Papua New Guinea
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The Kunert’s deep-rooted connection to PNG

Hawai'i, September 16, 2023 - The vibrant Papua New Guinean community in Hawai'i came together in unity to commemorate Papua New Guinea's 48th Independence on September 16, 2023. Despite the time difference, the celebration was nothing short of jubilant.

Hosted by David and Cherry Kunert, along with David's parents, Daniel and Nancy, PNG students and professionals on sponsored work programs joined forces for the joyous event. This diverse gathering also welcomed friends from various nations, including Solomon Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Samoa, the USA, and Taiwan.

Daniel and Nancy have a deep-rooted connection to Papua New Guinea, dating back to the 1960s when they embarked on their teaching careers in the country. They were stationed in Laiagam District, Enga Province, later relocating to the Eastern Highlands where Daniel became the second Principal of Aiyura National High School of Excellence from 1979 to 1986, and Nancy taught English.

The Kunerts fondly recalled their time in PNG, including their interactions with PNG's Founding Father, the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, and the first Speaker of Parliament, Sir John Guise. They had the privilege of witnessing the historic day when PNG achieved independence.