Tribute to the First Papua New Guinean

Tribute to the First Papua New Guinean

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September 22nd, 2009, 9:57 am #1


Tribute to the first PNGean Industrial Advocate:

SUMSUMA (1903?-1965), boat captain and New Guinea patriot, was born about 1903 at Sasa village on Boang Island, New Ireland, son of Tamapuat, of Ansingsing village on Tefa island, and Tarapat of Sasa. His parents were not influential and his prospects therefore few, but at age 10 he entered the foreigner's world: his mother beat him and he ran away to sea. By 1927 he was captain of the Melanesian Co.'s motor schooner, Edith, a coastal trader out of Rabaul, and was probably the highest-paid New Guinean in the Mandated Territory, earning, with bonuses, up to £12 a month when most New Guineans working for cash received five shillings.


During December 1928 Sumsuma organized a strike by almost all Rabaul's 3000 New Guinean workers to win them £12 a month. He united in common purpose men from around coastal New Guinea, many recently hostile to one another; he kept their plans secret from every European; and he gained the vital co-operation of another remarkable leader, N'Dramei of Pitylu island off Manus, the senior sergeant-major of police. Led by the police and the 'boss boys' (foremen), workers began quitting Rabaul after dusk on 2 January 1929 and by late that night had gathered at the Catholic or Methodist missions on the Kokopo road. Sumsuma had expected the missionaries to mediate, but they would not, and Rabaul's employers would not negotiate. Although some strikers held firm for two or three days, and a few never went back to work, by mid-morning on 3 January the strike had collapsed.


Nonetheless, most of Rabaul's Europeans, especially the planters and business people, reacted with fear and fury. The government dismissed 190 police, sentencing most to six months hard labour as carriers. Sumsuma, N'Dramei and nineteen others were imprisoned for three years: Sumsuma served his sentence at Aitape and Kavieng, where warders beat him so severely that he bore the scars for the rest of his life and never forgot the cruelties he suffered.


On being released, he went home to Boang and for the next thirty years searched for the road of progress. Both before and after World War II he organized copra marketing co-operatives, but they failed or were suppressed. When the Japanese came he collaborated, learning from them as he had from Europeans. When they left, his people were ready to elect him king, but the Australians returned and put him in prison again, for cargo cult activities. He toiled on, resourceful, innovative, determined to lead. With the local Catholic mission he established a bank, a power-house, a school and other projects. He was still looking ahead when he died of asthma on 20 August 1965 in the Boang mission hospital. From obscurity he had become a leader of his people, and one of the firstBlack or Whiteto consider seriously the place of New Guineans in a rapidly changing world. His death stilled a great vision, a restless spirit, a friend of the people, and a true man.

From the Australian History Dictionary
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MM
MM

October 2nd, 2009, 7:53 pm #2

Great story to read!!!

Please post some more...

That is the spirit that is lacking in many you people today!

ManMountain
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Anonymous
Anonymous

October 2nd, 2009, 8:04 pm #3

Tribute to the first PNGean Industrial Advocate:

SUMSUMA (1903?-1965), boat captain and New Guinea patriot, was born about 1903 at Sasa village on Boang Island, New Ireland, son of Tamapuat, of Ansingsing village on Tefa island, and Tarapat of Sasa. His parents were not influential and his prospects therefore few, but at age 10 he entered the foreigner's world: his mother beat him and he ran away to sea. By 1927 he was captain of the Melanesian Co.'s motor schooner, Edith, a coastal trader out of Rabaul, and was probably the highest-paid New Guinean in the Mandated Territory, earning, with bonuses, up to £12 a month when most New Guineans working for cash received five shillings.


During December 1928 Sumsuma organized a strike by almost all Rabaul's 3000 New Guinean workers to win them £12 a month. He united in common purpose men from around coastal New Guinea, many recently hostile to one another; he kept their plans secret from every European; and he gained the vital co-operation of another remarkable leader, N'Dramei of Pitylu island off Manus, the senior sergeant-major of police. Led by the police and the 'boss boys' (foremen), workers began quitting Rabaul after dusk on 2 January 1929 and by late that night had gathered at the Catholic or Methodist missions on the Kokopo road. Sumsuma had expected the missionaries to mediate, but they would not, and Rabaul's employers would not negotiate. Although some strikers held firm for two or three days, and a few never went back to work, by mid-morning on 3 January the strike had collapsed.


Nonetheless, most of Rabaul's Europeans, especially the planters and business people, reacted with fear and fury. The government dismissed 190 police, sentencing most to six months hard labour as carriers. Sumsuma, N'Dramei and nineteen others were imprisoned for three years: Sumsuma served his sentence at Aitape and Kavieng, where warders beat him so severely that he bore the scars for the rest of his life and never forgot the cruelties he suffered.


On being released, he went home to Boang and for the next thirty years searched for the road of progress. Both before and after World War II he organized copra marketing co-operatives, but they failed or were suppressed. When the Japanese came he collaborated, learning from them as he had from Europeans. When they left, his people were ready to elect him king, but the Australians returned and put him in prison again, for cargo cult activities. He toiled on, resourceful, innovative, determined to lead. With the local Catholic mission he established a bank, a power-house, a school and other projects. He was still looking ahead when he died of asthma on 20 August 1965 in the Boang mission hospital. From obscurity he had become a leader of his people, and one of the firstBlack or Whiteto consider seriously the place of New Guineans in a rapidly changing world. His death stilled a great vision, a restless spirit, a friend of the people, and a true man.

From the Australian History Dictionary
get this Book: and you read all

Social Reproduction and History in Melanesia: Mortuary Ritual, Gift Exchange ... By Robert John Foster
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Anonymous
Anonymous

October 3rd, 2009, 8:07 am #4

Tribute to the first PNGean Industrial Advocate:

SUMSUMA (1903?-1965), boat captain and New Guinea patriot, was born about 1903 at Sasa village on Boang Island, New Ireland, son of Tamapuat, of Ansingsing village on Tefa island, and Tarapat of Sasa. His parents were not influential and his prospects therefore few, but at age 10 he entered the foreigner's world: his mother beat him and he ran away to sea. By 1927 he was captain of the Melanesian Co.'s motor schooner, Edith, a coastal trader out of Rabaul, and was probably the highest-paid New Guinean in the Mandated Territory, earning, with bonuses, up to £12 a month when most New Guineans working for cash received five shillings.


During December 1928 Sumsuma organized a strike by almost all Rabaul's 3000 New Guinean workers to win them £12 a month. He united in common purpose men from around coastal New Guinea, many recently hostile to one another; he kept their plans secret from every European; and he gained the vital co-operation of another remarkable leader, N'Dramei of Pitylu island off Manus, the senior sergeant-major of police. Led by the police and the 'boss boys' (foremen), workers began quitting Rabaul after dusk on 2 January 1929 and by late that night had gathered at the Catholic or Methodist missions on the Kokopo road. Sumsuma had expected the missionaries to mediate, but they would not, and Rabaul's employers would not negotiate. Although some strikers held firm for two or three days, and a few never went back to work, by mid-morning on 3 January the strike had collapsed.


Nonetheless, most of Rabaul's Europeans, especially the planters and business people, reacted with fear and fury. The government dismissed 190 police, sentencing most to six months hard labour as carriers. Sumsuma, N'Dramei and nineteen others were imprisoned for three years: Sumsuma served his sentence at Aitape and Kavieng, where warders beat him so severely that he bore the scars for the rest of his life and never forgot the cruelties he suffered.


On being released, he went home to Boang and for the next thirty years searched for the road of progress. Both before and after World War II he organized copra marketing co-operatives, but they failed or were suppressed. When the Japanese came he collaborated, learning from them as he had from Europeans. When they left, his people were ready to elect him king, but the Australians returned and put him in prison again, for cargo cult activities. He toiled on, resourceful, innovative, determined to lead. With the local Catholic mission he established a bank, a power-house, a school and other projects. He was still looking ahead when he died of asthma on 20 August 1965 in the Boang mission hospital. From obscurity he had become a leader of his people, and one of the firstBlack or Whiteto consider seriously the place of New Guineans in a rapidly changing world. His death stilled a great vision, a restless spirit, a friend of the people, and a true man.

From the Australian History Dictionary
I agree that he is a great man... We need to include him in our school curriculum for our kids to study.
Australians have Ned Kelly, this guy is ours...
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MM
MM

October 3rd, 2009, 12:04 pm #5

I would love to meet with any of his children/grand children if there are any.

Very interesting charater.

ManMountain
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Captured
Captured

October 3rd, 2009, 9:56 pm #6

Tribute to the first PNGean Industrial Advocate:

SUMSUMA (1903?-1965), boat captain and New Guinea patriot, was born about 1903 at Sasa village on Boang Island, New Ireland, son of Tamapuat, of Ansingsing village on Tefa island, and Tarapat of Sasa. His parents were not influential and his prospects therefore few, but at age 10 he entered the foreigner's world: his mother beat him and he ran away to sea. By 1927 he was captain of the Melanesian Co.'s motor schooner, Edith, a coastal trader out of Rabaul, and was probably the highest-paid New Guinean in the Mandated Territory, earning, with bonuses, up to £12 a month when most New Guineans working for cash received five shillings.


During December 1928 Sumsuma organized a strike by almost all Rabaul's 3000 New Guinean workers to win them £12 a month. He united in common purpose men from around coastal New Guinea, many recently hostile to one another; he kept their plans secret from every European; and he gained the vital co-operation of another remarkable leader, N'Dramei of Pitylu island off Manus, the senior sergeant-major of police. Led by the police and the 'boss boys' (foremen), workers began quitting Rabaul after dusk on 2 January 1929 and by late that night had gathered at the Catholic or Methodist missions on the Kokopo road. Sumsuma had expected the missionaries to mediate, but they would not, and Rabaul's employers would not negotiate. Although some strikers held firm for two or three days, and a few never went back to work, by mid-morning on 3 January the strike had collapsed.


Nonetheless, most of Rabaul's Europeans, especially the planters and business people, reacted with fear and fury. The government dismissed 190 police, sentencing most to six months hard labour as carriers. Sumsuma, N'Dramei and nineteen others were imprisoned for three years: Sumsuma served his sentence at Aitape and Kavieng, where warders beat him so severely that he bore the scars for the rest of his life and never forgot the cruelties he suffered.


On being released, he went home to Boang and for the next thirty years searched for the road of progress. Both before and after World War II he organized copra marketing co-operatives, but they failed or were suppressed. When the Japanese came he collaborated, learning from them as he had from Europeans. When they left, his people were ready to elect him king, but the Australians returned and put him in prison again, for cargo cult activities. He toiled on, resourceful, innovative, determined to lead. With the local Catholic mission he established a bank, a power-house, a school and other projects. He was still looking ahead when he died of asthma on 20 August 1965 in the Boang mission hospital. From obscurity he had become a leader of his people, and one of the firstBlack or Whiteto consider seriously the place of New Guineans in a rapidly changing world. His death stilled a great vision, a restless spirit, a friend of the people, and a true man.

From the Australian History Dictionary
"The true measure of man is not where he stands in times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy" - Martin Luther King Jr.

Thanks Sumsuma - you have not shown the spirit of Kavieng, PNG or Melanesia, but the spirit of TRUE MAN! And your courage is a rare treasure. Your spirit captures mine as I absorb the trails of your courage.



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Anonymous
Anonymous

October 3rd, 2009, 10:17 pm #7

Tribute to the first PNGean Industrial Advocate:

SUMSUMA (1903?-1965), boat captain and New Guinea patriot, was born about 1903 at Sasa village on Boang Island, New Ireland, son of Tamapuat, of Ansingsing village on Tefa island, and Tarapat of Sasa. His parents were not influential and his prospects therefore few, but at age 10 he entered the foreigner's world: his mother beat him and he ran away to sea. By 1927 he was captain of the Melanesian Co.'s motor schooner, Edith, a coastal trader out of Rabaul, and was probably the highest-paid New Guinean in the Mandated Territory, earning, with bonuses, up to £12 a month when most New Guineans working for cash received five shillings.


During December 1928 Sumsuma organized a strike by almost all Rabaul's 3000 New Guinean workers to win them £12 a month. He united in common purpose men from around coastal New Guinea, many recently hostile to one another; he kept their plans secret from every European; and he gained the vital co-operation of another remarkable leader, N'Dramei of Pitylu island off Manus, the senior sergeant-major of police. Led by the police and the 'boss boys' (foremen), workers began quitting Rabaul after dusk on 2 January 1929 and by late that night had gathered at the Catholic or Methodist missions on the Kokopo road. Sumsuma had expected the missionaries to mediate, but they would not, and Rabaul's employers would not negotiate. Although some strikers held firm for two or three days, and a few never went back to work, by mid-morning on 3 January the strike had collapsed.


Nonetheless, most of Rabaul's Europeans, especially the planters and business people, reacted with fear and fury. The government dismissed 190 police, sentencing most to six months hard labour as carriers. Sumsuma, N'Dramei and nineteen others were imprisoned for three years: Sumsuma served his sentence at Aitape and Kavieng, where warders beat him so severely that he bore the scars for the rest of his life and never forgot the cruelties he suffered.


On being released, he went home to Boang and for the next thirty years searched for the road of progress. Both before and after World War II he organized copra marketing co-operatives, but they failed or were suppressed. When the Japanese came he collaborated, learning from them as he had from Europeans. When they left, his people were ready to elect him king, but the Australians returned and put him in prison again, for cargo cult activities. He toiled on, resourceful, innovative, determined to lead. With the local Catholic mission he established a bank, a power-house, a school and other projects. He was still looking ahead when he died of asthma on 20 August 1965 in the Boang mission hospital. From obscurity he had become a leader of his people, and one of the firstBlack or Whiteto consider seriously the place of New Guineans in a rapidly changing world. His death stilled a great vision, a restless spirit, a friend of the people, and a true man.

From the Australian History Dictionary
I cant help reading this amazing story over and over again. It inspires me to think we have Papua New Guineans in the Past have been fighting for rights since the 20s
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Illusion
Illusion

October 4th, 2009, 6:24 am #8

I would love to meet with any of his children/grand children if there are any.

Very interesting charater.

ManMountain
Blaise Sumsuma (JNR) is my freind.Dad is a lawyer.Living relatives of the old Sumsuma

PeaceOut
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ManMountain
ManMountain

October 4th, 2009, 12:24 pm #9

Tribute to the first PNGean Industrial Advocate:

SUMSUMA (1903?-1965), boat captain and New Guinea patriot, was born about 1903 at Sasa village on Boang Island, New Ireland, son of Tamapuat, of Ansingsing village on Tefa island, and Tarapat of Sasa. His parents were not influential and his prospects therefore few, but at age 10 he entered the foreigner's world: his mother beat him and he ran away to sea. By 1927 he was captain of the Melanesian Co.'s motor schooner, Edith, a coastal trader out of Rabaul, and was probably the highest-paid New Guinean in the Mandated Territory, earning, with bonuses, up to £12 a month when most New Guineans working for cash received five shillings.


During December 1928 Sumsuma organized a strike by almost all Rabaul's 3000 New Guinean workers to win them £12 a month. He united in common purpose men from around coastal New Guinea, many recently hostile to one another; he kept their plans secret from every European; and he gained the vital co-operation of another remarkable leader, N'Dramei of Pitylu island off Manus, the senior sergeant-major of police. Led by the police and the 'boss boys' (foremen), workers began quitting Rabaul after dusk on 2 January 1929 and by late that night had gathered at the Catholic or Methodist missions on the Kokopo road. Sumsuma had expected the missionaries to mediate, but they would not, and Rabaul's employers would not negotiate. Although some strikers held firm for two or three days, and a few never went back to work, by mid-morning on 3 January the strike had collapsed.


Nonetheless, most of Rabaul's Europeans, especially the planters and business people, reacted with fear and fury. The government dismissed 190 police, sentencing most to six months hard labour as carriers. Sumsuma, N'Dramei and nineteen others were imprisoned for three years: Sumsuma served his sentence at Aitape and Kavieng, where warders beat him so severely that he bore the scars for the rest of his life and never forgot the cruelties he suffered.


On being released, he went home to Boang and for the next thirty years searched for the road of progress. Both before and after World War II he organized copra marketing co-operatives, but they failed or were suppressed. When the Japanese came he collaborated, learning from them as he had from Europeans. When they left, his people were ready to elect him king, but the Australians returned and put him in prison again, for cargo cult activities. He toiled on, resourceful, innovative, determined to lead. With the local Catholic mission he established a bank, a power-house, a school and other projects. He was still looking ahead when he died of asthma on 20 August 1965 in the Boang mission hospital. From obscurity he had become a leader of his people, and one of the firstBlack or Whiteto consider seriously the place of New Guineans in a rapidly changing world. His death stilled a great vision, a restless spirit, a friend of the people, and a true man.

From the Australian History Dictionary
An excellent story, infact History to read and discuss....yet we get a cartoon in the mix, it has nothing to do with the story of a great fore-father.

Yet the cartoonist and the proliferators of it finds it fitting to post here. Such is the case of distastefull distraction that I am pointing out.

Looks like you PNG'ns are so gullable about your small little corner, you dont take a good story or history for what its worth.

We all have issues with the current PM: but lets put that discussion in the right place and post cartoons in the appropriate places.

I am pretty sure we who are in PNGSCAPE are supposed to be better informed and educated to do something right for once.

Grow up kids.

ManMountain
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Wadex
Wadex

October 4th, 2009, 12:50 pm #10

MM....please dont make yourself to be elitist on this site by saying that you are "better informed and educated"......you miss the central point of the cartoons and that is the right to freedom of expression!!!! Just as you find the cartoons distastefull the majority support the cartoons.

You have expressed your point of view and others have expressed theirs!! Leave it alone!!

Wadex
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