By Jack Lapauve Jr – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Hundreds gathered this morning to witness the State Funeral for the late Hela Governor, Anderson Agiru.
Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, was among members of parliament and dignitaries who attended. Prior to that, the casket of the late Hela Governor was at parliament for viewing.
Family members and close relatives of the late Hela Governor were also present this morning at parliament.
At around 11am, the casket left parliament for Sir John Guise Indoor Stadium for the official State Funeral.
Hundreds packed the indoor complex to pay their last respects to a man many described as Hela’s favorite son, and the Southern Star.
Tari Pori MP and Finance Minister, James Marape, described the late Agiru as a leader who wanted an equal playing field for many.
“He was my mentor and the one who introduced me to my early days of politics,” said Marape.
His brother Vincent Agiru, daughter, Bowee Agiru and Koroba Kopiago MP, Philip Undialu, all read out tributes.
Prime Minister O’Neill led the laying of wreaths followed by opposition leader, Sam Basil, various state ministers and members of parliament, and other bureaucrats.
Agiru’s body will tomorrow depart for Southern Highlands, before transiting to Hela.
Separate funeral programs will happen over the next three days before his body will be laid to rest at his home village of Dauli.