MARK BAKER | The Age
But Barry Holloway brought Papua New Guinea home with him to the little timber church with the peeling paint and rusting tin roof at Kimberley, near Sheffield.
It was there in his children, in the readings in the Pidgin and in the haunting strains of 'Rock of Ages' sung in Motu, the language of the coast.
The journey had begun here, in the house across the valley where his mother was born and where she gave birth to him in 1934, and in the nearby school where a boy dreamed of a life of adventure far away.
That journey was to take 60 years and it would traverse the modern history of PNG - from colonial trust territory, to self-government and independence and beyond.
It began with a teenage cadet patrol officer trekking through the remote and untamed territory of New Guinea and ended with a distinguished political career, a knighthood and the deep affection of a generation of Papua New Guineans.
At each step, Barry Holloway made a special mark. He was, probably more than any other Australian, instrumental in the making of modern PNG, and his death closes a circle on Australia's engagement with PNG's coming of age.
He was one of the first expatriates to advocate independence for the Australian trust territory in the 1960s. He helped found Pangu, the country's first political party, and ran the numbers that saw a brash young journalist named Michael Somare become its first leader.
He chaired the committee that drafted the constitution and, at independence in 1975, he was one of the first white men to take citizenship of the new nation, happily surrendering his Australian passport.
He became speaker of the first parliament after independence, then a senior minister in several governments. He was a reformer, a champion of the ordinary man and a campaigner against corruption, the issue that many believe drove him to an early death.
After finishing secondary school, Holloway moved to Melbourne and was working as a labourer when he saw a newspaper advertisement seeking young men with ''initiative, imagination and courage'' to work as patrol officers in the UN-mandated Territory of Papua and New Guinea.
Between 1949 and 1974, more than 2000 Australians aged between 18 and 24 were recruited as patrol officers, or kiaps - Pidgin for captain, from the German kapitan - and sent to bring the rule of white law to the often lawless outer reaches of the territories.