23 Feb 2009

Widow of Vanuatu's Walter Lini takes issue with misuse of his name

8:13 pm on 23 February 2009

The widow of the man known as the Father of Vanuatu's independence, Walter Lini, has broken her silence on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of his death.

A week of commemorations throughout Vanuatu to mark the anniversary culminated in a memorial service at his tomb in Pentecost at the weekend.

Among those in attendance were overseas associates of Father Lini's such as veteran Bougainville leader John Momis and Pacific academic Ron Crocombe, who were awarded medals by Vanuatu's president.

Our correspondent Len Garae reports that the highlight of the anniversary for many ni-Vanuatu was the first public comment in ten years from Mary Lini who raised the issue of people using Walter Lini's name to set up public funds without permission.

"One of the things that have pained her all these years was the people who have used her husband's name to set up a fund without consulting her. And she remains adamant that it is her right - she is alive and well and her children are alive and well - she is the custodian of the name and yet those that set up the open bank account didn't have the courtesy to approach her to ask for permission."

Len Garae