By Aloysius Laukai
One of Bougainville’s former leaders, DR.ALEXIS HOLYWEEK SAREI died at his home in Gagan on Buka island this morning.
He was aged 80.
DR. SAREI was born on March 25th,1934 and got his middle name Holy week because he was ordained as a Priest on Holy week.
DR. SAREI was the District Commissioner for the North Solomons Province from 1973 to 1975 and as the President of the Secessionist Republic of the North Solomons from 1975 to 1976.
When the North Solomons Province was given the first Provincial Government by the National Government he became the Premier of North Solomons twice.
The first from 1976 to 1980 and again from 1984 to 1987.
From Premiership he also served as the Papua New Guinean High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
During the Bougainville conflict, DR. SAREI left home and stayed in the USA where he was married and returned to contest the second house for the Autonomous Bougainville Government in June 2010.
The second house of the ABG saw three former Bougainville leaders winning seats one by President MOMIS FOR THE Presidential seat, the Nissan seat by former Premier and Regional member LEO HANNET and the late DR. SAREI who won the PEITS seat.
Due to ill health, DR. ALEXIS SAREI was replaced at the end of last year.
Meanwhile the ABG President, Chief DR. JOHN MOMIS in his condolence message said that it is with great sadness that I would like to pay tribute to an exceptional man who led an exceptional life and was a true son of Bougainville, the late Dr. Alexis Sarei.
The late Dr. Sarei was in all forms a man who led a remarkable life in the service of the people of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea. His caliber as a leader cannot be questioned as he proved to be an able administrator and leader notably during his tenure as Premier of the former North Solomon’s Provincial Government, as PNG’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and of late as the Member for Peit Constituency in the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
The passing of the Late Dr. Alexis Sarei signifies an immense loss to the people of Bougainville as he is held in high regard as an elder statesmen and a formidable leader during the early years of this country’s formation. I fondly remember him from our time together at the Seminary in Madang where he was ordained a Priest along with the Late Archbishop Sir Peter Kurongku and Bishop Gregory Singkai after which he attained his doctorate in the Vatican City in Rome, Italy.
The Late Dr. Alexis Sarei also served as the Chief of Staff of the then Chief Minister of PNG Sir Michael Somare. He was also Bougainville’s first Premier and the first Bougainville District Commissioner. In light of the achievements of this great man the people of Bougainville and in particular the people of Solos can be proud of the Late Dr. Alexis Sarei as one of our truest sons.
On behalf of my family the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the people of Bougainville, I would like to thank the family of the Late Dr. Alexis Sarei and the people of Solos for the services rendered to the people of Bougainville and this nation as a whole. I pray that the Almighty and Merciful God may grant him eternal rest and console his family during their time of bereavement. He will be remembered as one of Bougainville’s truest sons. May he Rest In Eternal Peace.
Source: New Dawn on Bougainville Link: http://bougainville.typepad.com/newdawn/2014/09/no-title-15.html