The Pacific community has lost a senior scientist in Roy Masamdu, who has served in various roles both in PNG and the Pacific in the area of crop protection. From East Sepik, Roy had been one of PNG’s exports as an entomology and biosecurity specialist. The sudden passing of Roy was announced early this week by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) – his employer in Suva, Fiji. He died on Sunday morning at the Suva Private Hospital.
SPC Director General Dr Jimmie Rodgers said the Late Roy had undergone major surgical treatment last year for a major illness and had recovered enough to resume duties.
“There is no sacrifice greater than one’s life, and Roy had laid his life down in the line of duty to the region,” said Dr Rodgers.
“We pray for his family as they try to cope with the loss and look for our support at this time of sadness and sorrow.”
In PNG, Roy worked for the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL), Coffee Research Institute (CRI), National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) and the National Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Authority (NAQIA).
In conveying condolences on behalf of staff and management of NARI, Director General Dr Raghunath Ghodake said Roy “.. had been a member of the PNG agricultural research community for many years during the early part of his career, through his involvement in crop protection efforts under DAL research division, CRI, NARI and NAQIA.”
“He served with distinction, commitment and dedication and contributed positively on many fronts in various capacities to PNG agriculture.”
“We share the loss and grief with you all and pray that the Good Lord will comfort you and all of us during this time of bereavement,” said Dr Ghodake, who has known the Masamdu family for the last 26 years since the 80s at the Kuk Agricultural Research Station in the Western Highlands province.
Roy, who held a Masters from the PNG University of Technology, was one of the most experienced entomologists from PNG and the Pacific. He was the Chief Plant Protection Officer with NAQIA before his posting to Suva (Fiji) as Biosecurity officer with SPC. Prior to NAQIA, he was the Team Leader of both NARI’s Wet-Lowlands Mainland Programme and Rice and Grain Programme at Bubia outside Lae, Morobe province.
“Roy had always been an important member of the SPC LRD Biosecurity and Trade Support team since its inception. We acknowledge his tremendous contributions to plant protection and biosecurity services in PNG and to the Biosecurity services of the Pacific island countries and territories, and contributions he rendered while with NAQIA and NARI..,” according to a media advertisement by NAQIA.
“His odyssey and contribution to entomological research in PNG is phenomenal. PNG will miss a talented and professional entomologist,” said Nelsen Simbiken, a PhD student at the Australian National University who had worked under Roy for many years in PNG in the 1990s.
SPC will repatriate his body to PNG later this week after colleagues and friends in Fiji pay their last respects.
May his Soul Rest In Peace.