17 May 2007

PNG paramount chief Sir Wamp Wan dies aged 101

4:32 pm on 17 May 2007

The paramount chief of Papua New Guinea's Hagen Central and Western Highlands province, Sir Wamp Wan, has died.

Sir Wamp passed away peacefully in Wilya village, aged 101.

His son Michael Wamp told the National newspaper that his father, who was born on January the 1st 1906, died of natural causes.

Sir Wamp was the first Western Highlander to work closely with his tribesman Ninji Kama to develop a patrol post which eventually grew into Mt Hagen City.

He was the first person to become a Catholic after he helped to establish the church in the province at Rebiamul.

In 1973, he visited England and met Queen Elizabeth and also travelled to Rome, where he met the Pope.

Sir Wamp had five wives and is survived by seven sons, eight daughters, 57 grand children and 35 great grand children.

He will be buried at the missionary cemetery at Rebiamul but the date of the burial is yet to be confirmed.