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« Those PNG kiaps – small in number, big in nation-building | Main | The politics of memory – there are no elephants in PNG »

07 January 2018


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It was quite sad to hear about Alan. He was such a pleasant gentleman and I last met him in February 2010 at his office in Lae.

Rest in peace

I feel so sad that one by one all pioneer kiaps, missionaries, and business man are gone for ever and will never return. Only God knows all the hard work they have done to the people of PNG.

Both Terry Shelley and Alan Mclay have done so much for the Simbu People. we simbus salute you. God will reward you and may the angels welcome you to Heaven. Rest in peace.

I have only known Alan for 5 years but a better man you would be hard pressed to find. Open, honest, frank and ethical. I am privileged to have met him and had dinners where l had to pry the story of his, and Nellie's, life out of him. God Speed Alan.

I often met Alan McLay on my visits to Lae in more recent years. He was obviously very well respected in both expat and local communities. I was not aware that he was a former Kiap.
Another former Lae resident/businessman John Atherton also passed away in december. John Atherton previously had pharmacies in Lae, Goroka and Mt. Hagen and after leaving PNG he requently revisited Lae to take care of some remaining business interests he had there. In Australia he had become a cattle farmer in the Longreach area.

I am stunned by the death of Alan. I knew Alan in Rabaul and Simbu in the sixties. He was a very fine person and terrific kiap.

In 2005 I met him again in Lae with his wife who was a lovely Tolai lady. Alan was a great ambassador for Australia in PNG for over fifty years.

Condolences to his family. I hope the PNG authorities give Alan some formal recognition for his services to PNG

I knew Alan in Bougainville as Keith Jackson probably did. I was posted to Kieta in 1968 and Alan bunked down with us in a stuffy back room at the Kieta Hotel for a while before his posting to Wakanai.

It's been a while and memory not so good but I recall Alan fondly. He was the senior guy in the room - we three others were cadets. I just wanted to acknowledge Alan here and thank Keith again for keeping this thing going.

I am now living in upstate New York where its a chilly negative 16 degrees as I write this. Nothing like that stuffy room at the Hotel Kieta.

While I'm here I just learned that John Russell Pell, another Bougainville kiap from those days, died at 84 in the West Australian outback. I heard the silly bastard fell of a ladder. I avoid ladders these days. May the two of them RIP. For more on my own experiences in PNG -

Always good to hear from ex-kiap and broadcaster Andrew Phillips - a fine man. Regrettably I never knew Alan McLay - KJ

Vale Alan McLay. A lot of water under the bridge since we last had dialogue together 1982 I believe.

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