The National – Tuesday, December 21, 2010
By YVONNE HAIP
THE significant impact and contribution to developmental changes initiated by leaders are often unnoticed but is realised when they have passed on.
This was the regret expressed by mourners who turned up in numbers to welcome home former politician and businessman Thomas Alu in Banz, Western Highlands’ North Waghi district, last Friday.
He was a pioneer of development in Banz, which is set to be the headquarters of the new province of Jiwaka in 2012, and owned a string of stores there.
All businesses in Banz closed normal operations on the day in respect, and people from all over the Jiwaka region flocked in to mourn the passing of their leader.
Alu, from the Bambilnge tribe, died on Dec 11 at his home in Madang after experiencing heart complications.
He led a successful life after he lost his mother when he was just two months old and was raised in the haus man.
After completing studies at the University of PNG, he began his career as adviser and first secretary to both late Sir Kaibelt Diria, who was then minister for post and telegraph, and late Thomas Kavali, former lands and physical planning minister.
From there, he moved on to become the provincial planner until he resigned to become a private businessman in general merchandising, real estate and coffee growing.
He was appointed by the Wingti government as chairman of the Coffee Industry Corporation Board for over nine years and was chairman of the National Housing Corporation board for three years.
He also served on various state entities as a board member from time to time before contesting for the Madang town constituency and won the seat.
He was later removed when the reforms were introduced.
Alu is survived by four wives, 12 children and many grandchildren.