From Wutung in West Sepik Province to East Cape in Milne Bay, from the Shortland in the Autonomous region of Bougainville to the isles of the Coral Sea in Milne Bay to Manus in the Bismarck Sea and New Ireland and New Britain in the New Guinea islands from Yonki to Lake Kopiago in the highlands and the Torres Straits in Western Province to China Straits in Milne Bay in the Southern Region and from Tewaii Siassi to Wutung in Mamose region, we mourn our first Prime Minister, our finest and dearest Chief and Father.
Opposition leader Belden Namah in his tribute described Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare as a humble man of God, a faithful and loyal husband, a firm and loving father, and a courageous and visionary leader of our young nation.
He was the face of unity in a land divided with 1,200 tribes conversing in 800 plus different languages, he showed strength in a time when doubt sapped our marrow, and he was the focus when obscurity threatened.
He fought colonialism outside and ignorance within and won.
He gave our young nation its first taste of self government in September 1973, gave it its own Constitution in August 1974 and proclaimed its Independence on 16 September, 1975.
He held its hand through the first decade of uncertainty and was there always to guide it through three more decades.
Known throughout the Commonwealth and the world, Somare was the face of Papua New Guinea.
He leaves behind a legacy which no man can equal.
He leaves Papua New Guinea as he founded it: United, God fearing and free.
Grand Chief Sir Michael Thomas Somare shall remain with us into the far future.
I appreciate his mentoring. I am happy that I have made my peace with him.
As long as I live I shall never forget him.
May the chorus of Heaven’s angels bear him homeward bound.
And may his soul rest in peace.