The Loop PNG livestreaming of the Sir Michael Somare funeral in Port Moresby today.
Asia Pacific Report newsdesk
The Somare family has thanked the people of Papua New Guinea for the “incredible outpouring of love and support” during their time of grief, the PNG Post-Courier reports.
Today marked the final official event on the programme for the National Capital District.
Sir Michael’s funeral mass at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium was being beamed live on television and via live streaming.
“Given this week’s unprecedented rise in covid-19 infections in the national capital, we appeal to each of you to watch the event from home if you can,” said daughter Betha Somare.
“Please avoid gathering in public spaces and if you feel unwell and stay home to keep others safe. Always wear a mask when you are among others and avoid unnecessary travel.
“We were saddened to hear about patients and staff at the Port Moresby General Hospital testing positive for covod-19. POMGH have always taken excellent care of our parents and our thoughts are with them and all our front line health workers.
“Your messages and warm memories shared about Sir Michael on social media have kept us comforted. His legacy, his kindness and his compassion lives on in all of us.
“Sir Michael would have wanted us all to keep each other safe, especially during these unprecedented times. Stay home if you can and follow the directions of health authorities.”
Passing of a ‘great light’
Rebecca Kuku reports that East Sepik Governor Allan Bird said the country had just witnessed the “passing of a great light in the world”.
“And while this brings us great sorrow, it should also bring us renewed enthusiasm to meet the challenges we face.
“Children are supposed to do better than their parents. Somare and his team of founding fathers did a tremendous job, let’s not leave it there.
“Somare led a group of great men and women. They did their job and now we are here. They tried to be better, they were better, they were the best,” he said.
Bird said that Papua New Guinea should have flown Grand Chief around the country on a farewell tour in 2017, 2018, 2019 or even in 2020.
“We did not. Just like so many other things we should have done but did not do,” he said.
“Just like the cancer wing at the Port Moresby General Hospital. Can we just do it or are we going to not get it done too?”
The Sir Michael Somare state funeral cortege at Waigani in Port Moresby today. Image: PNG Post-Courier screenshot APR Somare family members at the state funeral for Sir Michael today. Image: PNG Post-Courier screenshot APRPrint