Sir Paulias Passes On

Papua New Guinea’s eighth Governor-General, Grand Chief Sir Paulias Nguna Matane who served from June 29, 2004 to December 13, 2010 passed away in the early hours of this morning.

Sir Paulias Matane’s family members have confirmed his passing.

At his passing, the former governor general was ninety years old.

He was born to parents Ilias Matane, a missionary, and Elsha Toto on September 21, 1931 in East New Britain at Viviran Village, Gazelle district.

Sir Paulias started his professional career as a teacher, then served as the first Papua New Guinean Ambassador to the United States of America following the establishment of diplomatic relations between the both countries, served as PNG’s ambassador to the UN, vice-president of the UN General Assembly, Secretary of the PNG Foreign Affairs Department and as PNG’s eighth governor-general.

A brilliant writer, Sir Paulias authored over 40 books, his memoir “My Childhood in New Guinea” has been on the country’s curriculum since the 1970s and has been known to encourage other Papua New Guineans to write as well.

The sad passing of Sir Paulias brings PNG to yet another period of mourning this year after the country’s significant losses of former prime ministers Sir Mekere Morauta, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, the country’s seventh governor-general Sir Silas Atopare, statesmen MP for Middle Fly Roy Biyama, MP for Middle Ramu and Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Jonny Alonk.

Marysila Kellerton