A Tribute and Condolence by Hon Samuel H Basil, MP

Statement By Hon. Sam Basil, Bulolo MP

Deputy Prime Minister of Papau New Guinea

Leader of United Labour Party


‘Thank You Sir Michael, founding father of Papua New Guinea’

As our Nation Mourns the Passing of the Greatest Papua New Guinean Leader and Global Statesman

Our Grand Chief, the Late Sir Michael Thomas Somare, was one of the great men of world history and public achievement.

At this time when we mourn his passing, and our prayers are with his ever supporting and proud family, Lady Veronica, Sana, Bertha, Arthur, Dulciana, Michael jr, we also celebrate this great leader.

There are few people in the history of the world who have the honour of being called the Father of their Nation.

These are Men who unified hearts and brought about change through peaceful means and the power of dialogue to create nations of democracy and vision.

Leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Lee Kuan Yew and Nelson Mandela are the contemporaries of our Grand Chief as men who brought about change and created new Nation States through peaceful means.

As much as our Late Grand Chief was a global statesman, he always had the common touch and connection with the grassroots men and women of our Nation.

Our Grand Chief was as much at ease speaking with the Queen as he was speaking with a villager in Bulolo or anywhere else in the country.

From humble beginnings as a school teacher, he understood what was needed to help our people to grow and thrive.

He took what he learned from the families in schools, and what he learned from the workers and the labour unions, to enter politics and become our first Prime Minister.

He applied sensible solutions to the challenges we faced as a young Nation.

Through developing agriculture and fisheries, building commerce and industry and ensuring all of our people had better opportunities for our future, our Grand Chief built the foundations of our Nation.

At a personal level, I was always in awe of his presence any time I had the honour and privilege to meet with this great man.

Even as a young Member of Parliament, he would make the time to share his views and allow me to learn from the wisdom of his knowledge, and these are memories that I will cherish for my lifetime.

The Father of our Nation is now with our Heavenly Father and the great leaders of the world, together with every one of our people who passed before him after working our soil and fishing our seas for tens of thousands of years.

There really are no words that can even try to summarise the feelings we have as a Nation today in our time of grief, but perhaps the simple words ‘Thank You Sir’ are the most appropriate.

Thank you Sir for giving our people hope and for guiding us to achieve our dreams as a unified people.

We will carry your vision forward for generations into the future.

The Late Sir Michael Somare’s life of accomplishment gave sovereignty to our people, and will always be the foundation stone of our identity as the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

As Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Commerce and Industry, on behalf of Department of Commerce and Industry, all Commercial Statutory Authorities: Investment Promotion Authority, Industrial Centres Development Corporation, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Corporation, National Development Bank, National Institution of Standards and Industrial Technology, and as Trustee Delegate for Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd, Member for Bulolo and head of the extended Basil Family, I extend:

My personal profound sadness and that of my family and institutions listed to the Lady Veronica, Dulciana Somare-Brash and all the Somare Extend Family members.

And our collective prayers of comfort and consolation which only God Our Father can give.

May the Soul of our founding father, our collectively highly valued and precious leader rest in God’s Eternal Peace.

With great respect,

Hon Samuel H Basil, MP

Leader United Labor Party



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