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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (The Independent, August 29) – Chief Teriki Kalmari Peter Poilapa, the paramount chief of Mele village, the largest village in Vanuatu, died Sunday at his home at the age of 80.

He made history as the chief who reigned longest – 46 years.

He was an active member of the Malvatuamuri National Council of Chiefs and in the Efate Vaturisu Council of chiefs. He was also one of the most prominent servants of the Presbyterian church in Vanuatu.

Chief Poilapa was also known throughout Vanuatu as a peacemaker in custom, church and in politics.

Thouand's of people, including Prime Minister Ham Lini, government ministers, MPs and other officials, and leaders representing various institutions and villages around Efate attended his funeral service held Tuesday at Mele Presbyterian church.

Some of the major developments established in the village during his time are the installation of the water supply and electricity from Unelco to the village by arrangement with Unelco Vanuatu Ltd.

"Chief Poilapa will always be remembered by the Presbyterian Church for his commitment and devotion to the work of the church", said the former head of state, Ati Georges Sokomanu, another leader from the village.

September 4, 2006

Port Vila Presse:

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