Founder of the Solomon Islands Development Trust dies
Founder of the Solomon Islands Development Trust dies.
The death of the founder of the Solomon Islands Development Trust has been followed by tributes to his fearlessness and commitment.
John Roughan, who was originally from New York, was a former Catholic priest who lived in Solomon Islands since 1958.
He was a former Secretary to the Solomon Islands Prime Minister and also a contributing writer to the Solomon Star.
The regional director of the Commonwealth Youth Programme Pacific Centre, Afu Billy, says Dr Roughan was a dear friend but also an asset to the country. He spoke to Annell Husband.
AFU BILLY: John was just such a hard worker and a fearless person, you know? Being an outsider, in inverted commas, there's so much rebuttal from the government or from other people for being so outspoken, but he got a lot of respect from the government and from a lot of people, so he was very blatant about his thoughts. And he wrote every week in the Solomon Star. Yeah, he was fearless. And I know there's lots of people in the Solomons who cannot open their mouths for fear of being reprimanded by the government or having some penalties put on them. John was just fearless and he was so courageous. So this is one thing - a big lesson for us Solomon Islanders. And he was such an honest person, an honest leader, and he stuck to his principles. Very moralistic. So he was just one very good role model for a lot of Solomon Islanders.
ANNELL HUSBAND: Was he the target of reprisals by the government, do you think? He was fearless, but were there some penalties to him in his personal life?
AFU BILLY: I don't think so. I think he rallied quite a lot of respect. And although he was outspoken he never - not that I know of - he never had any reprisal in his personal life. I know at one stage he was asked by the prime minister then to be one of his political advisors and we were very surprised that he took up the position. But then he didn't last long in the government. He came out and did what he did best, and that was to be the watchdog for the happenings in the country.
Afu Billy says John Roughan gave up his life in his own country to work in the Solomon Islands.
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