lui header
Lui Bell 336x375This page is dedicated to the memory of Lui Bell, colleague and friend.

Sunrise: 24 February 1956 - Sunset: 29 November 2012

Lui joined SPREP in October 2005 as the Marine Species Officer.  At the time of his death, he was working as the Marine Species Adviser with the Biodiversity & Ecosystem Management Division.

Lui was an outstanding person in every respect.  He was one of those rare people who could relate to everyone, whether a village community or the heads of international conventions, and achieve positive outcomes through his interaction with them.  Lui was a deeply committed conservationist and he leaves a legacy of many achievements.  His professionalism, joviality and team spirit will be greatly missed.

Before joining SPREP Lui had a long career with the Government of Samoa, working on fisheries, aquaculture and marine conservation; with the Forum Fisheries Agency; FAO; and for AusAID as an aquaculture adviser.

During his seven years with SPREP, first as Marine Species Officer and then Adviser, Lui had many outstanding achievements that have made lasting contributions to conservation of marine species in the region.  Many of these achievements were made with limited resources and Lui was a master at making ends meet and still achieving major outcomes for his programme.  In recognition of his contributions to SPREP and the region Lui was appointed Marine Species Adviser in 2011.  Notable examples of achievements include:

  • Development and implementation of regional Marine Species Action Plans that provide guidance for Pacific island countries to conserve and manage dugongs, whales, dolphins and marine turtles.  The latest version of these plans, for 2013-2017, are currently being released and will remain one of Lui's most important legacies.
  • Conservation of whales and dolphins was a passion for Lui.  He was the driving force behind the development of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region, under the Convention on Migratory Species.  This important MoU now has 15 country signatories and seven collaborating organisations.  Lui also designed and implemented whale watching guidelines to support Tonga's ecotourism economy.
  • His work on turtle conservation was outstanding and he was responsible for developing and implementing ground-breaking approaches for the monitoring turtle migration in the Pacific using satellite and static metal tags.  The information obtained as a result of his work has significantly improved our understanding of migration paths of these iconic species in the region. Lui had just commenced working with New Zealand Department of Conservation on a regional turtle and ecotourism project.
  • Lui excelled at establishing productive partnerships with a range of organisations to achieve regional marine conservation objectives, including the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), NOAA, IFAW, Conservation International and many others.  Thanks to his skill at engaging partners SPREP to support our regional conservation efforts now hosts a CMS Pacific Officer position.

There is much more that can be said about Lui's contributions to marine conservation in the region, these are a few examples. Lui was a true champion and his parting leaves a void that will be difficult to fill.

He is survived by his wife Anunisia Silila Bell and five children who are all based in Samoa.  

He is sadly missed by all his SPREP colleagues, friends and family and throughout the region.

Click here to read the eulogy from SPREP, delivered by Mr. David Sheppard, Director General of SPREP, on December 8, 2012.

Click here to read the Samoa Observer article published on December 1, 2012, as a tribute to Lui and his humanitarian work.

Rest in Peace Lui.  Manuia lau Malaga!

Video Tribute

Photo Gallery
View the embedded image gallery online at:

Comments (156)

  • Guest (Karen Frutchey)


    I am so sorry to hear this. Hugs to you, Lui's family and the SPREP family during this difficult time. I so appreciated his enduring dedication and happy spirit towards the conservation of marine species.
    Aloha and peace,
    Karen Frutchey

  • Guest (Lance Laack (former SPREP Editor and Publications Officer))


    The world is suddenly a sadder place. RIP brother - you will be missed.

  • Guest (Alissa Takesy)


    Our sincerest condolences to Lui's wife and children, it was a great honor to learn from him during my MNRE intern days. Our Pacific region has lost a marine champion and fellow islander! Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

    Fa soifua,

  • Guest (Joe Brider (National Environment Services, Cook Islands))


    This is very sad news; my thoughts are with his family and the staff of SPREP

    Sincere condolences

  • Guest (Olive Andrews)


    OH Lui. I'm so shocked and saddened to hear that you are gone.

    I've worked along side Lui since 2004 and as his direct counterpart for more than 2 years at SPREP. During that time we traveled and worked together, shared countless meal times and belly laughs, and did some great things for marine species.

    Lui cannot be replaced as a Pacific champion for marine species. His passion and humility drove countless conservation wins. He will be sorely missed throughout the region.

    My thoughts are with you my SPREP aiga, and of course Lui's family.

  • Guest (Karen (Dive Vava'u))


    What tragic and immensely sad news, please extend our condolences to family and friends, Lui was an inspiration to many of us and his tireless energy for conservation and the Pacific Islands.

    Kindest Regards

  • Guest (Schannel van Dijken (Conservation International))


    I am shocked and in disbelief. Lui was such a kind patient person, a great source of information and i loved our banter that we had together. He will be sorely missed and i would love to contribute to his card and funds that will go to his aiga.
    My heart goes out to his immediate, extended and SPREP family for their loss.
    With sorrow

  • Guest (Liz Dovey (ex SPREP and DCCEE Samoa))


    So very very sad to hear of Lui's passing. Lui was a wonderful friend, colleague both professionally and in community work, and an amazingly knowledgeable and dedicated Pacific conservation specialist, particularly focussed on marine species. He always had a big smile and made time for a talk to progress some action or another. He leaves big shoes to fill. My sincere condolences to his family and to SPREP colleagues and apologies that I won't be able to make it back to Samoa to share in memories and farewells. Manuia lou malaga indeed, dear friend, and RIP.

    from Canberra ACT, Australia
  • Guest (Dr Michael White (Marine Zoologist))


    I'm so sorry to hear this tragic news. Please pass on my deepest condolences to Lui's family and friends. Although we didn't get to meet very often, I always found Lui to be a wonderful man; always most welcoming. He will be very sadly missed.

    My thoughts are with you all, take care and Blessed be, Michael

    My research group 'Honu Cook Islands' also sends its deepest sympathies, M x
    Dr Michael White

    Comment last edited on about 5 years ago by admin
  • Guest (Aliitasi Petaia)


    Talofa e, ia Lui, shocking news when I know he was a fit man. Very sad & my thoughts are with his wife & children and especially those who were there when he collapsed. May he rest in peace and in the tranquility of heaven!

  • Guest (Jenniferr Cruce)


    Thank you for forwarding on the news about Lui. I am very sorry to hear that he is no longer with us. He was a great inspiration to all of us turtle folks and will be greatly missed. Please let me know if there is anything I can do or if a donation is being collected for the family.

  • Guest (Vili A. Fuavao)


    It is with profound sadness that I have learned of the demise of Mr Lui Bell, SPREP Marine Species Adviser and the former FAO staff. On behalf of the FAO Sub-regional Office for the Pacific Islands, its staff and my own behalf please accept our most sincere condolences, respectful consideration.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult moment.
    Vili A. Fuavao (FAO Representative in Samoa and Sub-regional Representative for the Pacific Islands)

  • Guest (Asterio Takesy)


    In tears and wounded heart and pain, I express through you good Sir, my deepest sorrow and sincere condolences to the family, friends, and fellow workers of Lui. I do so in behalf of my wife Justina and our three daughters, Alissa, Arlene and Andria who have had the privilege of getting to know this wonderful person, Lui Bell.

    I have come to like, respect and admire Lui as a human being, as a man and a pre-eminent marine scientist who stood tall among his piers with humility and impeccable integrity.

    His keen sense of humor and respect for others endeared him to so many lives he touched along his life journey. I do not believe Lui ever knew the meaning of fear; but he walked softly and said little. His foot prints spread across the Pacific and indeed the globe. He loved life, lived it well at no one's expense. He was a most generous and kind man. May he rest in everlasting peace.

    We share the pain and sorrow of his family, and we join them in their dark hour. May the Good Lord grant them the courage to accept His will. You are all in our prayers.

    We shall miss him so.

  • Guest (Iliapi Tuwai)


    This is really a sad news to me, since I know Lui well since we were together at USP and later at Fisheries; mostly meeting and working together. A kind hearted soft spoken gentlemen, full of jokes...really miss this guy. I believe most of the friends from Fiji who will hear this will be shocked, since he has made considerable impact on the turtle work in our country.

    Please convey our condolences to the family and we will remember them in our prayers.

    Please keep safe and blessed PACC and SPREP family.

    Warm regards.
    Api. Fiji PACC Coordinator.

  • Guest (Vatu Molisa)


    My most Deepest Condolences to Lui's Family at this most sad time. May the lords peace and love comfort them.
    He will be surely missed. May God rest his soul. He was a true champion for the cause of marine species conservation in the pacific.
    sincere regards,
    Vatu Molisa

  • Guest (Liz Dovey)


    I am so very very sad to hear of Lui's sudden passing. He was a very dear colleague in both my SPREP life and SVDP life, and a leading conservationist, particularly marine, in both Samoa and the wider Pacific and international arena, and a long-standing good friend since first coming to Samoa. He had a huge heart and always had time for everyone, despite his busy workload. A huge loss, both personal and professional.

    I wish I could join you all to share in sharing memories and farewells. Please pass on my sincere condolences to Lui's wife and family and my thoughts are also with my colleagues in SPREP who must be in terrible shock. My prayers are with you all.

    RIP dear friend.

    In very very great sadness


  • Guest (Chloe Schauble)


    I was very saddened to hear of Lui's death. I had the pleasure of working with Lui in relation to the 2009 international sea turtle symposium run in Australia. His enthusiasm and positive attitude helped enable significant participation from the Pacific region.

    Please pass on my condolences and very best wishes to his family and colleagues.

    Kind regards

  • Guest (Ana Tiraa)


    I was deeply saddened to hear of the sudden passing of our dear colleague and friend, Lui. He was such a gentle, kind person with the most wicked sense of humour. It was an honour and privilege to have had worked with Lui. He was a dedicated and hard working man who got things done. He did a remarkable job of highlighting the plight of marine mammals and turtles in our region. Not only did he bring to the attention the issues, he also worked tirelessly to actively address the dilemma these beautiful species faced. The Pacific Island conservation world has loss a great species champion.

    My prayers and thoughts are with his wife and family and SPREP colleagues.

    God Bless,
    Ana Tiraa

  • Guest (Patricia Zurita)


    I wanted to write on behalf of CEPF to express our condolences to Lui's family and the team at SPREP and assure you that
    our thoughts are with you all at this time.

    I know from John Watkin that Lui implemented a CEPF project developing community based monitoring of turtle nesting beaches from Nakalou Village, Macuata in Vanua Levu, Fiji. He also led an exchange visit in Vanuatu with the villagers iinvolved in the Wan Smol Bag turtle monitors programme which now covers 80% of all islands in Vanuatu and involves approximately 400 community volunteer turtle monitors. Lui will be greatly missed professionally and personally.

    We would like to discuss how best to use the CEPF Final Assessment workshop planned for 15-18 April in Suva, Fiji, to remember Lui's contribution to conservation in the Pacific

    Yours sincerely,
    Patricia (Executive Director Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and Vice President Conservation International)

  • I will surely miss your company when next meeting up with the team for the turtle work here in Fiji. I always look forward to learning from your experiences, and of course on how to getting the work done, in a lesser stressed out manner but rather the fun ways. Now, no more - so long Lui, you will be missed and VINAKA VAKALEVU for your invaluable contribution. Moce mada Lui....

    My deepest sympathy to Lui's family and his team at SPREP, especially Nina and Cathy. May the good Lord's peace be with you all.

  • Guest (Joe Horokou)


    It is indeed a great loss for SPREP and its member countries. He has been so helpful, but also very hospital person to have worked with.

    May his soul rest in peace.
    Joe (Director of Environment, Solomon Islands)

  • Guest (Josef Hurutarau (Solomon Islands))


    It is sad to learn of the passing away of Mr Lui Bell. Some of you might know Lui with his involvement in the marine species conservation, especially turtle, dugong & dolphin.

    Lui has been here in the Solomons twice to attend Solomon Islands Species Forum and Pacific Inaugural Meeting. He was later invited to assist with the Solomons dolphin survey meeting. You might met him on various meetings and occassions. It is particularly sad when unexpectedly all plans to do programmes with him in the Solomons for early next year come to an end.

    May we all stand with his families in prayers and may his soul rest in peace in our God.


  • Guest (Josef Hurutarau (MECDM, Solomon Islands))



    It is sad to learn of the passing away of Mr Lui Bell. Some of you might know Lui with his involvement in the marine species conservation, especially turtle, dugong & dolphin.

    Lui has been here in the Solomons twice to attend Solomon Islands Species Forum and Pacific Inaugural Meeting. He was later invited to assist with the Solomons dolphin survey meeting. You might met him on various meetings and occassions. It is particularly sad when unexpectedly all plans to do programmes with him in the Solomons for early next year come to an end.

    May we all stand with his families in prayers and may his soul rest in peace in our God.



  • Guest (Alfred Ralifo)


    My condolences to Lui's family and to the team at SPREP .... It was a pleasure and a blessing to have met and worked with Lui!

  • Guest (Ryan Tierney (Acting High Commissioner of Australia in Apia))


    We were very saddened to hear about the sudden death of Mr Lui Bell last night.

    On behalf of the High Commissioner, who is currently away on official travel, and all the staff of the High Commission, please accept our condolences and herfelt sorrwo for the sudden passing away of Mr Lui Bell.

    The death of Mr Bell is a tragedy for SPREP. His contribution to the campaign to help bring about a Pacific environment that sustains our livelihoods and natural heritage in harmony with our cultures will always be remembered.

    Please know that our thorouts and prayers are with the family of Mr Bell and the staff of SPREP at this time.

    With Sympathy,

    Ryan Tierney
    Acting High Commissioner

  • Guest (Tekimwau Otiawa)


    I once knew Lui from our previous communications via email on turtle profile document and finally met him at one of the Marine Species Action Plan Review in March this year. He is a kind and very helpful man.

    I will remember him in my prayers

    Tekimwau (Kiribati Environment and Conservation Division)

  • Lui, your love and passion for marine life will always guide us...Dr cecile gaspar

  • Guest (Dr. Cecile Gaspar (President, Te Mana O Te Moana, Moorea))

    In reply to: cecile gaspar Permalink

    Lui was such an exceptional man… we are and will remain daily motivated by him.
    We were ready to send him a new project last week and did highly involve SPREP but we will not give up and continue our efforts.. for him mainly.
    Best regards

  • Guest (Asuka Ishizaki)


    I am very saddened and at loss of words to hear of Lui's sudden passing. Lui has always been instrumental in our working relationship with SPREP, and be will be missed very much.

    Please send along our sincerest condolences to his family and everyone at SPREP.



  • Guest (Collin Gereniu)


    May the good Lord solace his family at this sad time and may his soul rest in peace eternal.


  • Guest (Taholo Kami)


    The news has caught us all in the Conservation / marine circle by surprise and also with much grief. Lui was always the gentleman with his Pacific humour and presence in our meetings all over the region. On behalf of IUCN Oceania and the team, we will miss you Lui, and our prayers and thoughts are with Anunisia and the family -
    'ofa lahi atu and Walk on Walk Strong!

  • Guest (Filia Iosefa)


    Still in shock to hear of your passing away brada! I will miss you bubbly smiles and jovial chats at Squash. Your squash buddies are all thinking of you! Our prayers and thoughts are with you and grieving family. We will carry on the Rabbit tradition and change the winner's title to Lui's "BELL" Rest in peace bro. Much alofas, Filia.

  • Guest (Dean Solofa (SPREP 2005-2011))


    Lui and I began our first SPREP contracts within days of each other and spent the first few weeks attending the same (dreaded) induction and familiarization processes, and the horror of being elected within a month to the new SPREP Social Club Committee for 2006 (for which he then cleverly manipulated the process to make me President that year). I'd previously gotten to know Lui from civil service life when he was with Fisheries and I with Meteorology under the Agriculture ministry in downtown Apia. I knew him then to be one of the few driven and passionate and also quite forthright individuals in that Ministry, and one whose goals and vision for his work area would be result in success (as he has clearly shown during his SPREP career). I will also join many others who will miss Lui greatly for his constant presence of laughter, competition, sportsmanship, and partnership, encouragement, and fair play at our Tuesday and Thursday Night Squash Doubles club. It was an honor to have been associated with Lui during his time at SPREP, and am thankful for his friendship over the course of these last few years.

    My sincere condolences to Lui's family, and to my friends and former colleagues at SPREP. My thoughts with you all.


  • Guest (Coral Pasisi)


    This is extremely sad news and my condolences to his family and SPREP. I’ve known Lui for a long time and he was a very nice person with a very genuine interest in the preservation of our regions precious marine biodiversity. I’m sure his foot print in the region and indeed SPREP will live on for a very long time to come.

    Kind regards,
    Coral Pasisi (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat)

  • Guest (Cara Miller)


    A great Pacific advocate for marine conservation is gone - and it is very sad to know that we will no longer be graced with Lui's passion, humility, patience and ever-present sense of humour. My thoughts and prayers go to Lui’s family and friends at this very difficult time.

  • Guest (AUSAID Suva)


    The climate change and environment and the regional organisation teams here at AusAID Suva would like to pass on our sincere condolences over the passing of Lui Bell.

    We will miss his insightful thoughts, kind spirit and sense of humour.

    Thinking of you all at this time.

    John, Marina, Rebecca, Noa and Tu.

  • Guest (Andrea Stewart)


    We were so terribly saddened to hear the news of Lui Bell’s passing. This must be a dreadful shock for all of you. Our thoughts are with Lui’s family and with all of you there at SPREP as members of his wider family.
    Kind wishes,
    Andrea (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade)

  • Guest (Mrs. Nenenteiti Teariki-Ruatu (Acting Director - ECD))


    It is with great shock and sadness to receive the sad news regarding the passing away of Mr. Lui Bell, who is also SPREP Marine Advisor.

    On behalf of the Secretary - Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agriculture Development (MELAD) and staff members of the Environment & Conservation Division, I am writing to convey our deepest sympathy, condolence and prayers to Mr. Lui Bell and especially his family in this time of great sorrow. Mr. Bell has been instrumental in assisting Kiribati in getting involved in the Pacific Islands Regional Turtle Monitoring Programme, including providing assistance to help Kiribati in setting up the marine turtle programme. Through his great leadership, dedication and passion he has shown in his work, Kiribati is able to establish and put in place, a baseline data that are vital for enabling the conservation and management framework that Kiribati needs to conserve and manage marine turtles. All these happen because of Lui Bell. Furthermore, Lui has been a great friend, mentor and colleague and one who is always full of laughter and fun to work with. His positive character and attitude to work which he has shown and guide us in tacking the complex issues surrounding 'marine turtle' conservation and management, always helped us to complete what we must do to safeguard and manage marine turtles. We shall greatly miss you Lui Bell and you will always be in our heart and prayers. May you rest in peace and God bless all your loved ones always and especially during these sad moments.

    Our prayers are with you David and your staff in this sad time and especially also to Lui Bell's family!!!

    Sincerely yours,

    Mrs. Nenenteiti Teariki-Ruatu
    Acting Director - ECD on behalf of Secretary MELAD and staff members of ECD

  • Guest (Roseti Imo (ex Samoa Fisheries))


    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Lui was a humble man driven by the will to do a great job, in anything he does - a rare quality these will be missed by all your (past and present) colleagues at Samoa Fisheries, and also by some of the staff here at FFA that still remember you during your time with the Agency.

    Roseti Imo (Forum Fisheries Agency - Solomon Islands)

  • Guest (Mike)


    Kia ora

    Sue called me last night, about 20 minutes after we got home to Coromandel, with this awful news. As you know, Lui was my longest colleague and collaborator in SPREP. He and I go way back to the days when he was still with MNRE. I have always had a great fondness and admiration for Lui - he was my connection to a wonderful network in the region and an untiring advocate for conservation. A quiet achiever and a modest man, with great insight and skill. I shall miss him very much, as I'm sure you all will. Sue seemed to think that the funeral will be today, so I shan't be able to attend, but I shall pen some words that perhaps she or Greg can read on my behalf.

    My thoughts are with you all and with Lui's family at this very sad time. If there is anything that I can do to assist you, please let me know.

    Kia kaha


  • Guest (Rochelle Constantine)


    Oh this is just terrible news. Please send my condolences to his family. The loss of Lui to our whale family is immense, he was a calm pathway through the joys of Pasifika science and he was a most excellent man. I will miss him as I know we all will.

    Thank you for letting me know and give yourself a hug from me Sue, you have a long history as friends.

    I shall raise a glass to Lui tonight.

    Rochelle (PhD School of Biological Sciences)

  • Guest (Keith Symington)


    I only knew Lui for a couple of years ago but found him to be a wonderful, dedicated and very kind person. On a personal level I will miss him, its a loss for the marine conservation community and on behalf of WWF Coral Triangle Programme we all convey our deepest sympathies to Lui's family, friends and the SPREP community.

  • Guest (JICA Samoa Office)


    There are no words to adequately describe the shock and sadness we felt upon hearing of the loss of your colleague.

    Please extend our heartfelt condolence and convey our deepest sympathy to Lui's family.

    With warm regards,

    JICA Samoa Office

  • Guest (Jo Taylor-Kupu)


    I am sitting here in Tonga stunned by this news ....I spoke to Lui not so long ago about some turtles here we are waiting to beach and lay.
    I can honestly say with all my heart I have never met a man with so much passion. I listened to him in awe ...I Emailed him with my concerns and happiness ..he always got back to me in record time. I had hoped to work along side him for so many more years to come.
    Mu condolences to everyone at SPREP , his wife and his children.His legacy will live on and he is in our hearts ...he was a great man of passion and commitment and I feel privileged to have known him. Rest in peace Lui ...we will all miss you , your smile, laughter and humor. Jo and Vini

  • Guest (Caroline Machoro)


    C’est avec une profonde tristesse que j’apprend la terrible nouvelle de la disparition de Lui Bell. J’ai devant moi, une photo de Lui datant du mois de Septembre dernier et je me souviens de quelqu’un qui, dans son comportement, alliait à la fois, présence, discrétion et efficacité.
    Son départ va représenter une grande perte pour notre Organisation, et, quand bien même nous pourrions remplacer les compétences techniques qu’il a, depuis tant d’années, exercées au sein du PROE, rien ne saurait ses substituer aux qualités humaines que Lui personnifiait au sein de la grande Famille Régionale que constitue le PROE.

    Cher David, et cher Kosi, vous traversez en ce moment- même une épreuve terrible. Soyez assurés que, d’aussi loin que je me trouve, je suis de tout cœur avec vous et je partage votre peine.
    Transmettez, s’il vous plaît, mes condoléances les plus attristées à tous les collègues et amis de Lu, ainsi qu’à sa famille.

    Caroline (Chair SPREP)

  • Guest (Willy Morrell)


    My heartfelt condolences to Lui's family and many friends and colleagues. I am really saddened to hear this news but feel some comfort in the legacy he has left behind for us all. Willy

  • Guest (Anne-Claire Goarant)


    It is a very sad newS.
    Our condolences and sincere best wishes are with Lui's family and SPREP's family at this sad time.
    Your action around Lui' family is very kind and suportive, It is for sure important for his family,
    kind regards,

    Anne-Claire Goarant

  • Guest (Elizabeth Munro)


    It is indeed a sad news for us in the pacific. We have lost another environment warrior who has been a great champion on Marine Species in the region.

    I have known Lui for a while now, a person who is passionate about Turtles, Whales and other marine species. We are going to miss his laughter, wisdom and advice at pacific meetings and also his daily and weekly emails that he sends, to keep us updated of Marine species in the region and around the world.

    My condolences, prayers and thoughts to Lui’s family at this sad time and also to his SPREP family.

    Te Atua te Aroa

    Aroa nui

  • Guest (Dr Michael White)


    My thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Lui Bell, who passed away very suddenly last night. We’ll miss you Lui: you were great. Always kind and very approachable. You were a wonderful host whenever I visited SPREP. As you make your latest journey I wish you ‘safe voyaging’. You are truly a Hero of the South Pacific. With Love and fondest memories, Meitaki Poria e Kia Manuia, Michael

  • Guest (Sue Taei (CI))


    Lui and I go back nearl 20 years here in Samoa from the time he was in Fisheries, we set up the first marine capacity in MNRE together under the IUCN Samoa MPA project, we worked with him on the Marine Species Action Plans, the IFAW MOU, the Humpback Whale Recovery Plan, Ocean Voices, in Tonga with whale watching and so much more.

    Lui was a hero, a good man one of the kindest people I have known. He played good cop on the whales programme when I played bad cop calling out issues with Japan/Pacific Is states and the IWC.

    Lui was from Fusi Safata, in Fusi there is part of their history that relates to whales. The story goes that a bad whale roamed the the straits between Savaii and Upolu attacking pao pao and people, the story always sounded to me like a sperm whale. A brave man with bamboo knives attacked the whale, and was swallowed, the whale swam furiously around ending up on the southern coast of Safata, and swam ashore at Fusi with such force that the whale divided the land creating the Fusi Peninsula and his body ended up at Fusi, there is a rock in this village remarkably shaped similar to a whales head and it is believed to be of that whale. Many matai titles relate in the area to this story. I have the titles and more details but the story always remained me of Lui and we joked it was his karma to take care of the whales as a Fusi matai.

    Its so sad, Lui was a dear friend, a wonderful conservationist, he never let things get him down, and he will be missed always.

    Lui, Mike and I designed a "Pacific Voyagers" concept as part of the Pacific Oceanscape initiative to help renew focus on migratory marine species, I hope we can build and resource this in Lui's name and dedicate it to his memory and work on marine species across this ocean


    Sue and CI

  • Guest (Chad J Berbert (US Consulate))


    So sorry to hear. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lui’s family and with SPREP at this time. Let us know if there is anything we can do.

    Chad J Berbert (US Consulate)

  • Guest (Nileema Noble (UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative))


    I am so sorry to hear of the sudden death of Lui Bell..

    Please convey to Lui’s family, UNDP’s and my personal condolences. I am sure that there were many friends of Lui in UNDP and am therefore also sharing this email with my colleagues here.

    Our prayers and good wishes are with Lui Bell’s family at this difficult time for them.

    Regards, Nileema Noble (UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative)

  • Guest (Marc Oremus)


    So hard to believe that you won't be with us at the next SPWRC meeting...
    You have always been very supportive of the projects I was involved in, including lately with the Solomon Islands dolphin project, and for that, I'll always be very grateful. But more importantly, it was always such a pleasure to see you over the course of meetings and workshops. I'll miss you a lot...
    Bon voyage Lui...

  • Guest (Kate Brown)


    Deepest sympathy to Lui's family - he was such a committed family man. Gave me some great advice about bringing up children and about life, and about getting on with it with out fuss!
    Thoughts and sympathy also to his SPREP Family - I can imagine how large a hole he will leave and how hard the next few weeks will be. We are all with you - if not physically definately in spirit.
    Words cant summarise a persons life, but Lui is universally loved and admired. If i think of SPREP i think of Lui outside the building in front of IRC smoking - always the best place to chat to him. I think of his stories about turtle tagging and his lack of interest in meetings of of travelling out of the Pacific! Of his wisdom, the things i learned and sometimes of his grumpiness. He was no fuss and easy to admire. He always walked his own path - (or more aptly - he always swam in his own channel). I feel lucky to have known him. If we take away anything from this its that we need to live our life fully and joyfully - much in the way that I believe Lui did.

  • Guest (Kemu Qoroya)


    Isa, I am deeply saddened when I learned of Lui’s passing. Lui was a work colleague and had also become a friend over the years I spent at SPREP. He was passionate about Marine Conservation and I was quite awed with the work he was involved in, using satellite technology to track migratory species around the pacific. Not only was he passionate about his work, he was also passionate about helping the not have’s in his community. I was privileged to be part of his charity work. He is going to be missed by many people from all walks of life. Faáfetai Tele Lui, for your friendship, your passion, your humility, and for sharing your faith and your life with us. We have lost a Pacific Hero who has championed conservation causes around the region. Our prayers are with you, your Aiga, friends and SPREP family at this difficult time. May you rest in eternal peace my Feleni. Manuia Le Malaga!

  • Guest (Magele Etuati Ropeti (ex Samoa Fisheries))


    Lui, you were a God-given gift to your family, friends and the region. Thanks for the many talents that you have shared with those around you and the wisdom that have helped shape others. Prayers and condolences to the family.

    Manuia tele lau malaga uso!!

  • Guest (Kelvin Passfield)


    Lui, the first time I met you was in the early 1990s when you came to the Cook Islands to write the Cook Islands Marine Resource profiles, while working for the Forum Fisheries Agency. I believe those profiles are still the most complete fishery resource available for the Cook Islands, and a very valuable reference.

    I then had the great pleasure to work with you on the Samoa Fisheries Project, with Mike King and the team from 1999 to 2001. That was when I really got to know you and appreciate your knowledge of Samoa and the Pacific, and also your great sense of humour. We had a great time sharing our little office in Apia. You were a vital part of a great team on that project, and I learnt a lot from you.

    A few years later, while Ana worked at SPREP, I got to see quite a lot of you again, usually standing outside the office block door for a smoke. We played squash together many times in those years, always a great time playing doubles.

    Lui, I will never forget you and your smile and your own particular way of dealing with life's challenges, and how you were always there for your extended family.

    To your family, I can never fully realise how devastating this is for you, he was your rock, but I am sure you will be happily reunited in the next life. Until then, rest in peace Lui.

  • I am deeply sorry to hear about Lui’s sadden passing. Lui was a friend indeed. A dedicated officer to marine species conservation in the Pacific.
    We were planning for some exchange visits early next year for him to bring representatives from various turtle conservation programs from Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Fiji to our Moso community turtle project in Vanuatu.
    We’ve done that once in 2010 with turtle monitors from Dauni Vonu in Fiji and we’ve been looking forward for the next one in Feb 2013, unfortunately I got the sad news of his sudden passing away.

    My deepest condolences goes to his family.

    Rest in Peace Wantok.
    You will always be remembered.

  • There is a Tongan proverb " Mapaki e fa ka 'oku kei 'alaha" Lui's life is like a fa (fa is the fruit of Pandanus tectorius, bright red in colour and smaller than those eaten in the Micronesian countries - the Tongans use this to scent their oil and to make garlands for dancing because of its nice fragrant) - although the fa has fallen its sweet fragrant will remain with us and will always be remembered.

    'ofa atu Silila kia koe mo e fanau.

    Netatua (SPREP COP 18 Team Doha)

  • Guest (Gilles Hosch)


    this is the saddest day of the year! i worked alongside lui at the FAO office in samoa from 1998 to 2000, where i was a young professional in fisheries then. coming from europe, and knowing very little about south pacific fisheries, lui coached and supported me along the way, with knowledge, contacts, ideas and - most important of all - warmth and humaneness. i loved lui for everything he was, as a human being and as a professional. i cannot believe this beautiful person returned to his creator so early... faafetai lava, lui, for everything! rest in peace now. gilles

  • I am truly saddened to hear my friend and colleague Lui Bell’s passing away. He was more than just a friend; he was an amazing person. He was always so kind and considerate.
    His passing will not only leave a void, but in the hearts of everyone who knew him. Lui’s memory will always remain deep within our hearts.
    My sincere thoughts and prayers are with his family & SPREP colleagues.
    With deepest sympathy, Manuia lau malaga!
    Alofaaga :(
    Saunoa, MJ & Onesemo

  • CMS was shocked and sad to hear of the loss of Lui. Lui’s friendly, humorous personality and his energy for the conservation of marine and migratory species will be sorely missed. On behalf of the CMS Team, our heartfelt condolences to his family and colleagues.
    Bert Lenten, Officer in Charge Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)

  • Guest (Donna Kwan)


    On behalf of the Secretariat of the UNEP/CMS Dugong MOU in Abu Dhabi, just a note to extend our deepest sympathy to Lui's family and to his friends and colleagues in SPREP. We are shocked and deeply sadden to hear of this tragic loss. We will miss Lui's commitment, passion and energy.
    We wish you all strength
    Donna Kwan

  • Guest (Haruko Okusu)


    I am shocked to hear the sad news. It only feels like yesterday when we had Chinese dinner and a good laugh in Rotorua! I was looking so much forward to working directly with you in my new post...I will miss you a lot. My prayers go to Lui's family and friends during this very tough time.


  • Guest (Frank Griffin)


    I just learned about my good friend, Lui Bell's passing. I am still shocked by this news. Your were a champion in whatever you, sports, entertaining, having fun etc. Who can forget the many hours of taking a short walk out of our building to have a smoke...a true professional who achieved much with very limited resources...your contributions and achievements will be long remembered my friend...our shared interest in gospel music, especially the Bill Gaither DVD collections...thanks very much for being you and for spending time with us all at SPREP...Rest in Peace my brother...still shocked...

  • Guest (Solomone Fifita (ex Pacific Futures 2003 - 2010))


    My wife is related to Silila and she and the kids will always visit Lui's family while I am away from Samoa. As what most men would do when their wife's cousins visit, the boot of the car will always be full on their return. My family is therefore very thankful for Lui's cooking and breadfruit trees too. Sometimes I asked the kids, where did these come from and the youngest would yell out ... from the Man with the Beard. My family has also greatly benefitted from Lui's advice on how to be politically correct when there is a 'Ikale Tahi - Manu Samoa showdown in town.

    It was in the retreat of 2008 that I became the chauffeur for Lui and Clark. On our 2hrs drive to the Lalomanu area, Lui shared with us that he was the President of the Samoa USP Catholic Students Association and Silila was his counterpart from the Tongan Association. He shared his passion for his work with the Vava'u whale watching association and how he always tried not to be a burden on Silila's family.

    The pool table corner of the fale was where Lui will always be found. Not only Tasi, Helen and Amaze will be there, he was more comfortable and always devote his time to the people with oily hands in the engine room of SPREP.

    I have said so many on farewells to departing staff and earlier this year, I composed a song and sang it at a funeral of a SPC staff . I wish I can be there with Silila and the SPREP family but here is one special for you Lui:

    “How the mighty have fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:27).
    Oh Mt Vaea what can you say
    Over the Net, certainly not the best
    The fautasi looks astray
    His will, oh, home he goes to rest

    The tale of the eel is known by all
    Fearless, this descendant of Tangaloa
    Lasting deeds are there for all
    All the species in the deep of Katoa

    The blessings of the Lord
    Be upon you forever more
    Tofa my feleni
    A true son of Samoa

    'Oi Mt Vaea koe ha ha'o poa
    Ngaluope e moe tala fakaloloma
    Koe fautasi 'ena kuo foefoeloa
    Pule kehea, uisa, ko si'ono kahoa

    Koe tala 'o e tuna kuo maama loa
    'Ikai ha ofo he koe fua 'o Tangaloa
    Fai e fatongia ke tu'uloa
    Me'amo'ui 'oe 'oseni lolotoa

    Lalaka moe 'Otua
    Ke 'o'ou ia koloa
    Tofa my feleni
    Toa 'o Samoa

    Comment last edited on about 5 years ago by Kathleen Leewai
  • Guest (Mike King)


    So sad to hear of Lui leaving us. I have known him for a long time and it was always cheering to have him there as a friend.
    He was a kind, gentle, funny, knowledgable, hard-working bloke and I will miss him not being around.
    Best wishes to all his friends and family.
    Mike King

  • Hail to an amazing life. Thanks you Lui for all you achieved for conservation, particularly for marine species. The whales, dolphins, turtles, dugongs and other marine species of the Pacific have lost their preminent champion and I'm sure they are also in deep mourning right now. Thank you for the way in which you made these achievements, always with a smile, a laugh, and a deep consideration and respect for those you worked with. We will all do our best to follow in your footsteps, seeking inspiration in your example. Thank you my friend.

  • Guest (clive hawigen)


    I am saddened to have learnt about Lui’s passing. My deepest sincere condolence goes out to his family and SPREP colleagues.

    Lui was a great friend and colleague.

    I will always remember the smokers’ corner. Every morning break we would converge there for toast, coffee and cigarettes. Half the time their stories were in Samoan and being a pukpuk, it sounded alien so I sat there quietly drinking coffee and just hoping that those Samoans would speak English anytime soon. But English came as fast as it went and in those few moments that English became the common language again, it sounded like music to my ears. It was in those sessions, that I would casually asked Lui about his work with turtles and dugongs throughout the Pacific. His response came with passion and it was quite clear that he was very knowledgeable and sometimes intimidating, especially for someone who had half an idea of what he was talking about. In all, his message was quite simple; “Each of us had a role to play to help conserve and protect these very important species and to respect them.”

    I’m glad I met him and I appreciated what he has taught me and have tried to advocate the importance of looking after these species ever since…. To the dismay of my turtle-eggs-and-meat-eating family and friends.

    Your legacy of marine species conservation work lives on.

    RIP Lui


  • Guest (Margi Prideaux (Wild Migration))


    Our deepest condolences to Lui's Family at this most sad time, as we join you in the darkest of hours.

    Nothing we say or do in these coming weeks can fill the space left with Lui’s passing, but know that people around the globe are reaching out to you with love and care. Lui’s footprint was both gentle and mighty. He touched sprits everywhere.

    As I sit here and collect my thoughts about this tragic event, despite the deep sadness I find myself smiling, recalling the spirit, the humor and the humanity of this incredible man.

    You are in our thoughts and in our hearts as we reach to you across the miles to return to you a small part of the spirit of Lui.

    Margi Prideaux

  • I am most certain that Lui's journey in life has earned him a place among the angels. The streets of heaven are filled with angels tonight. I can hear their celebrations of your arrival. Lui- wish us luck as we try to do our work without you!

    My sincere condolences to your wife and children and the rest your Pacific family.

    Bless your soul.

  • Dear Lui, While deeply devastated by your sudden passing, the memories of your friendship and services to country and region, is healing a broken heart. My ardent payers is that you may receive an auspicious welcome by your Lord, and you’ll recount with delight before Him, the wonderful cares for His creatures that you've spent all of your precious life. Yours is a shining legacy that can never fade, nor the changes and chances of this earthly life tarnish. How true are these words for your example, as you make your way to the Great Beyond: “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp, because the dawn has come”. Farewell and God speed, my Brother!

    Comment last edited on about 5 years ago by admin
  • Guest (Bruce Jefferies)


    When I received Stuart Chape’s phone call informing me of Lui’s death I simply found it hard to comprehend - how could this be? I was sharing a joke with him only a few hours ago. When I arrived at the office the next day the reality hit me. His desk was empty and the shock and grief that was being shown by everybody in SPREP was overwhelming.
    I only knew Lui for a couple of years but quickly grew to appreciate his professionalism, humility and, as so many other people have commented, and outstanding sense of humor.
    Kua hinga he totara i Te wao nui a Tane - a totara has fallen in the forest of Tane
    The totara is a huge NZ native tree that grows for hundreds of years. When a totara falls it signifies a great tragedy – just as Lui’s passing has left a huge gap not only in SPREP but throughout the Pacific.
    Kia kaha

  • Guest (Gianluca Serra)


    dear office and desk companion, i will miss the sparkle of humour and your joke at the right time of the day - often rescuing me from unnecessary concern or indulgence in work-holism

    the sight of your empty desk, still busy of its primeval and fertile chaos, will make me feel sad. although we had not time enough to get to know each other well, i have the sense that you have lived a meaningful and rich life in all respects - lucky your sons, relatives and friends

    the creatures of the abysses, together with several terrestrial ones, including me, all now pay a tribute of respect to your conservation commitment and will miss a genuine and straight fellow, a gentle soul

    rest in peace Lui

  • Guest (Tania Duratovic)


    Very sad news and a loss to all - his family, his colleagues, and the environment he worked so hard to protect.
    I first met Lui whilst working on marine species for IFAW. I found him to be a gentle & sincere man, full of love and dedication to protect the environment he cared for so much, & with a good sense of humour, which was often required! He was an inspiration to all who met him, a real champion and just a lovely man who quietly influenced people and made the world a better place, particularly the Pacific region.
    I extend my love and prayers to Lui's family & all the SPREP community,

  • Guest (Ilisapeci Masivesi)


    It is still hard for me to come to terms with your passing away Lui. Just an hour before you left for the squash court on Thursday 29 Nov, I entered your building to give my daughter's Christmas present to Nina and you stopped me to ask for your present too. These words of yours kept playing back in my mind "remember I need a Christmas gift from you to be under our SPREP Christmas tree tomorrow morning. I will come hunting for it first thing when i arrive". when i heard of the sad news an hour later, my heart sank. Your Christmas present was bought, but now I don't have a receiver...

    Lui, you were more than a work colleague to me, you played the role of a dad, always encouraging me to pursue my dream and do the best I can with the limited resources I have. "The sky is the limit", was always your word of advice. As we talked of our various work load, your would again remind me..."Never focus on the negatives my dear. Do the best you can with your two hands and let the Almighty do the rest"....Now as I look back on the good times we shared, I can't thank the Lord enough for you life Lui. I am blessed to have come to know you. You were an inspiration and your advice will forever lead me on this journey of life.


    Rest in piece my good friend.....

  • Guest (Claire Garrigue (South Pacific Whale Research Consortium member))


    What a sad news! Luis was so nice and we love to spent time with him.
    He did so well to help the SPWRC.
    I am profoundly sad to know that we will not see him again.
    All my thoughts go to his family.
    A bientot Lui,

    Comment last edited on about 5 years ago by Kathleen Leewai
  • Guest (Stephane Ciccione (Director, Kelonia Observatory of Marine Turtles))


    I met Lui in Morea two years ago. He was a really good man.
    Our thoughts for his family and his friends.

    Stephane Ciccione

  • Guest (David Schofield (NOAA Fisheries Service, Hawaii))


    Very sad indeed, a huge loss, I just worked with Lui on a capacity building in Fiji for marine mammal response and investigation.
    David Schofield
    NOAA Fisheries Service
    Pacific Islands Regional Office
    Honolulu, HI

  • Guest (Allan Bowe)


    Such sad news. Lui will be sorely missed by all the region.
    My condolences to his family.

  • Guest (Phillip Clapham (NOAA Federal))


    This is the latest in a string of bad news of good - no, great - people dying young.
    I am so terribly sorry to hear this. Lui was such a wonderful man, and his loss will be deeply felt with the Consortium family.


  • Guest (Anton van Helden)


    Very sad news indeed. A wonderful man whose spirit has affect us all.

    Anton van Helden

  • Guest (Debbie Steel)


    My heartfelt condolences to Lui's family and friends. He was a wonderful man who will be deeply missed.

    Sending big hugs

  • Guest (Judy Seumanutafa)


    A friend Lui Bell, died, taken at a young age. He has been a co-volunteer for the St. Voncent de Paul Society here for some years now.
    Feeling shocked and very sad for his wife, children and family.

  • Guest (Nan Hauser)


    There will never be another Lui.
    What a beautiful friend he has been to all of us and to all of nature.
    We will miss you Lui! We love you! Thank you for all that you have taught us.

  • Guest (Frank Wickham (former SPREP Capacity Development Advisor))


    This is very sad news indeed. Lui was a great person, family man and professional.
    My deep sympathies are with his wife and children.


  • Guest (Mick Mcintyre (Director, Whales Alive))


    Lui, Lui, Lui.
    I will always remember you.
    I will always remember your unflappable ways, Your total belief in preserving our marine species was an inspiration to all of us who worked with you.
    It was not wise to mess with you when it came to issues of conservation, you were a warrior, a strong committed warrior.

    We will miss you, the marine species will miss you.

    You are now going on a different journey. I wish you smooth sailing and abundant love on this new journey.

    Love and blessings,

  • Guest (Saras Sharma)


    Lui, words are not enough to state how much we will miss you. Thank you for connecting the Pacific Islanders to their ocean. I can't believe we were supposed to be on turtle field work next week. The Fiji Fisheries Department will certainly miss a champion. Anybody who has worked with you can always boast about working with the best.
    Condolences to SPREP and to Lui's family.
    Rest in Peace dear friend.

  • Guest (Kosi Latu (SPREP Deputy Director General))


    Lui - we are all still shocked and saddened by your sudden passing away. Even after a few days of your passing it is still difficult to process this mentally and accept that you are gone. You will be remembered by your colleagues and friends here at SPREP for your commitment and passion for your work on marine species in the Pacific. But also your smiling face, your generous spirit in helping the needy in Samoa, and for the down to earth person you were. Ia manuia lau malaga Lui - Kosi

  • Guest (Jayven Ham)


    Vanuatu team would like to pass on its condolence to Lui's Family on the sudden lost. Our hearts will always be with you. RIP

  • Daer All, I am just back from Madang, and received a couple of notices off some List-Serves; and Tony also sent me a message; very sad indeed, another circle of life completed;

    Please pass our condolences to Lui’s family from the Kinch family, and trust that the funeral arrangements and associated feasting goes well; and Lui ends up swimming in the afterlife with whales, dugongs and turtles as his angels; he was a very diligent and hard-working fellow;

    SPREP (or some other funding arrangement) could allocate say USD 20,000 per year as the Lui Bell Marine Animal Memorial Fund, and people could then apply for grants to do marine animal work; this would be a way to have a lasting legacy for Lui and allow others to follow the motivation and committment that Lui had for the marine animals and the people of the Pacific that utilised them;

    The SPREP squash evenings will not be the same with out the juggernaut and his killer (whale) smashes (next SPREP internal squash championship could also play for the Lui Bell Memorial Shield, and each year the winner would have their name put on it, this could be another way to remember Lui's other passion, the squash games at Heem's Gym) ;

    Please raise a glass or three to Lui at the next SPREP Bar night for me; may God/Spirits continue to bless us all; regards, jeff

  • Guest (Bernard O'Callaghan)


    Thanks Lui for your passion and contribution to the world.. The world is a better place - thanks to you and your efforts.

    My sincerest condolences to Lui's wife, children and family.. Also thoughts to our SPREP colleagues... Our Pacific Ocean has lost champion. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  • Guest (Easter Galuvao (SPREP))


    Lui worked hard with conviction to protect and conserve turtles, whales, sharks, dugongs and marine life in general. He had utmost respect for these species. In 2011, for the Year of the Dugong, the theme was “Respect and protect the dugongs”. Lui was already talking about declaring 2014 to be the Pacific Year of the Whale!

    At the office, Lui is the first person I see when I come in the morning and that is because his desk is next to the door. So obviously, you would say good morning to Lui and also because he usually comes in early before everyone else. Now, his desk is empty, and it is hard to come in the morning and not seeing Lui at his desk.

    I was shocked when I was told of Lui’s sudden passing away. It was so hard to believe it as he was with us at work that day. He and I discussed a number of things including his budget which was in a big red (SPREP colleagues know what this means)! Lui always reminded us that we can accomplish so much with so little funds. This is so true. In 2010, we visited the Karkum Conservation Area in PNG where the community had received about $2,000 from Lui to help with their turtle conservation activities and it was amazing how much the community had achieved with the funds from Lui.

    As we prepare for the 9th conference for nature conservation and protected areas which is to be held in November in 2013. I shared an idea with Lui on how we could use turtles as ambassadors for the conference. Lui was very excited with this idea and wanted to use one of his turtle projects in Fiji to implement this idea in the lead up to the conference. He said that he would look into this idea during his trip to Fiji in December. I am sure Lui would want us to take this idea forward and make it happen.

    Fa’afetai tele Mauigoa mo au galuega lelei aemaise o ou uiga tausa’afia ma le agamalu, e le tautala soo, ae fiafia e faitala malie. Ia fa’atasi le agaga o le Tama I le Lagi i le tina, fanau ma le aiga fa’anoanoa.

    Manuia lau malaga.

    Easter Galuvao (SPREP)

  • Guest (Cheri Robinson)


    I am grateful I had the fortune to get to know this great man through a social squash group...I only knew him for a relatively short time but his zest for life and vibrant personality was enough to leave a lasting imprint... I will miss him. RIP dear friend

  • Guest (Espen Ronneberg)


    The tide recedes,
    but leaves behind
    bright seashells on the sand,

    The sun goes down,
    but gentle warmth
    still lingers on the land,

    The music stops,
    and yet it echoes on
    sweet refrains ...

    For every joy that passes,
    something beautiful remains.

  • Guest (Aisake Batibasaga)


    This is a great great loss for the countries of the region, and this more so for Fiji as Lui had a natural affinity to Fiji and kept encouraging marine species management and conservation here. He was a very important pillar for marine conservation in the South Pacific.
    We will really miss you Lui as we were on the threshhold of commencing the four year Ecotourism Sea Turtle Research and Conservation project co funded by SPREP and NZ Doc with 3 other countries.
    You have left a void which can not be easily filled.
    So long Lui. RIP

  • Guest (George Balazs (MTSG Vice-Chair for the Pacific Islands Region))


    Our MTSG Pacific Islands Region has lost a truly iconic "Man of the Pacific Islands"- MTSG member Lui Bell of SPREP has passed away, but long will be remembered, admired, and loved by his family, friends and colleagues.

    I first met Lui in the mid-1970's. As young men we were striving in our own ways to aid the Pacific islands and their people that we loved and continued to love so very much. Lui was a humble thoughtful person that walked within and intuitively understood the two worlds of his life, not only in Samoa but in the many islands of the SPREP Region he served and frequently visited during recent years.

    "The old days and ways are passing in the Pacific," too fast for many of us. Lui understood that very well, and with it the need to retain and teach patience, respect, humility, a gentle voice, and taking things slowly, in spite of the constant hurry of bio-politics pressuring from the outside world always demanding more and more.

    Each of our MTSG members reading this message know quite well what I mean, especially if you've spent time in a village setting on a remote small island, such as Fiji's Yadua where I shared a room with Lui a few years ago.

    Learning from Lui by his soft word and example further deepened my respect for him. I will sincerely miss Lui and pray for his guidance and good cheer from above. Lui opened every SPREP turtle meeting and training session with a prayer, asking God to bless the participants and guide their work and decisions in striving to conserve sea turtles for the benefit of the marine and island ecosystems, and for the cultural needs of the people.

    May God now bless you Lui, and watch over and give comfort to your family. Talofa, Aloha, Vinaka, and Fond Farewell until we all meet again.

    George Balazs
    MTSG Vice-Chair for the Pacific Islands Region.

  • Guest (Richard Farman)


    A man is remembered by his achievements but also by the esteem in which his friends and colleagues hold him. Thank you George for telling us how special Lui was for you. I too hold fond memories of Lui and what a nice man he was.
    Conservation work may be never done, but Lui did make a very significant contribution.
    Let us all carry on in his name.

    Richard Farman

  • Guest (Kate Walker (Vavau Environment, Tonga))


    I was so saddened to hear of Lui's passing, he will be greatly missed friend and colleague to many people. Although I only recently met him, his passion for his work was evident and I was very much looking forward to working with him on this and other projects.

    My thoughts are with his friends and family at this awful time.

    Kind Regards

  • Guest (Christine Trenorden (Environmental Law Programme Coordinator, IUCN))


    I was so saddened and shocked to hear from Bernie today of Lui Bell’s passing.
    My condolences to his SPREP colleagues and family. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone.
    It is such a great loss to his family, colleagues, SPREP and the region.

    In sympathy,

  • Guest (Taniela Faletau)


    Sad news indeed. He will be missed not only at SPREP but by all of us who were fortunate at some stage to have shared a beer with.

    Rest in peace good friend, you were nuggety on the outside but wholesome with a good spirit always.


  • Guest (Matt McIntyre)


    Very sad news indeed. What a great man!

    Regards and sympathies to his family and friends.

    Take care

  • Guest (seema deo)


    Lui. There are really no words to express who you really were. "Humble" sounds too weak. “Persistent” just sounds aggressive. You lived your life and followed through on your profession with a zeal that many of us just dream of. You left us just as we were finalising the printing of the next 5 year set of action plans for marine species in the region and it is perhaps fitting that as I write this, I can only hear your voice as we sat on a little boat earlier this year after a clean up activity on Manono Island. A turtle surfaced in front of us and you said, so matter of factly, "she is thanking us for cleaning up her home". It's these sorts of things that define you for me. You were absolutely clean of heart. And you would never willingly hurt a soul. We know of the work you did for conservation but you also found the time to do some amazing stuff "behind the scenes" for so many, so quietly, so graciously and yet, always with great humour. Mornings at SPREP would hold a bounce after bumping into you in the corridors – you had a word for everyone that would bring out a smile or an unexpected burst of laughter. Thank you, Lui Bell, for using the time you had on earth to bring out the best in all of us. I know that, well beyond your memory, your legacy will live on.
    Rest in peace and safe journey.

  • Guest (Faye(Faaofo) Clarke (nee Bell) & Husband Bill)


    Oh Cousin Lui, Little did we imagine when we saw you and Silila on White Sunday that after having found you again that we could lose you so soon. We are shocked and distraught with the news and our hearts go out to Silila and the rest of the family in this time of great sorrow..We pray that you will all be strong and remember and be comforted by the good times that you had together and knowing that he will still be around in spirit and not so far away from us all. Peace be with your spirit cousin you will be greatly missed by all of us.

    All of our love and deepest sympathy

    Faye(Faaofo) & Billl

  • Guest (Frank Wickham)


    To Lui's family including the SPREP family and Pacific Conservation family, many of us in Solomon Islands was shocked to hear of the passing away of a good friend and conservation champion for the Pacific. Lui had a wide experience in marine conservation and community engagement in our region. I knew him as a humble family man who would not hesitate to share his insights and experiences with colleagues and fellow professionals. I learnt a lot from Lui and enjoyed his companionship and personality. Elsie and I, Kwan Amataga and family, Staff of the Environment and Conservation Division here in Solomon Islands convey our deep condolences to Silila and the children.

  • Lui was an inspiration for all of us in Latin America struggling for a living planet. His legacy will live on as long as there´s one of us fighting against the devastation of our shared oceans. It was a privilege to get to know him and to have the opportunity to share a few precious moments with him.

  • Guest (Nan Woonton)


    Dear Lui,

    Writing this tribute has been one of the most difficult things for me to do, I have written and rewritten with such a sad heart.

    If I knew the last time we met would be the last time we would speak I would have told you –

    "Thank you Lui for being such a good friend, it just seems like yesterday that we were having a special lunch to celebrate your contract at SPREP and I'm so glad you are here as I really enjoy working with you. I learn a lot from your 'get on with it' attitude never letting anyone distract you knowing exactly what it is that you wanted and working to produce it. Sometimes I leave my office to seek you out in the SPREP passage ways looking for some honest feedback followed by a really good laugh - it always puts me in a happier mood for the day.

    I'm really impressed by the way you give so generously and selflessly, always treating people with respect - that's a quality I really admire and endeavor towards. I think it’s cool the way you help people because you can. I also think its awesome how committed you are towards marine conservation in the Pacific, you do some really amazing work - I often hear good things about you when I travel and so proud to work with you.

    Lui, you are a really neat person, I am blessed that God has placed you in my life.”

    I will really miss you Lui, my deepest condolences and prayers go out to his family and all his friends.

    Aere ra Lui,
    Te Atua te Aroa.


  • I miss this guy so much with his attitude of assisting people especially his working colleagues.One of the high chief of the village "Mauigoa" and he does not want people know and goes at very low profiles.
    When we worked together for the World Bank Project on (Coastal Infrastructure Asset Management Project) he assisted me with so many issues and guidelines to protect water pools on the coastline as assets and heritage for the communities and people of Samoa. However, he always want me to proceed with the three pools at Fusi Safata to protect first with good reasons; e.g. because of the largest mangrove in Samoa situated in Fusi, and these water pools were there for so many years where he always cleaned his beard whenever he returned from an overseas conference or trip.
    Ia manuia tele lau malaga uso ma ia iai pea le filemu o le Alii ia te oe, ia tumau pea le mafanamafana o le Atua i le faletua ma nai ou alo.

    Soifua uso.

  • Guest (Vaitoti Tupa)


    Kia Orana from the Cook Islands
    It is with profound sadness that I have learned of the demise of my close friend, Mr Lui Bell, SPREP Marine Species Adviser. On behalf of the National Environment Service of the Cook Islands, Prime Minister and Minister for Environment, Hon Henry Puna, his CEO Edwin Pittman, staffs that has been working closely with Lui and my own behalf please accept our most sincere condolences, respectful consideration.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult moment and also to the SPREP staff.

    Kia Manuia
    Vaitoti Tupa

  • Guest (Scott Baker)


    Lui Bell was a generous colleague and great friend to the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium. Lui was a regular attendee of our annual meetings and hosted our meeting at SPREP headquarters in February 2011. He was always a thoughtful and clear voice for conservation of marine biodiversity in the South Pacific. Lui will be greatly missed and his absence will be deeply felt, but his memory will live on with each of us.

  • Guest (John E. Scanlon (CITES Secretary-General))


    All of us here at the CITES Secretariat received the news of Lui’s sudden passing with great shock and sadness.

    Lui was an integral member of the CITES family and a champion of marine mammal conservation in the Pacific Island region. We have worked with him on many occasions over the years, the most recent one being the joint CITES-SPREP workshop held in Fiji earlier this year.

    Many of our Secretariat staff communicated regularly with Lui both in person and through email communication. Everyone appreciated the great value he brought to CITES’s work in the Pacific region through his strong professional dedication. Those staff who were fortunate enough to have known Lui personally - Tom and Haruko in particular - very fondly recall him as a dear friend who was full of kindness, humor and energy.

    We extend or deepest sympathies to Lui’s family, friends, and colleagues at SPREP at this difficult time.

    Kind regards
    John, for the CITES family

  • Guest (Rawiri Paratene (NZ actor - Whale Rider))


    Nga mihi aroha ki te whanau pani me nga hoa mahi o te rangatira.
    Sympathies to the bereaved family and to all of Lui's work mates/associates.

    Rawiri Paratene

  • Guest (Theresa Fox)


    Lui, met you briefly you at Nakalou in Macuata, Fiji, but I shall remember your passion for marine turtles for a lifetime. Thank you for inspiring me! God Bless your family richly !!!

  • Guest (Akanisi Lomaloma)


    Isa Moce Mada Tutu Lui,May his soul rest in peace and Gods blessings be with his family during this time

  • Guest (Nick Gales (SPWRC))


    I did not know Lui as well as many of you, but I was struck by Lui's quiet passion for marine mammal conservation and the kind and humble manner in which he directly affected change. He will clearly be very sadly missed.

    Nick Gales - SPWRC

  • Guest (Mick Guinea)


    My condolences to Lui’s family and loved ones.
    From the lecture theater to the SCUBA dives in Fiji, you will live in my memory. Moce sota tale Lui and thank you.
    Mick Guinea

  • Guest (Andrew Yatilman)


    It is with great sadness to learn of this tragic loss of one of Pacific's environment champions. My staff and I extend our condolences to Lui's wife and children during this difficult time. We will remember you in our thoughts and prayers. May Lui rest in eternal peace.

    FSM Office of Environment and Emergency Management

  • Guest (Lyn Lambeth)


    Very sad news indeed. I remember Lui well from my time in Samoa in 1997/98 and while at SPC after that. A funny, happy unique soul. My condolences to his family and many friends.

  • Guest (Una Malani)


    Isa Lui. Such a down to earth and humorous person that was committed to the cause. May God console his family during this tough time. May you RIP, Lui Bell.

  • Guest (Louise Main (Rotary Club of Samoa))


    Words fall short of expressing my sorrow on hearing the news of Lui’s passing.

    I met Lui for the first time last year at SPREP while planning the clean up and conservation of turtles on Manono Island. His jovial nature and inspirational presentation on turtles on Manono enthralled child and adult alike. I was honoured to have met Lui and gotten to know him better in the weeks that followed our Manono trip. I will treasure the knowledge he passed on to me not only of turtles but of the vast variety of sandfish and hopefully I can honour his memory by passing on this knowledge to others. His memory as ‘Turtle man’ will live on, on our little Island....

    I know you will miss Lui, and words however kind will not fill that void but those who care and share your loss wish you comfort and peace of mind.
    May the love of those around you help you in the days ahead

    With love & prayers,

  • Guest (Andrew Peteru)


    I'll miss not having anyone pick on me on the squash court. I'll miss not being able to tease you as well. We won't need a referee to sort out our 'lets'. I'll miss telling you off about smoking in between games. I'll miss you glaring at me when I put some other team on the court when you were supposed to be next. I'll miss you especially when you team up with Stuart or Esther and become the biggest cheats on the court (and you accusing me of the same). I'll miss your laugh, your yells, your face, your smile, your beard, your khaki pants, your white van, your new shoes, and your killer shots. I'll miss talking to you about anything from your children, our poor health, expired tomato sauce sachets, work, coke, and Donnie's famous drink mixes. You were my Bestest adversary on the court Lui and you really made my favourite times of the week that extra enjoyablel! I thank God for your life and for being a part of it (albeit very small). Fa Lui!

  • Guest (Mitimiti & Amelia Kinahoi Siamomua)


    We will treasure fond memories of a humble friend, brother, colleague, a true regional professional. Thoughts are with you Silila and the rest of your family during this time. May your legacy live on Lui! May you rest in peace and may God's love and grace comfort and sustain Silila and your family. 'Ofa lahi atu Silila! Manuia lou malaga Lui. Alofa tele! Miti & Amelia, New York

  • Guest (Sereima Savu)


    I clicked onto the SPREP webpage and was shocked to see the link to this. I hope he is at peace and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

  • Guest (Peter Thomas)


    I was shocked to hear this saddest of news and my deepest sympathy goes out to Lui's family in this time of grief and sadness. Lui's unassuming and respectful manner, his dedication to the marine environment, his deep knowledge and exeprience in fisheries and marine conservation and his ability to work with all and sundry will be sadly missed by so many of us who have had the priviledge of knowing Lui and working with him, right across the Pacific.

  • Guest (Posa Skelton)


    I was recruited by Lui when he was with the Fisheries Division in 1996. The first job he gave me on my 2nd day was to survey Manono Island. As a newbie and a recent graduate - it was a steep learning curve that spurred my interest in marine conservation and fisheries management. Lui was a leader that led by example. He worked long-hours including Sundays - and I always remember his green-pick-up truck parked at the Fisheries Division on Sundays. We parted ways - when he joined FAO and I moved to USP...but kept in touch when he moved back to the Government of Samoa - leading the marine section of the Division of Environment. We collaborated on marine invasive species - and he was instrumental in getting funding support from UNDP to fund marine invasive species survey at Apia Harbour. I used Lui as a referee in the jobs I applied for - including the Marine Species Officer post at SPREP - which he also applied for. I'm pleased that he got that post - as his achievements were phenomenal and one that will be hard to match. Lui's jokes, infectious smile and laugh and positive outlook are something that i will treasure. He was a sportsman and a gentleman. He played a mean back-hand in table-tennis (both at Fisheries Div's old lab and at the SPREP fale) and his serves on the squash courts were often difficult to return. Lui smoked a lot of cigarettes. His cigarette butts often filled up the dish outside of our office door. The smell of his cigarettes lingered and admittedly would get up my nose. But you know - I would live with that cigarette smell any day if it means keeping Lui with us for a while longer. My office cubicle sits opposite Lui's - I will miss seeing my friend and mentor. I will miss the distinctive ring-tones from his phones..I will miss our Tuesdays and Thursdays squash...I will miss him giving Tiva a hard-time...I will miss seeing the bearded man with the Einstein hairdo. I will miss him very much. Safe journey Lui until we meet again...much alofas.

  • Guest (Dominique Benzaken)


    I met Lui when he was still with the Saoman Government and I had been with SPREP just a few months. I recruited him and never regretted it. He was an incredibly hard working and committed individual. He liked to have his way and quietly resisted all my attempts at managing him which was at time frustrating, but there was always respect and friendship. I owe Lui one of my best professional achievement. Together we secured the CMS Pacific Cetacean MoU. What an amazing success it was....I still remember the SPREP meeting in Noumea when 11 countries signed MoU in the presence of Lyle Glowka, then at CMS. The news of his passing so suddently is a blow and a very sad moment. I can't help thinking about him, his warmth, his smoking, his laugh and his crown of freezy hair. My thoughts go to his family.God bless. dominique

  • Guest (Ausetalia)


    He is a best friend and brother - one groomsman in his wedding Tonga some memories to cherish the rest of this worldly life, Love you brother and may the comfort of the Holy Spirit be with the family - may your children take into the future the legacy of a good brother.

    Luv you Silila and kids - Ause

  • Guest (Josua Wainiqolo (SPC))


    It's sad to note of the passing away of Lui Bell. I know that his work will continue and he will always be remembered by all.

    Kind Regards

  • Surprising no one’s written anything on golf yet, which was Lui’s higher calling.
    He was the president of the quirkishly named Maugafolau (seafaring mountain) school at Faleata - no idea on earth what that meant and had always meant to ask him. He had a spectacular hook shot, when he connected. Unfortunately it was the only shot in his bag, placing him at a moderate disadvantage. Despite this, a few weeks ago at Faleata he beat me and Magele, a visiting friend from Noumea where we had all recently played. We were planning a date to rectify this when Lui passed away - effectively sealing his victory for eternity. This just added to our misery.
    In golf as with other sports you get glimpses of the real person. With Lui, what you saw was what you got. There was no pretence. He was as dishevelled on the sports field as he was at work. I think his dress code had something to do with the fact that he was either returning from the field or getting ready to go back. At the Rotorua meeting in July however he was immaculately groomed and attired. It took me a while to find him at Auckland airport
    A number of years ago some people were describing SPREP as a policy and technical advisory organisation. I remember thinking about Lui and how this perception was clearly wrong. On thinking about it further, it came as a bit of a surprise at the time, but in some ways, and to many communities, Lui was the embodiment of SPREP. A genuine footsoldier, unassuming and at the frontline.

  • Guest (Job Opu)


    my condolences to his family.

    He will be greatly missed

    best regards


  • Guest (Theresa Fox)


    Moce Mada Lui Bell

    The Dau Ni Vonu Network or community based turtle monitoring programme in Fiji has lost one of its founding pillars, Lui Bell, who passed away in Samoa last week.
    WWF South Pacific staff is saddened by Lui's passing that is a big loss to the conservation world especially in the area of marine species protection including turtles and cetaceans.
    Lui Bell helped the setup of the network early in 2010 through the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund managed by the South Pacific Regional Environment Program where he worked.
    As a world expert on turtles in the Pacific, Lui played a critical role in equipping at least 20 odd turtle monitors in Fiji with necessary tagging and monitoring skills essential to the work of the Dau ni Vonu.
    Through Lui’s influence and network, the Dau NI Vonu, selected members were able to visit Vanuatu and learn firsthand from the Vanuatu partners and colleagues the successful approach the Turtle Monitors of Vanuatu had developed. For almost all the DNV, it was their first time out of Fiji.
    The Dau ni Vonu is an association of young men and women whose actions support the implementation of Fiji’s National Sea Turtle and Recovery Plan that feeds into international instruments like the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.
    Along with monitoring turtles within their traditional fishing grounds, the Dau ni Vonu also carries out awareness and advocate for the protection of the charismatic megafauna in villages, settlements, with their peers, and families.
    WWF South Pacific Sustainable Coastal Resource Use Management coordinator Akisi Bolabola said:
    “Lui will be greatly missed; he has shared not only with community members, but most marine species conservation practitioners, such as the WWF team his experiences and wealth of knowledge. Lui was very supportive to the Fiji Sea Turtle team and he liked to share our local case efforts with other Pacific island countries in the hope that we strengthen this regional species conservation initiative,” Bolabola said.”
    “I, like the rest of the team who had the chance to work with Lui am grateful for being part of the good work that he help start and will fondly remember the good times shared with this mentor and friend in conservation.””
    To the Dau ni Vonu, Mr Bell was more than a teacher, he was a friend, a peer who had helped their transformation from turtle hunters to protectors.
    Often found under the mango tree at WWF South Pacific when visiting the office in Suva, his unassuming and gentle manner make him approachable and an easy person to talk to, often have in conversation with someone.
    The Dau Ni Vonu network and WWF South Pacific extends its deepest sympathy and is with the Bell family in this moment of sorrow.
    Moce Mada Lui Bell.


  • Guest (Juney Ward)


    Oh Lui words cannot describe how much you have meant to many of us especially Malaki and I who were blessed to be your marine officers. We will never forget you and will always think of you when we see turtles, whales and dolphins or when we use that Trebuchet font that you were so fond of. I will also miss dialing 21929 ext 281 to say "hi Lui guess what..."
    Rest in peace our dear friend and mentor until we meet again...much alofas.

  • Guest (Mele Ikatonga Makasini Tauati)


    Rest in Eternal Peace Lui. You were a great inspiration and role model for marine conservationists and managers in the region. It was indeed an honour to work with you and you will be truly missed. 'Ofa lahi atu.

  • Guest (Jone Tuiipelehaki)


    Moce mada Lui. You will be greatly missed. Thank you for living YOUR life and inspiring us in the process. Rest in peace.

  • Guest (Jill Key)


    It's hard to imagine a world without Lui. He had such presence, always with a smile and a small joke to share. It was a real privilege to have worked with him, and he has left us far too soon. Lui - I'm richer for having known you, and poorer for having lost you. Rest in peace.

  • Guest (Sulieti Malianive 'Ali)


    This email is to offer my condolences to SPREP and Lui's family. I'm lost for words, I just found out that Lui passed away:-(, this is a very shocking news for me. Lui was a father figure, co worker and a great friend. The last time I saw him was around Aug or September we had the game at Victoria Courts. Isa RIP LUI.


  • Ratu, no words can adequately express my grief and sorrow to hear of your sudden passing away. Even though it is a week now, tears still well in my eyes when I recall the last time I saw you standing at the Fale with a tin-Tuna on one hand and noodles on the other.
    When I received the phone call to come and see you for the last time at the hospital, I respectfully declined. I did not want to see you lying on that hospital tray but wanted to cherish those last moments together at SPREP. We spent a lot of time together during morning tea that week and you could not stop discussing enthusiastically the turtle conservation programme you will be rolling out in Fiji the following week with the Fisheries folks. You even jokingly asked Sefa to intervene if you will face problems out there. Never did we know that that would be your last week with us all.
    James 4:14 "How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog--it's here a little while, then it's gone". VINAKA VAKALEVU NA BULA YAGA----Thank you so much for a fruitful and productive life. Your short life on this earth has impacted many!
    God Bless Ratu and may the Power and the Love of Christ Jesus be with your family forever more.
    Nakalevu Family

  • Guest (John Talagi (Acting Director, Dept of Environment, Govt of Niue))


    We are sad to hear the passing of our dear friend Lui. On behalf of the Department of Environment, Government of Niue, I would like to extend our sincere condolences to Lui’s family and SPREP due to Lui’s passing.

    Rest in Peace Lui, will miss that unique Samoan humour of yours.

    Many Thanks & Kind Regards

    John Talagi
    Acting Director
    Department of Environment
    Government of Niue

  • Guest (Jean-Louis d'Auzon (President, Association pour la Sauvegarde de la Nature Neo-Caledonienne))


    I am very thankful to you for having transmitted to us the bad news of the passing away of Lui Bell. We were so used to receiving and reading his
    emails that it will be difficult do realize we will not receive any more.

    I did not know him personally but I did meet him during the SPREP conference in Noumea, in September 2012.

    Please forward our condolences to his wife and children and tell them we will think to them at this sad and difficult time.

    Best wishes with Lui's family.

    Kind regards,
    Jean-Louise d'Auzon

  • Guest (George Balazs)


    The Pacific Islands Region has lost a truly iconic "Man of the Pacific
    Islands"- As many of us now know, Lui Bell of SPREP has passed away. He will long be remembered, admired, and loved by his family, friends and colleagues. I first met Lui in the mid-1970's. As young men we were striving in our own ways to aid the Pacific islands and their people that we loved and continued to love so very much. Lui was a humble thoughtful person that walked within and intuitively understood the two worlds of his life, not only in Samoa but in the many islands of the SPREP Region he served and frequently visited during recent years. "The old days and ways are passing in the Pacific," too fast for many of us. Lui understood that very well, and with it the need to retain and teach patience, respect, humility, a gentle voice, and taking things slowly, in spite of the constant hurry of bio-politics pressuring from the outside world always demanding more and more. Those of you reading this message know quite well what I mean, since you've surely spent time in a village setting on a remote small island, such as Fiji's Yadua where I shared a room with Lui a few years ago. Learning from Lui by his soft word and example further deepened my respect for him. I will sincerely miss Lui and pray for his guidance and good cheer from above. Lui opened every SPREP turtle meeting and training session with a prayer, asking God to bless the participants and guide their work and decisions in striving to conserve sea turtles for the benefit of the marine and island ecosystems, and for the cultural needs of the people. May God now bless you Lui, and watch over and give comfort to your family. Talofa, Aloha, Vinaka, and Fond Farewell until we all meet again.

  • Guest (Thea Jacob (Coordinatrice Ecorégionale Milieu Marin et Eau Douce, WWF New Caledonia))


    I am deeply saddened and shoked to hear about this terrible news. Lui, as he was for sure for so many people around the pacific, was so inspiring to me. He was such a great human being and an amazing marine species conservationist, he will for sure be never forgotten.

    Our thoughts, condoleances and best wishes go to Lui's family at this terrible time.
    We also think a lot about all his friends and SPREP 's colleagues, and about you of course in this very difficult time.


    Comment last edited on about 5 years ago by Kathleen Leewai
  • Guest (Kathy Zischka)


    Oh what sad news. I did some work with Lui whilst working in marine management in Tonga in 2009-2010 and was emailing with him only a few weeks ago about some photos for the new action plans. Lui was wonderfully engaged in species conservation and will surely be missed at SPREP and across the Pacific. Condolences to his family and close friends

  • Guest (Bruno PEAUCELLIER)


    Sincères condoléances à la famille de Lui et au personnel du PROE dans cette cruelle épreuve.
    Merci pour tout le travail accompli,
    Faa'ito'ito - Te aroha ia rahi,

  • Guest (Caroline Vieux)


    Dear Lui,
    I cannot believe you have left! Reading all the messages your friends left on this page prove how much you were respected in your work but even more just for the person you were, kind, generous, funny and dedicated to your work, family and village. I remember us laughing in the office so many times, I remember you smoking your menthol outside and I remember the tidiest office space I have ever seen :-)!!! Lui you were one of this person who makes me miss the Pacific. I wish you a safe trip up there and I am sure you will look after us all.

  • Guest (sanivalati)


    RIP Lui.
    We are still in shock to hear your passing. You will be missed dearly. Remembering your family and the SPREP team in our prayers.

    Sani and Alumeci (SeaWeb) and Akuila, Busa and Manu (Yaqaga island turtle monitors)

  • Guest (Setaita Tavanabola)


    It is incredibly sad that Lui’s life ended so soon and he will surely be missed. His memory will live on in all of us forever. Lui I appreciate your friendship and will never forget you.

    Sincere condolences,

  • Guest (Moeo and colleagues (Tuvalu Fisheries))



    MSg of Condolences to all friends, collegues and families of Lui Bell and also to all of us fans and friends of Lui who we have to honour and pleasure to meet, greet, talk,chat and laugh with Lui in Regional meetings ..

    he is a great man and we missed him heaps..

    Thanks SPREP for choosing a man like Lui to teach us, advise us and man we can look up to..and the do so much for our Pasefika region..

    Warm regards from Tuvalu Fisheries

  • As we close the books on 2012, we (the members of International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas) fondly remember the many contributions of Lui Bell. Lui, we thank you for your lifelong commitment, dedication and passion for the conservation of the world’s marine mammals. It was our great privilege to work with you…thank you for being an inspiration to us all.

    Our sincerest condolences and best wishes to Lui’s family and friends.

    Naomi McIntosh (Chair, International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas)

  • Guest (Chris Schweizer)


    I would like to join Donna Petrachenko, who wrote to your earlier, in expressing my deep regret at the untimely passing of Lui Bell. The impact of his passing will be felt for many years into the future.

    Chris Schweizer, Assistant Secretary, International Branch, Department of Environment, Canberra

  • Guest (Donna Petrachenko)


    I am writing to express my deep regret at the untimely passing of Mr Lui Bell.

    Australian officials worked closely with Lui for many years and across the various important and challenging issues for which he was responsible. Over that time, we have admired Lui's passion and strategic vision for improving the conservation status of the region's marine biodiversity.

    In particular, I would like to acknowledge Lui's efforts in the establishment of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region. Lui's ongoing involvement was instrumental in the successful establishment and implementation of the MoU.

    On behalf of the Australian Government, I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Lui's family, friends and colleagues. Lui's legacy will live on in the form of the many sound conservation outcomes for the region which he helped bring about.

    Yours sincerely,
    Donna Petrachencko
    Chief Advisor International Biodiversity and Sustainability
    & Australia's Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission

  • My first day at SPREP when i was introduced around the SPREP colleagues, me and Luana (HR colleague) met Lui on the way and he offered us a cup of hot cocoa-rice. One day i was about to leave for lunch and he asked me to buy him his favourite food/drink...(his cigarettes ). This is enough to tell me the kind of person he is, kind, loving, funny, happy, humble and he treats everyone the same. He treats everyone with the same respect old or young and he can come down to anyone's . His smiling face will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace, my friend...see you in the morning when Jesus comes back to call us all home! Revelation 22:12, "See, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me, to repay everyone according to the deeds he has done. I am the A and the Z, the Beginning and the End, the First and Last."

  • Guest (Satui Bentin)


    It's been almost 3months since you've been gone my friend. Amazing how all the memories flooded back when I went through the photos and the video dedicated to your memory! I see Kate has mentioned 'outside the IRC' and I smiled knowing and remembering how it was you and me that basically called that little piece of SPREP home :) You were such a happy person. Funny how I can't seem to find words to describe the many days we would discuss and debate issues in front of the IRC and then take our frustrations out on the squash courts and laugh about it later. I miss you and even worse, missed your funeral. My son's wedding was on the exact same day and I thought of you, shed a few tears and then had a drink (or two or three :)) for you! I hope you're having a good time in heaven much as you lived your life on earth. Take care my friend.

  • Guest (Faaoso Setu)


    Sad to hear about Lui, such a great person in what he used to do and a lovely friend, rest in peace Lui.

  • Guest (Frances Brebner)


    Lui and I were both students at USP in the early eighties. Lui was someone I always had much respect for. He gave wise counsel and was always supportive to his friends and fellow students. Rest in peace Lui...My condolences to Anunisia and family.

  • Guest (Sarah Tawaka)


    R.I.P Lui.

    We will definetely miss your wisdom in leading, advicing and advancing marine conservation in the PAcific region. The few times i met and work with you, i sense your humility and understanding in guiding new practitioners in the region in terms of marine conservation.
    This is a great loss to the region, but i have confidence that you have set the platform for the region.

    It is great working and knowing you.

    My condolences to your family.

    Rest in peace Lui.

    Sarah Tawaka
    Acting Principal Environment Officer, Department of Environment, Fiji.

  • Guest (Christianera Tuitele)


    He was a great man. I've worked with him in a couple of projects. Fly with Angels Mr. Bell.

Add comment
You are here: Home Lui Bell Memorial