Smith was at his father's bedside in Cairns after he suffered a mild heart attack.
Frank Genaia, the company’ General Manager presented Smith’s message to the gathering.
“On behalf of the board, management and staff of Post-Courier, we are at a loss. We have not only lost a brother, father, grandfather but a mentor in the Post -Courier and the media industry as a whole. His leadership and mentoring will leave a gaping hole for those who follow in his footsteps. We extend our sincere condolences to his family."
"No words, no story can ever describe late OP's passion and pride to fight for freedom of the Press. During his editorship, he kept his office door open to the nation, making sure politicians and government were warned if consequences of curtailing the freedom of the Press.”
"From Page 1 to the Letters page and even the cartoon section, Late OP's fight for freedom of the Press was evident in one way or another."
The statement said, "he talked, wrote, walked and lived a life of a champion journalist and editor who championed the freedom if the Press."
He also championed the Gun Control Campaign, which we at Post-Courier are proud of this legacy. A report was tabled to the Government back then. Unfortunately, to date the report is collecting dust in the corridors of Waigani. And now as a country are faced with the guns issue worse than ever in out history,"Genaia told the gathering.
Late OP was not only naturally-gifted, he was passionate and his passion was the number one attribute that gave him the leadership edge. In other words, his love for his country was genuine and he made up his mind to serve his country to address some of his dreams for his country.
"That is passion for you. And when you find people doing that in the media, they become active players in the life of the nation." Genaia said,
"Morobe should be proud of OP, one of its favourite sons and a true champion."
"He was cut out to be a leader and the place destined for him was the media."
"Journalist's are sometimes referred to as 'champions of the underdogs'. We have lost one."
"But like soldiers they never die. They will fall but will soon get up, dust-off themselves and burst into a run again."
Genaia said such was the case of OP.
"We took him back a short time ago to help with the quest for leadership, PNG to elect good men in this year's National General Elections, a role that fitted him well. But now the country has suffered a major setback with his passing." "Rest in peace our champion, people's champion. We will miss you.! The body of Late Oseah Philemon departs today for Lae, his home city where another funeral service will take place before he is laid to rest at His village in Labu.
Late Oseah Philemon was 64 years old when he was called by his maker. He was born on May 19, 1953. His late wife Pauline passed away in July 2014. He is survived by five children and 14 grand children.
(Photo courtesy of PNG Media Council.)