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04 April 2014


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Sad to hear of the passing of Jane Belfield, I worked with her at DIES & she had a very dry sense of humour & was an extremely friendly person.

Thank you for this inspiring tale, Louise. I had no idea of Jane's background. What an amazing story.

I worked briefly with her in 1972 in the Central News Room (CNR) of the DIES at Konedobu in Port Moresby before I was posted as Assistant Station Manager at Radio Gulf in Kerema. I then became Station Manager at Radio Morobe in Lae and, following that assignment, took over from Keith as Station Manager at Radio Bougainville in Kieta.

Jane was an uncompromising editor in the CNR and was responsible for the national and international news stories which came to us through the daily shortwave broadcast feed.

As Keith has explained in his previous story, we transcribed this news for broadcast in local languages.

I especially remember Jane's excellent understanding of the mechanics of 'simple English', the writing of which is not as simple as it sounds.

Rather, it requires a sophisticated understanding of cultures, languages and the psychology of learning.

At Radio Gulf we broadcast news every day in English, Motu, Toaripi, Kerewo, Koriki and Orokolo. This required our Broadcast Officers taking simple English news items and 'imaging them' in their native tongue (mostly non-written languages) when presenting them on the radio. It was vital that the 'simple English' be written in such a way that the translation conveyed the essence of every story to villagers in isolated environments. Jane excelled in this field.

Vale Jane. While I am not normally a vodka drinker, I am more than ready to toss down a double in her memory.

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