I SPENT NEARLY
three years between 1970 and 1973 as station manager of Radio
The station was run by the TPNG Administration, its studios were in Kieta and I quickly discovered it was seriously disliked by most of its audience.
Even before I arrived in
In fact, he had unknowingly lent his name to it. Throughout
Which was better than ‘Radio Des’. But only just.
It was so-called because the District Commissioner was in the habit of directing the radio station as to how it should report the news. Especially news about the establishment of the Panguna copper mine.
Soon after arriving as manager I did two things: stopped Des' influence over our broadcasts and ran a contest for a new station identifier.
Maus Bilong Sankamap was the result. It's still in use.
When I arrived with the injunction that I should “sort it out”, I assessed the staff who would be assisting me to "sort it out".
There was Aloysius Sahoto, the senior broadcast officer from Sohano. A wonderful man. Never saw him rattled, even when he rolled the station vehicle.
There was Sam Bena, the smoothest, most complete radio announcer. Sam told me once, after he’d been in the bush on a recording patrol, “I went into this village and they laughed at me.” I expressed surprise and Sam said: “No, no. They looked at me and said, ‘How can such a big voice come from someone so scrawny!’”
There was Tom Kathoa, a real tearaway back then, well settled 40 years later I understand, who is still doing great service at New Dawn FM on Buka.
Perpetua Tanaku, from inland of Kieta, was a beautiful black pearl who married a rebel leader and died of malaria, toothless and too young, after years in the bush.
And there was Aloysius Nase [NAR-say] of
I was 25 with just three years radio experience under my belt and only a few months in management. In my anxiety as a neophyte manager I assessed Aloysius as ready to explode. But he never did. Nor did I, much. And certainly we never exploded at each other. When I think of Nase, the word than first comes to mind is ‘reliable’. The second is 'solid'.
Nase was a man to depend on. And I depended
on him, as I did on Sahoto, to keep my youthful enthusiasm in check and to give
me guidance about how one should deal with the big issues of
Aloysius Nase died on Monday at the
After Bougainville he became an Assistant Director at the head
office of the National Broadcasting Corporation in
At the time of his death, he was employed by the Ministry of Bougainville Affairs.
Aloysius Nase was a very good man.