Tributes flow in for Pacific media publisher

Tributes flow in for Pacific media publisher

Tributes flow in for Pacific media publisher

Updated 10 September 2012, 14:40 AEST

Tributes are flowing in for Solomon Islands media publisher Father John Lamani, owner of the country’s leading daily newspaper Solomon Star.

Father Lamani died in his home in Honiara on Monday morning after suffering heart failure.

The Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) said his death was a huge loss for the country's media industry.

"The sacrifice and dedication made by the late Father Lamani in the field of media has been very inspirational and contributed significantly to the development of the media both in Solomon Islands and the region," MASI president George Herming said in a statement.

Father Lamani founded the Solomon Star newspaper in the early 1980s and initially expanded the company’s profile to establish Paoa FM radio station in the late 1990s.

He was also a former president of the Media Association of Solomon Islands in its early days.

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) general manager Cornelius Rathamana described Father Lamani as "strict and very determined".

"Every morning he would save his breakfast money by just having rice and coconut for breakfast for quite a long time to save to start the Solomon Star," Mr Rathamana told Radio Australia.

"That story has inspired especially me, maybe others too, to start what they want to develop."

Father Lamani was born in Gegema Village, near Auki in Malaita Province.

He is survived by his wife Catherine and five children.