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23 March 2014


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Ray Parer sought isolation on a bush block above Widgee on the main range. This would have been late fifties or early sixties.

The McArthy family of upper Widgee occasionally visited him although it seems he liked his own company.

After this he moved to Mt Nebo. His shack was basic, with a large CGI fireplace. Little remains today.

Father Adrian (Fergy) must have changed his title to Fr Fabian after Vatican 2. Many of the fathers used more family names after this time; some did not change. Fergy was Fabian - an original family name?

Quita Leslie,
I believe that the doctor in Lae would have been Kevin James Parer who was a doctor in PNG for many years. His father is the Kevin Parer mentioned in this article.

Thank you Mary for your wonderful research. Have just watched the film Parer's War and now checking the background, have found myself hearing your voice again!

KJ, re Fede Meil Celtie: it's actually spelt "Craic".

Re Peter Turner and A N Others' stirring - Colonel Tim Collins is an iconic Irish warrior.

Enjoy your much earned trip. Have the odd nip of the good stuff, Iskebagh. I am also told the Black Jameson is a good drop. NFP Slante.

Fantastic information about this interesting family. I spent my childhood in Lae and have a memory that our GP was a member of the Parer family. Did a Dr Parer have a practice in Lae during the 60s and early 70s?

Josef Parer's arrival in Australia from Monte Video - Telemarcho passenger arrivals - Empire newspaper - Wednesday 30 May 1855

May 29.—Telemacho, Greek, brig, 233 tons, Captain G. G. Chupa, from Monte. Video March 5, ia ballast. Passengers-Mr. and Mrs. Dixstach, Messrs. Corneill, Parer, Tusto, Miss Jouvine, and 65 in the storage.

The arrival in this port says the " Empire" of a Greek vessel from the east coast of South America is a very unusual occurence, and speculations have been rife as to the design in sending the brig Telemacho from Monte Video to Sydney. Being of only 222 tons measurement, and arriving in ballast, it is very probable that her appearance here is only the consequence of her meeting with passengers desirous of trying their fortunes in Australia, and is not at all indicative of any prospective commercial enterprise.

For Michele Kelly, September 2015 - I have found that ship 'Telemako or 'Telemcho ' & I see only the crew's names, approx a dozen, & mention of 62 passengers.

Did you find the passenger list? That is, how can you be sure Josep Parer was on that ship in May 1855?

Hi Ian Frew,
Unfortunately the information that Joseph Parer arrived in Australia on the Alabama was incorrect. He arrived on the "Telemacho" in Sydney from Montevideo on 29 May, 1855. I noticed that one of his sons was named Manuel.

I have a book in my collection that was owned by V Parer. His stamp is on the inside sleeve with a pasted information sheet re Damien Parer.

A book written by Burton Graham, None Shall Survive, about the war against Japan.

Just thought it would be nice to be in the family's hands if you would like it. I live in Brisbane.

I remember "Old" Dr Parer (Vince) well from Nundah. He delivered my first baby.

He was the kindest of men and it was lovely to chance upon this page and read of him.

I had no idea that the family had PNG (where I lived as a child) connections, other than Damien.

My grandpa was Vincent, my Dad is his son Brian. I hope to find memorabilia of my grandparents.

Dad worked in the surgery for years, so did Mum & most of us six grandchildren, especially Angie.

I'd love something to pass on to my kids about Grandpa & Nana. Everthing has gone now. If anyone has something, anything, please contact me. Thanks.

Hi there Parers. Hopefully you have the family historian. My mother was a friend of Marie, Damien's wife from the late 1930's at DJ's in Market Street, Sydney - Mum died in 2012 .

I need to know whether any Parers hold a copy of Josef Parer's crew list on the ship 'Alabama' of 1855.

Why? I think just possibly a Manuel Roberto Garcia came with Josef. Manuel came from Barcelona very near Allella @ 1855 (same year) just possibly with Josef.

Manuel ended up in the Moreton Bay District, married a Johannah Anderson nee Reeves in November 1856. Moreton Bay became Queensland in 1859.

I think 'Alabama' was a whaler that came to Australia via Uruguay, Guam and maybe Lord Howe Island.

I am a granddaughter of Doreen Parer Owen. This was a great read.

I must say I've always been proud to be associated with such a pioneering family.

For J Smith. I am the grandson of Dominic Mullins, the aircraft engineer you seek information about. My father James William Mullins has fond memories of his early years in Lae with his father Dominic and mother Grace. Dad and I followed in Dominic's footsteps.......we both had careers in the Royal Australian Air Force.

We heard that an Albert Moss was a partner in Ray Parer's New Guinea Highlands airline in the 1900s, but that Albert Moss died of Black Water fever in New Guinea in the 1920's. Would any of the Parer family remember Albert Moss in the PAT company?

A most interesting family.

Pat Parer, Ray's wife and Michael's mother, drove from London to India via Afghanistan with her kelpie in the 1960's.

She was a feisty lady, small with reddish hair and a friend of my mother's in New Delhi. I ended up living with her after she moved to Hong Kong. I shared a flat with her and worked with her for a couple of years before she went to work in Vietnam.

Young Michael came to Hong Kong for a visit around that time. He must have been about 15. Pat would keep me amused by speaking Pidgin, which I loved. I believe she died in the 1980's.

I'm looking for information on Albert William (Bill) Dominic Mullins who was an engineer New Guinea.

Mullins was on first plane to fly into Lae as an engineer to Guinea Airways. He spent a lot of time in NG.

I remember the Parer name being spoken about.

The book 'Gold Dust and Ashes' (Ion Idriess) referred to Bill Mullins.

Thank you.

The ABC is advertising a movie that has just been made on Damien Parer.

Some excellent material, thank you for sharing. Kevin also published a memoir several years ago with some accounts of his time in PNG.

It is such an honour to be bound up in the ever-growing saga of the Parer clan, and always a pleasure to find new material to illuminate the stories of the past. Thank you again for sharing.

What a legendary family! When I taught in PNG I loved using the Damien Parer films in my teaching. I forget where I found them - probably in the wonderful Catholic Mission Film library at Wewak.

Love the photo of Kevin Parer at the top. It says a lot.

Keith, I was thinking you need to have a section on your blog for a collection of great PNG photos - that capture 'that moment in time".

The Typepad platform does have a photo album capability, but I'm afraid curating that is beyond the time I have available - KJ

Firstly thanks to the legend Mary Mennis MBE and another legend, you yourself, Keith. You are supposed to be retired.

You are amazing what you have done in digging up the history of PNG. And the immense effort you have made to bring alive the next generation of writers/journalists with the Crocodile Prize.

How you have achieved this offshore is truly extraordinary. You have put them on the international scene which is more than can be said of our PNG newspapers.

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