Danald (centre) paying his respects to the late Awang. Also seen are Nigel (left) and Robin (right).

By Clement Erik Wong & Voon Yih Boon

KUCHING: Families, friends and acquaintances of the late Datuk (Sgt) Awang Raweng gathered to attend a prayer service for the passing of the heroic Iban tracker on Sunday.

The prayer service was held at Kuching Civic Centre where Awang’s remains lay-in-state since earlier that day.

Leading the prayer service conducted in the Iban language was reverend Father Nigel Manjan and assisted by sub deacon Robin Sabai, from St Thomas Anglican Church.

Some 130 attendees joined in reciting the prayers and hymn led by Fr Nigel followed by a Bible scripture reading delivered by Robin.

Afterwards, the service continued with a ‘nyengai’ (customary ceremony of death) where a narration of the life history of the late Awang was told by penghulu Adi Jala.

A briefing on the ‘Adat Pemati’ was also given by Major (Rtd) Untai Dana followed by a speech by a representative of the late Awang, James Tekat Ranggi.

The sole recipient of the George Cross award in the country is set to be laid to rest today (Monday) at the Heroes Grave here.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas will deliver his eulogy before family members pay their last respects to the state hero.

Also present was Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei, Right Reverend Datuk Danald Jute.