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19 April 2014


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Bill is a Community Affairs officer with InterOil.

I had the pleasure of listening to a talk he gave at a social mapping conference in Port Moresby recently and wondered about Leo's influence.

While the CAs at InterOil held Leo in high regard I'm not sure that the company management realised what an asset he was.

There are many unsung Community Affairs officers working in the resources sector and I've found that most of them have the best interests of the local people at heart. Edmund Kaba is another excellent officer who has a hard time convincing his employers that treating local people well and keeping them informed is the key to success in PNG.

Unfortunately this ignorance in the upper echelons of company management is endemic.

Leo's contribution needs to be acknowledged.

This is a great loss; ex-kiaps like himself, Pedro Koae (who has left our team), Ginaruga Viritoga and the late Maurice Peremai were an inspiration and fortress of experience for those of us upcoming CA officers, some of us two times younger.

I met Leo in 2004 at the first InterOil site in Purari River and he taught me everything I could grasp in 2-3 hours then sent me out, saying, "Son, the only way to know the job is to do it yourself". He always encouraged us to be multi-skilled officers, a credit as I realised later on.

Fada LB, you will be greatly missed by this band of officers you left so suddenly months ago.

Phil Fitzpatrick and Bill McGrath, I am sorry for your loss.

You knew this man who contributed to the early days of a young nation.

Your note is a fitting tribute to his life.

God keep you till you meet at that heavenly Patrol Post.

Leo arrived in Simbu and took over from Frank Cotton as DOIC Gumine in about 1978. After a short stint in wild South Simbu he was appointed Administrative Secretary of the Sandaun Province, in the wake of that terrific dude Mike Press, the last District Commissioner of the West Sepik Province.

'Laid back', aptly describes Leo, so does even tempered and good natured. No chips on Leo's shoulder, he was truly one of nature's gentlemen and a credit to his race.

Bamahuta Turangu.

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