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Tribute To Dr. Batuna


Yesterday we laid to rest a fine gentlemen, a pioneer, a man who helped thousands during his life, a wonderful father and exemplary husband, our patriarch, Dr. Hansie Batuna. Hanny’s colorful life was cut short unexpectedly Monday due to a fall while cutting weeds in his pineapple orchard a short distance from the ocean. Besides pleas from many loved ones to wake up, no doubt the final sounds to Hanny’s ears included the gentle sound of Manado Bay washing ashore. They say the mark of someone who led a good life, a decent, honest life is they get to die where and how they want. Enough said about this man who will be missed by many.

Although quiet, Hanny was always up for a good gathering. There is no place on earth Hanny would rather have a gathering than his home, Murex, a place he built with love and a lot of sweat. The funeral was postponed until Friday by virtue of family traveling from afar and cultural rituals. As a result, all week people poured in to visit since news spread to show respect for Hanny, greet Mrs. Batuna and family and learn of what transpired. Family and friends arrived from Gorantalo, Jakarta, Singapore, Bangkok, Denver and elsewhere. Hundreds and hundreds came to visit. Included were staff of 30+ years, both current and former Hanny recruited, trained and nurtured. A full boat of villagers from the island of Bangka had a meal, sang a few songs and departed for their three hour voyage home. Several from his beloved farm in Tulap came and stayed to help prepare meals and serve guests. Many stayed up all night to keep Hanny company playing guitar, singing and reminiscing. Brothers, in-laws, nephews & nieces, grandchildren hugged, laughed, ate (and ate and ate) and cried as family and friends. No doubt Hanny is smiling as his grandchildren played, his friends relaxed in reflective but happy conversation and his family marveled in disbelief knowing full well Papa didn’t want to bother anyone, especially his wife Ineke, with a long drawn out demise. If we could hear Hanny again, he’d probably humbly say, “see, isn’t this a nice place for everyone to have a party!”

Dr. Batuna touched the lives of thousands. The dive tourism community in North Sulawesi started in large part as a result of his vision, generosity and tenacity and his willingness to stick up for our environment. Of late, the situation on Bangka was deeply troubling. He had no respect for business people and politicians who blatantly want to wreck these islands and reefs, skirt the law and greedily line their pockets. Once Hanny was asked how he made Murex successful. His answer was simple, “just keep it going”. Having dedicated so much of his life to selflessly giving, that’s all he asks of us – keep it going, don’t give up. We owe this to him.

Considered by many as a second father, nobody can fill Hanny Batuna’s shoes. Murex will never be the same without our patriarch. However, the spirit of this man will live forever in our hearts and in Murex. His presence will always be felt…and always be missed. May you rest in peace – but don’t hesitate to send coordinates if and when we steer off course. You will never be forgotten. God Bless You.

All are welcome to visit for the traditional 40 day after passing ceremony at Hanny’s home, Friday 27 June 2014.




  1. Uwe Pellenat, May 24, 2014

    The whole family my sympathy and my condolences. I often think of Him as a friend and keep the good people in memory.
    Uwe Pellenat

  2. Uwe Pellenat, May 24, 2014

    The whole family my sympathy and my condolences. I often think of Him as a friend and keep the good people in memory.

  3. Paul E Ledeboer, May 24, 2014

    I was so fortunate to be able to visit Murex a few months ago and see family that I had never met before. Dr. Butana is an awesome person and has an awesome family. The short time I was there, I could tell that he had a life there that most people dream of. You are all very fortunate. Love Paul

  4. Catherine, May 24, 2014

    Deepest condolences. RIP, Dr Hanny Batuna.

  5. Judy Bauerlein, May 25, 2014

    I’m keeping you all close to my heart and sending a big hug during this time. Dr. Batuna was a very special man, indeed. I remember him greeting me when I visited Murex and showing me the sea and resort. His spirit is indelibly present in the water, sunlight, rain showers, warm breezes and content smiles of all who visit the resort. I’m sure he is sitting under his own personal rainbow in heaven right now.

  6. Deanna, May 25, 2014

    Your entire family have my condolences. This world is a better place because of the vision of Dr. Batuna. I did not get to meet him, but when we stayed at Murex Resort, the handwork of Dr. and Mrs. Batuna was evident – from the well thought out bungalows to the orchids and the koi pond. It remains to this day one of the most memorable holidays I have ever had. May he rest in peace.

  7. Bob ramsay, May 26, 2014

    Danny thanks for sending to me this tribute for Dr Batuna. Lovely fitting words about a great man. It was an honor to have met him. Warm regards Bob

  8. Barrie Williamson, May 26, 2014

    Great pictures and beautiful tribute to a very special man. He will always be in your hearts. He was such a gracious and gentle soul with a deep love for his family and the beauty found in God’s creation. We are praying for your mom and family that you will find peace and comfort as you come to terms with his absence. We love you.

  9. Paul Bauerlein, May 26, 2014

    Heartfelt condolances for your family. I met Dr. Batuna in 1999 on my trip to Murex. We made friends quickly and he accompanied our group on several dives. A very knowledgable and dedicated family man, he made us feel at home during our stay. God Bless Dr. Batuna.

  10. Juergen Freund, May 26, 2014

    Some 20 years ago, Dr. Batuna generously opened the world of Manado to me and I stayed in North Sulawesi for two months and dived with Murex. When I was down with dengue and didn’t appear in Murex for days, he came to me to check how I was. He was a most gentle and soft-spoken man – a pioneering conservationist when not too many people bothered to think about the health of our oceans. When I returned 15 years later, I observed the same values and virtues passed on to the next Batuna generation. The world has lost a wonderful man but his spirit lives on. My thoughts are with the Batuna family. Rest in peace Dr. Batuna.

  11. Mei Senduk, May 26, 2014

    I am the most fortunate person to be personally taught by Dr Batuna to dive and appreciate the gift of the Almighty’the underwater world.
    Dr Batuna is like a father to me.The most caring person full of kindness love and kind thoughts to all mankind especially to people he knew even for a new acquaintance who swing by Murex from all over the world.
    Rest In Peace Dr Batuna

  12. Claire Barbaret, May 26, 2014

    I will always remember him, first time I arrived at Murex, so nice and gentle….. The place was so nice… I felt at home…. all my condolences to the entire family….

  13. Huib Weiffenbach, May 27, 2014

    My deepest condolences to all the loved ones of Hanny. In particular, I wish Ineke, Paul, Angelique, Danny, Arlene, David, the grandchildren and great staff Murex much strength in this hard days. I will remember Hanny as a quiet, modest, loyal, passionate, humorous, mischievous, athletic, intelligent, epicurean. I will miss him. Hope to see you again in July.

    Kind regards,

    Huib Weiffenbach

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  15. Peter Mahaffey, September 21, 2015

    How sad to learn of Dr Batuna’s passing. He was my dive instructor for my first qualification back in the late 1980’s and I vividly remembering him coaching me in chest high water just off the shore in the resort. Later, we went out to some of the magnificent offshore sites, and on one occasion the boat came alongside massive whales. What an experience! Thank you, Dr Batuna, from England.

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