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Assistant Commissioner Joe Bemu dies in Bougainville


A BOUGAINVILLEAN WHO BECAME ONE of PNG’s top police officers, Joseph Bemu, 62, died last Saturday at his village in the Lenoke area in Buin District of south Bougainville.

The retired Chief Superintendent Bemu was the first Bougainvillean to be appointed to the post of the Assistant Police Commissioner on Bougainville in 2004.

He lost a leg during the Bougainville conflict, but never let that interfere with his duty.

Joe was a good and honest man and worked hard for reconciliation in Bougainville. He was my wife Rose's adopted father and his wife Mary was 'best woman' at our wedding.

Joe and his family took Rose in and looked after her at Bomana when she was down and out in Port Moresby and had been deserted by relatives. She later took his name.

He has been described by the acting head of the Bougainville Police Service, Supt Paul Kamuai, as an honest and committed officer who commanded the Service through a very challenging time when Bougainville was emerging from the crisis period, with a lot of public distrust of police.

Born in 1950 at Masiongu village in the Lule constituency of Buin, Joe joined the Royal PNG Constabulary as a recruit in 1972.

He made his way through the ranks while serving in various postings around PNG, receiving honours and commendations for his service, particularly in the Highlands and Popondetta and as chief instructor at the Bomana Police College.

Later he was transferred to Bougainville and served as the provincial police commander from 1998-2003, and later as the Assistant Police Commissioner of the Bougainville Command from 2004-2007.

Joe retired in 2007 due to ill health and was elected chairman of the Lenoke council of elders.

He will be sadly missed.


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Peter Kranz

Message just received from close relatives -

"Joe was buried yesterday and we are in haus krai at Morata 1".

PNG Attitude expresses its deep regrets to the relatives and friends of the great Joe Bemu - KJ

Kaludia Pirit

Such a person like Joe Bemu deserves great honour and respect. He had done a great job in PNG and Bougainville, and had the heart for his people despite his disability.

Reading your article made a great impact in my life, thanks so much for being a role model for PNG and Bougainville as a whole.

Sadly you have left us, but with a good reputation and we will cherish the good memories you have left behind.

God will bless you and reward you according to the jobs that you have performed. May your soul rest in peace.

Peter Kranz

Can anyone let me know the funeral details for Joe Bemu?

Important for family reasons. Thanks.

Dave Lornie of the Post-Courier is based in Buka. He reads PNG Attitude but I suggest you drop him an email at Dave's wife comes from south Bougainville - KJ

Nevegapa Abeya Sam

Thanks Joe Bemu for the wonderful job you did for PNG and Bougainville. Although you lost one of your legs, you did not allow it to interfere with your duty.

You had a heart for PNG and Bougainville, and you worked very hard despite the problem. As a result of your work, peace has come and we are united.

But now the day has come for you to rest. You have gone but the memories are left within PNG and Bougainville. They still linger in the hearts of the people.

Thanks for being a good role model. I hope many people have learnt good things from you. You played your part in the development of this nation.

Thanks for that. God will reward you for what you have done. Thanks and may you rest in peace.

Mrs Barbara Short

I pass my sympathy on to Rose, yourself and family. I can understand how Joe Bemu will be sadly missed by many. He has served PNG and Bougainville well.

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