This is an edited version of what Marape said:
I stand today sadly to offer tribute to this great man who selflessly gave his life in service to Papua New Guinea.
To his dear wife Lady Roslyn Morauta, to his son Dr James Morauta, to all four surviving siblings, to all relatives of Kukipi and Uritai villages of the Gulf of Papua, we, the people of Papua New Guinea, including Port Moresby North West electorate offer our sincerest appreciation to you all for allowing your dear relative to serve us all in PNG.
For this we in sadness and tears offer our condolences and share with you all in mourning this huge national loss.
The late Sir Mekere served his country with highest distinction right from the formative years of our country in the 1970s with national figures like the then Mr and now Sir Rabbie Namaliu, the then Mr and now Sir Charles Lepani and the late Anthony Siaguru.
This famous ‘Gang of Four' plus other pioneer public servants assisted the founding fathers of our nation by laying the foundational stones.
And his imprints on our national life is huge every step of the way from 1975 up till today; in the public service, also in the private sector and in politics.
He made history by easily transitioning from public service leadership to political leadership where he reformed and strengthened key Institutions of State at the same time fighting graft and corruption; stating that corruption was "systematic and systemic" in PNG during his maiden prime ministerial address to Parliament on July 14, 1999.
And fighting and removing corruption was again the reason of his return to politics in 2017. He died doing what he loved, serving his country.
For this, we PNG are for ever grateful to this towering icon of good leadership and we say thank you to his family and tribes for lending him to us.
He was a larger than life personality in our country's short history, was a reformist and despite serving as prime minister for only three short years, his impact transcends time and is inter-generational.
We will miss your physical presence but your counsel and advice will forever ring in our minds to guide us to make our own contributions to develop PNG.