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10 April 2014


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Akra Sil, I guess you right, more wreckers than builders but we can change that. Lets take a step at a time...Wakai wo

Kera Jimmy, only quoted you to tell the sad tale of natives not looking after what our good kiaps and missionaries left behind for us. We are more wreckers than builders, it seems.

Well done to both of you although I would like to censor some of them before publishing.

This is a priceless piece of history which captures simbu in the formative years. Thank you Keith and Murray.

Thank you Keith,
This is priceless and amazing piece of history!

Kela Kapkora, what I wrote was about Simbu News which just started last year (2013) and the corrupt parallel Simbu News that had a different editor. I never knew of the Kundiawa News till now, thanks to Keith. This year there is no sign of Simbu News, only SCF monthly newsletters...sad how inconsistent, only goes to reveal the hidden motives, NO MONEY NO PUBLICATION

Great heavens, Keith, what do you mean posted "unfortunately to Moresby?"

POM was where everything happened. It was the epicentre of PNG. Can you imagine anything of any real import occurring in let's say Hoskins or Kerema. Or Hagen (except for spectacular riots) or god forbid, Minj!

They were outstations. OK district HQ or sub-district mainstays.

Me, I'll relish my time in POM at the ABC and at the Post Courier in Lawes Road.

The Top and Bottom Pubs were no Sofitels or Grand Hyatts but, hey, they did the job in the 60s.

The much awaited 70th can't be that far away now, eh Keithee.

Too bloody close, Ricardo - KJ

Keith and Murray, this is what Jimmy Drekore posted on Facebook in the Simbu Discussion Group.


Speaking of parallel system as pointed out by MT, the second edition of Simbu News was published by two different group of journalists.

The editor of one was Michael Koma and the editor to the parallel Simbu News was someone else.

Both were displayed in full colour all over Kundiawa town.

If the news has 10 page its K100.

How many copies you want to make to distribute to the wider community you do the maths, some stationery in town is fully smiling and mind you with two parallel Simbu News from the same source of funding....there goes your taxes.

Those in Kundiawa, have you seen any Simbu News for 2014? I guess not because nogat moni, usual excuse....all the best Simbu".

End of quote.

Congratulations Keith and Murray. I have been privileged to read some of Murray's copies. I wonder if the National Library could be persuaded to digitise the whole collection and make available to the wider readership not able to visit the vaults in Canberra?

Keith - I joined you in a quiet celebratory tipple last night. It's hard to comprehend that 50 years have passed so quickly - the happy memories of our Kundiawa News adventures and our wonderful years as teachers in Kundiawa, as well as our other postings in the Chimbu (Simbu), remain forever etched in my memory.

Etched large, is the day two fresh faced young teachers were summoned from their respective schools - in my case under escort by the station Sgt Major - to the District Office for an urgent interview conducted by a stern faced Deputy District Commissioner - Laurie Doolan.

Our crime; in our eagerness to try to influence the potential route of the soon to be constructed highlands highway - from Chimbu to the coast, and funded with a United Nations grant - we had published in a special issue of the Kundiawa News the full travel itinerary of the visiting United Nations assessment panel. A big NO,NO, in terms of security and protocol surrounding such visits.

Of course we pleaded ignorance to the rules and regulations pertaining to such visits - which did not in any way deflect the severity of our "dressing-down" by the DDC. As the saying goes, we were both "packing it"!

Looking sternly across his desk at us both, with an opened copy of the offending Kundiawa News in front of him, the DDC stabbed at paragraph after paragraph enunciating the particular Act or Regulation we had breached in daring to publish such information. "Yov've breached the Act Here!, Here! and Here!" and quickly turning pages..."and Here! and Here!" I don't know about Keith, but I was a quivering mess inside! The thought racing through my head was..."we could be shipped back to Australia for goes my PNG career!"

Suddenly, the stern face of the DDC softened considerably, the corners of his mouth lifted and a broad warm smile broke out - "Now that's got the official stuff out of the way, keep up the good work, this newspaper is important to the District and I want it to survive".

Two highly relieved young men, Editor Keith and Publisher Murray - suitable chastened - departed the District Office with a ringing endorsement of the KN's role in Chimbu affairs. It was time now to head to the Chimbu Club to celebrate and possibly time to duck home to the "haus pik" for a change of underpants.

Our blog editor may beg to differ with my memories of this defining occasion, but I'm sure he'll agree we sweated!!

Footnote: Laurie Doolan, who later became Distict Commissioner for Chimbu, remained a stong supporter of the Kundiawa News and a good friend and mentor to both Keith and me.

So perfectly recalled and nicely written, old mate. Laurie Doolan was a fine man and that uncomfortable exchange so many years ago taught me much about what was to become my profession - KJ

"Under the stewardship of Murray Bladwell and me, it published 50 issues over a period of two years before we were both assigned to other places and other duties."

This must have been the crucible from which your now legendary editorial prowess was forged.

Were you both reassigned because of the publication?

We were given some dire warnings but, once we got a grip of such notions as 'Defamation', 'Confidential Documents' and 'Public Service Rules', we were OK. In fact, the KN helped secure me a future appointment in 1966 as Editor of School Publications for PNG, unfortunately based in Moresby - KJ

Thank you Keith.

To me Kundiawa is home sweet home.

Wow Keith!

Amazing...will be great to go back in time and read of the "news" then in Kundiawa.

Just a side question: Did you make a toast to the memories and happenings for the Newsletter 50 years ago?

Looking forward to the regular insights.

Might have a little sentimental drink tonight, thanks John. Great place, the Simbu - KJ

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