PNG TPA expresses its sadness at the passing of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel.
19 June 2018
04 January 2018
THE Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority is greatly saddened by the passing of one of the last known Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels of the Battle of the Kokoda Track.
The late Havala Laula was the iconic figure head and living image of the historical Kokoda Track until his passing on Christmas Eve at his Kagi Village along the track, he was 92 years old.
PNGTPA Chief Executive Officer Mr Jerry Agus said late Laula’s passing brings to a close an enduring chapter of the Kokoda Track, especially its affection and historical bond with the Australian people.
“He gave sole and meaning to the legend of the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels especially for the thousands of Australians that walk the Kokoda Track every year,” said Mr Agus.
The name, Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, was a term of endearment Australian troops gave to the local Papua New Guinea villagers who were recruited during the Second World War to bring supplies to Australian troops and to evacuate injured soldiers.
Mr Agus said it was not only fitting but indeed sad that the late Laula lived to commemorate the 75thAnniversary of the Battle of the Kokoda Track before closing an incredible chapter in PNG’s war history.
He said as a popularly recognised Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, the late Laula participated in major Kokoda 75thAnniversary commemoration programs including the movie “Fuzzy Wuzzy - Beyond the Legend” where he was featured prominently.
“The Kokoda Track and indeed the tourism sector in PNG have lost a major icon and tourism ambassador. Those that have been privileged to walk the Kokoda Track and have been honoured to make late Laula’s acquaintance will forever treasure those memories,” he said.
Mr Agus said PNG tourism, especially the Kokoda Track was greatly indebted to the late Laula as he had given life and meaning to the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels and had raised the profile of the track through numerous marketing and promotional programs in PNG and Australia.
Mr Agus thanked the family of the late Havala Laula and the Koiari people along the Kokoda Track corridor for giving PNG tourism a truly remarkable man and the last Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel standing.
For further information email PNGTPA media coordinator [email protected]