I happened to be at Central Waigani, Friday 5th April, 2014, and what I saw there fascinated as much as intrigued me.
Fascinated because the place looked new, there were rumors it just opened up as part of that great family supermarket idea from CPL. And intriguing because when I finally got to looking at what was inside I was taken aback somewhat by the vast selection of goodies at the groceries and, most important to me, the assortment of wines at the supermarket’s “liqueur land”.
The new building I soon discovered would become known as Waigani Central. Could that be an assumption on our part that we have a new architectural rendering and topographical landscaping arrangement bound to become known, simply, and should we say, the Graceland of Port Moresby city? Oh, but one doubts if we could be wrong there.
Over the last six months or so that I have ventured from my humble village surrounds to this part of the country’s sentiments of urbanity known as Port Moresby city, I have seen many sites and heard stories attached to each. There were stories of new buildings cropping up here and there; and there were stories of who was doing what with such and such. I tried interviewing as many as I could from the laymen up to those who claim ownership of these so-called new buildings in town. But rarely have I heard one as enchanting as the grand CPL (City Pharmacy Ltd) idea of the family supermarket.
“Ours is the ideal, sir,” a simple shop assistant would quip, handing over a cup of coffee at Bon Café. “And if you’re looking for a weekend family hide out,” a cleaner would join in, “Waigani Central might be the place to consider, sir.”
Surely the whole country has changed much over the years. And surely again each city is slowly taking up that urban idea of the metropolis in so many different forms.
But for the moment I began liking this new family supermarket idea coming from CPL. Gone are the days of BP’s, Steamships, Bank of New South Wales and related coastal trading enterprises throughout the land and its humble rural islands. Those were the days when the villager stood back and marveled at new buildings that came up or simply stood in awe whenever names such as Queen Emma of the South Seas were mentioned. But to us, all this, what we see now, seems to be beckoning us, asking us for our participation, as it were.
Here everyone is invited along, to view the range of medicinal remedies displayed, the groceries and their variety of offerings, the cinemas (space permitting, we assume), and the eateries at various sections of the new Waigani Central set up. I may get the chance to visit other centres of our country in due course. But for now CPL of Port Moresby seems to appeal as much as intrigue me somewhat.
Every new company that sets up shop in town has its principles and ideals to pursue. As ordinary as we are, and according to the climate of varying opinions of the times that we live in, we might feel, let us say, a little left out. But I doubt that would be the case with CPL. Somewhere in the not so distant future someone within the management of this vast business enterprise might say: “All right. Let’s have enough of this – this profit-making palaver and other hang-ups. Let us rather go visit schools, hospitals, sporting facilities, churches and charity homes, and share our ideals and business sentiments with them.”