Port Moresby will come alive between 3 – 5 March as the Motu and Koitabu communities alongside the people of Gulf Province celebrate and commemorate the Hiri Expedition that took place over 300 years ago.
ExxonMobil PNG Limited (EMPNG), as the operator of the PNG LNG Project, is supporting the Hiri Moale Festival as a PGK 150,000 Gold Sponsor. This support reflects EMPNG’s respect for the four Motu Koita villages that neighbour the LNG Plant site outside Port Moresby.
EMPNG Chairman and Managing Director Peter Larden, said, “this festival is a significant event for the communities of Boera, Papa, Lealea and Porebada, as well as the people of Gulf Province whom they traded with.
“At ExxonMobil PNG, Hiri Moale marks a milestone for our team every year. Just as the Motuans of old developed trading relationships with other people, today, ExxonMobil PNG is helping establish trade between PNG and other nations across the Asia-Pacific.
“The respect that we have for Papua New Guinea’s cultural heritage underlines all our activities and we strive to ensure that the environment and cultural heritage of our communities are protected and preserved. This festival is one way we can preserve and celebrate these traditions,” Larden concluded.
Motu Koita Assembly Chairman and National Capital District Deputy Governor, Hon. Dadi Toka, thanked EMPNG for its ongoing partnership since 2014, “the support shown by ExxonMobil PNG for this festival is a testament to their commitment to preserving the cultures and traditions in the areas in which they operate.
“This year marks our 49th year of celebrating the Hiri Moale Festival and I look forward to our continued partnership with ExxonMobil PNG to celebrate our 50th anniversary next year,” the Chairman said.
To signify the partnership between ExxonMobil PNG and the Motu Koita Assembly, Hon. Toka and Mr. Larden floated a small Lagatoi across a pool of water at Airways Hotel.
The Hiri Moale Festival will feature Cultural Performances from the Motu Koitabu villages, the Vanagi Heau Helulu (Canoe Race), arrival of the traditional Lagatoi, and the crowning of the 2023 Miss Hiri Hanenamo. Communities across the National Capital Disctrict and Motu Koitabu are encouraged to join the celebrations.