22 Dec 2008

Hundreds at funeral of murdered PNG businessman

8:18 pm on 22 December 2008

More than 600 people, including Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, have attended the funeral of slain PNG businessman Sir George Constantinou in Brisbane.

Sir George, a colossus in the PNG business world, also had business interests in the Solomon Islands and in Queensland.

He established Papuan Welders in 1954 and proceeded to build a business empire in PNG until his murder last week in Port Moresby.

The 75-year-old Cyprus-born building tycoon was killed near one of his timber yards when he was hit on the head with a large object during a botched car jacking.

Six suspects have been arrested.

There was standing room only at the Greek Orthodox Church of St George as Brisbane's Greek community joined a large contingent of PNG civic and business leaders, and others for the service.

Sir Michael says PNG has lost a great man, but he will be honoured and have a special place in the country's record books.