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Papua New Guinea is in mourning following the passing of the country’s first Prime Minister, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare after battling pancreatic cancer.
The Somare family issued a statement earlier this morning announcing the passing of Sir Michael. He was 84 years of age.
“It is with great sadness that I on behalf of Lady Veronica Somare announce the passing of her beloved husband, the father of her children and grandchildren and great grandchild Sir Michael Thomas Somare at 12am on Friday 26th February 2021,” Sir Michael’s daughter Betha Somare said.
She said Sir Michael was only diagnosed with late stage of pancreatic cancer in early February and admitted to hospital on the 19th of February 2021.
“Sadly, pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive cancers that are rarely detected early. We as a family had only two weeks to look for possible treatments for our father, “she said.
Betha described her late father as a loyal husband to their mother and great father first to them, then grandchildren and great granddaughter.
“We are endeared that many Papua New Guineans equally embrace Sir Michael as the father and grandfather,” she said.
Bertha said, “as a man of great faith, we are pleased that Sir Michael was able to be given his last rites and anointing by Cardinal Sir John Ribat.
The family has advised that arrangements will be made in due course regarding the final resting place of Late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.
“We thank everyone who in those few days had worked so hard to save Sir Michael’s life be it through medivac, healthcare itself or providing transport. We also thank everyone who wrote to express their support and offer their prayers to our father and our family. We are humbled,” Bertha Somare said.
SOURCE: NBC NEWS PNG/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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