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Papua New Guinea

Bliss as Martin marries fellow soldier Renellah

By VANESSA NIKEN
LANCE Corporal Martin Korewa, 28, cut short his education to join the army.
Actually, he decided to forego an offer to study at a technical college in Port Moresby in 2013, to join the defence force.
“I had this interest to join the army in 2013 so I ran away from school after receiving an offer to study at Pomtec.”
Lance Corporal Martin, from Oro, is with the Military Police. Last Friday, he took a step further in his life by marrying fellow soldier Private Renellah Anunau at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby – the first of its kind to be held in barracks. She is with the Supply Section and is originally from East Sepik. They have a son who is turning three this year.
Murray Barracks chaplain Major Mark Neapali who conducted the wedding called it a special event.
“I’ve been here for 18 years and have conducted military weddings at Murray Barracks, Goldie and Taurama. But this is the first time to have a soldier marrying soldier. This is the first of its kind in the defence force.”
He hopes that more soldiers will have military weddings in the barracks because some soldiers preferred private wedding ceremonies instead.

Private Renellah Anunau, (left) and LanceCorporal Martin Korewa exchanges vows at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby last Friday.

“Many of them get married privately. They shy away. They go to the civil registry office and then they come back to the chaplain’s office to do their marriage privately. Today (last Friday) we have actually brought our community together especially soldiers and their families to witness this first ever military wedding. It’s a big plus for us in the military.”
Military Police officer in charge Peter Ikau agrees.
“Declaring marriage in the church will strengthen relationships and marriages in the long run. Conducting private marriage will result in many problems.”
Now that Martin has set up his military career and family, he plans to take time off to further his education, preferably to be trained as a lawyer. It had been his dream also to become a lawyer. But that was dashed when he was put into vocational studies after completing Grade 12 at Kwikila Secondary School in Central.
“My ambition was to become a lawyer. But I lost interest because I went into vocational education. I’m planning to go back to school after working for a few more years.”
After school, he attended a pre-employment training at the Koki Vocational School in the National Capital District. He then got an offer to continue his studies at the Port Moresby Technical College. That was when he decided to join the Defence Force instead because he has seen military forces and police officers later in their careers attend law school.
“As a military police, I’m grateful that it has given me the opportunity to pursue my education especially in law school.”
Martin is currently based at the Moem Barracks in East Sepik. He came down to Port Moresby for the wedding last Friday. He and Renellah want to buy a home and settle down first before pursuing further studies.
Renellah plans to further her education too.
“Our biggest concern is to first settle our family and then we’ll pursue our education.”
Lance Corporal Martin and Private Renellah are happy to start a new life together. They have set the ball rolling in the defence force by getting married in front of their comrades.
Nothing beats sharing the joy and celebrating the start of one’s married life within one’s family – the military family.

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