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22 August 2014


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Phil Charley, Fede Meil Celte.

Phil was one of the greats - KJ

I only recently learned of the passing of Carolus Ketsimur, and now Phil Charley. He was a fine man, a gentleman in every sense, besides also an excellent clarinet player in the Benny Goodman style. Rest in peace, Phil.

Hello Keith - Thank you for the opportunity to view these beautiful comments and your tribute again.

I wonder if i could ask you to forward my email address, as below, to Peter Charley, who has offered a copy of his tribute also.

Thank you in anticipation.

Peter's eulogy has now been published in PNG Attitude. It is a beautifully crafted piece of writing - KJ

It is with great sadness that I heard of Phil's passing, through a jazz lover and good mate I met in PNG back in 1975, one Phil Donnison.

We will never forget the great Jazz at The Bird concert ostensibly organised by Mr Charley.

Rest in peace with all the great jazz musicians now in heaven.

Sad news of Phil's passing. We all enjoyed a story and a laugh over many great jazz occasions, playing, jamming, just enjoying. He was a sweet gentleman in the best sense, loving his family in grateful awareness and happiness. Vale.

A wonderful man. He gave everything to PNG and I doubt if Madang ever left him. He was so gentle and his music all Soul.

He looked after a great family and had everything anyone could want in a human being. He must have been sickened by Australian politics over the past few months. Perhaps it’s time that the few of us who knew a beautiful Australia – left it all behind.

Phil made a toast to Luisa’s family at our wedding in Tokarara and I remember his rich voice and his contagious laugh. His family will be lost for time to come. Slante Phil.

It is sad to hear the news about Phil.

He was a brilliant broadcaster, a gifted teacher and an excellent musician. But more than all that Phil was a true gentle-man in the real sense of the word.

Phil, may you rest in peace.

To Marie and Phil's family you are in our thoughts and prayers at this very sad time for you.

Sad news. Thank you Phil for being a good friend and musical compatriot of my brother Olly (Nat Oliver). I guess they needed another muso up there. I can hear you both playing happy music!

My heartfelt condolences to you, Gina, and your extended family. Vale Phil.

Phil was my first boss at 2CH. We shared so many laughs and good times. He was much loved by many. Deepest sympathies to Marie and all the family. Love Annie x

Fond memories of a jazzed up PNGAA lunch in 2008! A class act!
Sincere condolences to his family.

A true gentleman of jazz, Phil was much loved and revered by his family and mates. He will be missed indeed.

So sorry to hear the news. I was a radio student when he joined AFTRS in 1985. He was much admired for his easy going nature and generosity of spirit. Condolences to Marie and family.

Phil was a true gentleman who charmed those he met with warm intelligent conversation, great humour and much humility. A jazzman through and through. Bon voyage, Phil, you will be missed.

A truly delightful person. God clearly needed a music man. Deepest sympathy to the family.

So sad. Wonderful, wonderful gentleman. Condolences to Marie, family and friends.

Very nice bloke. Vale.

Great colleague, broadcaster, musician, friend. True gentleman.

Vale Phil

I think for those of us who knew him from Papua New Guinea days this is more than the passing of an old friend. It marks a slow turning out of the lights on a time that mattered to us all.

Of course, Keith, you have kept that time alive with your writings. I guess for Andrew Phillips and I that part of Phil's life is more about old memories, some of which we enjoyed together in the US recently after many years.

To me, Phil was a special player in all that - his geniality, his music, his broadcasting expertise - all valuable traits of a man I was proud to call a friend.

And Keith I thank you for that, as I think once back in Australia you helped keep PNG relationships alive, and certainly the friendship Rosemarie and I developed with Phil and Marie in Australia.

I especially recall the drop-in and play-your-own-instrument jazz night in Singapore where Phil on clarinet and another old codger on trumpet had them dancing in the aisles.

Now he's gone. And I hope I'll always remember the part he played in our lives.

Sad news Keith. So many fond memories of 'friendly Phil'. He was a very special person.

Thank you for letting me know. Strangely David Ransom and I were just reminiscing about Phil (and you too) last Tuesday as we walked together down Fifth Avenue in NYC - David was here for his son Duncan's wedding. I hadn't seen David for many years and we spent most of the day together.

Phil was certainly special and I remember his baritone voice, his gregarious smile and pressed shirts as well as his generous spirit.

Good man, Phil, and a top clarinettist. He had a great run which we can celebrate.

What a great bloke. Vale Phil. As an 84-year-old, I consider 89 to be far too young to go! And, by the way, Keith, you are definitely far, far too young - even to go to Queensland.

He was a truly wonderful, inspiring man who filled the room with positive energy.

He will be sorely missed and will stay in the hearts of so many people in the radio industry.

Will keep Phil in my prayers.

He was a Godly man, love and sympathy to the family.

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