A memorial for Bill Standish will be held in Canberra this coming Monday. Instead of flowers, the family wishes that donations be made to Médecins Sans Frontières at https://www.msf.org.au/
KUNDIAWA - It was no ordinary hauskrai. Under the mango tree at the Riverside Hotel it was special.
Special because there was much laughter, and fun, and also solemn moments. Young and old came from far off places in Simbu – many of them I knew, others I had never met. They were all friends of Bill Standish.
Angra Bill’s brothers and sisters. His namesake and his wife Sue’s namesake from Mindima village came. We all came together to celebrate the life of a great mate, a teacher, a mentor, a brother, a father and a namesake.
Bill Standish’s good friend Steven Gari came with his family from Asaro in the Eastern Highlands Province. They brought with them a big pig for the celebration.
Others came with vegetables, bananas, avocados, bread, frozen meat and more - everybody brought something for the barbecue. There was lots of food.
We displayed a blue trampoline as a sign of a true hauskrai. But unlike the usual crying house in Papua New Guinea that can go on for many days, this hauskrai only lasted just four hours.
Grown men broke down before they uttered a word and others who assembled could not hold back their tears.
We live in a society where emotions are never far from breaking point, especially at gatherings like this where we mourn the departure of loved ones.