Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Aioni, Ulli, and kagutoki

He was a great man indeed, a friend, mentor and adviser to those who have become wise in the world of arts and letters. His contribution to the development of PNG Literature and in particular his leadership in decolonizing the mind on both sides of the world will not be easily forgotten.

Evidence of his leadership can be seen in the great men that surround us today and they are all leaders in their chosen fields of vocation in PNG, among them prime ministers, academics, writers and artists.

Aioni, Ulli.

From the ridges
echoes are distant strangers
in the harbour

not even poem bridges
fly midnight winds
of escape

my songs are ancient dreams
of another place
another time

and were those songs
not what we enjoy now?
Photos, this & above: showing the Ulli Beier Castle and Estate, otherwise known as the Ulli Beier Arts Centre, built by the University of Papua New Guinea writers and artists in his honour long after he had left PNG to live in Australia.
 Aikaikaivem, Ulli; always a friend.
The modawa tree, fenced in, yet symbolic of those good things in life that we often discard or choose to do without; and yet look how they survive. The Anglicans in Papua New Guinea speak of this species of the rosewood tree in reverence and with a greater sense of respect because it represents those beautiful things we sow, as farmers would, and then watch them grow, survive for centuries. Thus, our tribute to Professor Ulli Beier through whose influence in the written word Papua New Guinea finally gained its political independence from Australia. Adieu, Ulli.