Benny Wenda: Condolences to the Family of Pamela Gerrie

I am truly sadden to hear of the passing of Pamela Gerrie, a devoted Free West Papua supporter and beloved friend to my family and I.

I send my deepest condolences to her husband Phil, daughter Lucy and all the family.

When my family first arrived in the UK, the only way we were able to spread the message of our peoples suffering was through music. It was our dear Pam who made history in 2004 when she organised The Lani Singers first ever live performance.

My wife and I, alongside our 3 year old daughter were able to perform our West Papuan freedom songs on the mainstage at Strawberry Fair, Cambridge UK.

Thanks to Pam’s efforts thousands of British people were able to hear about my people’s suffering and fight for independence for the first time ever. She also held a stall at the fair where she fundraised for the campaign too. This was the first of her many contributions.

Pam was a truly talented woman who used her art skills to put on incredible exhibitions which educated the British public on the current situation in Indonesian-occupied West Papua. For example, In May 2014 she put on a skilful Exhibition which celebrated my life and the people of West Papua.…/art-exhibition-to…/

A few months later she held another which celebrated Tribal Culture in West Papua and Melanesia…/exhibition-on-tribal…/. She also used her art to fundraise for the campaign. You can see her beautiful West Papua greeting cards here:…/west-papua-greeting-cards/. Pam embodied the very meaning of solidarity. She accompanied us to every campaign event, protest and Lani singers gig in her lifetime. It didn’t matter if it was raining or miles away she always made it her mission to stand by our side.

As I mentioned before she was also a close friend. My family and I will cherish all the memories made together. My thoughts and prayers are with her family right now.

Her Love for my family and my people will always be remembered.