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Vanuatu mourns loss of President Lonsdale

20 June 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

Vanuatu is mourning the loss of President Baldwin Womtelo Lonsdale, whose body is lying in state at Government House.

Tributes are pouring into the country for the 69-year-old president who was an Anglican priest, veteran educator and respected traditional chief.

Ni Vanuatu anthropologist and MP Ralph Regenvanu says President Lonsdale is best remembered for his role in averting political crisis when 14 sitting MPs were jailed for fraud.

"He came under enormous pressure to pardon them and the fact that he resisted was a great testimony to his determination to see the rule of law, critical stability and justice prevail," he says. 

Regenvanu says that the president also played a big role in assisting the country's recovery during cyclone seasons. 

"He made a great contribution to ensuring that Vanuatu got the relief and recovery assistance they needed at a critical time."

President Lonsdale's state funeral will be held in Port Villa tomorrow before his casket is transferred for burial in his village in Torba.

Vanuatu's government have declared a 10-day period of national mourning from June 17 to 26.

Photo/ Vanuatu Daily Post.

Tags: Vanuatu, President Baldwin Womtelo Lonsdale, Ralph Regenvanu,