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04 December 2018

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I cannot think of anyone who has done more for PNG than you, Keith. You have filled an enormous void and from the bottom of my heart I thank you.

I was born in Wau in 1937 and lived in Wewak until Xmas 1941. After boarding school, I went to Aitape in 1954 and spent the rest of my working life there.

Since I retired to Brisbane 10 years ago I have watched closely and seen all services in Aitape dropping away drastically.

The beautiful people of Aitape just accept that things were better 30 years ago. We had an excellent air service with six flights a week. Now nil.

We had a regular cargo shipping service and also a passenger ferry service along the coast from Lae, Madang, Wewak, Aitape and Vanimo. Now nil.

The only service which has improved is the phone and internet service with two providers.

As there are no regular newspapers, I have a blog, 'Aitape Group', and spend a few hours a day posting local and international news. We have 2,500 members and, as long as the Elcom power, is working they can get the news.
But this has problems as the power is erratic and lately they have had blackouts lasting days.

When there is a felt need either in cash or material or publishing of our books and articles, many good Samaritans in Australian like Keith Jackson, Philip Fitzpatrick and others are quick to respond.

When you give to someone who is helpless to support him self or her self your gift added more values than just ordinary Christmas presents or gifts.

Gifts are taken with tremendous appreciation and there is always a reward when you give as St Francis of Assisi mentioned, "In giving that you receive"

The giver support another person in need out of unconditional love and concern and the receiver felt deeply thankful that someone known or unknown is concern. We establish a good lasting relationship that benefits each other.

I've spent years giving people Christmas presents that I'm sure they didn't really appreciate nor which represented the spirit of Christmas.

My Christmas present to Marlene really feels different.

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