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Death of a warrior

Pacific loses anti-nuclear advocate

FOR decades John Taaroa Nui Doom stood against the French Republic in a defiant bid to end nuclear testing in his home – Maohi. Often a lone voice at regional and international events – including the World Council of Churches – he called forcefully for the recognition of the rights of indigenous people in France’s Pacific territories.

The end of French nuclear testing in the Pacific in 1996 was due in a large part to the actions and passion of this humble yet forceful man. More recently he stood in solidarity with the people of Kanaky (New Caledonia) and West Papua even as his own people in French Polynesia (Maohi) called for greater autonomy.

On Christmas Day, Doom – commonly known throughout the regional ecumenical movement as Papa (father) or Papy (grandfather) died peacefully at home in Papeete, aged 80, succumbing to cancer. Born on Tubuai in the Austral Islands in 1936, Doom became a deacon of the Protestant Church, later to be renamed the Etaretia Porotetani Maohi (Maohi Protestant Church). Eventually he would became its general secretary after serving in several parishes throughout the islands. Doom represented his church to the Pacific Conference and World Council of Churches, urging those organisations and their associates to condemn French nuclear testing.

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