Today the Oil Search Pacific Games Relay travelled to Popondetta, in Oro Province.
The Relay was formally welcomed at a grand ceremony in the middle of town by the Deputy Governor, MP David Arore and the town mayor along with the Koipa Elementary School that sang the national anthem in local language.
From there the Baton headed around Popondetta town on an extensive Relay through the commercial and residential sections of town.
Thousands of students from local schools lined up on their ovals or driveways to receive the Baton. Tura made also made a well-received appearance at Popondetta Primary School where the kids all broke ranks to scramble after him.
The Relay was run by members of the town’s women’s cricket team and the mens touch rugby team, with former basketball stars leading the way and controlling the crowds.
Oro received the Baton with enthusiasm as every driveway and business house was decorated with bilas and traditional groups performed at every corner, including a wonderful butterfly dance at the Health Department offices.
The afternoon saw the Relay head out to the Higaturu Oil palm estates.
On the way the Relay passed over a bridge under construction and met Robert Mark, a former regional cricket player and now stroke victim who today came out of his home for the first time in 8 years to be part of the Relay thanks to the wonderful gift of his wheel chair by the construction team, Canstruct.
The visit to the oil palm was an amazing experience as every department had come up with their own ideas to celebrate the Batons arrival and joyfully ran the Baton through the mill, plantation and nursery areas accompanied by yet more sing sing groups, resplendent in their Oro tapa cloth and head dresses.
The Oil Search Pacific Games relay heads to the historical World War 11 sites across Oro province tomorrow, including Kokoda.
Source: Raunim PNG 2015
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The Pacific Games 2015
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