A digital archive of births, deaths and marriages dating back tothe 1800’s was presented tothe Department of Youth, Religion& Community Development yesterday.
The digital archive follows years of work carrlied out by a government-church partnership to safeguard vital historical records from decay and natural disasters.
A hand-over ceremony was held where Minister Loujaya Toni receivedthe archived data fromthe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter DaySaints.
It’s been five years since an MOU was signed betweenthPNG Government andthe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter DaySaints to digitally archive records fromthe civil registry office dating back tothe late 1800’s.
The necessity to protect records from natural decay and disaster wasthe motivation behindthe MOU, which has made possible up to 30, 000 of civil registry records, some of whichthe first ever inthe country, to be digitized.
Registrar General Augustus Wagambio said his office has been underfunded and under staffed for so long and it was impossible to carry out such activities.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter DaySaints had carrlied out a similar task in Niue before a cyclone in 2004 destroyed many of its civil registry records.
Elder James Hamula said it is an important but extensive project and will take a number of years to complete. Bet it will prover to be very beneficial.
The machinery of government often relies on data from offices such asthe civil registry for planning purposes.
Minister Loujaya Toni saidthe partnership withthe church needed to continue not only in digital archiving but in ther areas as well.
Duringthe ceremony, a uniflied call was made for more historical data and records to be preserved for future generations.
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