Vanuatu Adventists joined their compatriots in mourning the untimely passing of the Pacific island nation’s head of state. President Baldwin Lonsdale, aged 68, died at Port Vila Central Hospital after suffering chest pains late on Friday night, June 16.
Local Adventist pastors as well as denominational leaders from the Vanuatu Mission administration office expressed their sorrow during a visit to State House, the official residence where the President’s body was laid out for viewing. The president of the Adventist Church in Vanuatu, Pastor Nos Terry Mailalong, was unable to participate as he was not in Port Vila at the time. However, he was given a special opportunity to offer his support soon afterwards.
"I was given the privilege . . . to take a devotion in the evening for the family members and important government people."
“After all the ceremonies in Vila the government sent a high delegation, with the President, to Torba, his home province, to be buried,” explained Pastor Mailalong. “Fortunately, in my itinerary I was in the region when his body was flown home on Wednesday last week for burial. They learnt that I was there; I was given the privilege on Thursday night last week to take a devotion in the evening for the family members and important government people who where there. The President’s body was finally laid to rest on Friday morning in the provincial government centre of Sola on Vanualava Island.”
Representatives of foreign governments and other organisations paid tribute to President Baldwin Lonsdale, who was an ordained Anglican minister and served in the largely ceremonial head of state role from 2014.
The late president attended an Adventist church service last year, as mentioned in Adventist Record.