By MALUM NALU
The late Belden Sevua, who passed away last Monday been described as a “political animal” by close friends and family members.
His funeral service will be held at Siome Kami Memorial Church tomorrow, Monday, October 17, from 1pm-4pm before the body departs on Tuesday for burial on Manus.
Close friends Paul Bengo, John Kambuou and Martin Tabel, as well as family member Reuben Pokanau, said Sevua was one of a kind.
Sevua is the second longest-serving political staff with the Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, having spent 34 years with the man.
He joined the Office of National Planning, then under the Department of Prime Minister, as a research officer after graduating from the University of PNG in 1977, and seconded to the PM’s Office, reporting to Paul Bengo, who was then department head.
He was a passionate snooker, billiards and darts player and member of South Pacific Motor Sports Club (Car Club), his ‘second home’.
Belden Sinaki Sevua was born on January 28, 1950, born to Sevua Sameal and mother Mara Leomwie in Rei Village, Lou Island, in Manus.
He was just six months old when he lost his mother through a freak accident.
He was looked after by Irong Pani of Baon village when he was old enough to go to school in 1958.
He attended primary school at the Pisik SDA Central School from 1958 to 1964.
From there, he went on to Kambubu Adventist High School in East New Britain province.
He completed his high school education at Manus High School in 1968.
From 1969 to 1971, he attended Goroka Teachers College and attained his Diploma in Teaching in Agriculture Science.
From 1972 to 1974, he taught at Tusbab High School in Madang.
During that time, he attended Lahara sessions at University of PNG for matriculation.
He went to UPNG from 1975 to 1976 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.
In 1989 and 1990, whilst an advisor to Sir Michael, he attended Wollongong University in Australia and completed his Masters Degree in International Relations.
He left behind his daughter Dorcas and sons Thompson, Chris and Komini, as well as his late daughter, Sonia.
He also left behind his relatives of the Umbua clan.
Family member Reuben Pokanau described Sevua as a “political animal”.
“He ate, slept and lived for Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare,” he said.
“He was never employed by anyone else.
“Belden Sevua has been the first department head from Lou Island and an icon for aspiring islanders to reach the top in whatever profession they are in.”