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On Monday, September 16, Papua New Guinea celebrated 44 years of Independence. On the 16th of September, 1975, Australia granted Independence to PNG. The first Prime Minister was Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare. The celebrations this year, as always, began with the Flag Raising ceremony on Independence Hill, in the nation's capital, Port Moresby. The flag was blessed by His Eminence Sir John Cardinal Ribat MSC, the Archbishop of Port Moresby. There were also celebrations in various part of the country, plus also in some countries world wide, as Papua New Guineans living oversea celebrated the 44th anniversary of its Independence. For Catholics, this commemoration of the country's Independence is celebrated as a Feast, in the PNG & Solomon Islands local Liturgical Calendar.