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09 March 2016


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Now that's a fantastic life story, Ed.

I'm a bit late to get to it, but better late than never.

I think I was distracted by the lovely image in the article above yours.

There's something to be said about Hula frangipani's in bloom...

teasing aromas
adorning a young girls hair –
swaying moonlit palms

Baka, Marlene and Busa are fortunate to have collaborated with you - your vast and in depth experience from your halcyon days in PNG is, in my mind, still very relevant today.

You made do with what you had. You made things work.

If Pngians could embrace their history better, we would welcome such stories more broadly and learn some great lessons that might help us to move forward confidently.

Many thanks for your contributions to PNG's past and present.

Thanks Keith, I remember the name Wal Kapper. Such rich voices echoing down memory lane.

Keith, When I started work with the NBC, I met Peter Trist and John Billi Tokome who had acted out in role plays for school broadcasts. Can you name some others? I was told a lady had taken on the role of Peter in that famous radio drama 'Peter and Kinabo' Is that correct? And who was the narrator in the Standard Six drama series 'What can they do? And who acted out Yokomo?

I know both Peter and (the late) John Bili. In fact I gave JB his first role in radio (in a schools broadcast as it happened). Fay Goodman played many kids' parts including the one you mention. The Std 6 drama was initially narrated by John Rudd and, in my time, by Wal Kapper. Great people all and the very mention of their names brings back rich memories - KJ

No, Daniel, I would not claim to have initiated shift teaching. I daresay many of us had to do it. While my professional initiation was challenging, it was no where near as tough as it was for, say, some E Course graduates who had to literally go out and build their schools. And, unlike many of our colleagues, I could also enjoy the relative luxuries of electricity for a few hours every day, access to trade stores, a pub and a (segregated) social club. I had it easy, by comparison, even if it didn't appear so at the time.

The matter which riled me most was when I was refused a Higher Duties Allowance (for acting above my Education Officer 1 grade as head teacher of a Grade 5 school) in my first year of teaching because I was deemed to have insufficient experience - even though, for all intents and purposes, I was fulfilling the requirements of the position. There again, I probably wasn't alone in that regard.

Nevertheless, we all did what we had to do, regardless of the circumstances, because that was why we were there. And didn't we love it!!!

Thank you, Daniel. However, I need to point out that, regrettably, I was not involved in the production of schools broadcasts back then. The credit is due entirely to Keith and his ABC/NBC colleagues. Like you, I do remember the challenges of radio reception and flat batteries and the like during my days at Angoram and Passam.

Thank you, Barbara. Please tell Alois that I do remember him, and that Mike knew back then that Alois was destined to do well, despite his occasional cheekiness. I would be delighted to hear directly from Alois and to fill him in on what happened to Mike. I can be reached at

So, Ed, you were the initiator of 'shift teaching' in PNG while at Angoram!? I thought the kudos for that went much later to Kokopo high post volcanic eruption.

You and your colleagues at the Publications and Broadcasts Branch produced great material punctually and consistently.

Peter and Kinabo, What can they do?,Yokomo, Word Games, Current Affair programs etc influenced my early learning. I looked forward to the broadcasts and monthly school newspaper.

Thank you Ed. I now see that you and Keith Jackson were behind those popular school broadcasts. You certainly played a part in influencing our early learning through the school brodcasts and publication.

The only problem was that we Standard 4, 5 and 6 shared the same radio set which went from class to class. The batteries went flat often in the middle of a program.

Alois Jerewai also added.. I'd dearly love to know where Michael Hatch is now! I and all his class had known that one of his kidneys was removed and he was living with only one!

Last I saw him was when he visited me at the UPNG in 1973.

If anyone has information you can let me know on

Mike died in the early 2000s, I think it was. He was an ASOPA colleague of mine in 1962-63. Mike had many friends who respected him greatly and who still miss him - KJ

I placed this article on the Sepik Forum Facebook Discussion page.. which is a private page and had these comments from Alois Jerewai (now a noted lawyer)

I remember Ed Brumby quite well! When he taught at Passam Primary " T " School, between 1966 and 1968 he frequently visited Michael Hatch who at that time was the Headmaster at the Kreer Primary " T " School and my class patron. About being skinny, yes Mr. Brumby was! Such that I recited for his and Mr. Hatch's hearing the Rhyme : Fatty and Skinny went to war and fatty got shot by an apple shot.
I was punished for it by hand pumping water from the tank to the roof tank! Ha great memories!

Let him know also that my father had about the same time served as a teacher also at Kreer primary school. I was in grade 5 going onto Grade 6. And that every time he walked from Passam to Wewak, there being no road at that time, his socks collected so much grass and I was the kid who mostly removed the grass in return for a bar of cheese which I called "eating soap" at the time. Hahaha!

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