By JOE IVAHARIA
At an occasion to mark the placing of the headstone for the late Rev. Ilaila Pokana at Moukele (Fisherman Island) last weekend, guests who included his adopted clan members from the Umumere clan of Mabuduan village were on hand to witness and celebrate his good deeds.
Late retired Rev. Ilaila Pokana was born on 30th April, 1943 to Pokana Kila Verave (father) and Kila Kanama Pokana (mother) and was the eldest in a family of eleven.
Retired Reverend Ilaila Pokana passed on to be with the good lord early last year on February 2.
At the time of his retirement from pastoral duties on January 7, 1995 the late Reverend Pokana had served the United Church with distinction for 33 years starting as a young pastor, then missionary and evangelist.
Ilaila Pokana took up the call to serve as a trainee pastor whilst working for the Government in the early 50s and 60s when the Methodist London Missionary Society (LMS) missionaries came to Papua (Southern Region).
Then in1967, Ilaila took up studies to become a missionary at Rarongo Theological College in Rabaul, East New Britain Province. He and his wife were then officially married into the church.
From Rabaul, the late reverend was posted to the Central Province to serve the Kadeboro Circuit of Rigo after the amalgamation and inauguration of the Methodist Church (LMS) to become the United Church of PNG and Solomon Islands at Rarongo in January, 1968.
It was in Daru that Reverend Pokana moved to the mainland at Mabuduan village to become their pastor and missionary serving the people and at the same time moving from village to village along the coast and inland of the mainland to spread the gospel.
At times he would be called to the nearby Torres Strait Islands of closets to the border of Western Province to conduct his pastoral duties as an evangelist while spreading the Good News.
Late Reverend Ilaila Pokana was adopted by the Umumere clan and was still regarded as a member until his death early last year on February 2.
It was at the late reverends headstone erection that his story was told as family members of the Poerupu clan gathered together to share food and pay homage to a great man of God.
The late Reverend is survived by his widow Notau and five children, Puri, Ole, Kila, Notau Jnr and Navu.
He was an active member of the Moukele community after his retirement and was very instrumental in establishing the Daugo Primary School now on the island where he also became the founding School Board Chairman.
The school currently is a top up school with classes from elementary to grade eight.