PNG independence honour for Adventist expat missionary

Sir Michael Ogio (centre) with Roy Richarson.

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Springwood Church member, Roy Richardson, was made a Member of the Order of Logohu on October 13 at Government House in Port Moresby.

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.

The citation states: “For services to the community and Adventist Church Development and Relief Agency and in teaching and administration roles at Kambubu High School and the Pacific Adventist University.”

Roy grew up in PNG with his missionary parents, John and Dorothy Richardson who served from 1962-1974. Accompanied by his wife, Nerida and family, Mr Richardson returned to PNG and spent 12 years (1984–1995) in education, administration and community development.

“I am thankful for the support of Nerida and my family and for the many friends and colleagues made during those years,” said Mr Richardson. “I am very blessed.”

During these years, Mr Richardson’s focus was on developing and improving Industrial Arts teacher education in high schools and promoting the need for exposure to technology and to international technical curricula. He organised a number of tours to international conferences for his teacher trainee students and for high school teachers.

He was very involved in the community and supported many initiatives including the Morata Half-way House, a centre assisting in juvenile rehabilitation from prison and in establishing the Port Moresby City Mission, a refuge for young people on the street and a women’s shelter for abused families. He also helped settlement communities to become more self-sufficient through training programs in agriculture and industries. Mr Richardson encouraged young people to be more active and involved in recreational pursuits including pathfinders, fishing and sports and was involved in administration of the 1991 South Pacific Games, in Port Moresby.

More recently, Mr Richardson coordinated the fund-raising and the building of the Adventist Church in Hula Village, Central Province. He has also been researching the possibilities of improving transport for the local residents of the Gulf and Western Provinces of PNG. Their need is for coastal vessel transport as there are no main roads.

“I am honoured to be receive this award which recognises the great work that the Adventist Church is doing in PNG,” said Mr Richardson. “I also think of the many other deserving people who have not received such an honour and I want to recognise them as well in accepting this award.”

After PNG, Mr Richardson continued working for ADRA as Thailand Country Director from 1996–2000 and as the Trans European Division ADRA Regional Vice President, 2001–2005.

Although awarded the honour in September 2015, he received his award at the 2016 investiture by the PNG Governor General, His Excellency Grand Chief Sir Michael Ogio, GCL, GCMG, KStJ on October 13, 2016.

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