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05 February 2016


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Munro Kennedy

What a great article. Loved every bit of it. Thanks Bill.

Loani Lee (née  Healy

I lived in the house Bill described circa 1952. My father was Clarrie Healy. He was the ADO. I also stayed with the Sacred Heart nuns to make my confirmation a few years earlier. I remember that young goat on the barbecue up at the mission was quite the thing. Lots of good memories and would love to hear from who remembers those times. .

Hans Beier | ex Asuramba Plantation, Bogia

Good stuff, Bill. I spent 20 years on the north side, Bogia/Madang,from 1959-79 and there seems to be not a great deal of difference between the south (Papuan) side and the north (New Guinea) side.

The name Joe Bray in your article caught my attention. I knew a Joe Bray who was with PWD in Madang in the early seventies. He did a lot of work on the Madang - Bogia Road.

The Joe Bray I am talking about was then about 30 years of age and a real good bloke who was always prepared to help. Joe died in Brisbane probably 10 years ago. Could even be a bit longer.

Could the Joe Bray mentioned in your diary have been the father of the Joe Bray I knew? Joe was of mixed race?
I hope you'll get that book going.

Liz Harima

How wonderful to recapture a past of Kairuku, in Brown's chronicles. As a child in Waima Village on the sandy shores west of Rabao Ituna (Yule Island westerly point) in the 60s Kairuku provided an enticement for getting a white man education. Moresby was too far to reach but if you made it to Kairuku you've done well, as I was inspired to be a journalist from my secondary education at OLSH Yule Island. Much appreciated, a brief look into my past.

Terry Nixon

Great stuff. Would love to see other bifors recording their experiences.

Chips Mackellar

Superbly written, Bill. I agree with Tony. Can't wait to see these stories consolidated into a book.

Ed Brumby

Yes, Arthur, I think we all remember the silence of the weekends and, at night, only the hiss of the Tilley/Coleman/Butterfly. Or did we not hear the sounds of the bush and the birds and the binatangs ....?

Arthur Williams

Wonderful detailed picture of your arrival at first posting, Bill.

I was sent to Taskul an isolated Petrol Post on a small peninsula so nearest village was several miles away. One of my first memories is of my first Saturday....Silence!!!
It was as if the world had passed us by.

As it was in the middle of Cold War I recall thinking perhaps we on Lavongai would survive while the outside world went crazy.

30 years later when I was living on the by then rundown station again it was still the same...silence! A benefit missed by billions today.

Tony Wright

Bill, Your memoirs are always detailed, well written and interesting. Please consolidate all your service into a book for the benefit of us all.

Phil Fitzpatrick

I agree with Chris - it all has a curious familiarity to it. I arrived in 1967. There's nothing in there much different, except maybe we had Coleman lanterns and not Tilleys. Although I bought a superior Petromax for personal use.

Bera Baupa must be Leo Bera's father. I knew Leo when he arrived at Ningerum as an Assistant Patrol Officer. I later worked with him doing social mapping when he was with InterOil - he died not so long ago.

Chris Overland

Great piece Bill.

What surprises me is how little out station life had changed when I arrived in TPNG in 1969. The same kero lights, fridges and freezers were still the standard household items at Baimuru in 1970, while my house was only marginally better equipped than yours at Kairuku.

Even as a latecomer, it seems that I had an "authentic" experience, for which I am extremely grateful.

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