A sad day indeed for the judiciary and members of the legal fraternity are deeply saddened at the untimely passing of the judge who was serving his second 10-year term as a National and Supreme Court judge.
Chief Justice, Sir Salamo Injia has released an official statement regarding the death, extending the judiciary’s condolence to his wife, Sandy Lenalia, children and relatives.
The late judge passed on today at 1:30am from the Pacific International Hospital after suffering from a heart attack. He was medevac to Port Moresby on Saturday.
His body was taken to the Funeral home around lunch today.
The late Justice Lenalia was appointed an acting judge of the National court on 15 February 1996. The acting appointment was for a period of 12 months. He served as an acting judge for three terms.
Prior to his appointment as an acting Judge, he served as a magistrate for 22 years.
On March 6, 2001 he was appointed a permanent judge of the National and Supreme Court by the then Chairman of the Judicial and Legal Service commission Jacob Wama.
He was reappointed on March 16, 2011 for a second, 10-year term till his untimely passing.
The late judge completed his grade 10 in the East New Britain province at the George Brown High School in 1969 before joining the Department of Transport in Kavieng, where he worked as an administrative clerk.
He later joined the army in 1970 and by 15 August 1974, he reached the Corporal rank in the army.
By February 1975, he commenced his training with the magisterial services as a Local Court Magistrate at the Administrative College.
His first posting as a magistrate was to Chimbu in 1975. He later served in Goroka, Kainantu, and East New Britain.
In 1984, he was posted to Vanimo as the Senior Provincial Magistrate.
From 1985-1987, he underwent Legal Studies at UPNG, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws degree (in absentia). He proceeded onto the Legal training Institute and on November 30, 1990, he was admitted to the bar.
His work as a magistrate continued the following year, where he was posted to Kavieng, before serving in Vanuatu as a senior magistrate from March 1992 to 1995.