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■ Sir Peter Barter passed away last week at a hospital in Cairns.



New Ireland Governor, Sir Julius Chan remembers Sir Peter Barter as a champion of Tourism in the country.

Joining many others to express his sincere sadness and sorrow at the passing of Sir Peter Barter this week, he said in a statement that Sir Peter was a giant of Papua New Guinea.”

“He was literally the Father of Tourism in Papua New Guinea. Sir Peter took over the Madang Hotel just one year after Independence, in 1976, and transformed it into the Madang Resort. He made the Madang Resort the premier resort in Papua New Guinea, probably in the western Pacific.”

“Sir Peter also established a shipping company that takes tourists to many areas of Papua New Guinea, including especially the Sepik River area.” Sir Julius continued, saying “Though Sir Peter was a great businessman, he was also much more. He was a selfless person. He constantly put his resources to the use of the country, and to the use of the people of the country. When Tavurvur volcano erupted in 1994 in Rabaul, Sir Peter piloted his own helicopter to survey the area. He did the same thing after the eruption of the volcano on Manam Island, in Madang Province. Again, he provided vitaly needed support, assisting the government to survey a suitable location for the resettlement of the Manam Islanders.

“Sir Peter’s concern for the people of Madang and Papua New Guinea was truly exceptional” Sir Julius said. “In 1980 he established the Melanesian Foundation, which provides direct support to rural areas of the country. Sir Peter did not only take tourists to see some of the more remote areas of Papua New Guinea, he also made certain that the people who lived in those areas received support as well. The Melanesian Foundation has provided thousands of school desks to those areas, as well as other educational and health services, including books, rural clinics and other important support.”

“Sir Peter was a caring Governor for Madang, serving from 1997 to 2002. During that time, he also served the entire country as Minister for Health. He was a player in the peace process on Bougainville, and I am grateful for his calm and wise counsel and actions.”

“More than anything,” Sir Julius said, ‘I want to say what a good friend Sir Peter was. He was a great friend, a man who knew the value of hard work and who never shirked from doing whatever was needed to complete a job, particularly when it involved making life better for his people. And many was the time that I had the pleasure of hearing Sir Peter play the piano – and he was an excellent piano player.”

On behalf of my wife, Lady Stella, my family, and all the people of New Ireland, I want to extend our heartfelt condolences to Sir Peter’s family and friends on this sad and difficult occasion. I only hope that all of you will find some comfort in the fact that while Sir Peter may have been born in Australia, he was a Papua New Guinean in his heart and soul. He was a blessing to his province, his country, and his friends.

Sir Julius concluded saying: “People like Sir Peter come along very rarely, and I, and the people of Papua New Guinea, will truly miss him. We thank God for sending him to us and for the time we were able to spend together.’


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