BY BARBARA (NEASMITH) SHORT
It was located on a fine surfing beach with good sports fields and plenty of room for agriculture. It was noted for its academic achievements and very active in art, drama and music.
In 1971 Brandi had over 500 students from Form 1 to Form 4, and 20 expatriate and seven national teachers. The expatriates were a great mix of ASOPA-trained teachers and others from various parts of
Sadly, many only stayed for a couple of years. They came with their young families for an interesting few years in PNG then returned to their respective areas for their children’s sake or for to pursue their own career paths.
Brandi was handy to Wewak, which had a good marketplace. The adventurous could spend holidays on the
After years of struggling to teach poorly motivated European children in
Another highlight of my time at Brandi were the dramatic presentations. Science Master Jon Hughes was a talented actor and drama director. In 1971 he directed the students in a production of This Man, a moving symbolic dance drama by Francis Bogutu from the
It depicted the mental turmoil experienced by men in countries like PNG in their search for their own identity in a changing society with conflicting cultures. Two male actors represented the dual personality – the traditional man and the modern man.
In 1972, at the end of Term 2, the four Form 4 classes presented plays they had written themselves and there was a Drama Festival and an Inter-school Cultural Festival.
Nigel Gregory wrote and produced some excellent plays on PNG themes and some were performed at Wewak for other schools to appreciate.
In July 1973 the Sepik Drama Group again put on a great night’s entertainment in the Brandi Hall with Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury and excerpts from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific.
The 1973 Speech Night was another wonderful show. First a moving play Hello Out There by William Saroyan, loosely adapted to a local PNG setting. This was followed by some of the Form 3 music students playing traditional
Then to top it all, there was a very polished production of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber, complete with excellent costumes and microphones for the lead singers. What a contrast of cultures!
In 1974 the Sepik Drama Group produced The Threepenny Opera [right] with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht and music by Kurt Weill. The cast included 16 staff and some students and was presented in the Brandi Hall over three nights.
Looking back, what a feast of culture! Oh, I forget to mention, we played a lot of sport, too, and there were Cadets and Scouts and stuff like that …