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22 August 2016


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Peter Comerford

Thank you Phil. I really appreciate your positive comments and am enjoying the dialogue. If for some reason people cannot reach me via the email link my email addresses are: and Many thanks once again.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I can see a long and convoluted war beginning here Ed - perhaps we'd better drop it while we're ahead.

PS I never much wore any of the khaki crap either, sandals and Hawaiian shirts in the office and Tee-shirts in the bush.

Ed Brumby

I think you may be right, Bob: we tended to be less itinerant than kiaps, although transfers to other postings still seemed to occur at what seemed to be the whim of the local DEO.

I never did aspire to the khaki rig, Phil, preferring those terrific white cotton trade store Chinese two-pocketed shirts with black or khaki shorts, although I also wore an ex-Army hat bequeathed to me by an ex-nasho school mate. My only kiap-type affectation was to use a sock as a receptacle for my pipe (another youthful affectation) - for which I was once bawled out by a kiap who seemed to think that such a practice was reserved for you chaps.

Bob Cleland

Sounds like I'd better order this book!

I have a theory, Ed, that the sometimes prickly kiap/chalky relationship, came more from the kiap side and was based on a degree of envy.

Chalkies usually stayed at one school for an extended period allowing them to get to know the parents and nearby villagers in greater depth.

Kiaps, thanks to a somewhat questionable policy, were re-posted after two or four years. Too often to allow any serious social knowledge and relationships with village leaders to develop.

The better we knew the people, the better could be our effectiveness as administrators, developers, etc, etc. Whence comes envy.

Philip Fitzpatrick

The appreciation might have come later Ed but I think we all knew it was the case right from the start.

In some ways the teacher's contribution outstripped the kiaps. While a lot of what we did has fallen to bits the teacher's legacy lives on in the schools.

You guys just didn't get to wear the groovy khaki gear, big boots and big hats that attracted the ladies.

Ed Brumby

I was somewhat surprised, Phil, that your appreciation of what we chalkies did in PNG came so late. My own experience was that kiaps and teachers worked well together and enjoyed a particular kind of camaraderie and friendship - even if we were regarded by some kiaps as being somewhat lower in the pecking order.

I'd go so far as to say, also, that our influence on the colonial development of PNG matched that of kiaps, even if most of that was confined to classrooms.

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