The Huon Peninsula Campaign commemoration service held on Scarlet Beach, Finschhafen, on 22 September concluded the 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemorations organised by the Australian Consulate-General Lae for 2018. Morobe Province was the location for rigorous fighting by Australian troops in 1943. The Consulate-General has also held events to mark the Battle of Wau (30 January), Liberation of Salamaua (8 September) and Liberation of Lae (9 September). The service at Scarlet Beach was at the site of an Australian amphibious landing met by a resisting Japanese Imperial army, the first opposed amphibious landing by Australian forces since Gallipoli.
Chairman of the Katika Village, Scarlet Beach Working Committee, Fabian Mala said “We have been waiting for 75 years for such an occasion on Scarlet Beach and I want to thank the Australian Consulate-General in Lae for remembering the significant battle that happened on this beach 75 years ago in 1943. With the bloodshed, we share freedom today and a will to foster friendship into the future.” Australian Consul-General Paul Murphy spoke of the importance of the Huon Peninsula Campaign to the future of Papua New Guinea and Australia. He thanked the people of Katika village for their wonderful welcome and partnering to hold the event.
Mr Mala who represented the people of Scarlet Beach, Finschhafen and Mr Murphy laid wreaths to pay their respects to the those who fought and lost their lives during the Huon Peninsula Campaign in 1943.
Below: Australian Consul General, Paul Murphy (right) and Katika and Scarlet Beach Chairman Fabian Mala paying their respects by laying wreaths at the monument.