The National, Tuesday 18th September, 2012
THE National photographer, Auri Eva, passed away at 4pm last Thursday at his home at Kirakira, Port Moresby.
He had suffered from abdominal pains for some time before he was finally diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas in August.
He was admitted at the Port Moresby General Hospital for a few weeks but had to be discharged on Aug 8 for lack of proper drugs to administer to him, according to his family.
Eva had been a veteran photographer since the days of the office of information prior to independence. He was with the first team of news media people from PNG who accompanied the PNG Defence Force in a DC3 aircraft to cross to Vanuatu where the Kumul Force quashed a secessionist uprising by rebel Jimmy Stevens. Stevens attempted to prevent independence for the then fledgling nation.
Auri’s pictures from there graced the front pages of both the national and international news media.
On his sick bed at the Pomgen, Eva fondly recalled: “I remember Sinclaire Solomon and I when we went with the Kumul Force to Port Vila and we flew on to Espirito Santo. It was quite a moment for me. You know, PNG bringing independence to its brothers. I always remember that assignment.”
And there were hundreds more assignments that Auri completed with distinction for the office of information, for the South Pacific Post, for Niugini Nius and The Times of PNG, both of which are defunct now, and started with The National newspaper when it began publishing in the early 1990s.
Auri follows our other distinguished veteran photographer William Williando who also died while still working.
Editor-in-Chief Frank S Kolma said yesterday: “Auri was a class all his own. He saw news and the world through the viewfinder of a camera and would not venture into writing or any other media field even through of opportunities, there were very many.
“Quiet and always neat, we shall miss his ready smile and laughter.
“We pass our condolences to wife Oroti, daughters Siamu, Kiri, Cathy and Eva and grandchildren Bradley, Joshua, Junior and Owen.”