REQUIEM MASS FOR AITAPE, WEST SEPIK TIDAL WAVE VICTIMS

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (October 30, 1998 - The National)---The tsunami devastated villages of Malol, Arop, Warapu and Sissano in Aitape, West Sepik Province, will hold a special requiem mass at their respective beach fronts on Monday to remember the victims of the July 17 tidal wave.

Catholics the world over will attend masses for the dead on November 2, also known as All Souls Day, according to the Roman Catholic calendar.

In Aitape, special prayers and offerings will be dedicated to the 3,000 who died during the disaster, and also to those who survived one of world's largest tidal wave disaster's in history.

Aitape diocese spokesman Tas Maketu said this week, the people have returned to their respective villages to clear up sites in preparation for the forthcoming liturgical activities.

Aitape diocese administrator, Father Austen Crapp, said: "Our people have suffered so much from this tsunami and yet they are a tough lot. They are prepared to pick up the pieces and move on. It is our fervent hope that this requiem mass will be a symbolic gesture of acceptance of the loss of their relatives, their personal effects, their culture and traditions and a willingness to begin anew."

Father Crapp thanked individuals, groups and governments all over the country and the world that donated relief supplies that have assisted the people to get this far.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

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