Condolence book for late P.N.G. P.M. opens

The Office of Papua New Guinea’s Honorary Consul in Samoa has opened a condolence book for the public to send their sympathies following the death of the country’s founding prime minister Sir Michael Somare.

The opening of the condolence book will allow the Papua New Guinean community living in Samoa and the people of Samoa to express their sorrow at the loss of Sir Michael and sympathy for his family.

Sir Michael Somare is widely regarded as the father of the Melanesian nation, having led the country to independence in 1975 after entering Parliament in 1968 and retiring from politics in 2017.

He remains the country’s longest serving Prime Minister, having been in office for 17 years over three separate terms and is revered across the Pacific as a regional statesman, who strongly supported self-determination as well as regional institutions such as the Pacific Islands Forum.

The former prime minister died on 26 February 2021 of pancreatic cancer aged 84.

The condolence book is located at the offices of the P.N.G. Honorary Consul, Clarke Ey Koria Lawyers, Poinsettia House, Motootua Rd, Motootua. It can be signed from 10am – 4pm between Friday 12 March through to Wednesday 17 March. 

It will then be sent to the P.N.G. High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand for delivery to the P.N.G. Government in Port Moresby.

The availability of the condolence book coincides with preparations by the P.N.G. community to meet in Vaigaga on Saturday afternoon to remove the ‘haus krai’, which is a traditional mourning period for Papua New Guineans.

The organiser of the community’s get-together, Pastor Morgan Gegera, said the community will be gathering to offer prayers of thanksgiving for the life of the late Sir Michael.

“Well basically we are doing what would be done back home, if we were back home attending a haus krai,” he told the Samoa Observer. 

“These are sobering times for us and we want some of our elders to tell their stories of pre and post independence so our children can listen. 

“Some of us have been blessed to have personally met him, the rest of us have been fortunate to have lived in the era of our founding father.”

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