Monday, 26 January 2009 4:46 PM

Solomons Honour National Anthem Composer

The body of late Panapasa Balekana, MBE, SIM, was laid in state in the chamber of Parliament House for members of the public to pay their last respect today.

His Excellency the Governor General, Sir Nathaniel Waena and Lady Waena led the procession of the viewing order followed by Prime Minister, Dr. Derek Sikua and Madam Sikua, Speaker to Parliament Sir Peter Kenilorea and Lady Kenilorea, the Chief Justice, Justice Sir Albert Palmer and the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Fred Fono and Mrs. Fono.

They were followed by former Governor Generals, Cabinet Ministers, the Leader of Opposition, parliamentarians, members of the diplomatic corps and the Honiara City Mayor.

Laying of wreaths for VIP's only was done at the Parliament chamber.

Members of the public followed on before the body casket was taken to the United Church for a funeral service this afternoon.

During the service, the Solomon Islands' national anthem was sung in respect for the composer.

A police escort led the funeral procession to the burial ground at the Number 3 nearby Honiara High School where the body of the late Mr. Balekana was laid to rest.

Laying of wreaths for public was done before the casket was lowered.

A Fijian by ethnicity, the late Mr. Balekana spent almost his entire adult life serving in Solomon Islands in both the Government and the private sector.