Sydney: Mugs felicitating US President Barack Obama’s visit to Australia became a cause of diplomatic embarrassment for the country after it was found that the President’s name had been misspelled on them. Instead of ‘Barack’, the name on the mugs read ‘Barrack’.
About 200 mugs had to be destroyed following the detection.
They were ordered about 10 days ago by Australian Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services Alan Thompson on the suggestion of some the department`s staff.
Thompson could not recall the company to which the task of manufacturing the mugs was entrusted but he believes it must have been an Australian one.
However, he has taken responsibility for the spelling mistake and believes at this stage that the error "may have occurred inside the department".
"We`ve got to take accountability for the misspelling," he told The Australian Online.
Despite the glitch, Thompson maintains that the gesture was in good faith.
"Presidents of the USA don`t often visit this building. They`re generally big events and quite a few people in the building like to have a way of remembering these events," he said.
Profits from the mug and other items for sale in the shop are recycled to offset other costs involved in running the department, Thompson said.