By Clement Erik Wong & Noor Syahhira Hady
KUCHING: National hero Datuk Sgt Awang Raweng was laid to rest at the Heroes Memorial cemetery, Jalan Taman Budaya here on Monday (Sept 21).
A former member of the elite Iban trackers during the British colonial rule, he died at the age of 104 last Friday (Sept 18) at his son’s residence in Sri Aman due to pneumonia.
His casket left the Kuching Civic Centre at 10.50am after the reading of his eulogy by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, arriving at the Heroes Memorial cemetery at 11:15am.
The funeral service commenced with the ‘Last Post’ bugle call followed by two minutes of silence and continued with ‘The Rouse’ bugle call.
Tears were shed as family members and friends mourned the passing of the nation’s sole George Cross recipient.
On behalf of the state government, Uggah presented the Jalur Gemilang to Ketua Kampung Panggau Awang, who is also the late Awang’s son.
Army Eastern Field Command commander Lt-Gen Datuk Mohd Zakaria Yadi also presented the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) flag to Awang’s daughter, Doris.
The prayer for the funeral service was led by Reverend Canon Roannie W Cannidy, proceeded by the placing of wreaths by Uggah, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion; Defence Advisor of the British High Commission, Group Captain Simon Hindmarsh, Lt-Gen Zakaria and Sarawak Police Commissioner Datuk Aidi Ismail.
Lt-Gen Zakaria, when met later, expressed his condolences to Awang’s family on behalf of the ATM.
“Condolence and endless gratitude to the family of the late Awang for his contributions to the country.
“The funeral service might seem simple, but it is a sentimental ceremony and in accordance with military ceremonies, such as the ones given to the heroes of the country.”