NATION

Memorial Mass For Sir Michael

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, during his eulogy, described him as a leader who held his people at heart.
13 Mar 2021 11:31
Memorial Mass For Sir Michael
Those attending the memorial of the late Sir Michael Somare were (from left) Catholic Archbishop Peter Loy Chong (left), Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and his wife Mary, wife of the Speaker of Parliament, Adi Koila with Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, Anglican Archbishop Fereimi Cama with other attendees at the Sacred Hart Cathedral in Suva on March 12, 2021. Far right is Reverend James Bhagwan. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

A memorial mass for the longest serving Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare was held yesterday at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Suva.

He died at the age of 85.

Members of Parliament, dignitaries, families and comrades of the PNG community in Fiji came to pay tribute to the kind hearted man widely known to many as ‘Papa blo kantri’ (Father of the nation).

Sir Michael led his country to independence in 1974.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, during his eulogy, described him as a leader who held his people at heart.

“The Grand Chief led the drive for a self-governing and independent Papua New Guinea through toktok, the way of peace and consensus,” he said.

“It was an arduous journey because he was challenged to win the confidence of their complex nation with more than 800 different languages and tribal groups.

“It may have been that experience that made him the kind of leader who could unite the people of the Pacific, but I suspect that he had a natural ability to understand and respect the needs and aspirations of others,” Mr Bainimarama said.

The PM encouraged those present not to just celebrate Sir Michael’s remarkable legacy, but to live life with humility and service.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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