NOW here’s a challenge our readers may be able to solve. It concerns a man named Tom Low (or Lowe), his long dead father and his search for relatives.
Reader Dr Mark Schubert of Brisbane was recently at Riuriu Village on Liot (also known as Boudeuse) Island in the remote Western islands of Manus Province.
While there, Mark was approached by Tom (pictured right) who was born in 1932 to a mother from the Western Islands and an Australian father from Brisbane - a man called Low (or Lowe).
Tom’s father was managing Mal Plantation in the Western Islands at the time and it was pretty idyllic, if remote, life until 1942 when Japanese troops invaded.
Tom's father, along with a group of other Australians, fled south from the Western Islands to Wewak, only to be captured and killed there by the Japanese.
Tom knows nothing else about his father but these few facts, but asked Mark Schubert if he might help locate any relatives of his father.
Mark posted a message on Facebook a few weeks back but this has not borne any fruit.
The message said: “If anyone had an uncle, or great uncle or any long lost relative from Brisbane who went to New Guinea decades ago to manage a plantation and never returned, and whose name was Lowe or Low, please let me know".
Mark says Mal Plantation still exists, or its remains do. Local MP Ronny Knight has met old Tom and also tried to help him, but the search has reached a dead end.
“Judging by Tom’s Caucasian appearance,” Mark says, “I would assume he would look very much like his father and his relatives” – which seems a fair point.
A Manus journalist, Reuben Pokenau, is going to Liot to see Tom later this year, so we might get an interesting story from the old man about a time long ago, a remote part of the world and an enduring mystery.
Unless one of our readers – using just those few facts and a photo - is able to identify who Tom’s long lost relatives might be. Over to you.