Dion commits award to people

The National, Friday July 15th, 2016

DEPUTY Prime Minister Sir Leo Dion has committed his award from the Queen on her birthday this year to the people of Papua New Guinea.
In a recent welcome gathering at his home in Kokopo last week, Dion said he had always believed that there were many people in the country who did more to serve the country without any special recognition.
“I actually declined the award. I wrote a letter with my signature on it, requesting for the award to be given to at least two people from my province (East New Britain) before considering me for it,” he said.
“But I was still given the award. I did not even know the award was to knight me and make me a ‘Sir.’
“I am just like any other public servant. I enjoy putting my efforts into serving the people.
“The award is not for me, it is for the people.”
Sir Leo encouraged dedicated public servants to “work hard not for awards but with a heart to serve.”
Sir Leo also challenged young people in ENB to rise up and be productive in their communities.
“There are no more humble leaders in the province like before. We need humble leaders to rise up. We do not need politics, we need honest people with experience to lead the nation,” he said.
Sir Leo was welcomed home by a group of almost 50 people last week at his home in Taubar, Kokopo district.
The Papua New Guinea honours system is the main system of honouring citizens for their services to the country, it consists of three orders and several medals. After independence, PNG used the imperial honours system, however, in recognition of the nation’s 30th anniversary, a new awards system was adopted. The official announcement of its creation was made by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare.