The National, Friday July 26th, 2013
By ELIAS LARI
A WOMAN in Western Highlands, believed to be more than 100 years old, died in her village on Monday.
Rosa Mit Kopong, from the Moge Nambuka clan in Gumas village, Mt Hagen, left behind sons Philip and John.
She is a grandmother to 15 children, great grandmother to 35, and great great grandmother to one.
According to the Catholic Church’s birth records received from Fr Garry Roach at the archdiocese in Mt Hagen, Kopong was born in the early 1900s.
She came from the Moge Koipeka clan and married husband Kopong Kuipku from the Moge Nambuka clan.
Her relatives said she died peacefully during her sleep at her village home on Monday.
Kopong was married before Catholic missionaries led by the late Fr William Ross arrived at Rebiamul in 1934.
Some leaders in the province attended her mourning ritual and confirmed that she was more than 100 years old.
She was hailed as a devoted mother by her children and in-laws.
Her grandson Peter Mara is a prominent businessman in the province, while one of her in-laws, James Pini, is a well-known educationist.
She was blessed with many children who are now enjoying a happy and prosperous life.
One of her grandsons, Peter Pawa, said she was a God-fearing woman who was health-conscious.
Pawa said his grandmother was not suffering from any illness when she died.
“She was very old but looked healthy so we did not expect her to die like that. But it was God’s plan.
“We thank God for protecting her and allowing her to live for over 100 years,” Pawa said.
He said many people visited her just to see how she had lived.
“She looked well and healthy. It’s just that her body was weakening and so did not allow her to live more than that on earth.”
Pawa said his grandmother’s advice to them was always to look after themselves, live a God-fearing life and avoid ungodly and illegal activities because they were the key to longevity.