PNG’s second GG dies: Sir Tore Lokoloko

Tore LokolokoSir Tore LOKOLOKO GCL, GCMG, GCVO, OBE (21 September 1930 to 13 March 2013) was the second Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, from 1977 to 1983.

Sir Tore was born in Iokea in the Gulf Province. He attended the London Missionary School in Iokea and was later a pioneer student at Sogeri High School.

He worked as a clerk with the Papua New Guinea Co-Operative Societies and later became the assistant registrar. Sir Tore entered politics in 1972 as member for Kerema and served as Deputy Spokesman of the then Administrative Executive Council. He also served as Ministerial assistant for Health and Agriculture during the early stages of the development of the ministerial government.

In 1977, Sir Tore, who was a member of the United Party in the Opposition, was nominated by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare to be the second Governor-General, following the resignation of (late) Sir John Guise who was the first Governor-General at Independence in 1975.

Sir Tore was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II herself during her 1977 Silver Jubilee Royal Visit to Papua New Guinea. He was also bestowed the highest honour in the Royal Victorian Order, that of Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, GCVO. Sir Tore is the only recipient of this award in Papua New Guinea.

Sir Tore served as the vice regal from 1977 to 1983. He and his wife Lady Lokoloko represented PNG at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in England in 1981.

When his term expired, Sir Tore was appointed director of several boards of corporate institutions.

Sir Tore is survived by his beloved wife Lady Lalahaia, 11 children, 48 grand children and 51 great grand children. Governor-General Sir Michael Ogio was saddened that PNG has lost a great leader in Sir Tore. “The late Sir Tore believed in, and was a staunch advocate of national unity in the pre-independence era.

“He served our nation with distinction as a politician and later as the second Governor-General.

“Sir Tore was awarded the highest honour in the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty the Queen and this honour is only awarded any member of the royal family and viceroys.”

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill expressed heartfelt sorrow at the passing of one of the nation’s pre-eminent statesmen and former Governor-General Sir Tore Lokoloko.

He said the late Sir Tore was an exemplary senior citizen and lived a well respected and quiet life in retirement after holding office as PNG’s Second Governor-General.
“Our nation has lost one of our foremost founding fathers,” Mr O’Neill said.

Excerpts from the Post Courier, with thanks.

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