By WILSON THOMPSON
Highlands Farmers and Settlers Association
Highlands Farmers and Settlers Association (HFSA), on behalf of farmers and executives and also the shareholders of its Farmset Ltd, expresses its condolences to the immediate and extended family of late knight and senior statesman, Sir Barry Holloway, and also to the people of Kainantu and Obura-Wonenara, who he lived and worked with and always had them to his heart apart from other districts in Eastern Highlands.
Two school of thoughts were present with Sir Barry promoting communal ownership of business with government involvement that saw people in Kainatu and Obura-Wonenara contributing to ‘Komuniti Kaunsil Bisnis'; and Ian Downs, Leahys and Sir Sinake Giregire pushing for individual business.
The HFSA was on other side in the province as can be seen in elections.
HFSA Members of House of Assembly (MHA) in 1964-1968 were Ian Downs, Regional; Bono Azanifa, Henganofi/Lufa; Giregire, Goroka; and Muriso Warebu, Okapa.
Sir Barry Holloway was Member for Kainantu, first MHA, that comprised Obura-Wonenara from 1964-68.
He contested Regional in 1968 but was won by Sir Dennis Buchanan from HFSA.
Sir Barry won Regional in 1972 and won 1977, 82 and lost to Aita Ivarato in 1987.
The Kainantu seat was won in 1968 by Mike Casey, HFSA executive.
Casey did not contest and Moses Sasakila, HFSA, won. In 1977.
Sir Barry’s faction in Yubiti Yulaki and Undapmaina Kalugane won the new Kainantu and Obura-Wonenara seats that were split in 1977.
By 1964, farmers’ company Highlands Commodity was running with Leahy family and in 1969, Farmset Ltd came into Kainantu to compete with Sir Barry's Kainantu Kaunsil Business in general trade and coffee such Clarence Plantation.
Under the plantation scheme, Sir Barry acquired plantations under Kainantu Plantation Trust and KKB, while on west side, it was individuals in business groups and developmnt corporations.
Sir Barry lost Regional seat in 1987 and contested later including recent elections but did not suceed.
He suceeded Perry Kwan as Speaker and later became Minister for Finance and Education.
Sir Barry was instrumental in Kainantu Kaunsil Bisnis (KKB) and ironically KKB acquired more than 40% shares of Farmset.
With challenges in business, Sir Barry steered KKB to sucess and in last 10 years become Chairman of farmers company, Farmset Ltd, and KKB became dominant in Kainantu.
In battle of business ideology, it is coincidental where Kainantu was included in Kaindi for Regional seat that comprised Bulolo, Markham, Menyamya and Sir Barry was first MHA for Kainantu and Obura-Wonenara.
Ian Downs, the president of HFSA, was MHA for Central Highlands from 1964 to 1968 and was the chairman of Farmset.
In all, Sir Barry sort of fought with HFSA in politics, coffee and business and did suceed to have Kainantu and Obura Wonenara Councils own huge business portfolio and internal revenue.
Farmset benefitted with his leadership , but for Sir Barry's KKB to take over, our late president, HFSA and founders of Farmset, Sir Sinake, says Sir Barry "em brata blong mi" and knew and looked after people and farmers’ interest.
It would have been fitting for Sir Barry's funeral in PNG, but it is unfortunate the people will miss him, and his legacy and will be long rememberd in Kainantu and Obura-Wonenara and by farmers and people of Eastern Highlands through KKB and Farmset.