The Yoresongo family (right)
Below the OIC directing traffic at the party
By OMAE KOAKE
HIS FATHER was a respected tribal leader, mediator of conflicts, law man, peace advocator and his role model who inspired him at a very young age.
Meet Jim Yoresongo, the current Officer In-Charge at the Accident Research section of the Royal Papua New Constabulary Headquarter in Konedobu, National Capital District.
His is typical story of how young boys admire their heroes and try to emulate them; in this case, a son who wanted to be like his father, his hero.
Jim Yoresongo was born in June 1961 in his Yore village, Mendi in the Southern Highlands and spent all of his childhood in his contemporary native village until his educational opportunities took him places. For him, in fact, he had seen two worlds, the colonial era and the current modern times.
In the colonial days when life was said to have been traditional and hostile in nature, Yoresongo senior, was a ' luluai', a mandated title given by the then German Administration to a person who was a type of village ' councilor. ' His father on numerous occasions was called upon to mediate over land disputes, marital problems, court cases and advocate for peace and good order in the society. To the people, Yoresongo Senior was a very important person in the society because of the roles he performed. Most of all it was the type of uniforms the luluais wore that caught everybody's attention and of course, young Jim was one of their secret admirers.
Everywhere he went to perform his luluai duties, he was always given pigs, shells and foodstuff as a token of appreciation for attending and solving problems. This kind of attention bestowed on Yoresongo Senior made the younger Yoresongo follow him everywhere and had only one aim in life and that was to be like his father.
Jim recalls a war between two neighbouring tribes that happened some time before he entered school. Police and warders entered his village and arrested 10 tribesman and took them away to Madang for imprisonment of up to 10 years.
During that time, Jim saw the police and warders in action, again boosting his desire to be like them and his father, the people who controlled law and order in his village, province and the country.
After running around his village with friends playing childhood games, hunting birds, bandicoots, wild pigs and collecting fresh fruits in pristine rainforests and the grassy plains of what was then known as the " last Papuan frontier ", today's Southern Highlands Province, Jim enrolled for Grade 1 in 1968. It was the first time he heard and learnt the white man's language and quickly developed the curiosity to learn of the outside world which was only imaginations for him. This was the turning point in young Jim's life because it signified the beginning of what was to be a long and colourful journey of Jim's life.
He completed Grade 6 in 1973 and went on to high school. In 1977, he graduated with a Grade 10 Certificate and had to decide on the available options for further studies. He was eager to join the correctional services, the police and military forces but unfortunately, there was no such applications available. There were job applications open only for teachers Colleges, technical colleges and nursing training. He to and was accepted at Lae Technical College. The Department of Education gave him an airline ticket and advised him to go by road to Mt Hagen and use the ticket to fly to Lae from there. It was to be his first time to leave his families, friends, tribesmen and beloved home to venture out to the open world to grasp what the new world had to offer to him.
He travelled to Mt Hagen and spent a night at the police station as advised by the people who gave him the ticket to Lae. It was his first time in Hagen city and did not know the place and did not even have relatives there. The next day, he picked up his bag and started to head for the Kagamuga airport about seven miles out of Hagen city. As he was up early that morning and happened to be the only one on the road carrying a bag, the police unit on patrol mistook him for a thief and stopped by to question him. He simply told the police his story that he had a ticket to go to Lae and he was on his way to the Kagamuga airport. The patrol policemen shook their heads and told him it was a very long walk to the airport and instead offered him a lift
He was so thankful to the cops and again the thought of him being like them just kept streaming back into his mind.
Jim graduated in 1978 with a certificate in Catering and his first employment in 1979 was with the Bird of Paradise Hotel in Goroka. But about five months into his first, there was a public notice out for fresh police recruitment of young men who were interested in joining the force. He did not give the opportunity a second thought because down in his heart, he knew that his childhood dreams were to become a reality. He was going to be like his father, wearing the lawman's uniform and solving disputes and maintaining law, peace and good order in the society. After a successful interview for police training, he never looked back because that was the start of the road to becoming like his father.
In November 1979, he entered Bomana Police College for six months training and passed out as a policeman . His first posting as a policeman was in the NCD's Hohola Police Station as a traffic officer and then due to the traffic office relocation to 4 mile, he moved there in 1982. After serving for two years in the city, he transferred to Mt Hagen in 1984. It was while working in Hagen, he met his wife, lifetime partner and mother of his children, Mrs Christine Yoresongo. In 1989 me was transferred to Lae with his your family.
From Lae, he was transferred back to Port Moresby in 1992 as a traffic officer and then on to the police Headquarters in Konedobu the same year. He has been working in NCD since and has being promoted to be the Officer In-Charge( OIC ) of the Accident Research section of the Police Headquarters, Konedobu.
Jim Yoresongo has now served the State of Papua New Guinea through the police force for 30 solid years and he is pleased with himself that he is finally where his childhood dream wanted him to be. Unfortunately, his father, role model and his greatest inspiration, Yoresongo senior, passed away after Jim passed out from the Police College and has never seen his beloved son carry on his legacy.
In commemorating his 30 years in the Police Force, a big party was put up for him at the NCD Botanical Gardens in mid-January this year. Family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and people who know him were invited to the party to celebrate.
Jim Yoresongo is still with the Police HQ and told the Sunday Chronicle that he still has the strength and vigour in him to give another 20 to 30 years to the country. Jim is...pikinini tru bilong papa ya!!