DOOLAN ACTING DC: SHOCK TRANSFER!
Former Kundiawa District officer, Mr LJ Doolan, has been transferred to Goroka as Acting District Commissioner. This surprise move has come on the eve of the Goroka Show, the big social and commercial occasion of the year in the Eastern Highlands and leaves Mr Doolan with the turmoil and hectic organisation of the final week before the Show.
Mr Doolan was accompanied to Goroka by his wife Robin and children terry and Margret. He replaces former Acting District Commissioner, Mr O Mathieson who left suddenly for Australia following the death of his father.
Mr Doolan came to Kundiawa from Samarai in May 1963 and, even during this short time of administration, the town has progressed no small distance. His impact as Acting DC should resound right through the Eastern Highlands.
Mr Doolan always showed great cooperation with the press despite been ridiculed early as ‘No Comment’ Doolan. An early issue of the Kundiawa News had an Aldo cartoon showing Doolan being bowled at cricket – stumps going in all directions – but surveying the scene with non-committal look and sealed lips. The caption: “…and Laurie (Foxie) Doolan still refuses to comment.”
CHIMBU MAP NEARLY FINISHED: TO GO TO GOROKA ON SUNDAY
A huge three-dimensional map of the Chimbu Division is nearing completion in readiness for the Goroka Show. The map, 120 square feet in area, has taken over two months to construct. Some 30 people were involved in building the map through its various stages under the planning and direction of Mr M Bladwell and Mr G Collett, both of Kundiawa.
Different coloured lights show the positions of government centre, missions, airstrips, schools, hospitals and aid posts. The highest point on the map, Mt Wilhelm, is nearly 30 inches above the base, the Marigl-Wahgi junction, which represents 4,000 feet above sea level.
The map will be transported by road to Goroka in three sections. In Goroka it will be reassembled and become the focal point of the Chimbu exhibition at the Goroka Show.
A FEW WEEKS ago I criticised the “noted gentleman” for evading bar duty. This week we have even a more flagrant breach of Club etiquette, for the gentleman concerned has no excuse at all, not even that of work.
Well, let’s not pull punches. According to the Chimbu Club bar duty roster pf this week, one Bill Phillips is on bar duty. Who is actually on bar duty? Just yesterday I walked into the Club and asked the same question. “Help yourself,” I was told by someone sitting at the bar.
In 18 months the Chimbu Club lost between £2,000 and £3,000 ($48-96,000 today). It has taken much hard work from the Club committee and ordinary members to consolidate the position of the Club once more. Are we going to sit back and watch the position again deteriorate through this type of activity? One ‘Tadpole’ took £240 over the bar a fortnight ago. How much will be taken this week, I wonder.
I HAVE NOTICED a classified advertisement in the Kundiawa News in the past two issues promoting tourism in the Chimbu. This is in itself a good thing, the Chimbu is alive with tourist attractions – as the advertisement competently points out. However there is one drawback to attracting tourists to this area. This is the tariffs charged at the Kundiawa Hotel.
Don’t get the idea that the present manager has anything to do with the rates charged – he strictly abides by the owner’s instructions, and does a very good job at this too! However £4/5/- a day ($130 today) is outrageous. It must rank with the highest rates charged anywhere in Australia or New guinea (excluding, naturally some of the exclusive establishments – of which surely this one does not rank as one).
I think the owner is mistaken in his obvious assumption that higher rates will lead to higher profits. As a matter of fact, in the long run, this very supposition could do untold damage to a Chimbu tourist industry. So let us promote tourism, let us promote the Chimbu, let us hope that ant tourists in this area have more money than they know what to do with.
RE MEDICAL EMERGENCIES – I think a warranted criticism. Late Monday two women, one indigenous, one European, waited on the airstrip for 1½ hours before a plane arrived to ship them out. According to a qualified local observer, this was extremely quick treatment of a medical emergency. A little over a month ago, Wendell Merchant from Gembogl, with acute appendicitis, waited some 3½ hours on the airstrip before being flown out.
I don’t know who organises these emergency flights but tell me, sir, how many deaths do there have to be before a more satisfactory system is organised? How much pain does a person, indigenous or European, have to endure before he reaches the sanctuary of a decent hospital? How many planes does he have to hear fly over the airstrip before one lands to fly him out? How much criticism does there have to be before you’ll do something?
Well goodbye for now. You’ll be hearing from me again next issue.