By SHEILA LASIBORI
REPRESENTATIVES from the PNG business community and sports fraternity turned out in numbers to show respect to PNG’s first internationally qualified insurer and sports personality Henry Raisi Kila.
Late Mr Kila’s distinguished services to sports and business in the country particularly his efforts in strengthening business relations between PNG and Australia was highly acknowledged during the funeral service in Port Moresby’s Sioni Kami Memorial church at Gordon.
His close friend and deputy opposition leader and Lae MP Bart Philemon described Mr Kila as “larger than life in PNG; a pioneer come trailblazer; a truly bigman in PNG society yet a very humble down to earth person; firm believer of honesty, integrity; and indeed a unique Papua New Guinean of this ear”.
Mr Kila succumbed to an acute heart attack brought on by clogged arteries and diabetic condition at about two o’clock on Monday at the Port Moresby Private Specialist Medical Centre.
He was 58.
He will be buried at his Arure village tomorrow after the trip home today to Delena and Yule
Island in Kairuku,
The message during yesterday’s funeral service was one of celebration on the life that Mr Kila lived, shared with others, and especially for being a father, grandfather, son, brother, husband and a friend.
Mr Philemon read Mr Kila’s eulogy in front of an almost packed congregation consisting of senior government officials led by Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu; officials and representatives from the private sector especially the business community; sports fraternity, friends and family members.
Mr Philemon continued in the eulogy: “The fact that he was accepted to do matriculation studies in 1967 at UPNG is the first ray of brilliance which would later – for nearly four decades – permeate the insurance industry, business and sports leadership.”
Phil Franklin representing the business community acknowledged Mr Kila’s services to business in PNG, Australia and the region.
“He had the ability to interpret commentaries from Waigani (Parliament). He had the ability to relate situations overseas to PNG context.
“I encourage people and organisations to step up and fill the gap left by Henry,” Mr Franklin said.