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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (June 17, 2002 - Post-Courier/PINA Nius Online)---A copra king and a lawyer with a social conscience won the top awards given by the Queen in her Papua New Guinea birthday honors list today.

They are Sir John Middleton, the head of an 80-year plantation family company in Madang, and Dame Meg Taylor, daughter of a pioneering patrol officer and a lawyer who has represented her country overseas.

They were among 47 Papua New Guineans honored by Queen Elizabeth II for their achievements.

Sir John, 71, was created a knight for services to agriculture and the country.

He is a son of William Middleton, who started the Middleton agricultural interests by buying a property expropriated from German planters after World War 1.

William Middleton settled on Karkar Island, Madang, in the 1920s.

Sir John was born in 1930. After schooling in Australia, he has spent his life in Madang, with his brother Roger and their families, building up the family copra and cocoa interests.

He was a member of the House of Assembly from 1968 to 1972 and of Parliament until 1977. He was a member of the 1968-72 Constitutional Development Commission.

Dame Meg Taylor, from Goroka, is a daughter of James Lindsay Taylor, one of the two leaders of the epic Highlands exploratory patrol of the early 1930s.

A lawyer, she has been active in government circles. She was part of a group of concerned citizens who helped negotiate between the government and dissident troops during the Sandline crisis.

Longtime government adviser Professor Ted Wolfers was made a companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG) for contributions to the public service.

Government finance chief Koiari Tarata and businessman Jimmy Tjoeng were made Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Other OBE recipients were lawyer Greg Sheppard, Judge Moses Jalina, recently dismissed government department head Camillus Midire and veteran church educator Brother Barry Louisson.

Those awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) included Bank of Papua New Guinea deputy governor Flora Carruthers, television journalist John Eggins, Red Cross and Country Women’s Association member Maureen Hill, tax expert Peter Kochannek, church health leader Don Kudan and educator Boas Koro.

For additional reports from The Post-Courier, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Post-Courier (Papua New Guinea).

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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