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« Interfaith conference pursues Melanesian theological identity | Main | Not always easy, not always nice, but look where we are »

26 July 2018


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Lindsay F Bond

Chris, seems you truly weathered the norm. Quite quip of your quill.
Exhaustion of opportunity flows gentler upon exhaustion of initiation?

Philip Fitzpatrick

I rather like your Dickensian description of the South Australian public service Chris. I found it much the same when I joined the South Australian Museum in 1974.

One of my fondest memories is the attendance book. This was a velum bound ledger presided over by the chief attendant. It was laid on a large table in the main gallery facing the door where people arrived in the morning.

Under the watchful eye of the chief attendant one had to write one's name, sign it and record the time to the exact minute. When the clock struck nine he drew a line in red ink under the last entry.

If you happened to arrive after this and had to sign below the red line you also had to provide a written explanation of why you were late in a special column. For a free-booting and recent ex-kiap the system was a bit hard to take.

With respect to Bougainville I'm sure the PNG government and Peter O'Neill are well aware of the precedent giving it independence will set, although I doubt that they are familiar with the elegant legalese you describe.

They are probably also aware of the provinces watching the process closely, including nearby New Ireland. If Bougainville gets independence keep your eyes peeled for a new movement called the New Ireland Republican Army.

What has also occurred to me is the potential bounty and power that will fall to politicians in Bougainville if they are successful. It won't be as big a honey pot as the PNG one but it will still be a nice little trap for sticky fingers.

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