Journalist Robert Palme dies at 53

Long-time teacher and journalist, Robert Wani Palme, died on Thursday at the St John’s Hospital in Port Moresby.

Palme, 53, of Kerepia in the Tambul Nebilyer District of Western Highlands, complained of chest pains on Thursday morning and had his children rush him to the hospital.

His condition deteriorated rapidly at the hospital despite attempts by medical staff to stabilize him and shortly after noon, he was taken off life support.

Friend and colleague, Frank Senge Kolma, said: “Palme’s death is a big loss to his family and his people and to those handful of us from the highlands region who earlier entered the unchartered waters of journalism.

“He leaves a vacuum.

“Robert walked frequently and appeared in the prime of health just the day before but death’s perverse way is always sudden and shocking,” Kolma continued.

“His death is a terrible loss to family and friends and the profession has lost another senior journalist, but while we grieve his departure, we also must celebrate his contributions.

“Each who will remember him have been blessed by his touch and shared experiences.”

Palme was a secondary school teacher for four years before he attained his Bachelor of Journalism from UPNG in 1990.

He taught at Fatima High School and at Ulagunan Private High School.

He has worked at the National Broadcasting Corporation, Post-Courier, The National, PNG Ports Corporation, PNG Forests Authority, Police Media, Ministry of Transport, National Land Development Program, Constitutional and Law Reform Commission, Pacific Games news service, the AES Security and was with the Private Public Media Ltd at time of his death.

His objective in life was “to be sincere and honest with what I do and take a day at a time”.

Palme is survived by children Elias, Junior Robert, Kerry, Vanessa, Wane, Elias Jr, Ronnycah and wife Lydia.

Relatives and friends wishing to pay their respects may call at Niggins St, Morata Stage 3.

Details of funeral program will be released later.

(The late Palme)

Freddy Mou