A STATE funeral is being in Brisbane this morning for Hon Warwick Parer AM, whose obituary appeared in PNG Attitude earlier this week. Warwick was a Senator for Queensland from 1984-2000 and Federal Minister for Resources & Energy from 1996-98.
It was only last year that Warwick published his life story, Mine: A Memoir, that in part told of his family’s life in pre-war and wartime Papua New Guinea, where his father, Kevin, ran his own small airline company.
In this extract from the book, we learn something of the Parer family’s life in Wau, the tumult caused by the Japanese invasion and of Kevin’s tragic death in an air raid…..
I WAS born in Wau, up in the highlands of New Guinea, right in the middle of the goldfields. April 1936. Dr Von de Borch and Sister McGuigan delivered me at the Wau District Hospital. My younger brother, Kevin Junior, was born a year later. My sister Mary-Pat was born two years after that in 1939.