Caption: Ronia Onopia, Sammy Onopia and His Excellence Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae at Government House.
By STANLEY NONDOL
The teenage son of the late police chief was among the recipients of Queen’s birthday honours at the investiture ceremony held at the government house at Konedobu last Thursday.
Twelve-year-old Sammy Onopia received the award for the Queen’s Police medal for the distinguished service on behalf of his father, the late Jimmy Onopia who passed away while serving the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary this year. He received the medal of QPM.
Sammy was escorted to the Governor General General Sir Bob Dadae to receive the award by his mother Ronia Onopia in front of hundreds of people who were there to witness the ceremony that saw many received Queen’s Birthday 2019 honours medal in their respective fields of services.
“I wish my father would be here today to receive the award and come home with the medal for us family to celebrate but unfortunately he left us so I am representing him on behalf of my family.
“But I am happy that I am receiving this medal,” said Sammy Onopia.
Sammy, who is in grade four this year, said he will follow his father’s footstep and become a police officer after completing his school.
Late Onopia from Chuave district, Chimbu province, passed away this year on May 17 while serving the Police Department as Director Prosecution from a short illness after clocking more than 25 years with the department.
Late Onopia served the department in various capacities including Provincial Police Commander in Chimbu, Souther Highlands, and Eastern Highlands.
Two other police chiefs who received the medal were Chief Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jnr and Chief Superintendent John Kolopen received “QPM” medals for their services to the Royal PNG Constabulary.
The highest award was given to former premier of Eastern Highlands Walter Oma Nombe who received the Knight Bachelor (Kt) award for service to the community of the Eastern Highlands in the roles of member, minister and premier of the provincial government.
Senior judge in National and Supreme Court Joseph Malinu Yagi and Speaker for National Parliament Job Pomat were among the other recipients for their services to the law, community, judiciary and government. They received The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG).
In the military division were Colonel Mark Gonia who was invested with the insignia of the Commander of the military division for his distinguish service to the Papua New Guinea Defence Force.
Other recipients in military division who received the most excellent order of the British Empire were Colonel Albert Palau, Col Nicholas Henry, Col Francis Kari and John Wani. They were among the 10military personnel who received their awards for their services.
Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan received the medal of Order of British Empire or OBE for his contribution public service and public financial management and good governance reform with Dr Alois Daton his contribution to public service, taxation and gender equality among other recipients.