John Guise (governor-general)

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Sir John Guise GCMG KBE (29 August 1914 – 7 February 1991) was a Papua New Guinean politician who served as the first Governor-General of Papua New Guinea after the country's independence from Australia in 1975. Prior to the independence itself, Guise was a vocal advocate for a peaceful secession from Australia.

He was born in Gedulalara village, near Dogura, and was educated there at the mission school of a church in Milne Bay District. His grandfather was Reginald Guise, an English adventurer who reached Papua in the 1880s, settled as a trader and married locally.[1]

He served in the Department of Native Affairs during the 1950s, and became the president of the Port Moresby Mixed Race Association in 1958.[1] In the 1961 elections for the Legislative Council, he was elected in the Eastern Papua constituency. In 1964 he was elected to the new House of Assembly, and went on to serve as Speaker from 1968 to 1972.[2]

Guise served as Governor-General of Papua New Guinea for two years. He resigned as Governor-General to contest the 1977 election against Michael Somare, where he was defeated.[3] He remained politically active and considered as a potential leader during the civil unrest after his term in office. Guise died on 7 February 1991. After his death, a sports stadium was named in his honour.

He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1972, made a Knight Commander of the order (KBE) on 6 June 1975,[4] and appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) on 16 September 1975.


  1. ^ a b "Biography - Sir John Guise - Pacific Islander Biography". Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  2. ^ PNG speakers of Parliament
  3. ^ "Sir John Guise in Days of Old". Colonial Days in Papua New Guinea. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  4. ^ "No. 46594". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 June 1975. pp. 7403–7404.


  • Lentz, Harris M., III. Heads of States and Governments. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 1994. ISBN 0-89950-926-6.
Government offices
Preceded by
Tom Critchley
as High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea
Governor-General of Papua New Guinea
Succeeded by
Sir Tore Lokoloko