PNG’s first doctor to be laid to rest

His only daughter from his second marriage, Walio Taureka, described her late father’s December 11 passing as unexpected.

She told this newsroom that he was travelling from his home village to Port Moresby to do the family’s Christmas shopping when he passed away suddenly. This happened after he was complaining of abdominal pains.

Sir Reuben was a hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetic patient but medically managed and took care of himself to live 89 fruitful years, Walio said.

Sympathies conveyed to Sir Reuben’s family

It has been reported that the former statesman passed away today. Details into his death are still sketchy.

Sir Puka Temu, on behalf of the people of Abau district, said Sir Reuben’s passing is a great loss for the country and Abau.

The late Sir Reuben was one of Papua New Guinea’s first medical doctors and was also the first Health Minister in Michael Somare's and PNG's first ministry.

Sir Puka said the country owes it to pioneers like the late Sir Reuben who contributed immensely to the development of health and politics in the early days.