It is a year since the death of Moses Havini, a Hako chief whose life was devoted to the people of Bougainville. Moses was a great supporter and friend of Hako Women's Collective.
Ceremonies to make the end of the year of mourning will be held in the next two weeks. Read more for a tribute to him posted at the time of his death.
Moses Havini, a great Bougainville hero and a wonderful man, died on Saturday 2 May 2015. During the civil war in the 1990s, when a blockade imposed by the PNG Government cut off the whole of Bougainville from any contact or interaction with the rest of the world, Moses, with his wife Marilyn and their children, became a voice for the Bougainville people, advocating for them in Australia and internationally, documenting and publishing the reported human rights abuses, and keeping the crisis in the public eye.
Moses played an important role in negotiating the eventual resolution of the crisis, followed by the establishment of the Autonomous Bougainville Government.
Following the Peace Agreement, Moses and Marilyn returned to live with their clan in Buka to take part in the reconstruction, an enormous project after almost a decade of civil war and deprivation. From the outset Moses was a strong supporter of the Hako Women's Collective and its projects, and their house was established as a "Meri Sef Ples" for women escaping domestic violence.
Moses became seriously ill in 2013 and was flown to Sydney for treatment. Over the next 18 months he endured extensive chemotherapy and stem cell treatment with his customary stoicism and grace. Despite his illness he continued working for the ABG and on various projects and achieved an extraordinary amount: every extra hour he gained from medical treatment was well spent. Moses and Marilyn worked enormously hard on the Sydney end of the shipping container project, and were thrilled to see the ultimate success of the project.
Moses was a beautiful man with a keen mind and an open heart. He was a beacon of wisdom and honesty and a born leader. He never stopped thinking about how to make the world a better place and especially how to make Bougainville a better place for its children to inherit.
Rest in peace.
See also the Obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Helen Dakin (Sydney supporter)
* Education, training for life skills, leadership, community advocacy