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30 December 2015


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Yes, Francis Edwin Brumblebee did return from Edinburgh to PNG as delineated in later comments above.

My wife and I travelled here and there around E'burgh with Ed in his vehicle. The petrol gauge of said vehicle hovered about one bar above "E" for empty each time we dared to venture inside.

We were taking a delayed 5-month honeymoon in '72-'73 on a tour of Europe. And like Ed. we also returned to Moresby and UPNG.

The Arts faculty lecturers I recall were Dr. Bill Gammage, Dr. Bill Standish (who kitted himself out in a sort of khaki kiap uniform one lecture to underscore to PNG students how B4 patrol officers looked) and the unforgettably named Garry Trompf. Probably also nowadays with a 'Dr' before Christian name.

I did return, Francis and resumed my former editorial role. My efforts to apply what I learnt at Edinburgh by seeking a transfer to the curriculum development branch were unsuccessful, for reasons which I may expound upon in another Attitude piece - subject, of course, to Keith's indulgence.

My part-time student days at UPNG are among my most treasured memories, Raymond. As Keith has noted, we (and there were quite a number of expat students in those days) shared classes and rubbed shoulders over beers at the University Club with many future PNGn leaders, intellectuals and influencers. It was a time of great hope and excitement. The little I hear these days of my alma mater fills me with great sadness.

Keith, for the life of me, I didn't know that during the colonial era, apart from PNGeans at UPNG, there were also students like you and Ed. I only learned about this from the articles and comments in PNG Attitude. I am interested about your experiences at UPNG and what you have become years later after PNG's independence.

In a nutshell, Raymond, my experiences studying alongside PNGns at UPNG (and noting that many of those early expat professors & lecturers were top class) transformed me from being a bit of a young fogey to someone who could see that PNGns had it in them to do great things - including run their own country with or without our help. None of us then could conceive that a country that had so much going for it (and still has) would fall into the hands of the corrupt and the incompetent who sell out their own people for their own greed and ego. What became of me? Post UPNG, I had a great career which I look back on with pleasure and satisfaction - it's summarised here I give PNG and its people the credit for setting me in the right direction. They were kind, courteous and generous to me - KJ

I enjoyed the Yokomo tales when I was in community school during out weekly radio school's broadcast as well as reading his tales in print.

Ed, I'm also interested that you and Keith including other Australians and expatriates during the colonial days had enrolled and taken up studies at UPNG. An expose or list of your lot (expatriate students) during the heydays of UPNG would make a good piece of history literature for PNG.

Just my thoughts and thanks for this wonderful tale.

Can you imagine, Raymond, that in my final year politics honours group at UPNG in 1975, around the table with Prof Charles Rowley sat Rabbie Namaliu, Utula Samana, Ben Sabumei and Paul Pora Schmidt - all of whom were true leaders and went on to very distinguished careers. Fortunate was I - KJ

What happened after Edinburg, Ed, did you return to PNG?

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