Tuesday, 29 July 2008 3:43 PM

Solomon Islander Dies at Pacific Arts Festival

A member of the Solomon Islands delegation to the 10th Festival of Pacific Arts in American Samoa died this morning from a cerebral malarial infection.

The Pacific Magazine reports Festival Co-Chairman, Fagafaga Danny Langkilde as confirming the death of a 47-year-old carver, George Garry, early hours this morning.

Dr. Ivan Tuliau of the LBJ Medical Center in American Samoa told the Pacific Magazine that head of the Solomons delegation, Robert Au, was informed that the deceased had severe back pain at 4:05 a.m.

The late Mr. Garry then began having seizures and emergency medical personnel were called to Tafuna Elementary School where the Solomons delegation is housed, the Pacific Magazine reports.

EMS personnel declared Mr. Garry dead 5:10 a.m.

It is likely Mr. Garry contracted the malaria before arriving last week with the Solomons delegation on a charter flight from Honiara.

Dr. Tuliau told Pacific Magazine that the late Mr. Garry's death was an isolated case.

All members of the Solomons delegation were however being checked for symptoms of malaria.

The American Samoan government, led by Governor Togiola Tulafono and First Lady Mary Tulafono, festival officials and members of the Solomon Islands delegation held a small service for Mr. Garry at the LBJ Medical Center chapel at 10 a.m. today.

Pacific Magazine reports that Mr. Garry's body was being held at the LBJ Medical Center morgue.

The American Samoan government has provided a casket and appropriate clothing for Mr. Garry's body.

Pacific Magazine reports that a member of the American Samoan Cabinet, and a festival official, will accompany Garry's body back to Honiara.

In respect of the Mr. Garry's death, the Solomons delegation has withdrawn from events today at the festival, which ends on Wednesday.

The festival organizing committee, in conjunction with the Solomons delegation, was determining today how active the group would be for the remainder of the event.

The Solomons delegation is scheduled to return home on Monday, August 4, by a charter flight.

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