BELOVED ‘BIG MITI’ FINALLY BURIED IN EAST NEW BRITAIN

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BELOVED ‘BIG MITI’ FINALLY BURIED IN EAST NEW BRITAIN

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, ) - The wish of a Samoan-American beauty to be buried alongside her husband in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, has come true after almost 60 years.

This became a reality when the remains of Phebe Parkinson, the younger sister of the famous Samoan-American princess Queen Emma, were re-buried in a family reunion ceremony at Kuradui family cemetary last Saturday.

About 40 Australians, including Phebe’s grandson, great, and great-great grandchildren and friends witnessed the ceremony of the dearly loved and respected "Big Miti" as she was known throughout Kokopo and Kuradui — a place that became home to the Parkinsons in the early 1800s.

According to her grandson Alfred Uechritz, Phebe was a wonderful person and she left a legacy in the hearts of so many people in ENB including her family.

"She had always wanted to be buried alongside her husband and I am sure she is smiling from where she is that her wishes have finally come true," an emotional Mr Uechritz said.

Phebe’s great-great grandchildren expressed sadness when paying tribute to their grandmother because they only heard of her and the wonderful things she did for the people of ENB and would have loved to know her.

Mr Uechritz said it was at Kuradui that Phebe devoted her life to New Guinea and its people and this was also where she held court and settled arguments among the people.

A traditional Tolai flavour was added to the ceremony and Phebe’s family took part in the distribution of bananas and shell money (tabu) in honouring the dead ancestors as part of the cultures and traditions of the tolai people. 

January 26, 2004

Papua New Guinea Post-Courier: www.postcourier.com.pg/

 

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