Benny Mabo Obituary, AIATSIS Mourns Benny Mabo
- john Gibson
Benny Mabo Obituary, Death – On the occasion of the unfortunate passing of Benny (Bua) Mabo, the staff and volunteers of AIATSIS would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. During this difficult time, we want his family and the rest of the Meriba community to know that they are in our thoughts and prayers.
We also want to let them know that we are thinking about them. Bua Mabo was widely regarded as one of the foremost authorities on the history, culture, and language of the Meriba people, who were indigenous to the Torres Strait Islands. He was a translator by trade and an ardent supporter of the attempts to maintain the Meriba tradition and culture, with a particular emphasis on growing the use of and comprehension of the Meriam Mir Language. He had a career as a translator and was also an ardent supporter of these initiatives.
Both his birth and his death took place in the city of Merida. Bua had a productive working relationship with the AIATSIS Centre for Australian Languages; he stayed in regular touch with the center’s workers regarding his goals for the future of his linguistic abilities as well as the development of languages in the Torres Strait Islands.
This relationship was beneficial for both parties. Because of this contact, Bua’s linguistic abilities have significantly improved. He worked on his own publications in order to promote his languages and frequently shared them with AIATSIS in order to obtain their input and find out what others thought of them. We join the rest of the neighborhood in lamenting his passing and in showing sympathy for one another during this difficult time.