By JIMMY KALEBE
Long-time Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Alan McLay was laid to rest at the old Lae cemetery yesterday after an emotional funeral service attended by family members, friends and colleagues.
McLay died at Angau Memorial Hospital on Wednesday last week after a long illness.
He is survived by wife Nellie and his two children – Alistair and Kathryn.
During the funeral service at Cassowary Road United Church, many heard that McLay, who came to Papua New Guinea in 1964 as a 19-year-old kiap (patrol officer), served PNG with his whole heart as a young man until his death.
Present at the funeral service were PNG Electoral Commissioner Patalias Gamato, Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis, Acting Morobe administrator Sheila Harou, former Morobe premier Sir Jerry Nalau, guests and members of the business community in Lae.
McLay came to Papua New Guinea as a cadet patrol officer under the Australian government and was posted to Pomio in East New Britain.
He later was posted to Wakunai in Bougainville, some parts of Chimbu, Madang and finally was appointed as deputy commissioner in Morobe and served under commissioner Jerry Nalau from 1981 and 1985.
Wife Nellie McLay described her late husband as a father and a true companion who was also her mentor.
“The very church that my husband’s casket is lying now is the very place that we tied the knot to be husband and wife back in September 1982,” she said.
She said the family decided to have her husband buried in Lae because “this is where his heart is.”
By JIMMY KALEBE