SIAGURU REMEMBERED AS ‘WARRIOR’ FOR PNG

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, April 27) – "Sir Anthony Siaguru was a "fair dinkum warrior," Finance Minister Bart Philemon said yesterday.

In a packed Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Port Moresby, moving eulogies from Mr. Philemon, Sir Mekere Morauta and Michael Drake brought tears to the eyes of many who knew Sir Anthony.

More than 1,000 people attended the mass.

The funeral service brought political friends and foes together from the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to Opposition Leader Sir Mekere, Western Highlands Governor and PDM founder Paias Wingti, former Prime Minister and PPP founder Sir Julius Chan, Ben Micah, Jacob Jumagot, acting Governor General Bill Skate, Government Ministers Sir Moi Avei, Sinai Brown, Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Dr Puka Temu, Sir Peter Barter, Angoram MP Arthur Somare, former Speaker Bernard Narokobi, heads of government departments, family members, friends and relatives, the business community and the diplomatic corps. They all attended to farewell one of PNG’s true son.

The casket arrived in the black limousine of the funeral home at 2pm.

The blessing of the casket was conducted by Archbishop of Port Moresby Sir Brian Barnes. 

He was assisted by Bishop Cherubim Dambui.

Mr Philemon borrowed from Australian slang the word "fair dinkum" to describe Sir Anthony as a true Papua New Guinean warrior who fought on many fronts.

Mr Philemon said Sir Anthony was brought up and went to school at a time the country was going into a new era.

"Tony’s life is an example of what Papua New Guinea is all about. He was never a bystander, he worked all the time to build a country where his children, our children and their children could live a better life," Mr. Philemon said.

Mr. Philemon said Sir Anthony’s life reflected the nation’s progress. 

"He was born during the colonial days and educated at the end of that era as the nation was becoming independent. His character encouraged everyone to be proud to be a Papua New Guinean," Mr. Philemon said.

He said Sir Anthony was one of the best Papua New Guinea has produced, outstanding as a student, sports man, lawyer, national and international politician, and an outspoken advocator of righteousness. 

He thanked the family on behalf of the government for having a simple funeral service.

The casket left the St Mary’s Cathedral at 5pm for the funeral home. 

It will be flown to Wewak this morning and laid to rest on Wednesday in his home village, Kwapun.

April 28, 2004

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

 

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