Saturday, January 09, 2010

A tribute to Henry Kila

All that has been said in tribute to the late and lamented Henry Kila is true.
Both as a man and as a business-executive, he was a credit to his family and his nation.
As it is expressed in Hiri Motu, Henry was "tauna mai manada momokani".

 He was a true gentleman.

I first met Henry in 1985, and what got us interested in each other's stories was the fact that I had known Henry's father, the late Kila Kone, a leading light in the co-operative movement in the '50s and '60's.

I worked for a short time with Kila, and travelled with him on the co-op coaster mv Hiri where I remember hilarious yarn-swapping between Kila and the Hiri's skipper, Frank Gorohu, another very well-respected identity along the Papuan coast in those days.

Henry's father was closely associated with the late and also very well-known Mahuru Rarua Rarua, a founding figure in the co-op movement, and both an MLC, before- and an MP- after,  self-government and full independence.

Both men were talented musicians, Henry once told me, recalling wonderful private "gigs" played by his father, Mahuru, and other musical friends at the Kila Kone residence.

Here the young Henry, a schoolboy at the time, would be sent off to visit a known "bootlegger" who would provide the necessary lubrication for the musicians in those far-off "dry" days of discriminatory prohibition.

 And of course, Henry himself became a top musician and formed his own band, becoming as well-known for this facet of his early life as he was later to become known for his leadership in the insurance industry, as a sporting administrator and as a quietly-achieving, respected communal leader.

Turagu, bamahuta.Emu toana ai do lalotau elabona aiemai lamepa danu bodo.


John Fowke

24 Monterey Avenue

Thornlands Q. 4164


Tel: 05617 34882178

1 comment:

  1. Reginald Renagi3:18 PM

    A great tribute to Henry Kila by John Fowke.

    I am very sad about the untimely death of a popular Papuan son and a true nationalist: Mr. Henry Kila recently. I first heard of Henry Kila's passing on the EM TV 6pm news bulletin after that fateful weekend. I told my family in the living room to watch the news (as half of my family are also from Yule Island and related to our late brother) as news of his death was being announced.

    Like many Papua New Guineans, I have come to know Henry Kila for over 20 years. It is a sad and great loss for our business community and the government as well as to his Kairuku and Central people; including the whole country.

    Henry was a great person and a friend to many people and had a great sence of humour and goodwill towards others. He liked to be around people of any background and was very helpful in many ways. I can recall his clever wit and good humour during Carbine Club luncheons and in many other social gatherings with family, friends and professional associates over the years. Thank you HK for the good memories.

    Yes, HK will be dearly missed by all who came into contact with him; either in their professional and personal capacities. I join with fellow PNGeans, his Delena and Yule Island village family and relatives; including his New Ireland family and 'tambus' to pay tribute to this great Papuan son, and Papua New Guinean who did a lot for the development of business, sport, his province and our country.

    May our dear brother and good friend Henry Kila rest in eternal peace with the creator of our universe; our Lord God.

    Farewell, bamahuta, haparua to you, brother HK. May God richly bless you in his mansion.

    Reginald Renagi