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05 April 2019


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Sarah, your teardrops are real, you will not know a person until death when you will recall all the memories of a good person.

Dr Bill Standish helped us a lot. I felt the pain when Paula Brown died because she helped me with my work. Both Bill Standish and Paula Brown stayed at Mindima for many years.

Their field house in Mindima will be empty but the memories live on.

Lovely story, Sarah. So sad to learn of his passing. These sort of people are hard to find these days.

A few years ago when I published my first In Brief, I got an email from Bill which simply read, ‘Hi Theresa, Good to see that you’re writing.’ The rest of the email were morsels of information and an attachment- some of his notes about women in the 2007 election. Since then, whenever he finds anything (journal articles, news links, documentaries, books), he would always email them to me or bring it to my office. He was a regular visitor to office Room 4002, Coombs building. Whenever he’d stop by, I’d pause everything and give him my full attention. He was a good storyteller and a great listener, one of those few people who will listen to understand and not just listen to respond. A genuine and humble man.

Whenever I attend events or seminars happening on ANU campus, I usually find myself standing or sitting next to Bill. As an Ambai, it’s like he is a ‘kandre’ of mine, his very presence was affirming and encouraging as if to say, ‘mi stap, yu kam- em ples ya, yumi stap’.

My last long conversation with Bill was a couple of months ago, it must have lasted around 3 hours, we talked about Iambakey Okuk, incumbent Simbu politicians, women candidates, PNG contemporary art and everything in between. His mind was a treasure house of information and insight. I will surely miss his presence in the corridors of Coombs.
Thank you Bill for sharing your life with Simbu and Papua New Guinea.
Ena parawaii, RIP Angra Bill.

Sarah my sister. A very emotional tribute to a truly great man. Thank you.

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