ALEX MUNME | New Dawn on Bougainville
The casket of the late Member for Taonita-Tinputz and Minister for Works was escorted by police followed by a convoy of government vehicles carrying close relatives and public servants.
At Parliament House, the casket was carried by representatives from the Bougainville Police Service who entered the Chamber at slow march.
Those present for the final farewell included ABG President John Momis, Vice-President Patrick Nisira, Speaker Andrew Miriki and other senior cabinet ministers including Finance Minister Albert Punghau, Mining Minister Michael Oni, Local Government Minister Joseph Nopei, Commerce and Trade Minister Wilfred Komba and the Acting Clerk of Parliament Edwin Kenehata.
President Momis said Mr Ketsimur has achieved much for Bougainville. Back in their school days, they were the only two Bougainvilleans to win scholarships to study in Australia.
The President said Mr Ketsimur had been a Minister in both the Bougainville Interim Provincial Government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
He was an experienced and knowledgeable person. A man of confidence and principle who would always be faithful to his principles.
Speaking on behalf of the House of Representatives, Speaker Andrew Miriki said the House had met to pay its last respects to Mr Ketsimur, whose untimely death had surprised them all.
The Speaker said the late Minister’s death created a vacuum.
He remarked that since the establishment of the ABG, five honourable members have died: Dr Benedict Pisi, Joseph Egilio, Paul Mitu, President Joseph Kabui and Carolus Ketsimur.
Mr Miriki said although they were saddened by the loss, they were also encouraged because Mr Ketsimur left a great legacy. He added that the death had also united everyone.
He said Carolus Ketsimur will be remembered as the founding father of Bougainville.