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07 March 2018


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I found my copy Bob. It was sitting next to Gus O'Donnell's 1967 book 'Time Expired'. I really enjoyed that book as I recall.

Gus was a kiap who joined up in 1937 and was first posted to Salamaua. From 1945-7 he was a lecturer at ASOPA, then went on to Manus, Lae, Kokopo and Losuia. He resigned in 1952.

I was in Hagen in 1967 and there was a kiap out west somewhere, maybe Kandep or Wapenamanda, writing a novel. Never did find out who it was but I read a few pages that the typist in the Sub-District Office was typing up for him. It was pretty good. I wonder if it was ever published.

The worst PNG novel I ever read was 'Take Necessary Action' by the sisters Chris and Louise Harkness - couldn't make head nor tail of it.

Thanks for the reminder Bill. I purchased and read this book around the same time as Phil did. Having spent some seven years on 'the river' I found it interesting. Don't know what became of my copy. Lost somewhere somewhen! Must chase up the Tobruk article.

PS. Just had a thought and looked into the index of Paul Hasluck's 'A Time for Building'.

McCarthy, D gets six references. Looking at them now, it's clear that he worked closely with Hasluck when he was in the Department of Territories with 'Esky' Lambert.

I remember the book, Bill. Looking in my overflowing book shelves just now, I couldn't find it. I know I had it once. Like Phil, I must have passed it on to a charity - probably Lifeline.

I bought a copy of 'The Fate of O'Loughlin' when it came out in 1979 and assumed that Dudley McCarthy was just another kiap passing the time writing novels - there was a lot of it going around in the 1960-70s.

Thanks for the background Bill.

I wonder if it's worth another read? I've just wheeled a pile of books I bought in the 1960-70s down to Vinnies. I re-read a few and now wonder what I saw in them - lots of African stuff, Ruarke, Rand etc.

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