REST IN PEACE MY SISTER. In September 1975 when I was about 7 years old my mum and 4 others died in a truck accident at Pagia Cap on the top of the Panguna mine. That was the biggest accident on the Panguna road recorded at that time with 5 deaths and several of us wounded.
My elder sister who was also wounded took care of me till I could make a living on my own. As she and her husband didn’t have kids I was treated like her brother and son. After Dad had a stroke in 1983 and couldn’t effort to raise money for my high school fees, Naomi and her husband came in. They used to smoke or dry coconut or copra, one of the main incomes. It is a hard life making copra, the coconut plantation is far from the road so they smoke it there and carry it up and down the hills to where the truck can carry it.
Fortunately with the money from cocoa they managed to meet all my high school fees and other needs for my 4 years in the high school.
As the Mekamui/Bougainville uprising started I joined in the war and got wounded. My sister Naomi and her husband used to come and visit me at the bush camp where I was taken care of by my elder brother and other relatives.
Naomi was ill for sometime with some kind of sore in her legs, so when I went home each year I treasured every moment with her as she had lost much weight. On my trip home this year I spent about 6 weeks with her and she told me that her heart was strong but her body was weak. When I was about to leave she shook hands with me and told me to take care.
Early in July 2011 she was admitted to Arawa Health centre with the sore getting big. When I rang my nephew if she wanted me to come home, she said its okay you are faraway with vasts oceans in between. So I kept in touch by calling to check on her.
On Wednesday 20th July at 12pm local time she died.
As she was laid to rest two days later I couldn’t make it to her burial but I will visit the family sometimes later.
She will be remembered by my comrades and me. Naomi used to be ready on time with food whenever we came home from patrols.
May you rest in Peace