BY ALFRED PAGEPITU
THE Papua New Guinea / Solomon Islands community joined the Pacific in remembering the life of one of the most iconic leaders in the region, Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare in Honiara yesterday.
Members of the community joined hands in remembering the first Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea as a march was organized under the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force escort from the Art Gallery to the Papua New Guinea Chancery building
PNG high commissioner to Solomon Islands His Excellency Moses Kaul speaking on behalf of his government and the immediate family of late Somare said the remembrance programme thanked all those who turned up to remember this Pacific icon.
“We join together in unity and in solidarity to commemorate and farewell our fallen champion, our icon of the pacific, late Grand Chief Sir. Michael Thomas Somare.
He said the walk to remember Sir Michael symbolises what our countries can do together as a community, family and together as Melanesians.
“This is the song of unity, this is the song of the person we have, and this is the demonstration of the love we have for our countries.
Kaul adds that both Solomon Islands and PNG share reference in the spirit of Melanesians and thanked those who took the time to join them.
“I would like to make special mention and thank the RSIPF to us and support us for our programme this morning to support us.
“Thank you very much to half of the PNG community in the Solomon Islands,” he said.
“I believe our Grand Chief has demonstrated to us the path he took as being the best example of being a leader.
The PNG community also thanked the Solomon Islands community and the RSIPF for providing police escort during the tribute walk.
Apart from the Solomon Islands, Fiji also organized a memorial service on Friday to honour Sir Michael Somare. Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, parliamentarians and members of the Diplomatic corps in Suva were in attendance.
Tens of thousands of people attended a funeral procession for the late Sir Michael Somare at a stadium in Port Moresby on Friday.
The “Grand Chief” died of pancreatic cancer on February 26 aged 84, with the government declaring two weeks of mourning, ending with Friday’s four-hour service at Sir Hubert Murray Stadium.