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15 March 2017


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Thanks for your comment Perry. I have never previously seen mention of suicide in relation to the death of Owen Stanley, but I could well imagine had it been so the suicide would have been covered up. Suicide was a black issue then, especially for the son of senior cleric. Stanley had been in ill-health and grumpy for weeks beforehand according to diaries of Brierly and Huxley. It was written about at least four months before the death. However, to arrive in Sydney to news of the death of his brother and father would have been shattering, especially on top of his ill-health. Whether that contributed to him dying of natural causes or suicide is now hard to determine. However, I believe that suicide victims were not allowed to be buried on consecrated ground. Being a naval officer that could been side stepped by buying him at sea, even though he died in his cabin while in Sydney Harbour. However, I wonder if the church would have allowed the memorial plaque still in the wall of St Thomas' Church, North Sydney, to have been installed. The land he is buried in would have been consecrated after it was donated a few years earlier by Alexander Berry to house the grave of his wife.
The fact is we will never know, but I could not rule out your reference to suicide due to the sorrow of two deaths on top of ill-health.
I am glad you wish to read the book. Please contact me on Best regards.

Daniel, It was a pleasure to meet you and the group in Sydney.It is import for people such as myself to maintain contact with PNG and its people and issue. This is why I read PNG Attitude. Keep well

Hi Bob - I look forward to reading your book. There is conjecture that Owen Stanley took his own life. Hoping that was not true.

Having lived in PNG for eight years and served on survey ships in the RAN visiting many places Stanley visited, the question of his demise still haunts me. Surveyors are a tough but strange breed.

Congratulations Bob on your new book.

It was a pleasure meeting you in Sydney last September.

I followed you to the NBC studios at Five Mile in POM after you had left a decade previously.

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