Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 29 July 2015Posted: July 29, 2015
The Nation Mourns is today’s Daily Post headline with a superb photo of the highly respected – and well loved – leader backed by the national flag. "As the news of the passing away of the Opposition Leader hit the local media, political leaders, church leaders, chiefs, women and youth leaders, members of the diplomatic corps and individuals from around Vanuatu, within the region and beyond, began conveying their condolence messages and remarks and statements to his family, the Vanua’aku Party, the Government and the people of Vanuatu," said Post on the passing of Edward Nipake Natapei.
"The death of the former Prime Minister Tuesday morning at Vila Central Hospital at the age of 61 has been termed a ‘big loss’ by his longtime colleague and also former Prime Minister Joe Natuman," added the paper. Natuman said the party and Vanuatu have lost a true leader who has pioneered many development projects for the country.
Natuman called Natapei a role model for everyone, a humble person who did not like corruption and everything that is not good, due in many ways to his upbringing.
He was born in 1954 and in 1984 represented Tafea Outer Islands, thereafter Port Vila. For many years he was Treasurer of the Vanua’aku Pati and Natuman said "The latest major task that he was the main instigator of is the reunification of VP, NUP, MPP and PPP for the political parties to come and work together following too much instability. The initiative has seen a good result from the recent Lganville election."
Friday sees an official programme with the body of Natapei lying in state at the Pig’s Tusk in the Parliament complex. Leaders will pay their last respects during the ceremony starting at 7.15. A service at Paton Memorial Church will follow.
The example of Edward Nipake Natapei will be very much in everyone’s mind as we celebrate 35 years of Independence tomorrow.
Many messages of condolence have reached the Digest and we can simply pass them on to the Natapei family and government.