In a suburb of Noumea, New Caledonia, there’s a park named “Moh Kasim”. This is the familiar name of the Late Bapak Mohamed Raden Kasim who was born on the 26th September, 1917 in Sukabumi, Indonesia. At the age of 17, he arrived in New Caledonia and got a job as a draughtsman and interpreter at a company called SLN. Over the next seven years he lived in the company's dilapidated housing in the Doniambo area. Later on he joined the SCIE Oceanie Company (Prisunic-Printemps) as a poster designer, where he remained for 47 years. That is where he received a gold medal for his work in 1976.
Born with a musical spirit he became enamoured with Hawaiian guitar which he learned to play in 1939. After living in the Honolulu area for only one month, this gifted self taught guitarist was able to play the most beautiful songs. His talents gave him the opportunity to play in several bands.
On February 20, 1942, Moh Kasim married Anne Soeparmi, who he met while performing at the Governor’s Residence. They had nine children of whom five girls. A few years later he was granted French citizenship.
After the war he became a professional guitarist and progressively improved his skills. He successively founded many bands, some of which included Le Niaouz Jazz, Le Dinamyques Boys, and Le Kassim et Cocovoli. But the most famous of all was still Les Pacifiques Boys Band. As an entertainer he travelled a lot around New Caledonia to perform at wedding parties. He also would tour Vanuatu, New Zealand and Australia. In his home town of Vallées des Colons, he liked to play with musicians from all other regions of the territory which made the area famous for the improvised duos they would perform.
At the same time he was often solicited as an interpreter for the Indonesian Community in New Caledonia for any cases in the Law Courts, which were situated downtown. After realizing his dream he passed away on November 12th, 1992. (Adapted from Une histoire en 100 histoires : L’histoire Calédonienne à travers 100 destins hors du commun).
Over the past 18 years his family has been organizing a little ceremony in memory of Mohamed Raden Kasim. And on April 14, 2010 a ceremony attended by the Mayor of Noumea, the Consul General ad Interim of the Republic of Indonesia, and some other important people, was also held to commemorate the Late Bapak Mohamed Kasim. The mayor represented the city council of Noumea in honoring Mohamed Raden Kasim by putting his name on a plaque at the 6th K.M. area park. Kasim is the pride not only of his relatives but also of the entire Indonesian Community.