President Attends State Funeral in Vanuatu

Vanuatu President, His Excellency Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale has passed away at the age of 67. Photo: AAP.

His Excellency the President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote is currently in Vanuatu representing Fiji at the State funeral for Vanuatu’s late President, His Excellency Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale.

President Lonsdale passed away on Saturday and the State funeral is scheduled for Wednesday 21 June.

His Excellency President Konrote’s condolence message was as follows:

“I wish to express on behalf of the Fijian Government and all Fijians, as well as my own, our profound and sincere condolences and sympathies on the passing away of the President of the Republic of Vanuatu, His Excellency the late Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale.

We were all shocked and equally saddened to learn of his passing. His Excellency the President Reverend Lonsdale had built a strong and admirable reputation as a man of high principles and integrity, who was willing to take a stand for what he believed to be right and proper, for the greater good of his country.

His death will be a huge loss to the Republic of Vanuatu, as indeed to the Pacific, and we are all the poorer with his passing.

Our deepest sympathies go to his family and to all our Wantok in Vanuatu.

With the deep bond of friendship as members of Melanesia and the wider Pacific community, Fiji and all Fijians today join Vanuatu in mourning the passing of a paragon of virtue.”

Fiji’s High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Commodore Esala Teleni is accompanying the President.

The Chief Justice, Honourable Justice Anthony Gates is acting as President until Thursday 22 June.