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By Yehiura Hriehwazi

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (November 10, 1999 – The National)---A long-time missionary to Papua New Guinea, Rev. Sioni Kami, has died at Nuku’alofa General Hospital in Tonga after a brief illness. He was 69.

He served with the United Church in PNG for over 20 years and was known for speaking bluntly on the need for reforms to bring about good governance and leadership in both government and business.

The highly respected Reverend attended numerous Christian crusades throughout PNG and led many to the Lord.

Until his departure from PNG in 1994, Rev. Kami was the head of the Boroko United Church in Port Moresby. He led the church's growth from the small building on Boroko Drive -- currently housing the Motu congregation -- and into the new facility opposite Murray International Primary School, which is called the Boroko English congregation.

He had returned to his home country to work among his people and was due for retirement early next year at the age of 70.

Rev. Kami last visited Port Moresby about five weeks ago to attend the Pacific Prayer Assembly at the Boroko Church along with ministers from all several Pacific Island nations and PNG. He was one of the guest speakers.

He is survived by his wife, five children and numerous grandchildren.

The chairman of the Boroko United Church, Gei Ilagi, confirmed Rev Kami's passing, and advised that he has written to Prime Minister Sir Mekere Morauta informing him of the death.

He said last night that the Christian community in the country is in mourning.

Another member of the church described Rev Kami's passing as a great loss, however "his reward is waiting in Heaven."

Rev. Kami did a lot for the church in PNG and many Papua New Guineans have fond memories of him and his family.

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

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