Carving Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel story

The 9th annual Liklik Diwai Tourism Expo held at the Madang Campus of Divine Word University gives opportunities to small producers of tourism products such as artifacts to promote their work.

Carver Gideon Jau from Tambunum in Angoram District, East Sepik Province was one such person who was given the chance to promote his carvings in this year’s expo held on Friday 23rd September, 2016.

Jau not only produces carvings that retell indigenous myths or legends and stories of life from his area. He also carves stories of contemporary Papua New Guinea.

One such carving of modern PNG is that of the story of the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” who assisted the Australian and Allied Forces soldiers during World War II on the battlefields of Kokoda, Buna and so on.

Jau displayed a sample of his carving of the famous photograph of a “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel” the late Raphael Oimbari assisting an injured Australian digger the late Private George Whittington along the Kokoda Track during the height of WWII in 1942.

Jau said it takes him two weeks to carve one of the world famous image of Oimbari and Pte Whittington.

Jau said he sold two of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels carvings to Australian tourists at the Madang Resort Hotel for K300 each recently. He said the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel carving he had on display at the Expo was the third one he carved.

Jau said he can carve the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel image on order.

However he does not have a mobile phone number or email address for people to contact him except to visit the Madang Resort Hotel’s Haus Carving near the Forum Park where he is based to place an order.

Jau’s works were among a range of hand-made arts and craft the ordinary folks in and around Madang town came to exhibit and promote to the public.

There was a cross-section of other product and service providers in the tourism and hospitality industry with their exhibitions at Expo.

Among them was budding photographer Melissa Tarut, a recent graduate of the DWU Bachelor of Communication Arts (Journalism) program with her first ever photo exhibition.

Tarut said it was her first time to exhibit her work so as to get a feel of what she was getting into as a career option.

Male and female cultural dancers from Jiwaka and Western Highlands Provinces were on hand to provide live traditional music and dance.

The Expo also attracted two international exhibitors - the Solomon Islands students promoting tourism in their country and the Polish Catholic missionary community exhibiting the cultures and history of their country in commemoration of 1050 years existence of Poland as a nation.

The 2016 Liklik Diwai Tourism Expo was staged at the St John Paul II Community Centre with the theme “Promoting Tourism through Teamwork and International Partnerships”.

The guest of honour for the Expo was Mr Vincent Kumura, the Managing Director of the new Snow Pass Eco-Tourism Lodge in the high mountains of Usino-Bundi electorate in Madang Province.

Mr Kumura gave a short speech about the importance tourism and hospitality industry based on the theme and officially opened the expo. Mr Kumura was welcomed by the Deputy President of DWU Professor Pamela Norman and who gave him a tour of the expo.