HARRY West was not a big man. Harry West was not a small man, but Harry West was a great man. Harry was also a kind man, a thoughtful man, and a generous man.
Masta West, Mata ‘Arry, was admired, respected and loved by all those who knew him: black, brown and white.
A letter from the Chief Minister, written in April 1974, epitomised Harry’s enormous contribution to Papua New Guinea. Michael Somare, later Sir Michael wrote:
It is with sincere regret that I learn of your impending retirement because of ill health. I am very conscious of the outstanding role you have played in the progress of our country over the last 28 years, and I realise that a man of your wide experience and understanding would be invaluable to us as this country moves through the independence period.
Independence will bring us problems, but the public services and the people will be able to cope with those problems, due to you, and to others like you, who have given a lifetime of service with this object in view.