By TODAGIA KELOLA
WHO could have done such a terrible thing?
That is the question shocked residents in the nation’s capital were asking when news broke over the weekend that some people had dug up the grave of the late Sir Brian Bell and taken his body out of the coffin.Nobody knows what the culprits were looking for at the Nine Mile grave or on the body of Sir Brian but the incident has shocked the late businessman’s family members and close friends even more so that some were reported to have been traumatised.
Those including members of the public interviewed by the Post-Courier said those that carried out that inhuman act were animals; some even described them as witch doctors or “sanguma’’, who were after the body of Sir Brian. The reaction comes after grave robbers dug up the burial plot of Sir Brian, only a day or two after the legendary businessman was laid to rest there at the public cemetery on the outskirts of Port Moresby. Close friends of the late knight confirmed the incident yesterday, saying the grave was dug up and the casket containing the body was opened and thoroughly searched.
A close friend of the late knight said he was not in a position to divulge what was removed, but added that the criminals might have imagined that the businessman was buried with valuables.
Another close family member, horrified at what happened said: “He was a very rich man but lived a simple life. He didn’t lavish himself when he was around. For those who did this thing, they obviously have a wrong perception of him.’’ Another upset friend described the actions as “the work of animals who don’t deserve to be in our society. They should be locked up and the keys thrown away because how can they do this to this simple man who didn’t act like any other very rich person but dressed and worked like any of his employees and at times supported others who badly needed assistance. “This is just unthinkable and unbecoming of our PNG culture where we respect the dead,” he said.
Police were tight lipped over the incident but the Post-Courier understands that forensic investigators were at the scene and fingerprints have been taken for further investigations.
Sir Brian was born in Chinchilla, a small town in Queensland in 1928 to a father who was a farmer and a mother who was a school teacher. He had a brother, Harold, who passed away recently. Sir Brian graduated as a pharmacist in 1949 from the University of Queenslands and came to PNG in 1954. He worked initially with the Department of Works under the Australian administration. He worked alongside his long term friend the late Sir George Constantinou. He quit after four months and worked for the administration as a pharmacist with the Department of Health. He left and started a gun and barber shop in Boroko where he repaired guns as well as cut hair, then moved to Port Moresby at Ela Beach and expanded.