Adventists recognised for service in Papua New Guinea

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Dr David Thiele and Dr Jillian Thiele with SPD president Pastor Glenn Townend, at the recent Re-Entry program for returning missionaries.

Two long-serving Adventists have been honoured with Papua New Guinea’s (PNG) most prestigious awards.

Pastor Moses Sogavare, a Solomon Islands native, was awarded the National Logohu Medal (LM) an award that recognises exemplary service in a profession, career, or to the general community over a period of at least five years.

Pastor Moses Sogavare (far right), as featured in a 1987 issue of Adventist Record.
Pastor Moses Sogavare (far right), as featured in a 1987 issue of Adventist Record.

“He is just a loving, old pastor,” said Dr Graeme Humble, Director of Adventist Mission for the South Pacific Division, who worked with Pastor Sogavare in Goroka. “He played piano and conducted choirs for many years, and even in his retirement, he is still into music.”

Dr David Thiele was awarded the Member of the Order of Logohu (ML) for his years of service to education and Pacific Adventist University (PAU). This award recognises service to a particular area of endeavour, to PNG, or to a local community over a period of at least seven years.

“[Dr David and Dr Jillian Thiele] are very committed to PNG and ministry there,” said Dr Humble. “They are both avid academics, and highly respected, both in PNG and here in Australia.

Drs David and Jillian Thiele with their certificates of service, presented at the Re-Entry program last month.
Drs David and Jillian Thiele with their certificates of service, presented at the Re-Entry program last month.

Dr Thiele and his wife Jillian—a recipient of last year’s National Logohu Medal—recently returned to Australia after serving 24 years in PNG. Both academics, they have taught at Sonoma Adventist College and Pacific Adventist University.

“It’s a great honour for both Dr Thiele and Pastor Sogavare to receive these awards,” said Dr Humble. “They have made a fantastic contribution to the mission of the church.”

Both Dr Thiele and Pastor Sogavare will be presented with their medals at an official ceremony in Papua New Guinea later this year.

The Order of Logohu is the principal order of the Order of Papua New Guinea. Logohu is a Motuan word for the bird-of-paradise, the official national symbol of Papua New Guinea (PNG) since its independence.

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