Somare praises self-reliance in DWU

Divine Word University was commended for being self-reliant and going out of its way to build its capacity over the years.

Founding Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and long serving Parliamentarian in the Commonwealth (now retired) offered the accolades at the inaugural university alumni fundraising dinner hosted at the Madang Resort Hotel recently.

The dinner was to raise funds for two proposed new male student dormitories to replace the aging Feehan and Brothers Halls in the Madang campus

The former radio broadcaster and school teacher-turned-politician said the self-reliance efforts of the Madang-based university through its alumni was akin to what he and fellow founding fathers of PNG espoused as they fought for independence and attained it on 16th September, 1975.

Sir Michael also paid tribute to the contributions of the founding Catholic missionary congregations of the DWU.

“What you are doing tonight is an example and a tribute to the founding missionaries of your university and let tonight not to be the last,” said the former prime minister at the dinner on Saturday 8th July, 2017.

Sir Michael acknowledged the support of the founding Catholic missionaries for bringing DWU to the state it was today with minimal support from the government.

The Society of Divine Word and Holy Spirit Sisters are two Catholic religious congregations that built the university starting initially as a high school in 1968.

Chairperson of the University Council Archbishop Douglas Young SVD shared similar sentiments about self-reliance to keep the University moving forward.

Bishop Young while urging alumni to continue to support DWU also acknowledged the role of Sir Michael in backing the University’s development.

“Divine Word University will not be where it is today without the support of Grand Chief Somare,” said Archbishop Young.

He said the contribution of Sir Michael as Prime Minister included his support for the former President of DWU Fr Jan Czuba SVD to acquire the Coronation Drive Campus in Madang for flexible studies and the amalgamation of St Benedicts Teachers College in Wewak in his home province of East Sepik.

Archbishop Young said the Grand Chief’s contributions made him a “pillar” of the University.