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Melanesian Messenger Online distributed by the
Church of the Province of Melanesia
October 23, 2008

[Melanesian Messenger - Melanesia] Head of the Anglican Church of Melanesia the Most Rt. Rev Sir Ellison Pogo is paying his final Episcopal visit to the two Dioceses in the Republic of Vanuatu starting this weekend.

Sir Ellison who will be accompanied by his wife Lady Roselyn Pogo is due to arrive tomorrow afternoon from Honiara for the weeklong visit.

He will spend a night at Luganville on Santo before travelling to the Diocese of Banks and Torres on Saturday joined by a delegation from the Church of Melanesia Provincial office in Vanuatu.

A farewell programme will be put on for him on Sunday at the Diocesan Headquarters at Sola by the people of Banks and Torres.

He returns to Luganville on Monday next week where the Diocese of Vanuatu and the Church of Melanesia Provincial Office at Santo, on the next day will honour him with a whole day of farewell programme at Sarakata Mission Station.

The Anglican parishes and communities of Port Vila have also been preparing to host the Archbishops final leg of the visit on Thursday next week.

According to the tentative programme drawn up for him, he is expected to make make courtesy calls to the Republic of Vanuatu government heads and selected departments.

Anglican members in the two dioceses are expected to turn up in numbers to witness and be part of the celebrations marking the Archbishops final visit.

Sir Ellison has paid his final visits to other Dioceses in the Solomon Islands in the last month.

Archbishop Pogo who is the longest serving Melanesian Bishop is due to retire on 9 December this year, after serving the Church for the last 27 years since 1981.

Of the 27 years of his Episcopal leadership, he served in the last 14 years as the Archbishop which also makes him the longest serving Archbishop of the Anglican Communion.

For his long and dedicated service to the Church and people of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia Sir Ellison was honoured with a Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in year 2000.

He was last week on October 17 bestowed with the Anglican Communions Highest Award; the Cross of St. Augustine by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams in London, England. This award is in recognition for the conspicuous service he rendered to the Church not only in Melanesia but also to the worldwide Anglican Communion family.

His leadership role as the Chairman of the Design Committee of the recent Lambeth Conference in England also played an important part in that special award only given by the head of the Anglican Communion. He was the first Bishop in Melanesia and the Oceania including Australia and New Zealand to be awarded the silver medallion of St. Augustine.

The Archbishop is due to be also honoured by the Pacific Theological College in Suva, Fiji, with a special award recognizing his role as the Chairman and member of the PTC Governing Council next week.

He also received other notable honours and awards for his unfaltering services in the Church, government and private sector where he served in various levels as Council and Board members.

The Archbishop returns to the Solomon Islands on 31 October upon completion of his visit in two of the eight Dioceses in the Province of Melanesia in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

The Church of Melanesia in Solomon Islands will hold a liturgical farewell for him at the Provincial Cathedral in Honiara on 8 December 2008. He officially retires on 9 August at the age of 61.

Archbishop Pogo and his wife Lady Rosely Pogo have three children, Claire, Vato and Majoree.