The 2015 Games are being held in exclusively in Port Moresby, unlike in 1991 when the ninth edition was shared with PNG’s second city, Lae.
The Games News Service headed out to the streets of Port Moresby to find out residents’ memories of 1991 and expectations for 2015.
Heather David (PNG)
In 1991 Heather David was a 26-year-old from Milne Bay Province who had just arrived in Port Moresby for the first time.
David says she was really excited that her arrival coincided with the opening of the Games at the Sir John Guise Stadium.
“When I witnessed the opening ceremony, seeing the different groups performing, all dressed in colourful attire representing PNG, I felt so emotional that I was from here,” she says.
“This year’s Games will be bigger and better, and I will go to watch the opening and attend the Games. I like netball so I will be going to watch that.”
Dorari Teteni (PNG)
Dorari Teteni was a young man residing in Lae when the 9th South Pacific Games came to PNG.
Teteni says it was spectacular seeing all the different countries showcase their skills in sports and even more so their cultural rituals and chants.
He says the town came to life with all venues built for the Games and with all the sponsors displaying their support, and that he would be happy to see that again.
“I want to encourage togetherness from all Papua New Guineans living in Port Moresby, to make welcome our Pacific Island visitors, friends and neighbours,” says Teteni.
“Lets respect them with the true spirit of the Games and share our culture with them.”
Kapi R Arava (PNG)
Kapi R Arava was 14-years-old when he watched the 1991 Games on television.
Arava said the feeling of watching the opening ceremony on EMTV was so intense for him that he wanted to go to some of the events and see them live.
“I forced my parents to purchase tickets and the first event that I attended was on the track, to see one of PNG’s finest female athletes Iamo Launa,” says Arava.
“I witnessed her win gold for PNG. It was a proud moment for my family and me. The day was special.”
Olivier Mas (PNG)
Olivier Mas was in her early teens during the 1991 Games and part of the volunteer team.
Mas, who was an usher in the main stadium, said she was so excited because the Games were new to her and she was at the heart of it all.
She said she can hardly wait for it to start again.
“I am expecting this year’s Games opening to be a highlight for the country,” Mas says.
“I really appreciate the improvement and upgrade of the facilities and hope to go and watch the Games full of patriotic spirit.”