The Papua New Guinea Association signed 28 new members in May and June as the resurgence of interest in PNG affairs among former residents of PNG continues. The bulk of these people were from NSW (13) and Queensland (8). Former teachers (10) were the predominant vocational group.
The new members include a number of people born in PNG. Noteworthy amongst these is Peter Healey from Blaxland, NSW, who was the first white baby born in Kundiawa way back in 1956. They also include Richard Gault, now 85, who arrived in PNG in 1946 on the first civilian ship after World War II, the Reynella, and had an exotic life trading crocodile skins, trochus shell and scrap before running a plantation in the lower Warangoi (Gazelle Peninsula) for 20 years.
The PNGAA also benefits from former expatriates who moved on to significant careers after they left PNG: Murray Bladwell, who became a Ministerial adviser in Queensland; Ed Brumby [right], still in harness as GM International Relationships with the Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance; Don Cairns, Australia’s former Consul-General in Mumbai; Dr Chris Owner, director of clinical sciences at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Virginia, USA; and Barry Kneen, former chief licensing commissioner in NSW.
I welcome all these and the other new members, making special mention of the key organiser of the recent highly successful PNG chalkies reunion in Brisbane, Colin Huggins. If you haven’t joined the Association yet, you can do so for just $20 – it’s the only way you can get your quarterly copy of the must-have journal Una Voce – by completing this web-based membership form.