again.

  7. Thank you Oala, I was there too carrying those big giant flags wearing white laplaps, it was an awesome. I was just fifteen attending Laloki High School. At that time, I though that was best, but after 24 years, I can see what technology is, this is many times the best. I still recall, “down the slopes cold, misty mountain tops” reminiscing..

  8. I wish to sell my South Pacific The Games of 1991 which has never been opened I have put it on ebay if anyone is interested

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