By MALUM NALU
The late photographer Auri Eva, who was laid to rest yesterday (Monday) at Kirakira Cemetery along the Pari Road, has “become another victim of the madness that we call public health care in this country”, according to The National’s editor-in-chief Frank Kolma.
He said in January, PNG journalism lost another friend and colleague in The National’s business editor Yehiura Hriehwazi, because of the very same reason: no medication.
“Auri was in tremendous pain these past few weeks, I imagine,” Kolma said at yesterday’s funeral service at Evegima United Church, Joyce Bay.
|Kolma pays tribute to Eva.-Nationalpics by MALUM NALU|
“He had cancer of the pancreas, one of the organs that help our digestive system.
“When I met him he was on morphine, one of the strongest pain killers.
“He carried that pain for a long time and went to many hospitals seeking medical opinions.
“Always, he got prescriptions for a lot of medicine.
“When he got x-ray and it was finally found that he had cancer of the pancreas, his condition was quite advanced already.
“That is what he told me and I was too respectful to ask him if that meant he had very little time left.
“But he and I knew.
“His eyes told me that and we shared a tear or two.
“Auri was discharged a week after I met him, on August 8.
“The hospital had run out of medicines, he was told.
“He was basically told by the biggest hospital in PNG to go home and await death.
“And that is what has happened.
“When Yehi died in January, he was looking for medication and health care and I spoke about this at his funeral.
“I said at the time that many more of us here present will also be taken prematurely for the same outrageous reason.
“Auri has become another victim of the madness that we call public health care in this country.
“In a country so rich, in a country so blessed, this state of affairs is the biggest tragedy of all.”
Eva was a career photographer who touched the lives of many people, elder brother Miri Eva said at his funeral service yesterday.
|Family, friends and colleagues at Evegima United Church, Joyce Bay, yesterday|
“During his term of employment, late Auri Au Eva was a longtime photographer, having served the Office of Information, the South Pacific Post, Niugini Nius, Times of PNG, Wantok Niuspepa, and most recently The National.
“He will be long remembered in many different ways for the way he touched those who worked along very closely with him.”
Eva was there with reporter Sinclair Solomon in 1980 when the Kumul Force landed on the Vanuatu island of Espirito Santo and put down the rebellion of Jimmy Stevens.
“That action gave our Melanesian neighbor independence,” Kolma said.
“A few weeks before his death, on his sick bed at POM Gen, Auri told those of us who went to visit him there that the Vanuatu assignment was his best.
“He remembered every detail of that assignment very vividly.”
|Eva is laid to rest at Kirakira Cemetery, Pari Road|
Eva was born on October 25, 1956, and passed away on September 13, 2012, just short of his 56th birthday.
In 1963, at the age of seven, he started attended Moveave Primary School and completed Grade 6 in 1969, however, could not get a place at Kerema High School because of lack of space.
In 1971, he moved over to Port Moresby, enrolling at Kavari Vocational Centre at Hanuabada in 1972, where he obtained a certificate in photography.
He leaves behind his wife, four daughters, five grandchildren, his mother, three brothers and two sisters.