Thousands Turn Out For Funeral Procession Of Solomons First PM

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Last respects paid to Late Sir Peter Kenilorea

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, March 2, 2016) – Thousands of Honiara residents have braved the scorching heat on Tuesday, to witness the procession of the body of Late Sir Peter Kenilorea from the Honiara City Council (HCC) roundabout to the SSEC central Church, in Honiara.

Men, women, youths, and even the little children flocked the main highway from Parliament house to the Honiara City Council (HCC) area, towards the SSEC church compound.

Earlier during the day, the Parliament compound was also filled with government officials, public servants and members of the public, as they wanted to pay their last respect to one of the longest serving statesmen and a pioneer of Solomon Islands.

The progression of paying last tributes and lying of wreaths was being led by Governor General Sir Frank Kabui and Lady Grace Kabui, followed by Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Madam Sogavare.

Government ministers and other government officials, dignitaries, and individuals were also present at the parliament to pay their final respect and laying their wreaths.

[PIR editor’s note: On March 3, 2016 Solomons Star reported that ‘The Late Sir Peter Kenilorea was a living example of what trust, loyalty and perseverance are all about in leadership, says Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.’ Solomons Star also posted various tributes to the Late Sir Peter Kenilorea from Former Prime Minister, Sir Francis Billy Hilly, FFA Director General James Movick, PNA CEO Dr Transform Aqorau, and Professor Clive Moore of the University of Queensland.]

Police officers were also stationed at the parliament compound and along the highway to control the flow of the public as well as the traffic.

The traffic was halted for nearly 30 minutes as the procession was being made towards the church.

People also used cameras and other devices to capture the atmosphere of the ceremony. For some, this will be kept as souvenirs.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and other government officials, immediate families and friends have also joined the parade to accompany the casket of Sir Peter to the church.

At the SSEC central church, the Prime Minister, Governor General, Chief Justice Sir Albert Palmer and Lady Selina, former Governor Generals, Prime Ministers, current Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament, Diplomatic corps, Constitutional post holders, Government officers, Chief Executive Officers of State Owned Enterprises (CEOs), other private sector representatives, and members of the public were present.

There, sermons and readings were made, followed by speeches by the Prime Minister, other dignitaries as represented by Dr. Transform Aqorau (the Director General-PNA), and a church representative, Reverend Eric Maefonea.

Late Sir Peter’s eulogies were also shared by former Politician Waeta Ben Tabusasi (Government representative), Ishmael Kako Jnr (a church rep), Geoffrey Brown (a family friend), and Peter Kenilorea Jnr, as an immediate family representative.

Before that, Reverend Bishop Matthias Lima also shared a powerful sermon on leadership drawing the life of the Late Sir Peter as a fine example of a true leader with qualities.

The atmosphere during the funeral service was touching, as the speakers have reflected on the life of Sir Peter from his early age, education, community work, in politics, and also his influence in religious activities.

Late Sir Peter’s casket was then transported to a waiting patrol boat, where they later left last night for his home village of Rara, `Are`are district on Malaita for burial.

Other members of the family also travelled on another boat chartered by the government.

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