By OGIA MIAMEL
THE late Sir Brian Bell was described by one of his grandchildren as a person who had the heart to serve the people of Papua New Guinea and his dying wish was for his family to continue his good work.
“Since his passing, it has taken us a really good five years to make sure that everything was in place and everything that we wished for and everything that we could do as a foundation were set up as a proper foundation in PNG,” a granddaughter and chief executive officer of Sir Brian Bell Foundation Bronwyn Wright said.
Wright said it had been an active past couple of months for her and her brother Ian Clough and her father, CEO of Brian Bell group of companies, Trevan Clough, as they made preparations towards launching a foundation in memory of Sir Brian.
“The Sir Brian Bell Foundation (SBBF) was established as a legacy to my grandfather Sir Brian Bell, basically his love for PNG and his desire to give back to the country he loved so much. Sir Brian was an exceptionally tough businessman but he also had a reputation as a renowned philanthropist and the mission of the foundation is to continue his work,” Wright said.
She said they made their first donation of a new dialysis machine and medicines to the Kidney Foundation of Port Moresby General Hospital and their second donation was to the Anglicare six months ago.
“My grandfather was very specific; when he passed away he wanted to make sure that the house he lived in for so many years was given to the church to utilise for whatever they needed. I believe at the moment the bishop of the Anglican Church of PNG lives there with his family so that’s being really positive.”
She said heading SBBF was going to be a personal challenge for her because her grandfather had a big personality and was very well-known and did some fantastic things.
“I only hope that if I can achieve a quarter of what he did then I’d be very happy.”
She said her grandfather had been involved in a long list of charitable organisations and had many titles. To name a few, Sir Brian was the deputy lord mayor for Port Moresby, a member of the law and order commission, chairman of the Port Moresby General Hospital board and he was knighted by Queen of England and the King and Queen of Sweden.
She said donations was one thing but they wanted to do something that was different and that drove them to partner with Port Moresby General Hospital to run the youth blood drive, an education programme that was also launched with the foundation on June 14.
That partnership is also a legacy of Sir Brian who was the hospital board chairman from 1995 until his passing, Wright said.
Sir Brian’s passion for the hospital and health and trying to make it the best hospital it can be was “definitely a huge thing to him so the partnership made a lot of sense because the issue that they are facing is a critical one.”
She said in terms of blood it was a serious concern that the country did not have enough and they needed youths to donate blood and help others and the blood drive would help youths to know the health benefits and importance of being a blood donor.
“Once you donate blood your blood goes to the lab and gets tested and it comes back and if you got something that needs taking care of you can check; doctors and nursed involved in the youth blood drive come back and talk to you about what’s going on and how you can assist yourself with healthy living.”
She said the SBBF has two external advisory members, Lady Winifred Kamit and Justice Bill Neil who were good friends to the late Brian and the family.
“It’s going to be his birthday on July 3rd that will be his 88 birthday. The launch of the foundation and our first major project I see as an early birthday gift to him,” she said.
The foundation website was also launched and for more information one can go to www.sirbrianbellfoundation.org or check out their Facebook pages.
By OGIA MIAMEL