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« The writers: Arnold Mundua – forester who keeps traditions alive | Main | Electoral desire, ignorance & enlightenment: The view from Lufa »

19 February 2017


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Arthur Williams

Enjoyed this latest post Bill. Always pleased to see them as they appear with your great maps that add to the enjoyment.

Rob Parer

When Dave Wren arrived as ADO at Aitape he did not speak Pidgin and it was hilarious listening to his court cases as everything had to be translated into English and the policeman doing it could not speak English very well. (This was when the clerk, Kalel, was not available.)

One day a court case was due to start and I heard Dave say to the policeman bringing the charge: "Police bring the guilty person in please ".

He did not drive so used one of our drivers, who was in jail, as his driver. One morning we saw about six policemen running in front of the government LandRover with Dave standing up urging them on.

I was not sure if this was a punishment or just an exercise run.

With all his unusual ways, Dave was an officer and a gentleman as the saying goes.

Rob Parer

Our house was at St Anna Plantation about 4 km east of town. I had never heard the story about Dad (Bob) and the back-flip until last year from Bill Brown himself. Dad never did it at any party I attended as he was probably scared I would kill myself trying to emulate him.

Mum did mention that Dad did a party trick of a back-flip sitting in a chair when they travelled by ship to Australia prewar. But she never elaborated so we were not sure what it was and Dad wasn't there when she told it.

We just thought Mum was dreaming as it sounded ridiculous.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Dave Wren was ADC at Balimo while I was there around 1972.

I was curious about him still being an ADC at his age but didn't enquire further. My biggest problem was avoiding his invitations to drink Negrita Rhum into the early hours at his house after work.

I was an ADO and he left the running of the sub-district to me and the LGO Peter Hawke.

Dave was clearly a broken man. Your explanation helps understand that a bit more.

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