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« None so deaf…. The recapture of Lae in World War II | Main | Foreigners in another world: Jane finds the two PNGs »

20 December 2012


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Thanks, Peter! This is so awesome in the sense that she is my namesake. I was in contact with her but, when I moved to Lae eight years ago, I lost touch.

My late father Nehemiah Potoura used to work with her at Sopas Adventist Hospital in the early 1960s. They were great friends.

Sadly, my father was shot in cold blood by militants during the Bougainville crisis. Marlene Kranz already knows and in his memory she sent me a lot of his photos taken, during their days in Sopas.

Peter, I will truly appreciate it if you can give me some leads on how to get in touch with her again. My email address is

Marlene - yes I believe so.

Hi Peter, I just read this article with interest and would like to kindly ask you if Marlene Kranz, used to be Marlene Broad. Thanks

Avondale College Library at Cooranbong NSW (near Morisset) has an exhibition of some of Dad's paintings from June to August. Entry is free.

I first heard Pastor Russell Kranz speak at Carmel College in 1962. A brilliant engaging talk of his student days at that Western Australian SDA College.

I remember all the stories - true or otherwise - a brilliant engagement with those young people.

Later Russell was a Lecturer at Avondale College during 1965-66 while I was a Theology Student.

I and other highly conservative theology students often strongly disagreed with his theology, his attitudes to society and his free thinking approach to religion and life.

After leaving Avondale and the employ of the Adventist Church, I began to realise the significance and relevance of Russell's thinking, approach to society and life.

I wrote to him telling him of my new found appreciation of his theology and philosophies etc.

Later as a Lecturer at Avondale I publicly acknowledged my appreciation and change of view as I had the honour of introducing Russell to the full assembly of students as he addressed them for an opening Chapel service of the new academic year.

Again the brilliant engaging, reasoned, thoughtful, balanced Kranz approach was witnessed.

I now have the honour of owning two of his watercolours which are shown to all visitors to my home.

God Bless Pastor Russell Kranz - honoured teacher, brilliant mentor, dear friend!

Dr John R Godfrey
Retired Senior Reserach Fellow
Edith Cowan University, Perth Western Australia

I saw my first cricket match in 1961. A test at Lords. Dad took us there as as treat. My sister fell asleep on my shoulder (can't really blame her, as cricket can be boring).

But I was intrigued by this fast bowler from Yorkshire - Fred Trueman. He was bowling like a bat out of hell against Benaud and Harvey.

They were scared, but stood their ground. Then Harvey belted a bouncer to the boundary and hit the ball out of the ground.

Even the Poms cheered.

Australia won by 5 wickets. Those were the days!

On the evils of old "illegal" radio. My Grandma gave me a crystal radio set (remember those?) for Christmas in 1962.

Through careful tuning and placement of the aerial, I could pick up 4BC and heard my first Lonny Donegan, Shadows and Beatles songs (My ole man's a dustman, Apache, Love love me do).

It's been downhill from there!

Thanks for the comment Russell. Actually Marlene was AFJ's third wife (after Ethel then Joy).

I imagine that in 1956 Alf was doing Principal rounds at Longburn and came across an "illegal" radio earth and tracked you down.

Bible colleges were pretty strict in those days, but old Alf got up to a few tricks of his own when he was a lad!

He was also badly beaten up when he disturbed some thieves when doing his rounds in the early '60s, but recovered to tell the tale to us wee youngsters.

Just came across this site today. Marleen, AFJ Kranz's second wife, is coming to visit at 2pm this afternoon.

I was at Longburn 1956 when Pastor Kranz extracted a kitchen spoon from the garden underneath our room that was connected to a radio. Boys don't change.

Earle - Yes I do remember! I was a teenager at the time.

Dad was regarded as something of a radical by the authorities and attracted a group of more liberal thinking young people like Dave Markham, Strickland, Mel Stewart and others.

Great to have your comments.

Stumbled on this. I worked for Russell at the New Gallery as his custodian, projectionist, handyman right after Newbold College. (BTW, Leonard Barnes was a lecturer there.)

Had many wonderful times then. I do recall some of the more ultra conservatives were not in sync with some of the ideas of Russell. I wish him the best.

I think I recall meeting you as well Peter. This was around 1973-74.
small world -- contact me via Facebook

Another neighbour of Dad's at the Cooranbong nursing home with a long history of service in PNG is Pastor L.H. Barnard. Any PNG students at Avondale with an an interest in PNG history would do well to seek him out for an interview.

He was a pioneer of missionary aviation in the highlands in the '50s and '60s and trained many pilots to bring medical and educational resources to remote communities.

He's still going strong.

Oh Russel's an SDA! Great! I was brought up in this church. Well a big thank you to him for the work he did in PNG. I am sure he has won many souls and thus stars for his crown.

I wish him good health and strength.

Another Dad story.

Well SDA's are supposed to be vegetarians - but they're not very consistent.

Dad was a student at Carmel College, and his friends were farm boys from the bush.

One Christmas, they were sick of the lentil patties and potato cakes and raided the chook shed. They managed to cook a big rooster in the fireplace. But then the call rang out "Principal inspection!"

What could they do?

They tied the cooked chook onto some string and let it out the window.

The Principal duly inspected and found nothing.

After he had left they hauled up the string to enjoy the rest of their Christmas dinner.

There was nothing but a note on the string It said -

"Thanks for the chook! Happy Christmas from the boys below you on the second floor!"

Great story Peter. Glad we have you trouble-making through the pages of PNG Attitude.

Enjoyed reading the story of the Kranz family. Thanks KJ.

And to Peter, thanks for sharing the extra bit about your dad and grandad. Wonderful. Living near Coorangbong myself I am sure we will cross paths sooner or later.

There's a bit more to Dad's story about being arrested in Melbourne in 1942. My Grandad, AFJ Kranz, was also an SDA pastor and educator and was principal of the Carmel College near Perth.

The WA Government at the time (being rather over-zealous in support of the war effort) decided that ministerial students were not exempt from call up as at that time all SDA students were required to spend some time working at the College to help pay their fees, such as working on the farm etc. for a few hours a day.

Not a bad educational idea.

Grandad was incensed at the stand taken by WA and appealed to Canberra and was granted a meeting with the Federal Minister for Education at the time, to present his case. The Minister agreed with him, the Feds overruled WA, and ministerial students were accepted as being exempt from call up.

We Kranz's have a history of trouble-making!

Thanks Keith, for that lovely Christmas story about the Kranz family, but especially Peter's father, Russell Kranz, and some of his beautiful watercolour paintings.

I know the SDA Church has done a lot to help PNG over the years.

I pray that God will continue to bless the Kranz family and that they will have a Christmas filled with God's joy and peace.

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