Pita Lus

Pita Lus (1935- ), politician. Lus, the only PNGan to have sat in all seven House of Assembly parliaments was born in Maprik, East Sepik District. He had no opportunity for schooling beyond Grade 4. Lus went to Rabaul, East New Britain District, where he was employed as a cook, and then to Kavieng, New Ireland District, as a plantation laborer. In the early 1950s he traveled to Manus Island where he was involved in a strike for better working conditions. In 1957 he returned to Maprik where, with the assistance of a family attached to the South Seas Evangelical Mission, he learnt to read and write Tok Pisin and became a fervent Pentecostalist. In 1964 Lus won the seat of Maprik, ESD, in the first elections for the House of Assembly. In 1967 he became a foundation member of the PANGU Pati in which he has remained. He has held the portfolios of Culture and Recreation, Police, Education, Commerce, and Parliamentary Services. Over the years he developed a reputation for fiery rhetoric and unruly parliamentary behavior but retained solid support within his electorate. He was knighted in 1979.

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