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- 21/04/2013 at 8:33 am #106315
This morning we were up bright and early to prepare for our latest trek to head out on the track from Owers' Corner, Trek 890 led by Wayne Urina Tihimi. Unfortunately 3 guys had to pull out at the last minute which was a shame for all concerned especially seeing as they are all a bunch of friends and their sons. Trekkers who hit the track this morning are made up as follows:
[*]David and Justin Stevenson
[*]Peter and Lucas Bennetts
[*]Mark and Matthew Kelly
Trekkers can be seen below at McDonald's Corner where we stopped on the way to Owers' Corner.
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At Owers' Corner trekkers met up with their personal porters. The first off the ranks was
David Stevenson who was introduced to Hobert Keke.
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David Bernardi met up with his personal porter Chris Lahai
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John Hauville met his personal porter Tom Hango whose nickname is Tom Hanks
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Stephen Gunn can be seen here seconds after meeting his personal porter Pescol Kageni
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Last but not least was Chris Smith who met his namesake 'Chris' Orimba. These guys should not have any problems remembering each others names.
IMGP3471 1024×768 800×600.jpg21/04/2013 at 8:51 am #10641621/04/2013 at 8:59 am #106397
In February this year we at Kokoda Trekking lost a very important member of our staff by the name of Wallace Lemeki. The majority of boys on this trek used to walk with Wallace so in memory of their good friend and trek leader, they stood together, said a prayer, had a minutes silence followed by what was tradition with his treks, both the PNG and Australian National Anthem's were sung.
This was followed by one of the boys producing a bunch of flowers. They asked me to step in front of them and one by one they blessed the flowers before passing them to me. This was closely followed by Sione Orosambo when he sang one of Wallaces favourite gospel songs. My eyes watered up as I was expecting a few words but not this which was a surprise.
Rest in peace, Wallace, the boys on this trek will do you proud. They will look after these trekkers in the same manner as you used to on each and everyone of your treks. Wayne has stepped up to take your place, big shoes to fill but he is more than willing to give it his best and to make you proud.
When trekkers heard they would be expected to sing the aussie national anthem, I could hear them trying desperately to remember the words. One guy said, that the young boys should know! However the day was saved, as Sione sang the anthem for them so was easy to join in with him leading the way.
This bonded the two countries together for what I think will be a great trek with Wallace looking over the boys he walked with and trained throughout his years of walking and leading large treks.
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IMGP3482 1024×768 800×600.jpg21/04/2013 at 9:05 am #106389
This trek is dedicated to Wallace Lemeki:
Born: 15th August 1979
Passed away: 3rd February 2013
We miss you Wally, thanks for all the memories!
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The guide for this trek is the second fastest man on the track, Wayne Urina Tihimi. Wayne came second in one of our Kokoda Challenge Races across the Kokoda Trail from Owers' Corner to Kokoda in a time of just over 18 hours.
My son Shane once said to me, have you ever walked beside Wayne, he walks at the speed most people run!
Wayne has not long returned from 3 months spent in Australia helping an ex trekker on his farm.
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It was soon time to line up to move out as can be seen below. The black charcoal marks on the porters faces are a mark of respect for their previous trek leader Wallace Lemeki:
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IMGP3500 1024×768 800×600.jpg21/04/2013 at 10:21 am #10639221/04/2013 at 10:29 am #106393
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