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18 January 2015

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I was very saddened to learn of the passing of my old wantok and business colleague, Justin Kili. Over the many years that I spent in PNG with Ela Motors, right from the early days of broadcast, JK was at the helm of Nation-wide broadcasting and he personally delivered "American Top 40" among other popular programmes which I sponsored with Ela Motors range of products & services. JK was a good man. One of the very best. Cheers wantok... Gerry Peacock ( wils bilong Nesin - taim bipo )

So sad to hear this news.

I followed Keith as Station Manager at Radio Bougainville in 1973, so had the pleasure of inheriting Justin and his fine talent. Thanks for recruiting him, Keith.

Justin gave much to media development in PNG in many roles. I especially like to recall him when he was one of the real 'stars' at Radio Bougainville and his name was a household word across the island.

A good man. Bright talent. Gone too soon....

You just had to like Justin.

I remember first meeting him, with his broad smile, brimming enthusiasm, casual confidence and an Afro hairdo large enough to lose an arsenal of ball point pens.

And yes, his radio magic.

It's my view that while Justin embraced the opportunities his young nation offered, he retained the strongest connection to his traditional ways.

I remember one day Justin, who was compering the national current affairs program, Contact, received a phone call from Boroko police station.

Some wantoks had borrowed Justin's car and crashed it. They were now in the kalabus and wanted Justin to bail them out.

"And you're going to do that?" I protested. Justin quickly put me right. There was traditional honour to uphold which I didn't understand.

Goodbye Justin. It's an honour to have known you.

Having taught Justin at Lemanmanu in 1967, where he was the youngest, smallest, most studious and brightest boy in the class, his later successes came as no surprise.

I extend my condolences to his family and friends and mourn his passing. RIP Justin.

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