Vanuatu mourns death of President Lonsdale

Vanuatu mourns death of President Lonsdale
Father Baldwin Lonsdale, President of Vanuatu
Father Baldwin Lonsdale, President of Vanuatu

His body will lie in state at the State House in Port Vila on Monday and Tuesday with a funeral service to be held at Parliament House midweek.

Our correspondent in Vanuatu Len Garae said the country was in mourning.

“The president’s sudden passing is still a shock to the whole country because since Vanuatu gained its independence from Britain and France almost 37 years ago, there have been six different presidents but none have passed away while in office and so this has come to the country as a real shock and the whole country is in mourning,” he said.

Len Garae said Father Londsale, the first president to pass away while in office, had given instructions on his burial.

“The body is going to be flown home to his home island of Mota Lava in the Banks Group in the Torba Province, which is up north in the country and not far from the Solomons and this is where he is going to be laid,” he said.

“There are reports that he specifically requested that if something should happen to him, that he preferred to be buried in the grave next to his dear wife, on his home island.”

All flags are at half mast in honour of Father Lonsdale.

PM Charlot Salwai covers himself with a ceremonial red mat as he arrives at the State House to pay respects to President Baldwin Lonsdale.
PM Charlot Salwai covers himself with a ceremonial red m

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