Famous Roviana composer and musician dies


The late Ronald Bei Langono Talasasa during his visit with SIBC’s former CEO Ashley Wickham.

A famous composer and musician of Roviana died at his home early this morning.

Ronald Bei Langono Talasasa was 85.

He was the composer of many songs in the Roviana language several of which are still sung when Roviana people gather for celebrations.

He came from a family of distinguished pioneers in different fields.

One of his Grandfathers was Samuel Aqarau of Talise of Guadalcanal who helped the first Methodist missionaries to settle in and convert the people of Roviana to Christianity.

His father Milton Talasasa was famous for his early work with the Church.

His brother Francis was the first Solomon Islander to graduate with a degree from a University.

Among his distinguished nephews was Dr. Transform Aqorau (son of Francis) the region’s pre-eminent law of the sea specialist who set up the Office of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) which earns millions of dollars each year for member countries.

Bei’s many songs are widely remembered and some were featured just last Friday night when the Western Strings band played on SIBC.

His famous Roviana Bamboo band of the 1960s was specially invited to play at the opening of the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

This year in June, he visited Honiara and came to see his close cousin Ashley Wickham, who was then boss of SIBC.

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