BY ELIAS NANAU
Twenty years after being condemned, the National Broadcasting Corporation building at Kerema in Gulf Province was reopened and commissioned this year.
Minister for Communications and Information Technology Timothy Masiu together with the Mayor of Kerema Town Sam Koraea and Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta did the honours of cutting the ribbon.
It was momentous and historical as the day fell on Queens Birthday, a Monarch who had used radio vehemently to encourage and inspire soldiers, nurses and doctors during war to defend democracy, Governor Haiveta told his people.
It was also significant with the presence of Mayor Sam Koraea-son of former Communications and Information Minister who opened the old NBC building in 1978.
The dull weather did not dampen the three hours event which took the cue from Baptist Church Pastor John Gray who emphasised that people of Gulf must show compassion by using radio to heel other people.
He said people must be SMART in using radio which translates to being sacrificial, master the art and skills, be active and resourceful and ultimately be tender to others.
Minister Masiu and many others on the occasion re-echoed the clergy man’s statement.
When the building was condemned in 2000 and abandoned in 2004, all historical recordings done by the NBC were lost through burglary and there was nothing left to digitise and archive.
Governor Chris Haiveta has now appealed to the people of Gulf to share their stories and folklore with the NBC Gulf to preserve their history and culture through audio and video.
Minister Masiu, a former NBC broadcaster has appealed to the Gulf people to respect the NBC and not damage property by throwing stones at the building or attack staff.
He has also appealed to staff to be committed and promote good governance and transparency.
The building which brands with all NBC stations around the country has new look studious, technical room and library, an archives office all fully carpeted and air conditioned.
There is also a new reception, office for the radio station manager, the executive producer and general office for staff.
Minister Masiu has warned contractors funded through the Public Investment Program (PIP) that he does not want half hearted work and “if that happens heads will roll.”
Governor Haiveta through provincial government partnered with the NBC to get studio equipment which are now in Singapore should be installed once they arrive.