Last week when the newly elected Motu Koitabu Assembly councilors were being sworn in at the Lakani Toi Memorial Church in Hanuabada, much of the attention was on the youngest ever elected Chairman, Dadi Toka Jnr. That doesn’t come as a surprise given the level optimism many Motu Koitabuans now have of the newly formed assembly.
Sitting far right with a grin on his face every so often was Poreporena Laurabada elect Dikana Boge.
The name Boge is synonymous with rugby league.
Think Philip Boge, the Kumul fullback who landed a ferocious hit on Brad Fittler followed by an equally devastating cover defence on Australian winger Michael Hancock that landed the Broncos winger out over the touchline and eventually out of the match.
But even before the stylish Philip became a household name in the famous red, black and gold jumper, elder brother Dikana had already made a mark on the rugby league paddock in the local and international stages playing alongside some of PNG’s finest footballers in the likes of John Wagambie, Volu Kapani, Garia Kora and Sean Dorney to name a few.
Since hanging up their boots, the Boge name has been somewhat quiet of late on the footy field but not so quiet in local politics.
Last Friday, the name Boge once again echoed amongst the ever passionate Hanuabada crowd at the Lakani Toi Memorial Church. Not because the elder Boge was making a rather surprising comeback in the bottle green and white jumper, although admittedly the current Hawkies could do with some of his on-field talent, but the former Kumul five/eighth on this occasion was amongst 12 newly elected councilors swearing an oath to lead their respective electorates.
Unlike the majority of the newly elected members, the man from Kwaradubuna clan better known as Ten Gun was returning for a record third time.
Since the Motu Koitabu Assembly Act came into force over a decade ago, Dikana Boge has been the only member to serve in all three assemblies. A successful record in the Motu Koitabu political history.
Wherever he goes or whatever he does, success seems to follow him.
The last time Boge tasted successive victories on the sporting field was probably during the Hanuabada Hawks golden era in the 70’s when the mighty Hawkies won back-to-back premierships in 74 and 75 against a formidable Magani line-up.
And it just so happens that the former Hawkie 5/8 has bettered that success rate in the political field winning three consecutive elections for his beloved Poreporena Laurabada electorate.
So why is a man better known for his side step and cut-out passes in the football arena just as successful in the political arena?
In one word – Action!
History shows that a staggering 80% of seating members in the the Motu Koitabu Assembly do not return. The obvious reason being – no Action or nothing tangible to show for!
Boge, on the other hand, is quite an active member in the community. Some consider him as the “Ipatas” of Poreporena Laurabada!
He has a simple formula. Work hard and lead from the front, much like the powerhouse Hawkie forward pack of the 70’s in the likes of towering Guba John and enforcer the late Davai Thomas creating the “go -forward” momentum for Dikana himself and the speedy Garia Kora in the backline to weave their magic.
Boge helps his community building and renovating the high maintenance walk-ways, assisting the less fortunate parents with school fees, engaging the community in cleaning initiatives and more. This is despite the fact that the monthly grants aren’t enough to create and maintain projects that could provide long term benefits to its people.
But perhaps his biggest ever achievement to date is building a fully operational clinic within the precincts of the Laurabada United Church. The building in which the clinic operates was once a hall for the Laurabada United Church but through a successful partnership with the Church, Boge has been able to deliver a service that has been of high demand and of course pleasantly welcomed.
There’s a full-time doctor at the clinic, a nurse, there’s an ambulance available 24 hours and consultation is free. This project is the biggest reason why Boge has been returned and many hope, that under the leadership of Toka Jnr, Boge can be given the network and resources to continue this and many other much needed services.
Boge has the support of Sibona Willie – his right-hand man for many years and a key figure in the developments under Boge. Willie is a highly intelligent and tactful individual who when speaking is both insightful and entertaining to listen to. Despite both men having distinct and somewhat differing qualities and characteristics, they share the same goals and ambitions.
But as Boge will attest, there is still a tremendous amount of work to be done and of course there’s the funding issues that tend to restrict him from implementing his plans.
Interesting times are ahead for Poreporena Laurabada.
With someone as promising as Dadi Toka Jnr now at the helm, there’s a good chance that if both collaborate positively utilizing each others network and ideas coupled with Boge’s attitude of “doing”, the man who successfully orchestrated the flamboyant Hawkie attack might be punching through the social, financial and economic hurdles that has often restricted him from progressing Poreporena Laurabada for the better.
While many electorates have a growing number of intending candidates vying for a seat in the Assembly, intending candidates for the Poreporena Laurabada seat seem to be on the decline. All because the majority of the people are behind him. That was clearly evident in the recent elections when he won the seat on the first count.
If the new Assembly can provide the necessary knowledge, resources, funds, management expertise and accountability in bringing out the best in each councilor to achieve the goals and aspirations of the Motu Koitabu people, leaders like Dikana Boge who have achieved so much with so little, can only excel.
After all, much of Boge’s heroics has been his ability to attack from any corner of the field and if given the momentum much like that given to him by the Hawkie forward pack of the 70’s, Poreporena Laurabada should expect more change for the better.
Despite the optimism, there is still some uncertainty on how the new Assembly will operate but in any event it’s still early days.
But one thing certain under this 3rd Assembly is that Dikana Boge will reach a milestone of serving Poreporena Laurabada as their councilor for 10 consecutive years to match his nickname “ten-gun”!