Papua New Guinea
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Maureen Hill, the pillar of Madang community

No amount of recognition and award could amount to the value added and changes done in the lives of thousands in Madang Province, by this strong spirited lady, Maureen Hill.

The entire Madang Province is sadly stricken by her passing away on Friday evening, 28th July 2023 at the Modilon General Hospital.

A New Zealander by origin, Maureen came to settle in Madang Province in 1969 with husband Peter Hill. A teacher by profession, she has always advocated for early childhood learning as she herself started a nursery “Maureen Hill’s Nursery” which lasted for 51 years, teaching up to 4 generations, until her closure early this year.

Mrs. Hill the current President of CWA Madang, the Board of the Creative Self-Help Center, Rotary Madang, Red Cross Madang, City Mission and nearly all other institution and organization that deals with community service within the Province, she has her hands actively involved, changing countless lives in the process.

Described as “A dear friend and sister” and “A pillar of the Madang Community”, Janet Philemon the Secretary General of Madang CWA, recalls the good memories of her and the late Maureen Hill.

“We shared many of the same interests, especially in early childhood learning, being boards of local hospital and disability centers, that’s how I knew her. I am grateful for being one of her friends for 30 years now. She was a “sounding board” for me on a professional and personal level and although we didn’t agree, I always respected her opinion,” stated Janet.

Maureen Hill also initiated a lot of projects and programs in Madang Province such as the ‘Kindergarten lon ples’ which she handed over to the CWA to run, she also organized for the CWA to provide rations to the Modilon General’s Nutrition Division for Malnourished children and the post operations patients.

She strives to bring changes, even in the littlest form, to anyone needing assistance.

“Maureen was born in 1937 and we would have been celebrating her 86th birthday in October. Despite her age and frail body, I know that even at her sick bed, she missed doing her community work. She just couldn’t come to terms with being in bed for weeks. She would carry on about what she had to do, who she had to meet with, how she was going to do whatever it is that needed to be done. She had more to give than her body could allow,” said Janet Philemon.

Currently, all plans are on hold until her brother and sister from New Zealand and her Nephew from Australia arrive here. When they arrive, announcements will be done let people know of Maureen’s funeral and burial arrangements.

As it is, there is no ‘Hauskrai’ until her family arrives, as Mr. and Mrs. Hill also do not have any children to cater for people at their premises. Also, friends of the couple are trying to make arrangements for a bigger venue where the public can be able to visit at intervals during the day and night, as it is expected that their premises will not be able to accommodate people coming in to mourn.

Mrs. Hills life will surely be remembered, missed and treasured by everyone in Madang for her contributions especially in education, health and the community service that she had brought and rolled out for 51 years. Unfortunately, age had caught up with her.

She leaves behind a legacy. So long Mrs. Hill, till the Golden Morning.