Sir Michael Somare

PNG's founding father laid to rest

The East Sepik capital yesterday hosted the burial service for the four-time PNG prime minister, which followed a state funeral held last Friday in Port Moresby.

There's been widespread mourning in PNG and across the Pacific for the loss of Sir Michael who died in late February of pancreatic cancer aged 84.

PNG organised a series of haus krais, or mourning events, over two weeks in Port Moresby for representatives of all the country's provinces to progressively come and pay respects to Sir Michael.

Fijians pay tribute to Somare

Frank Bainimarama said he was saddened at the loss of his friend and Pacific iconic leader.

Bainimarama said there has been a great mourning across PNG and the Pacific since the passing of the 'Grand Chief'.

He said Sir Michael was an 'architect of regional unity' who would live on in the hearts of the Pacific people.

Bainimarama said Fiji had lost a dear friend as Sir Michael was more than PNG's founding father,

Obituary: Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare by Dr Ronald J. May

Somare was born in 1936 in Rabaul, where his father was serving as a policeman in the colonial administration, but returned to his father’s home province of East Sepik at an early age. His schooling began in Wewak during the Japanese occupation of New Guinea and continued at Finschhafen High School and Teachers College at Sogeri. During the 1950s and 1960s Somare taught in New Ireland, East Sepik and Madang, served as an interpreter for the Legislative Council and the first House of Assembly, and worked as a broadcast officer with the Department of Information and Extension Services.

Papua New Guinea’s Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare in palliative care

Sir Michael’s family released a statement following numerous enquiries and they thought it “best to be forthright so the public knows the exact extent of this terrible illness.”

“It is with sadness that I advise on behalf of the Somare Family the serious illness pancreatic cancer that has befallen our father Sir Michael, it is at a critical stage and we as a family along with his medical teams are giving him the utmost care in Port Moresby that he deserves.”

Sir Michael Somare urges MPs to protest against O’Neill

He urged the MPs to represent the interest of their electorates and the true intent of the Constitution.

Sir Michael said: “People of Papua New Guinea must not tolerate elected leaders who are condoning the actions of Peter O’Neill regime by remaining silent. Silence means acceptance of the glaring abuses of processes that are taking place around us.