Former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke has been appointed Chief of Logohu – which is the highest honour a non-PNG citizen can attain.

Mr Hawke was officially appointed Chief on New Year’s Day as part of the 2009 PNG New Years Honours List.

According to the PNG Prime Minister’s office – PNG Prime Minister, Sir Michael Thomas Somare, and Bob Hawke became friends when Hawke visited Papua New Guinea as a trade union leader and helped establish the PNG trade unions.

Sir Michael’s letter of invite read:

“Dear Bob, As you may be aware, PNG now has its own national honours and awards system — The orders of Papua New Guinea.
“Having our own honours system enables us to honour both citizens and non-citizens who have made special contribution to Papua New Guinea’s development, both before and after Independence.

“Your support for Papua New Guinea extends from the time you assisted in the development of our trade union movement, and basic workplace conditions, to the strong support you gave us during your term as Prime Minister of Australia.

“I believe your contribution more than marks your being awarded the highest honour available to a non-citizen, namely the Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL) with the title of ‘Chief’.

‘‘ Logohu is the Bird of Paradise in the Motuan language.”

More information
Read PNG coverage of the news: PM’s office confirms chiefly honour was for union help