My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 02/2006

« New Ireland’s Lihir Gold to increase production | Main | Post-war Moresby: superior to the 'rubble towns' »

06 March 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I lived in Moresby when I was a little girl. I went there to live with my parents in 1948 when I was aged five.

My father, George, was an accountant for the Port Moresby Freezing Co. My mother Betty worked as a secretary to Mr Ahearn, at the Australasian Petroleum Co. My Grandma, Lelia, moved up there in 1949 to work at PMF as "cashier" (she was really an accountant).

I was sent to a CofE boarding school at Tamworth NSW at age seven, because I was so unhealthy, underweight and always sick.

I have fond memories of Moresby. The Papuan native boys I remember - Humi and Hoko - were very kind to me. I went up there again for holiday with Grandma in 1961, during my first year of nurse training at Concord Repat Hospital.

In 1962 I was the only passenger on the "Chinampa", a 50 ton boat captained by Captain Jack, a notorious character. I went with him on a three day trip to Samarai from Port Moresby. I could never find out any details about Captain Jack and would love to know about him.

And anything about Clarrie Galland and the Kone mess.

Paul has asked about where he might find a lease his ancestor signed with the Crown.

The term "the Crown" is used in such leases where it is, in practice, the government that is taking out the lease.

Consequently, the lease or a copy of it should still be held somewhere in Moresby, maybe by the Crown Solicitor or the Department of Lands or its equivalent.

There might be a copy in the Australian National Archives, so it may be worth making an inquiry with them, but they will need more information than Paul has currently provided, such as the approximate date it was signed, if there is to be much chance of finding it.

There seems to me to me to be little likelihood that a copy of the lease would be held in the UK.

Of course, finding it might be a bit tricky if there is neither the interest nor the will to do so on the part of those in whose custody it is or was kept.

Hi, I am in search of my ancestors history of being landowners of Port Moresby City.

During the colonial times, I remember an official document from the governing body called "the Crown" who signed up a Lease Agreement with my grand father Maino Gima, the eldest son to Gima Taugau of Vabukori Village which was known as Senekori during those times.

I would appreciate if this information or request can reach the rightful people from Canberra Archives or the UK/London Archives to send me these information of how the "Crown" document was signed by my grandfather and why other people are making deals with today's government to hide and sell off our land for their personal benefits and other unusual purposes.

It's 2014 and I wonder where Don Hogg is now. Any info to, please. Last time I saw Don email hadn't even been heard of, so it's been a while.

Life as an expat journo in TPNG in 1967-68 was never dull. How could it be with journo mates like Gus "Wouldn't be dead for quids" Smales, Don Hogg SP of West Badili Cove mansions, and the LFS, David White.

The four of us got lost in the kunai somewhere out of Dumpu (Ramu Valley?) after we'd tracked down and interviewed a young roadworker "Leo" who had reportedly married a Pommie charlady.

He didn't speak English and the Pidgin interview was conducted by Hoggie. Gave us plenty of leeway to beat the yarn up for our respective publications - if we had felt so inclined. Perish the thought.

Anyway we found a bare spot in the kunai and (while we waited for our pilot "Fernsy" to fly about looking for us) Hoggie called phantom races which Gus and I laid phantom bets on. LFS fretted about perishing. He lost a few kgs that day.

Today, in a city like Port Moresby, people are robbed in broad daylight in the streets and public places like bus stops. Women are harassed and held up by thugs and have their bags snatched.

Prohibited drugs like marijuana and illegally produced homemade brew are sold freely in the streets, settlements, villages and suburbs.

Women and young girls walk around with fear of being raped or kidnapped. Pornographic material can be seen in the hands of minors. Gunshots are heard in the settlements to scare off people.

Violence fills the streets of Port Moresby on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. There is a complete breakdown of law and order in Port Moresby and throughout the whole country as people now have had enough of a corrupt government and politicians.

Michael Somare has miserably failed to build PNG into the prosperous and united country he promised at independence.

An interesting compilation of reminiscences and still photos about TAA pilots flying in PNG from 1960 - 1974 has been recently posted on Youtube.

Port Moresby looked beautiful back then compared to what it is now. It had that sense of peacefulness and calm; a place to relax.

I watched a film some years ago which started with a small, one engine plane flying over Port Moresby, landing at Jacksons, followed by a scene along Ela Beach.

The two male actors drove along Ela Beach in a cream, convertible Volkswagen beatle. That was the only bit that had Port Moresby in it. Has anyone seen it or heard about it? If so, could you tell me what it's called and where I could get a copy.

I loved that film only because it showed Moresby in the 50s, maybe 60s.

Since we're on the subject of old Port Moresby, can anyone give the history of a little place that I was told was the "Port Moresby Club"?

About 1984 I was in Port Moresby to have some serious discussions with Shell PNG over some disparities of opinion over Talair's aviation fuel arrangements. I was staying in the Travelodge, klostu Invesmen Haus, and Shell's Ops Manager took to this old clubhouse for a game of snooker. It was a small dark place, hardly a soul in there, with full-size tables, old but good quality. Someone later told me the building had since gone, but that the tables had been taken out to the Aero Club. The building seemed to have been there for a long time - does anyone have its history?

Visits to Port Moresby down from Goroka always felt like hitting the big smoke. Despite its dodgy reputation I liked the look of the place, and the variation of the surrounding areas, even the dry climate. I remember staying a range of interesting spots - the Gateway (built by Patair I think, then passed to Ansett), the Papua - lots of history there - and I think the Civic Guest House in Boroko, and latterly the new Airport Hotel. And then there was the old Yacht and Aviat Clubs which gave a hint of earlier times.

On my first ever visit to Port Moresby I stayed out at Waigani with friends from UPNG and swam in the Laloki River, which after reading Errol Flynn's somewhat embroidered autobiography, made me wonder whether it might have been around the same place that he referred to, so many years earlier.

AH, yesssss, Phil and Robin and Paul: those were the days.
The idyllic days indeed.

Moresby in the late 60s. Into the CBD (if that's the appropriate term for Moresby's town centre) around 2.30 pm on a Saturday. Purchase the Melbourne Age rom the local newsagent after the balus from Down South had lobbed. If The Age wasn't available the Syd. Morning Herald would suffice.

Few lazy ales with mates on the deck at the Bottom Pub. Home for a read of the paper and a Sat. arvo kip.
Repeat the routine Sundays, except the good ol' Nation Review would be the preferred paper of choice that day.

By the way, Phil, why hasn't the honourable Donald Hogg mentioned the Papua Club in his article, do you think? Surely that's where Moresby's top echelon would gather while the rest of us hob-nobbed in the Kone, Aviat, Boroko RSL, Paga, Ela beach RSL or Boroko Sports Clubs? The hard-doers would gather in the Four Mile Club.

And 1969 was memorable for another reason. Keithy Jackson and I and I'm sure other writers, too, were released from Admin. or Quango duties to pound the Post Courier typewriters with the '69 South Pacific Games in town. I covered the boxing and weight-lifting. Keithy was the track and field scribe.

Also might have been the year the old twice weekly Moresby paper was superceded by the 5-times a week Post Courier.

I wouldn't say anything I've written is that noteable Paul but I've just published a new one called "Dingo Trapper", about doggers and blackfellas in Central Australia in the 1930s. Diane Andrews Publishing in Cairns or from Amazon as an ebook.

I can relate to it as I was in Moresby for seven years. How do we get to Jan's Home Page? Can you link it please?

I have now added a link at the end of the story - KJ

Thanks Don,

appreciate your response.

Crikey Phil,

had no idea you were an author of some note prior to your recent book.


The extracts clearly stated that Don Hogg was writing about life in colonial Port Moresby.

In his extended article he did mention those who worked in outstations. He wrote:

Despite the little they have with which to amuse themselves, the chronic shortage of freezer goods and the sometimes frustratingly difficult conditions of existence, the men and women of the outstations live contented lives.

They work diligently and with dedication at their tasks and have little patience with the clerks and men of commerce in the towns.

They know they are cast in roles vital to the development of the country and its people and are proud of their achievements.

They are, almost to a man, happy with their lot.

Little wonder then that it is from the ranks of the men and women of the outstations that a majority of the senior officers of the Administration have come. These are the Australians who regard New Guinea as a career.

Don Hook

Don Hogg was also the editor of the mildly lascivious 'Man' magazine in the 1970s. After the demise of 'World Wide' magazine it was one of the few places where one could publish lightweight 'adventure' stuff with a PNG flavour. Don published some of my early material and quite a bit of stuff by writers like Ian Downs. In fact, I think Downs was publishing stuff in 'Man' while he was DC Eastern Highlands. It would be good to unearth some of that early writing. "Man' magazine eventually fell victim to the racier 'Playboy' and 'Penthouse' (for whom I also wrote but in my defence I also wrote stuff for 'New Idea'). Sadly, these days there aren't any outlets for short fiction aimed at male readers.

Viewed by today's standards, this article may give an impression that all expats in PNG at that time lived in this manner.

For those of us who lived and worked in rural PNG outstations and villages, we appeared to have a somewhat different existence to that presented in this article.

Perahps some balance should be presented in order not to completely skew any perceptions?

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)