Wednesday, 14 January 2009 7:23 AM

USP Professor and Oceania Centre Founder Passes Away

University of the South Pacific professor and acclaimed writer, Epeli Hau'ofa, has passed away in Suva, Fiji.

According to Matangi Tonga Online, Professor Hau'ofa 'passed away at the Suva Private Hospital at 7 am on Sunday January 11 after an illness'.

Professor Hau'ofa was a 'Professor of Anthropology at the University of the South Pacific (USP) was well-known as the author of a short story collection, Tales of the Tikongs, and a novel, Kisses in the Nederends'.
He was born in Papua New Guinea to Tongan missionary parents, 'educated in Papua, Tonga, Fiji, Australia and Canada, and was a PhD graduate of the Department of Anthropology, Australian National University' and became a citizen of Fiji.
He had been working at the University of the South Pacific's main campus in Suva, Fiji, since 1983 and was the 'founder and director of the Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture, established in 1997'.
He was also the 'Keeper of Palace Records in Tonga'.

According to the report, the University of Hawai'i Press noted, "His writing over the past three decades has consistently challenged prevailing notions about Oceania and prescriptions for its development. He highlights major problems confronted by the region and suggests alternative perspectives and ways in which its people might reorganize to relate effectively to the changing world. He conveys his thoughts from diverse standpoints: university-based analyst, essayist, satirist and humorist, and practical catalyst for creativity. According to Hau'ofa, only through creative originality in all fields of endeavor can the people of Oceania hope to strengthen their capacity to engage the forces of globalization."

'The funeral service will be on Thursday January 15 at 9.30 am at the USP campus, and he will be put to rest at his farm at Lami'.

###TIME###