My Photo
Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 02/2006

« Is the Konebada Petroleum Park Authority a scam? | Main | Art & song forge closer bonds between Australia & PNG »

10 October 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ken Gorton

Hi Janece,
If this gets to you, I have just found out that Jim died in 2017. I was reading a book that mentioned him and found the website that told of his passing. I have lived happily married in Cairns for the last 55 years. Condolences and best wishes.

Biga Lebasi

I need to ask permission to do a very belated review of the James Sinclair book 'Mr B - The Life and Times of Sir Brian Bell' and I am not sure who to write to.

Would you be able to help me?

Elizabeth Dumu

Is this the same Jim (James) Sinclair who authored "MR B"- The Life and Times of Sir Brian Bell?

Philip Fitzpatrick

Quite a few of Jim's books were commissioned by the companies that he wrote about and had a limited circulation. I suspect that 'Lihir Destiny' is one of those.

Lihir is owned by Newcrest. Try contacting their media boffin, James Porteous at email:

John Douglas

Does any one Know where I can obtain a copy of "Lihir Destiny" one of the last books Jim wrote. I have seen a copy of the cover posted on the internet at an identified conference, so know it exists but i cannot find a source of supply.
John Douglas
Port Moresby

Ormond (Orm) Grace

James Sinclair was a passenger in my Talair aircraft in the PNG highlands in the early 1970's. A gentleman who will be sadly missed.

Rob Parer

I am wondering if anyone has any more information about Jim Sinclair’s last book 'The Creek'. Jim had told me it was due to be published in Hong Kong.

I did get a a message from publisher Tony Crawford to say It hasn’t been published and that Arthur Jones has the rights and he was looking for a publisher.

Tony said, “All I can suggest is just keep your ear to the ground.”

Rob Parer

Re Jim Sinclair’s last book “ The Creek “ ...Sadly I have just received a message from Tony of Crawfords to say It hasn’t been published. Arthur Jones has the rights and I believe he is looking for a publisher…Tony said “ All I can suggest is just keep your ear to the ground.”
SO THAT IS SUCH BAD NEWS.Jim slaved long & hard through his years of illness & he was excited when he finished it.THANK YOU JIM WE ALL OWE YOU BIG TIME.

Will Muskens

I was very fortunate to have worked under Jim Sinclair, first as a PO at Kalolo Patrol Post in 1962 when he was ADO Finschhafen, and then from 1971 to 1975 as ADC Goroka when Jim was District Commissioner of the Eastern Highlands.

Jim was a fine administrator who demanded a high standard of service delivery to the people, a forthright and inspirational leader much esteemed by the people in the communities he served.

It would be fair to say that Jim Sinclair was in the same league as another famous Kiap from a previous generation – the legendary J K McCarthy, and arguably the last of the “Outside Men”, that very special group of Australian explorers that endured considerable hardship and deprivation (not to mention danger) leading government patrols into the previously uncontrolled and unexplored interior of the New Guinea mainland.

Jim was “a kiaps’ kiap” and I am really sad that he is no longer with us, but his memory will always remain alive through his extensive photographic and published works.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I'm after a copy of the Edie Creek book too Tony.

Also 'The Papua Club'and the history of Divine Word.

Anyone know where copies of 'Mr B' can be had?

Rob Parer

I see Tony Crawford has posted an item & I sent his company an email last night before I saw his post.

Hope you can help please Tony.

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to purchase “The Creek “ ( Edie Creek and the Morobe goldfield. )by James Sinclair by Crawford House Publishing, Adelaide, 2015.

On your website I see that on line ordering is not possible so how do I order. Please advise ?

I had been in touch with Jim Sinclair for years while he was writing it and gave him information he was going to use. My mother & father - Mollie & Bob Parer - were gold mining at Black Cat in 1933 and at Edie Creek 1934 to 1937.

Jan his wife did not think he would finish it as he has been so sick for some years.So when he published it he told me that it was on the way from Hong Kong and I have been trying ever since to find a copy.

Today I tried again - Abe Books - Amazon Books - - Book Depository 11 Million Titles - ( 2 Million Books )- BookTopia & all nil results.Extraordinary!

I could not find the ISBN which may have helped.

Anna Omba

Rest in Peace gentle giant. PNG will always remember you.

Neil Whiting MBE

Papua New Guinea is so much richer in recorded history due to the wonderful books written by Jim.

I met him in the Post Courier library while researching information for my book "Wreck & Reefs - Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea". He was researching another of his books.

I again met him in September 2003 during the launch of his book on the history of the Papua Club.

Thank you Jim, rest in peace.

Tony Crawford

We will all miss Jim. He was definitely the world authority on PNG history.

I first met him in the 1970s whilst I was working at the PNG National Museum, when he was after some photographs for one his early books on the art of PNG.

We built up a wonderful rapport as publisher and author, that lasted till that last day.

His superb photography and knowledge on PNG instilled a valuable history in many people worldwide: academics, historians, travellers, and those who lived in PNG during the 'good old times'.

It was what he wrote that perhaps helped toward providing a greater PNG identity, "...PNG is not in South America or Africa as many thought".

Jan, enjoy the party to celebrate the man that contributed so much to Pacific history.

Mike Sinclair (Jim's youngest son)

A tribute to the life of Jim Sinclair

At about 0015 in the early morning of Monday 9 October, Jim passed away peacefully in his sleep, in hospital on the Sunshine Coast. He had been unwell for some years.

There will be a tribute to Jim’s life held on Tuesday 17 October between 1200-1500, at the Maroochy Surf Club.

The address is:

34/36 Alexandra Parade
Maroochydore QLD 4558
Tel (07)5443 1298

Bob Cleland

Yes, Arnold, research was his strongpoint. He was meticulous. I'll miss him.

Jan, please accept my commiseration.

Chips Mackellar

There's a Patrol Post up there in the sky, above the sea near Lae.
Nor'nor West of Samarai, South-East of Hansa Bay.
It has palm trees waving in the moon, where mosquitoes sting at night,
And canoes out on the blue lagoon, awaiting fish to bite.

It smells of kunai in the rain, and smoke from the valley floor,
And you'll hear the pounding surf again, on the reef beyond the shore.
It's the place where all the kiaps go, when their life on earth is through,
And they talk with all the friends they know, of the things they used to do.

They talk of all the times now past, and of places far away,
And of all the memories that last, of Independence Day.
They talk of sights and sounds and smells, and of people they all knew,
Of bugle calls and mission bells, of garamut and kundu,

Of days gone by in Samarai, and windswept coray cays,
Of tribal fights and freezing nights, and misty Highland days.
Of black-palm floors and tidal bores, and life on the River Fly,
The Kavieng Club and the Bottom Pub, and a thirst you couldn't buy,

Of carrier loads and Highland roads, at the time when we were there,
Of bailer-shell pearls and Trobriand girls, with flowers in their hair.
And when we say good-bye to you, don't mourn us when we go,
For the Big DC will call us too, and this of course we know.

That last patrol will take us all. along that well worn track,
But the difference with this final call, is that we won't be coming back.
And our parting should not cause you pain. It's not sad for us to die,
For we shall all soon meet again, in that Paptrol Post in the sky.

Farewell Jim, we'll meet again, in that Patrol Post in the sky.

-- Chips Mackellar

Arnold Mundua

Of all the expatriate authors who have written about PNG, this man was my favourite.

His well researched books accompanied by amazing historical photographs will be around for a long while and will serve as perfect history books for the future generation.

His name in PNG will live through many generations through his books.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Rob Parer

This honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from ANU in 1999 was early in his list of published books. So he was truly PNG's man of letters.

Citation relating to Sinclair's honorary degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa from the ANU: "Sinclair was a patrol officer in Papua New Guinea (1948-1975) and a author of 27 books on the history of Papua New Guinea."

`Daniel Kumbon

I have a copy of one of late James Sinclair's book 'Sepik Pilot' the story of how a WW2 veteran, Bobby Gibbs started an airline company.

I still remember four or five different planes parked on the Kandep airstrip at any one time for a couple days bringing in engineers and parts to fix a Gibbs Sepik Airways Norseman which broke down sometime in the 60s.

The pictures in the book helped me identify the types of planes that flew into Kandep in those days. We school pupils would go over to the strip to see how the huge machine was taken apart, resembled, tested again and again until it was flown away.

Jim Sinclair's passing signals the end of an era when all those early trailblazers - pilots, kiaps, planters, traders and missionaries - friends of PNG are going one by one until there are no more stars left in the heavens except memories.

May the soul of this remarkable man rest in eternal peace.

John K Kamasua

May his soul rest in eternal peace!

Max Phin

Rest in peace, a true friend of Papua New Guinea!

Bernard Corden

Jim was a close friend of my late brother Ron who was company secretary with SP Brewery during the 1970s.
The book features the SP promotional event taking Jumbo the Elephant up the Highlands Highway, which is still used to recognise birth dates as before or after Jumbo.

William Dunlop

Peter Brindley says it all.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)