The 2020 Long Service Awards was held at Lamana Hotel in Port Moresby in conjunction with the BSP 2020 Leadership Forum.
BSP Chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou and BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming representing the bank, presented the awardees of different branches, business lines and subsidiaries across PNG and the other Pacific market branches with their service awards respectively.
The recipients delightfully received the awards acknowledging the bank for their long transformative journey and how they have grown along thus making the BSP family stronger with time.
Gabriel Ak, BSP Wewak Branch Manager and a 25 year recipient shared a life touching experience of his career when speaking at the awards night.
"Almost 30 years ago, I was walking the streets of Mt Hagen Town looking for jobs, with only my Grade 12 certificate in hand. It was tough to find any and decided that by the end of 1994, I will return to the village," said Mr Ak.
"By 1993, I had already done two entry tests with BSP Mt Hagen Branch but none was to any avail. In 1994, I decided to do a final try of the test, if it was another letdown, I would give up hope of job hunting. But fortunately, I was blessed in my third attempt and joined BSP Mt Hagen on 21st March, 1994," he said with a smile and continued.
"My first year with the bank was challenging, few months into my new role and the Branch Manager Mr John Brutnall, summoned me to transfer to Wabag sub-branch for a 6 months exposure. I hesitantly refused because I was newly married and that it would be too risky for me due to ongoing tribal fights," Ak claimed.
"The Branch Manager (MR Brutnall) couldn't trust a young man like me and requested that I should bring in my parents and my in-laws to see him. The very next day, I brought in my in-laws. He (Mr Brutnall) then asked my in-laws in Tok Pisin, "Wai na yupela les lo salem pikinini man go lo Wabag?" My mother in-law replied, "It will be too risky for him in Wabag and he just got married to our daughter". Should Mr Brutnall persist, I would willingly resign from my new job, but he then agreed and allowed me to continue at Mt Hagen branch. This was where it all began.
The 22 Long Service Staff with the Brisbane Brobcos Reps, BSP Chairman Sir Costas Constantinou and BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming.
After spending over a decade in the Highlands region, I was moved to Port Moresby in 2007. This was due to an ongoing tribal fight in my village that went on for over 35 years. In the city with my wife and kids, things didn't seem like we imagined it to be. We lived with "wantoks" and family during our first year but then decide to rent a small room. Our little rent room became our kitchen in the evenings and sleeping area at night.
"That did not discourage me from being faithful to the only employer that keeps my little family together. It was a long journey but seems just like yesterday. Now standing here, I am blessed and highly favoured to be working with a bank that supported me and my little family for over 25 years," Mr Ak quoted with a grin of contentment.
When presenting the awards, BSP GCEO Mr Fleming expressed his confidence to the awardees saying, "Human capital for any institution is the most valuable asset. It is for this reason we see the importance of honouring our long service staff for their steadfast commitment and loyalty."
"We commend your tireless contributions to BSP's phenomenal success, and thank you, for setting an example for the bank's growing workforce across countries in the South Pacific. Your utmost commitment to the organisation has served as a constant source of inspiration for us to continuously surpass our customers' expectations," said Mr Fleming.
Topping the list of the awards was four (4) employees who received special commendations for having served the bank for 40 Years - Ms Melaia Tu'Ipulotu of BSP Tonga, Lucy Darius of BSP Kevieng Branch, Tapiva Lavutul of BSP Lae Top Town branch and Steven Wapikwari of BSP Madang Branch.
The 25 year recipients of the awards include Loa Heni- Corporate Banking, Philip Landi-Security, Raymond Isuga- Security: Police Reservist, Debra Ake- Information Security, Beatrice Foiap- Information Technology , Timothy Sipwanji- Corporate Digital Banking, Melvina Nakin- Waigani Banking Centre, Jenny Kaniku- Port Moresby Branch, Gabriel Ak- Wewak Branch, Michaella Ivu- Kimbe Branch, Daisy Ganua- Alotau Branch, Deirdre Sailoia- Alotau Branch, Gata Goasa- Motukea Sub Branch (NCD) , Helen Gaius- Kokopo Branch, Dorothy Vuvul- Kokopo Branch and Roselyn Tubal- Kokopo Branch.