28 January 2022, 11:51
Companion of the Order of Australia is the highest honor with which non-citizens of the country can be honoured.
And that’s precisely what happened with Bee Gees legend Barry Gibb receiving the award on Thursday, January 27.
Gibb was made a Companion of the Order of Australia alongside five other non-citizens who received medals for improving the nation.
Gibb has held dual British and American citizenship since 2009, and the award was designed to honor non-citizens “when their service has benefited Australia and Australians” in “Australia’s preeminent ways to recognize service and achievements” Governor General David Hurley mentioned.
Recipients of the award are recommended by the Prime Minister before being approved by the Governor General, such is the esteemed nature of the honor.
Barry and his brothers Robin and Maurice, although all British citizens themselves know Australia from having emigrated there from the UK in 1958.
The trio returned in 1967 on their journey to become one of the greatest pop groups the world had ever known.
This isn’t the first time the Gibb brothers have been recognized for their pop cultural achievements in the country, however.
There is a statue of the three on a road named after their group in Redcliffe, Queensland, where they originally resided when they moved to Australia.
It’s also where the Bee Gees began performing before dominating the world stage.
Barry Gibb has also been recognized in Australia for his dedication to charity work and continued philanthropy, including his involvement in the 2009 charity concert which benefited victims of the Victorian bushfire and flooding in Queensland where he performed with the local icon and her dear friend Olivia Newton-Jean.
The Bee Gees are also widely credited with supporting and promoting the Australian music industry around the world.
Closer to home, Barry has also been honored with a special set of stamps produced by the Isle of Man Post Office in November 2021.
The unique set of stamps was created to celebrate the incredible musical achievements and charitable work of the late Bee Gees.
Upon learning that he had received the set of stamps, Barry said, “I’m very proud of my Manx roots.”
“I was born and raised on the ancient, mystical and magical Isle of Man, and I have very fond memories of growing up there, so appearing on a series of its stamps is not just a wonderful surprise, but also an honor and a privilege.”