A prominent leader in Papua New Guinea, Sir Kostas Constantinou, passed away in Brisbane on Saturday, after battling heart complications, according to the family.
Sir Kostas, 66, is a father of Constantia, George, Andrea and Theophilus and grandfather to Imogen, Syliva, Harry, Zoe and George.
“A son of PNG, Sir Kostas was a visionary leader who employed thousands of our people and expanded PNG businesses around Asia and the Pacific.”
He was the founder of Constantinou Group of Companies.
“From the successes of the businesses that he managed and the boards on which he sat, he always made sure that money was invested back into communities around the country, particularly in healthcare and education,” the family said.
“Beyond all of his achievements in business, in community development and diplomacy, Sir Kostas was the leader of our family who shared his love and wisdom so warmly.
“We are all left with a terrible loss in our lives with his passing.
“The people, the workers and the business community of PNG have lost a champion for development, and his family and friends mourn the loss of a humble and beloved person.”
PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PNGCCI) president Ian Tarutia and Port Moresby CCI president Rio Fiocco said Sir Kostas was a giant in the business community.
Tarutia said Sir Kostas was an avid advocate for promoting Papua New Guineans to positions of greater responsibility, a supporter of women empowerment and gender equality.
“He supported good governance to achieve better outcomes and this was amply demonstrated in the many listed, public and private sector organisations he served as chairman or director.”
Fiocco said Sir Kostas followed his late father’s footsteps and with his late brother Sir Theophilus, built the Airways Hotels and Apartments into a world-class airport hotel which regularly won international awards.
His visionary leadership and commitment to excellence and innovation was a key factor in driving the Constantinou Group of Companies, including Airways Hotels and Apartments, Hebou Construction, Lamana Hotel and Lamana Development Ltd, Monier Ltd and Rouna Quarries Ltd in PNG to success, besides others.
Sir Kostas served as Bank South Pacific Financial Group Ltd and Air Niugini chairman for many years.
He was also a director of Oil Search Ltd for many years until the recent merger with Santos Ltd.
“He was the vice-chairman of the Employers Federation of PNG for 30 years. “He also found the time to sit on the boards of the Salvation Army, the Catholic Archdiocese of Port Moresby’s finance committee as well as Anglicare,” Fiocco said.