The Motu people traded their pots for sago, other food and canoe logs and returned to Port Moresby with the north westerly, which blows from December to June. They also inter-married with the Gulf people and created strong family and trade links.
The Hiri expeditions were large-scale. As many as 20 multi-hulled canoes or lakatoi, crewed by some 600 men, carried about 20,000 clay pots on each journey. To the Motuans, the Hiri was not only an economic enterprise buy they also confirmed their identity as a tribe because of the long and dangerous voyages.
Port Moresby was thus an important trade center when the Englishman, Captain John Moresby, arrived on the 19th February 1873. It was 10 o'clock in the morning
of the 20th February, 1873, when John Moresby proudly named his discovery after his father, Admiral Sir Fairfax Moresby. He called the inner reach "Fairfax Harbour" and the other Port Moresby.
From the 1884 until 1941 Port Moresby grew slowly. The main growth was on the peninsula, where port facilities and other services were gradually improved. Electricity was introduced in 1925 and piped water supply was provided in 1941.
During World War 2, many Papuan people went back to their villages or were evacuated to camps far from Port Moresby. Many men were enlisted as carriers for supply support to Allied armies. As a result villages in Port Moresby area fell into disrepair and after the war, Port Moresby had to be reconstructed.
In 1945, the Territory of Papua New Guinea was formed when the two territories were amalgamated under a single Australian Administration. This was mainly due to the expansion of the public service and expenditure on building and services by the government agencies.
Port Moresby then was regarded as the Capital until self-government in 1974 and independence in 1975.
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