Balthazar passes on

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The National, Monday February 24th, 2014

 CORRECTIONAL Service Commissioner Martin Balthazar died on Saturday afternoon in Port Moresby after suffering a mild stroke.

Balthazar, 58, from Turubu, East Sepik, had served the Correctional Services for more than 40 years.  

His death came three days after Deputy Commissioner Corporate Services David Melange collapsed and died during the CS national commanders’ conference in Goroka, Eastern Highlands, last Wednesday.  

Deputy Commissioner Operations Michael Waipo confirmed that Balthazar passed away at about 5pm at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

Waipo said Balthazar was attending the commanders’ conference and suffered a mild stroke on Tuesday.

He said the commissioner was taken to the Goroka Base Hospital and on Thursday was transferred to the Port Moresby General Hospital.  

Waipo said the deaths of the two senior officers within the same week had shocked the Correctional Services management and staff throughout the country.

“It was a great loss and a first of its kind for one department to experience,” he said. 

Waipo said official funeral programmes would be finalised soon.

The Government is expected to announce the appointment of an acting Correctional Services commissioner today.