A man who served during Papua New Guinea’s colonial administration as an interpreter was laid to rest in Minj, Jiwaka Province yesterday.
Sir Tumun Dupre, was among the first people who translated for the first European settlers that had arrived in the Highlands region.
He died at the ripe old age of 105 years.
The Late Sir Tumun’s casket was flown on a chopper to places in Jiwaka and Western Highlands Province, where he visited with the European explorers in 1930’s.
The casket was then taken to Minj town where Police and State representatives formally handed his body over to his family.
Sir Tumun served for 54 years in the public service as a village Chief, translator, Tultul, and peace mediator for the colonial government.
He is survived by his two wives, more than 20 children, more than 50 grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
In 1932 when pioneering caucasian men came into Waghi Valley, a young Tumun Dupre was among those children who were sent away to the white men.
The locals sent away children who were orphaned or had only one parent believing that the white men were ghosts and that the children would be killed.
Tumun Dupre was lucky to go to school and begin a career as an interpreter.
In July 1997, he was knighted by the Queen in recognition for his services.
Many tributes described him as a man who has a big heart for his people.
One of his dreams that was fulfilled recently was the establishment of Jiwaka as a separate province.
His body will be laid to rest Thursday, March 2.