THE story really began at Kavieng one September afternoon in 1973. A patrol boat, HMAS Aitape, had made its way from Manus to Tingwon Island after receiving a radio call for assistance to transfer a woman in premature labour to Kavieng Hospital.
The patrol boat made the difficult entrance through the reef to the Tingwon beach where a signal fire blazed to attract attention.
Marian was on duty at Kavieng Hospital’s outpatients unit when the animated activity of patients and villagers attracted her attention.
The outpatients unit was located just metres from a beach where canoes from the offshore islands came ashore and patients could wander into the warm waters to wash.
It was here that the patrol boat with its patient and a village woman accompanying her arrived.