Thursday, June 16, 2011

Governor General's visit

The Governor General (GG) of PNG came to Buka and attended the ABG Day celebrations yesterday, Wednesday 15 June. (ABG day is a day which celebrates Bougainville’s autonomy and the formation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government – ABG).

The GG is the Queen’s representative and the highest position in a Commonwealth country. I’ve never been near a GG before, so I’ve never seen before all the protocol that has to be followed just like with real royalty. Part of that protocol includes having a guard of honour, which you can see being formed by the Bougainville police in this photo:


Local school children also forming their guard of honour:


According to protocol, the President of the ABG has to arrive at the celebrations 10 minutes before the GG. He came in his own car, with police cars escorting him and sounding their sirens. The President’s car has a special number plate:


Here is the President, Chief John Momis, standing on the podium:


The GG arrived in similar fashion to the President, with sirens wailing and several cars before and after the one he was in. He even waved at people like the Queen from inside the car! He also stood on the podium before sitting under the grandstand (not sure that’s quite the right word for the structure!). Presenting the GG of PNG, Sir Michael Ogio:


He gave a speech from the grandstand, which you can see him doing in the photo below.


Another part of the protocol is that whenever the GG is present, a special flag has to be flown, maybe it is the Royal Standard of PNG. It is the flag on the right in the picture below. The other two flags are: left – PNG flag; middle – Bougainville flag.


(Remember, you can click on photos to see a larger version).

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