Friday 14th April 2023
Former Prime Minister and Statesman, the Late Sir Rabbie Namaliu was farewelled by his people of East New Britain when his casket arrived in the province for the last time, on Thursday morning, 13 April 2023.
Sir Rabbie’s casket was received at Tokua airport by a ceremonial guard performed by the PNG Defence Force.
Mourners lined the highway, tossing flowers on the road when the casket travelled towards the Vunapope Bishop Conference Room for a handover ceremony.
Present during the handover – ceremony and the funeral service were Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso, Sir Charles Lepani, Gazelle MP Jelta Wong, Dulciana Somare-Brash and Arthur Somare, Dame Meg Taylor, Board Chairman of National Fisheries Authority Laurie William, Allan Moramoro, Namatanai MP Walter Schnaubelt, Commissioner of Police David Manning, Pomio MP Elias Kapavore and New Ireland Governor Sir Julius Chan, among others.
The program was opened and blessed by Archbishop Rochus Josef Tatamai, MSC followed by tributes by Jelta Wong, Sir Julius Chan, Pomio MP Elias Kapavore and DPM John Rosso, on behalf of Prime Minster James Marape who joined the evening program.
The Leaders spoke on adapting the wisdom and knowledge of late Sir Rabbie in building a better future for Papua New Guineans.
In receiving the body of his father, his son Rabbie Namaliu Junior thanked the ENB Governor and the State for allowing ENB and Sir Rabbie’s family to mourn and farewell their Leader, Brother, Father and Grandfather before the official burial on Independence Hill, in Waigani.
The three-part program in East New Britain Province began with the service at the Vunapope Bishop Conference Room, where its Governor Michael Maru handed over Sir Rabbie’s body to his family.
The second half of the event saw the casket being taken to late Sir Rabbie’s home in Kenabot, where the immediate family paid their respects before being taken to the Tobit residence in Raluana village to overnight.
The final part of the program was conducted at Raluana United Church on Friday morning, with the handing over of the casket to the State for its final journey to its resting place on Independence Hill, Port Moresby A lie-in-state ceremony will be held in the Grand Hall of Parliament House on Monday, 17 April , followed by the burial on Tuesday, 18 April, on Independence Hill, inside the grounds of Parliament House.