The Melanesian man farewelled

National, Normal

BERNARD Mullu Narokobi was a very special, simple and humble human being, head of state of Samoa, and a very close friend to the late Mr Narokobi, Tui Atuo Tapua Tamasese Efi, said of his late friend during a  funeral mass held at St Joseph’s Catholic church in the nation’s capital yesterday.
More than 1,000 mourners  turned up to pay their last respects.
Distinguished guests included Prime Minister Sir Michael and Lady Veronica Somare, Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia, Deputy Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu and Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane and his wife Lady Kaludia.
During his tribute, Mr Efi said he and Mr Narokobi had come a long way back as firm friends during university days at UPNG.
“I have made Bernard my hero after reading his books on Melanesian Ways and the law and customs in Melanesia.
“Bernard was a good speaker, writer and his works have influenced many people in PNG and the Pacific,” he said.
Sir Michael described the former politician as a “son of Sepik” in his tribute, saying PNG had lost one of its “good thinkers”.
“I know Bernard as a good thinker during his days as the adviser and a member of my cabinet. Bernard would sit and just think things over and later action it and he does it well.”
Sir Salamo said the late Mr Narokobi’s contribution socially and politically to PNG was quite extensive.
He had produced the highest number of judges in the country during his reign as acting judge in 12 months period in 1980.
“The philosopher and lawyer even played a part in the drafting of the Constitution in 1975 and had looked at the other Pacific countries’ constitutions.”
Vergil, Mr Narokobi’s eldest son, described his late father as a man for all seasons because he had realised in his early days that he had a calling to public life and he was steadfast in whatever he did during his career days to PNG. 
Daughter Benedine, niece Faith and eldest grandson, Edmond, also paid a tribute on behalf of the Narokobis.
Meanwhile, the casket departs for Wewak today and will be at Christ the King Cathedral and on Saturday he will be laid to rest at his funeral burial site.