Sir Mek, the thing with icons and legends is they never die, they multiply.
When I visited Yule Island last year I walked passed you and later mum’s classroom and proudly told Matt Jones of the humility behind your ascension from that old classroom constructed by French and local Catholics in the early 1900s.
Your humble education illustrated your distinct and rapid ascension from this humble classroom, still serving students today, to negotiating trade deals at the IMF and World Bank in Washington and later becoming a financier and social change advocate which led you to you serving our beloved country’s highest office, as the Prime Minister.
Seeing your photos with Paps (SR Curio Deputy Chair, Mr. Noreo Beangke) at these global organizations that he still keeps proudly framed on the walls today that I too, could have a seat to become qualified as well and have a chance to work in these organizations that serve the vulnerable. And so I applied with the World Bank and despite getting rejected the first time, I pestered the Sydney office and got recalled for a consultancy that I never applied for 6 months later.
All these kids today stand in no comparison to a giant like you. You have taken so much experience, education, wisdom, humility and dedication that cannot be paid for or bought.
Through your living example, your iconic and humble Rise will be told and retold like a Kairuku and Kerema legend to all future generations including my children so they can have wild dreams as well. They will hear about the legend of a humble and diligent student who persisted and served. So when they have the audacity to dream and set goals, they can DARE to dream that they too can sail in their canoes out from the safe harbour of their comfort zones, and achieve anything they want to.
No matter how remote, their place of origin may be, without a compass, their destination is confirmed.
I know your ancestors before you and uncle Henry Kila are throwing a lavish and honourable welcome ceremony in your honour, wearing their traditional regalia, Birds of Paradise plumes, beating their Kundu drums, singing Roro and Kaima songs as they welcome you into our Father’s mansion where you will find – there are many rooms with open doors.
Rest in Paradise.
Haparua (Good night),
Ms. Sofia Ramoi
SR Curio Investments Limited