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Good Men Do Exist in Papua New Guinea

Experience 1. By Andrew Moutu

by admin


On the independence weekend in 2017, I went & dropped my brother and musician, David Saun, in his adopted village, Lealea, where his adopted brother, Tau Dikana, owns and runs the Sunset Resort.

As I was returning back I spotted what looked like a PNG coloured wool hat on the road in between the entrance into PNG LNG and Edai Taun. I was coming at high speed so I drove over that wool-like hat. My curiosity made me to slow down and I stopped some 200 meters away on the road and reversed back. No vehicles were coming or going in neither directions so it was an easy maneuver.

When I got back and stepped out of the car, I discovered that the woolen colored thing was a bilum that must have fallen off a preceding vehicle. I got it into my car and came to the Konebada Petroleum Park junction with a road that turns into Porebada and Roku villages and the Napanapa fuel refinery.

I stepped out and got some betel-nut to chew from the road side market. Returning to the car, I chewed and my curiosity made me to feel the bilum I got on the road. I felt something inside. It was zipped. After unzipping the bilum, I uncovered a waist bag and a wallet inside.

The wallet had about K600, driving license and identity cards of the owner who is from Bougainville. The inner pocket of the waist bag had K8000. I was shocked and left in a state of disbelief. Was it chance that discovered me or a moment of responsibility?

My contract of employment ended in 2016 and I had no regular job. The vehicle I drove was not mine but of Nawae Construction owned by Julius Violaris who was President of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum & Art Gallery at the time.

The money I found in that wallet and waist bag was big and I thought why should someone be as careless as this to drop this bag of money? There is a purpose to this money that’s why it is in surplus of K8000.

I thought if I go to the Jacksons Bar at the Gateway Hotel then i can use the wifi there to make some searches on the internet and use the ATM there too. Arriving in Jacksons Bar, I used the ATM, ordered a drink and some food and made some searches on the internet.

The person in the driver’s license contained in the wallet is Rex J Totsia from Bougainville but living and working in Hagen with the SDA Church. I checked him on Instagram and LinkedIn and eventually found him on Facebook but he was inactive for a while at that time. He will affirm this story.

I found several hotel room cards in the wallet but the most current hotel card is for the Crowne Hotel in downtown. I finished my meal and headed south to the hotel.

Arriving at the front desk of the Crowne Hotel, I enquired if Rex Totsia was still a guest there. The hotel staff confirmed he was still a current guest and asked me why I was in search of him. I told them it was personal. They called his room but the phone rang out. They checked the restaurant and he was there. They told him that there was someone in the reception hall who wanted to see him. So Rex and a friend of his came down to the reception. I met and introduced myself and asked him if he had lost something recently. He said yes and described what he lost out of a personal conflict he was in. I told him I found a bilum that contained his wallet and some money and his waistbag which had more money. I returned to the car outside and brought him the bilum which was left intact with everything I discovered.

I gave him the bilum and asked him to go verify what he has in the bilum. He came back down in tears. He got that money to lay a headstone on his father’s grave. He couldn’t believe he got his wallet and waistbag and the money back. He didn’t know me. He was moved and touched by the efforts I made to find him as the owner of the bilum.

He then forced me to accept from him a gift of a K1000 in appreciation of this and said “from this day on we are brothers, you from Sepik and I am from Bougainville, just as John Momis and Bernard Narokobi are brothers, you and I will remain as brothers forever”. (He didn’t know that Bernard Narokobi is my cousin brother!)

I am sharing this story in light of the recent technical glitches of the Bank of South Pacific (BSP) which saw thousands of kina appearing erroneously in people’s bank accounts with differing amounts of increments.

I saw the worry and concern raised by our astute and formidable Governor of East Sepik, Allan Bird, and am dumbfounded with the suggestion by Samson Komati Yuimb of the so-called PNG Think Tank Group to mobilize a class legal action against BSP.

I don’t know if there is any value that motivates the proposal from Samson Komati Yuimb? Is this the best moral and legal advice from the so-called PNG Think Tank Group who exist only in whatsapp tokens and perpetual inuendos?

I am sharing this story to search for values that can define us as a nation and people of moral qualities and ethical imperatives. Internet is an highway with memories of profound depth. Technical glitches can leave you with lots of money that is not yours. Rather than cashing it out as some of our people did over the Easter Weekend when Christ was bleeding and dying for us, we should have a natural propensity to raise alarm with the BSP Bank.

The road from Lealea to Port Moresby is a highway too but it serves without a cognitive future. What I found on the road by chance was someone else’s. The driving license and ID cards made me to find him. I took personal responsibility to verify and establish the identity and ownership of the bilum, the wallet, the waistbag and all the monies inside it that came to my possession by chance. Unemployed and with no regular income at the time I could have easily kept the bilum, the waistbag and the money and simply discard the wallet.

I hope this story will inspire our children with a future of ethical responsibility. What I found on the road from Lealea was not mine so I returned it to whom it belongs. What is found in your bank account through a technical error is not yours either. Do not take what is not yours. Source: FB

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