Another hero has fallen but his legacy lives on - Solomon Star News

Another hero has fallen but his legacy lives on

25 October 2013

DR JOHN Roughan left us yesterday. 

He was a giant of a man and a ceaseless campaigner for the cause(s) of the grassroots. He will be sorely missed. 

He came to this country as a Priest and through his work many in this country have been helped in more ways than one. 

Many are where they are today because of Dr. Roughan’s tireless effort on and off the pulpit as well as from the classrooms of the many Catholic schools he had taught at over the years.

Dr Roughan championed the Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) movement and was indeed its architect in this country. 

Although it perhaps took longer for the movement to sprout and take root, today the NGO movement is a grassroots force to reckon with.

One can only hope that those who are bearing the flag today will be guided by Dr Roughan’s vision. 

In fact, he came to love the media and used it very effectively in articles after articles that he published.

In fact he used the media, both print and the airwaves very effectively. Rather than being confrontational as some of us are tempted to do from time to time, his approach was the opposite.

He knew how to make his views known in ways some of us love to emulate. In other words, he was fearless but diplomatic and respectful in his approach.

As a columnist for this newspaper, Dr. Roughan was well read both here and overseas. Some of us wish we could write with clarity and force as he had. He was truly exemplary in everything he did. 

He had truly set a standard for working scribes and aspiring writers alike. Dr Roughan’s shoes would therefore be very hard to fill. He has done his part.

As a practicing and a learning writer, I’ve always loved to read Dr Roughan’s work. 

I have two reasons for doing so. I love the English Language as well as I wish to be a good writer one day so that I would be able to express myself clearly and meaningfully in any or all manner of subjects.

I believe the living legacy that Dr Roughan has left behind was his unselfish effort in championing the cause(s) of the grassroots people. 

He stuck to his gun, regardless of whether the going got tougher.

What set him apart was the fact that he had a vision. He focused on the vision. He never allowed those who did not share his vision derailed it. 

Today, the NGO movement in Solomon Islands is where it is today because one man refused to abandon his vision. 

He truly stuck to his gun. He truly was a champion. He truly was a man whose shoes would be very hard to fill.

The challenge for the young people today is how prepared they are to carry on the torch in the face of mounting and competing pressure for their attention. 

Peer pressure to be just like everyone else is truly the first challenge for the young people today.


We need only a handful of young people with vision and commitment to turn this country around. 

It is my firm belief turning this country around is still possible. But it calls for vision, commitment and hard work.

I have no doubt Dr Roughan died a satisfied man – a man who had achieved his vision because he cared, not about himself but those who crossed his path and others who remain on the sideline.

May I join others in this country in conveying to Dr. Roughan’s family my condolences and sympathies in this time of bereavement. 

It is a very difficult time and it is my prayer that God will provide you the strength to sustain you in this trying time.