Noted Solomon Islands NGO Leader Dr. John Roughan Dies

admin's picture

Founder of Solomon Islands Development Trust mourned by country

By Jeremy Inifiri

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 25, 2013) – The founder of the country’s biggest and leading non-government organisation, Solomon Islands Development Trust (SIDT), has died.

Dr John Roughan, in his early 80s, died yesterday after he collapsed while attending the annual general meeting of Development Services Exchange (DSE) in Honiara.

SIDT announced the passing of their founder late yesterday.

"We would like to inform you all of the passing of our founder this morning," the organisation said in a statement.

"He is our mentor and leader in every step we take in the development of SIDT.

"John also contributed much to the development of the country economically, socially and spiritually," it said.

Dr Roughan was minutes away from launching the new DSE strategic plan at the Commonwealth Youth Programme centre at Panatina, when he collapsed outside the meeting room.

He died on the way to hospital.

Originally from New York in the United States of America, Dr Roughan came to the Solomons as a Marist Brother in October 1956, exactly 55 years ago this month.

He remembered on arrival in Honiara that the city only as a population of 2,500 people.

He said in his last column in the Sunday Star that before coming here, he promised to work in the Solomons for only five years.

"After that, I would be free to return to my own country, the nation of my birth.

"But this never happened.

"I never felt anything but joy in this new land of mine. How could I leave when there was so much work to be done?" he wrote.

He said when he arrived in Honiara, he didn’t know a single soul in town. Everything about the Solomons, he added, was totally new to him.

"Yet, I immediately felt at home."

Dr Roughan married to a Solomon Islander and decided to call Solomon Islands home.

His late wife died earlier this year.

He is survived by son Paul and several grandchildren.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment