Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lloyd Hurrel, PNG coffee pioneer, dies at 95

Papua New Guinea’s multi-million kina industry coffee industry has lost one of its pioneers, Lloyd Hurrell, who passed away on Tuesday last week in Australia, The National reports.

Hurrell…chairman of Coffee Marketing Board from 1964-1979

Hurrell, 95, was the pioneer chairman of the then Coffee Marketing Board (CMB) from 1964 to 1979.
“He was the leading coffee planter based in the Wau-Bulolo area and became the most influential and respected man in PNG coffee history,” said Coffee Industry Corporation chief executive officer Navi Anis.
“ The PNG coffee industry will miss a great man who has very much foreseen and paved the way for the multi-million kina industry coffee industry today that affects lives of ordinary Papua New Guineans that farm coffee.”
While serving as chairman of CMB, he contributed immensely in expending coffee plantings and promoting business enterprise for indigenous Papua New Guineans.
He was instrumental in setting up the CMB, then the Coffee Industry Board and also the Coffee Industry Fund (a stabilisation fund) in 1975.
His service to the PNG coffee industry was recognised in June 1969 with the award of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and in 1980, he was awarded the Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG).
A framed photo (A3 size) of him still hangs today in the CIC board room which was named after him.
Lloyd Hurrell was born in Wingham, NSW and educated at Hurlstone Agriculture High School.
He trained as a teacher at the Armidale Teachers College (Australia) and taught in 1937 and 1938.
In 1939 he joined the Department of District Services and Native Affairs as a cadet patrol officer and was posted to Rabaul.
In February 1940 he joined the New Guinea contingent for Australian Armed Forces when World War II broke out and took part in the famous Kokoda Track campaign.
After the war he returned to his pre-war job as patrol officer, looking after Finschhafen, Menyamya and Wau in various periods.
In 1953 he resigned and began his life as a farmer.
He became deputy provisional chairman of the CMB, created in 1963 and after four months, he was elevated to the chairman’s post.
In the 1960 elections he won the New Guinea Coastal seat and became a member of the Legislative Council.

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