A CATHOLIC church pioneer celebrated his 50 years of being a missionary at the Anglimp district in Western Highlands province last weekend.Pius Pii, from Hagen Central, was appointed as a catechist or church helper by American missionary, Fr William Ross, who was also the first missionary to bring Christianity into the province and other parts of the Highlands.
When Fr Ross first arrived in the province in 1933, he was based at the Rebiamul parish and chose local boys to assist him in spreading the gospel. Among these boys was Mr Pii, who had to accompany Fr Ross to the Anglimp district in 1947, and later built the Kuli parish and its outstations, along with the Holy Rosary Primary School, Kuli Vocational Centre and an aid post. Since then, Mr Pii has been a long serving missionary in the Kurki village in Anglimp. In appreciation of this, the Anglimp community also gave money to Mr Pii, and William Atep and wife of late Raphael Mokawho who also came to the area with Mr Pii for bringing the Gospel as well as Government services into their district. Last Saturday, Mr Pii celebrated his golden jubilee at Kurki villagewhere he has been serving for the past 50 years.
The 92-year-old Mr Pii, showed no signs of his age as he addressed the bumper crowd which came to witness the celebrations. He said he was happy that he had ended up where he was because he felt he had accomplished part of Gods will in his life.
He asked the people to live a God-fearing life in order to live and enjoy life longer.
Mr Pii is also the father of the director of the National Research Institute (NRI), Dr Thomas Webster.