A cultural setback
Poetry and the masses

Eulogy in honour of the late Sir Mek

Mekere Morauta & James Marape
The late Sir Mekere Morauta and prime minister James Marape

JAMES MARAPE MP
| Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea | Edited

I delivered this short eulogy in honour of Rt Hon Sir Mekere Morauta at his funeral service on Friday. It is short and succinct. No amount of words can adequately describe this huge persona - JM

WAIGANI - I stand today sadly to offer tribute to this great man who selflessly gave his life in service to Papua New Guinea.

To his dear wife Lady Roslyn Morauta, to his son Dr James Morauta, to all four surviving siblings, to all relatives of Kukipi and Uritai villages of the Gulf of Papua, we, the people of Papua New Guinea, including Port Moresby North West Electorate, offer our sincerest appreciation to you all for allowing your dear relative to serve us all in PNG.

For this, we in sadness and tears offer our condolences and share with you all in mourning this huge national loss.

The late Sir Mekere served his country with highest distinction right from the formative years of the 1970s, with national figures like Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Sir Charles Lepani and the late Anthony Siaguru.

This famous ‘Gang of Four’ plus other pioneer public servants assisted the founding fathers of our nation by laying the foundation stones.

His imprints on our national life remain. He took huge steps along the way - in the public service, the private sector and politics from 1975 until today.

He made history by easily transitioning from public service leadership to political leadership where he reformed and strengthened key institutions of state at the same time fighting graft and corruption.

During his maiden prime ministerial address to parliament on 14 July 1999, Sir Mekere stated that corruption was “systematic and systemic” in PNG. And fighting and removing corruption was the reason for his return to politics in 2017.

He died doing what he loved, serving his country.

For this, we Papua New Guineans will be forever grateful to this towering icon of good leadership and we say thank you to his family and tribes for lending him to us.

Sir Mekere Morauta was a larger than life personality in our country’s short history. He was a reformist and, despite serving as prime minister for only three short years, his impact transcends time and is intergenerational.

Again to the family, thank you for lending this great Lauri to us in the rest of PNG. To Sir Mek, rest in peace, your Kukipi and Uritai tribe has conferred on me the same name, Lauri, and I promise to do my best for them and rest of PNG too.

You have run a good race, you have fought a good fight for your country, rest now, Sir. We will miss your physical presence but your counsel and advice will forever ring in our minds to guide us to make our own contributions to develop PNG.

Sir Mek, goodnight for now and we hope to see you on that golden resurrection morning for the eternal life our Jesus promised in the Bible for those who die believing in Lord Jesus Christ.

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