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08 April 2012


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Paul Sanderson, I knew you brother briefly when he was on leave in Talasea circa 1972.

He did indeed have a very keen mind and very sharp intellect,
I was saddened to learn of his death and my belated condolences.

Col did contribute some interesting yarns on the Ex Kiap site which you may find of interest.

see attached link
Once there go to top and do a search to find his articles.

I am Col Sanderson's brother, Paul. I mixed with the ASOPA
crew in the mid sixties. Names like Besasparis,Warrilow and Sewell come to mind. Many happy times in Mosman NSW.

I would like to see Col's comments if possible. Col had a great mind, and I enjoyed his stories of the early days in PNG.

I do so admire the bravery and resourcefulness of you early patrol officers, the hardship and dangers you endured.

How it was as cheap to fly in a dozen bottles of 'Buka Meri' as it was to fly in a dozen bottles of beer, and no wonder so many of you were, shall I say, "dependent'.

Col has gone now. His life after PNG was no bed of roses. He found the adjustment to life in Australia difficult. Such a fine mind, it was a shame.

Phil - Oh you the peacemaker you. All those lessons learnt as a former kiap certainly shine through.

We old former footsloggers need to stick together, so fair enough, all is forgiven John; I thought you might have been a former academic hence the right boot.

Although not germane to the original topic I will discourse nevertheless.

Phil is certainly right about the need to raise the issue of local government in PNG withering untended.

One of the regrets of what happened to the demise of effective local government in PNG was the fact that the previous Administration ran out of time in getting local government fully established in PNG.

I did particularly like the embryonic Area Authorities that replaced the previous District Coordinating Committee structure.

It was workable and quite effective unlike its later replacement of provincial governments.

The current central government in PNG does not appear to give local governments any moral or financial support whatsoever.

Perhaps it is an issue AusAID could get involved with through fostering inter country exchange local government training programs and, dare I say it, provide direct funding to PNG Local Government organisations for grass roots development programs.

To writing matters. Yup you are right Phil, I should write more. Very cathartic for lost souls I think. I am trying hard to expunge the soul and get into the right groove.

The last twenty or more years writing abbreviated valuation reports has unfortunately left its mark on the old psyche.

Did try once to expand those reports out but was told that I was wasting my time as it was too much trouble to read long winded reports as all the punters wanted was a dollar amount with appropriate signature attaching.

The lads in the game had got it all down pat with suitable one liners predominating. “Flat market thinly traded” or “Prudent buyers predominating” were favourites.

In fact many firms had compiled suitable insertions aptly number coded so all one need to do was tell the typist give them a 3, 35, 68 and 79 which was then pulled down from the drop boxes.

Anyway it is late in the apinun so must be time for a cuppa, bex and a good lie down.

I suppose the difference between Martyn and Nalu is that the former gave up a secure life for his beliefs and the latter opted to compromise himself to feed his family.

You can't be judgemental about either position. In Martyn's case we don't know the full circumstances around him becoming a buai blogger, and in Nalu's case there are very few of us who can rightfully claim that our lives have not been one of compromise.

Martyn has now got the bit between his teeth and is running with it. Ironically, he might end up making a healthy living being a dissident.

Nalu, on the other hand, will have the satisfaction of knowing he has cared for and nurtured his family. I don't envy either man their position in PNG society.

As for John Fowke, I enjoy his contrariness and I agree with a lot of what he says, especially the importance of local level government. I wish he would write more about it.

And just to set the record straight Harry and John - before he was a planter, John Fowke used to be a kiap.

I think Martyn has acknowledged in an oblique way that it was PNG Attitude that brought him to wider and much more effective stage.

His PNG blog, the Namarong Report, is just like Nalu's blog; both are only read in PNG and both are talking to the converted.

I reckon what Nalu needs to do is contact Keith, come up with a believable pseudonym and tell us what he really thinks.

Otherwise your article is spot on, Harry. Maybe you should write a bit more too.

John - Veiled sarcasm does not become your literary prowess. However, I will bite.

In your response to my previous posting you wrote - “I merely asked what he was going to reveal that we don’t already know”.

That’s the rub. Question: Who is the royal “We” referred to?

As you would be aware the majority of Australians would not have any inkling of what’s going on in PNG and I am sure a lot of Australians would be most appreciative of hearing the viewpoints from a young aspiring grassroot idealist like Martyn.

Such an event would be both educational and entertaining. Ne pas?

Besides airports around the world are full of novelists making the journey down under to promote their new words of wisdom, so why deny Martyn the opportunity to do the same because a minority feel his thoughts to be irrelevant?

Anyway John, an emotive issue like this probably requires a Bex and a good lie down, don’t you think?

I say, Topham old chap, steady on! You Kiappy fellas do get retrospectively passionate, dont you? And do note that the whole issue arose when I replied to an invite to hear Martyn, who I have never aspersed as a person or as a writer, quite the reverse. I merely asked what he was going to reveal that we dont already know. And poor old Malum, who has given plugs for and cut-and-pasted the wisdom of KJ and PNG Attitude many times had absolutely nothing to do with it.

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