PARISHIONERS of the Central Diocese of the Anglican Church of Melanesia, friends and family members gathered at Saint Barnabas Provincial Cathedral on Monday afternoon for the sending out service of Late Reverend Ellison Koke.
Late Reverend Koke passed away at his home in Honiara on Thursday last week after an illness.
At the time of his passing, he was the Rector of Saint Alban Anglican Church, Bishops Dale.
Speaking at his eulogy a family representative Fr Selwyn Hou described Late Reverend Koke as a born leader and a people’s person.
“A man of integrity, honesty, commitment and dedication to his duty and calling.
“Family is very dear to him, he valued his family with very high regard,” Fr Hou said.
These strong characters of Late Reverend Koke could be said to be the result of the hard rules and discipline he received from his parents during the transitioning period from culture to western style of life growing up.
Late Reverend Ellison Kokeouou was born in Kalona, Small Malaita on 9th December 1958. He was the third child of Mr Martin Alaha and Esther Mwakatoro’s five children.
He attended grade one to four Ote Junior Primary School from 1968 to 1971. In 1972 to 1975 he attended Pawa Senior Primary School where he did grades five, six and seven.
After his primary education he went to do his forms one to five secondary education at Selwyn College, Nagilagu from 1976 to 1980.
He completed his secondary education, in 1981 he went straight into employment with the Commonwealth Bank which later changed its name to National Bank of Solomon Islands.
He married Gwendolyn Maelaua in 1982 and remained working with the bank until 1994 when he left to run for the general elections. He came third in the elections then.
Following that election, Late Reverend Koke managed some private businesses and also involved in church activities as well as decision making bodies of the Anglican Church.
His call to the church’s ordained ministry came in 2001 when he took up theological studies at Bishop Patteson Theological College. He graduated in 2005 with distinction and ordained to priesthood in 2006 in a ceremony held at his home village of Kalona.
In 2008 he did further studies at the then Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE) where he acquired Advanced Diploma in Education.
For eight years he was the church’s Hospital and Correctional Services Chaplin. He only left to take up the position of assistant rector Vura Anglican Parish from 2018 to 2019.
In 2020 he became the rector of St Alban Anglican Parish – a position he held until his passing.
His sending out service was officiated by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia Leonard Dawea and attended by His Excellency the Governor General Sir David Vunagi & Lady Mary Vunagi, Diocese of Guadalcanal Bishop Benedict Loe and staff, General Secretary and staff of the Provincial Headquarters, Diocese of Central Melanesia staff and clergy, St Alban Parish and other parishes within the Diocese of Central Melanesia.
The body of Late Reverend Koke was taken his to home village for burial yesterday evening.
Late Reverend Koke is survived by his wife Gwendolyn and three children.