The National, Tuesday, May 3, 2011
IT is well that Kundiawa and the rest of Chimbu will come to a standstill today to receive the bodies of the late member for Kundiawa-Gembogl Joe Mek Teine and that of his brother public servant, Joseph Dorpar, both of whom passed away in Port Moresby on Easter Monday.
We pray that respect is given these two prominent sons of Chimbu. Both are proud and dedicated Papua New Guineans who have served PNG well in their various capacities.
They lived their lives in the service of their country and it will be most disrespectful if people were allowed to dishonour them by becoming overly distraught.
We remember only too well the kind of destruction and violence that accompanied the death of Chimbu leader Sir Iambakey Okuk. It would not do to have a repeat of that kind of grieving and the order, which was present yesterday as the town prepared to receive the bodies of the two prominent sons, was exemplary.
Today, and for the rest of the week, it is hoped that the same sense of respect and decorum pervades throughout.
It would not do to grieve too deeply to the point of being distraught and disorderly.
It would not do to destroy property or cause others harm.
Death will come to all, old or young, important or not so important.
The thing to focus on is not the fact that the physical Teine and the physical Dorpar are no longer here. It would be good to focus on the deeds, the thoughts and the words of these two men and all those who die.
Teine did much in his life as a lawyer and for a short three years as a politician. He has left much that needs completing and that can only be done if we were to remember how he went about his job.
Dorpar did much as a public servant and as provincial administrator that warrants emulating, amplification and promotion.
Were we to grieve too much today, it would be as if they were gone, to be forgotten.
It would be wise to remember the words of the anonymous poet who penned the following lines: “They are not dead, who leave us this great heritage of remembering joy.
“They still live in our hearts, in the happiness we knew, in the dreams we shared.
“They still breathe, in the lingering fragrance, windblown, from their favourite flowers.
“They still smile in the moonlight’s silver, and laugh in the sunlight’s sparking gold.
“They still speak, in the echoes of the words we’ve heard them say again and again.
“They still move, in the rhythm of waving grasses, in the dance of the tossing branches.
“They are not dead; their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.
“They are not apart from us, but part of us, for love is eternal, and those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity.”
And, it is with love and respect that the bodies of the two sons of Chimbu be received today and their members kept.
The bodies of the two are expected to arrive in a chartered plane.
It is expected that fellow MPs from the province and highlands region will accompany the caskets into Kundiawa. It is certain that tens of thousands of people from throughout Chimbu and the highlands will be present for the funeral.
Teine, leader of the PNG National Party, the man they called the “gentle giant”, has championed the cause for changing a most disruptive practice within PNG – sorcery and the practice of killing those accused of it in extra-judicial kangaroo courts.
At the time of his death, Teine was chairman of the Constitutional Review and Law Reform Commission.
Dorpar served as a former provincial administrator to Chimbu, and contributed immensely to the development of the province.
Their passing is sure to leave a leadership vacuum in the province.
After their arrival, the bodies will lie in state so people can pay their last respects.
Official mourning will be for a week before the burials.
Two funeral committees are putting in place a programme for the week to honour the two leaders.