PM, dignitaries farewell Mendani at Parlt

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The family of late Kerema MP Richard Mendani following his casket as it leaves the Parliament House yesterday. – Nationalpics by KENNEDY BANI

PRIME Minister James Marape led MPs and dignitaries in farewelling the late Kerema MP Richard Mendani at Parliament House yesterday.
Joining Marape were Deputy Speaker Koni Iguan, Opposition Leader Belden Namah, Aitape-Lumi MP Patrick Pruaitch and Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp.
The bagpipes of the Correctional Services band led the procession into the Parliament Hall.
Behind the casket were his wife Wakina Mendani and their five children.
Her wailing echoed the family’s loss.
She collapsed on the stairs and had to be supported as she walked into Parliament House.
Marape, who had just completed his tour of Gulf, laid a wreath and walked to where the family sat to offer words of comfort.
MPs and Australian High Commissioner Jonathan Philp followed to say their final goodbye.
Today, the body will be flown to Kerema town where Iguan will hand it over to Gulf Governor Chris Haiveta.
Pruaitch, leader of the National Alliance Party, described Mendani as soft-spoken but was well-versed on how to solve political issues.
“He was a straight-shooter and often spoke his mind on national issues,” he said.
“I want to thank his family for allowing him to take up the leadership role as the Kerema MP.”