nichollsretirementproject

Archive for the month “March, 2015”

Not a good day to be on the beach!

Fortunately it’s not every day that a message like this comes over the email.

TSUNAMI MESSAGE NUMBER 3
NWS PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER
0130 UTC MON MAR 30 2015

…PTWC TSUNAMI THREAT MESSAGE…

PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS
———————————

* MAGNITUDE 7.6
* ORIGIN TIME 2349 UTC MAR 29 2015
* COORDINATES 4.7 SOUTH 152.7 EAST
* DEPTH 33 KM / 20 MILES
* LOCATION NEW IRELAND REGION PAPUA NEW GUINEA

EVALUATION
———-

* AN EARTHQUAKE WITH A PRELIMINARY MAGNITUDE OF 7.6 OCCURRED IN
THE NEW IRELAND REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA AT 2349 UTC ON SUNDAY
MARCH 29 2015.

* BASED ON ALL AVAILABLE DATA… HAZARDOUS TSUNAMI WAVES ARE
FORECAST FOR SOME COASTS.

www.9news.com.au/National/2015/03/30/11/…its-Papua-New-Guinea

As it turned out, there was no tsunami.  Some houses were shaken as were some people, but no damage was recorded.

It’s good to know that there is a tsunami warning system in place and that it works.

It’s also good to know that our house is build on steel stilts set in concrete and about a mile away from the shore.!

This should put you off your breakfast.

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Sometimes it’s better not to know.

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The Biggest Day of the University Calendar

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Graduation Day is a big day for any university.  Divine Word is no exception.  Preparations had been going on for weeks.  A complete covered space had to be created to seat over 1000 people.  The tarpaulin roof nearly blew off in a storm the day before the ceremony, but by the morning of the graduation, all signs of the storm damage had been removed and the campus was looking at its best when the graduands, their families and the honoured guests started to arrive.

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Divine Word in all its finery.

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Striking the Right Note.

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During the Ceremony, the university graduated 768 students in such disciplines as Business and Informatics, Education, Health Sciences, Journalism, Clinical Nursing and Physiotherapy.  768 young men and women who can go on to play their part in PNG’s development with improved qualifications and confidence.

The Keynote Speaker at the Graduation Ceremony was Ambassador Morio Matsumoto, Japanese Ambassador to Papua New Guinea.

Over seventy years ago, in 1942, Japan tried to invade Papua New Guinea in order to establish a base for the invasion of Australia.  Japanese losses during that campaign were horrific.  More than 202,000 Japanese soldiers were killed against Australian and American losses of around 7,000 for each nation.  Papua New Guineans were non-combattants because the country had no army.  However, thousands of PNG men were pressed into service as labourers and bearers on both sides.  Significantly, history does not record how many Papua New Guineans died during the campaign.

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Not all of the new graduates were young people.  Some of the Flexible Learning courses are designed to enable people who are in mid-career to upgrade their skills and qualifications.

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A proud day is a proud day whatever age you are.

Flash-back.

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Regular followers of this blog will recall a report that I wrote about the arrival of the Pacific Dawn, a huge P&O cruise liner, in little Madang a few weeks ago.

It was important for Madang that this visit should be a success and that the visitors would feel welcome and, to this end, nearly 100 ‘ambassadors’ were trained to look after the tourists on the day. Many of them were undergraduates in Tourism and Hospitality from Divine Word University. They weren’t paid but they all got a stylish yellow t-shirt for their troubles and something good to put on their CVs.

They clearly did a good job because there were no reports of incidents and the ship sailed with a lot of happy tourists

It was good to see the t-shirt being worn again by one of the helpers at last week’s graduation.

I’m Late, I’m Late, For a very important date.

Lots of comings and goings in the minutes before the ceremony was due to start… and for about half an hour after it started!

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As long as you are in before the Sing-sing group, you’re not late.

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Some graduates had been sponsored by the Army to get qualifications at DWU.

A Media Event

The annual graduation at Divine Word University is a significant event in Papua New Guinea and has to be recorded for posterity and the national television station.

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Any Excuse for a Sing-sing.

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Let the festivities commence!

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Well, you have to have something to lead the ceremonial procession of senior academics to the graduation arena.

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A riot of colour.

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Let’s hope she will be a future graduand of Divine Word University in a few years.

Combining cultures

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Traditional headdresses are an important way in which people here identify themselves with their home areas and their ethnic roots.  On this important day that opens up the world to them, these two young men did not want to be seen to have forgotten where they came from and where they belong.

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