By Leonard Fong Roka
Margaret Mirirua, sister of the late President Joseph Kabui, has passed away peacefully at her Unang Hamlet in the Tumpusiong Valley of the Panguna District on Friday 9 April 2016.
Her illness started 2007 as her hands began to vibrate and would not cease and over the years her condition worsened with internal pain and her body began thinning.
For almost 10 years Margaret had been bravely and patiently endured her illness, which left her largely confined to bed, having exhausted every available medical means to recuperate. On her sick bed bush-doctors attempted to use all the healing herbs at their disposal, but to no avail.
She pursued medical attention but her body did not respond positively. She even went on to seek witch doctors and their services, but nothing would better her health.
By 2010 she was grounded on her sick bed and was unable to stand without support. She relied on the sympathetic support of relatives to cater for her as her condition continued to deteriorate.
The late Mrs Mirirua was born in the late 1940s and served as a nurse in the 1960s, 70s and the 80s around the Bana District of South Bougainville and the present Panguna District and Kieta Districts, especially in the Catholic Missions.
She was the second born in a family of five children, that included the late President Joseph Kabui (the fourth born) and his elder brother and fellow Bougainville leader Martin Miriori (the third born). My grandmother, Anna Akonavo, was the first born in the family and the youngest was Theresia Pipino.
In the late 1990s she lost her husband Peter Perakai and her last born daughter Pamela Perakai. She is now survived by sons Steven Perakai, David Perakai, Robert Perakai and Joyce Perakai Batana along with 20 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Before she died she told her family to bury her on the spot she was born, next to her present homestead of Unang Hamlet, and this request was fulfilled on Sunday 10 April 2016.
She had her whole extended family members close by as she passed away on her sleep.
Relatives of the family from Bana District and Kieta District and the Panguna District are still pouring in to share their grief with the family.