Posted By Staff Reporter
AIRLINES PNG founder and past chairman Sir John Ralston Wild passed away yesterday in Cairns, Australia.
The airline said in a statement that Sir John’s health had been failing over the past year but with the support of his family, he had remained active right until his death.
It said Sir John was a passionate citizen of Papua New Guinea, who had a great love of the country and its people.
“PNG was his home for more than half a century and it was only ill health that prevented him from returning.”
Sir John was recognised at the highest levels for outstanding achievement and service to the country, culminating in 2011 when he
was awarded a knighthood by the Queen.
Sir John was made a Companion of the Star of Melanesia (CSM) and had been made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE).
Only last week it was announced that Sir John had generously gifted the majority of his shares back to the company to enable further investment in the airline by Nasfund and MRDC, thereby in his own words fulfilling “… a dream of mine to see the airline majority owned for the people of PNG and strongly positioned to carry on its services to the country”.
Airlines PNG’s CEO Muralee Siva said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Lady Patricia Wild, Sir John’s five surviving children and with the extended Wild family.
“There are many of our 780 employees who will be particularly upset to learn of his death as he was their first ‘boss’ and a man for whom all had great respect.
“He will be sadly missed.”
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