Buruka Tau - PNG's ambassador of culture and the arts
| My Land, My Country
PORT MORESBY - My dad, Buruka Tau, who died in early September, was a larger than life character and as spontaneous in nature as jazz.
As a kid, I just saw him as dad, a musician. One day, he would be with us doing everyday things and the next he was somewhere in the world being a rock star.
Continue reading "Buruka Tau – keyboard maestro & PNG patriot" »
Philip Satchell in 2002 - "a gentle and calm presenter with a knack for getting his guests to talk at length”
NOOSA –Philip Satchell, who has died in Adelaide aged 83, spent the formative part of his 40-year career in radio with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Papua New Guinea.
He was born in New South Wales and spent a brief time with the ABC in Sydney before moving to Port Moresby in 1963, where he was one of the ABC’s leading radio presenters for six years.
Continue reading "Death of 'quiet' broadcaster, Philip Satchell" »
Professor Evelyn Lavu
| Kirby Institute
SYDNEY - The Kirby Institute joins colleagues and friends in Papua New Guinea in mourning the sudden loss of Professor Evelyn Lavu.
Professor Lavu was the country’s most senior pathologist and an internationally recognised leader in the fight against HIV, malaria and drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Continue reading "Sudden death of Professor Evelyn Lavu" »
Libby & Andrew Greig on their 1,800 km Shetland to Scilly 'New Technologies for Peace' ride in 2016
NOOSA – On Monday in Sydney, surrounded by his family, my good friend Andrew Greig died of the pancreatic cancer he had been living with for three years.
Andrew Burnford Greig, 77, born in Jerusalem in 1943, was a scholar, humanitarian, peacemaker and a man of consistent honour, courage, conviction and passion.
Continue reading "Andrew Greig, scholar, peacemaker, dies at 77" »
Hal Wootten - "Hawke said he thought PNG would not be independent for 100 years; Wootten said it would be 10"
| Sydney Morning Herald
SYDNEY - Good lawyers stick to the letter of the law. Great lawyers seek justice for the disadvantaged and a fairer society.
Such as it was with Hal Wootten, who quickly tired of working for corporate clients and instead committed himself to all sectors of society, including the downtrodden.
Continue reading "Hal Wootten, great friend of PNG, dies at 98" »
Marian Lindsay Baker established the first Public Library Service in Papua New Guinea
| My Land, My Country
PORT MORESBY - Marian Lindsay Baker stepped off the New Guinea Australia Line’s MV Soochow in Fairfax Harbour and took a look around at what would be her home for the next 21 months.
The year was 1959 and with one hand shading her eyes from the glaring sun, Marian took in the surrounding hilly savannah landscape that was nothing like her home in Sydney.
Continue reading "Libraries pioneer Marian Baker dies in Sydney" »
David Frodin, 2018 (Tony Barrett). David died unexpectedly in London on 12 August 2019, unaware that bladder cancer had taken hold and metastasised
EDITED BY KEITH JACKSON
These are edited extracts of a comprehensive obituary by Dr Rodrigo Cámara-Leret & Dr Barry Conn in Blumea, the Journal of plant taxonomy and plant geography, no 65. 2020. Link here to read the full obituary - KJ
LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS – When Dr David Gamman Frodin died in London in 2019 at the age of 79, the scientific community lost a brilliant individual and a giant of Papua New Guinean botany.
David was born in Chicago, USA, in 1940 and his love for botany began in Vermont where he spent endless summer hours walking in the woods.
Continue reading "Remembering David Frodin: A giant of PNG botany" »
Georgina and Ulli Beier returned to Nigeria for the Osogbo Awards in 1992 (Iwalewahaus)
NOOSA - Georgina Beier (1938-2021), called the ‘founding mother’ of contemporary art in Papua New Guinea, died in Sydney last Sunday aged 82.
Her husband, Ulli Beier (1922–2011), was a German editor, writer and scholar who pioneered the development of literature in Nigeria and Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "Georgina Beier, art pioneer, dies at 82" »
Dr Lance Hill - "Goodwill, combined with diplomacy and devotion to the PNG environment, saw him through”
NOOSA – Adjunct Professor Lance Hill, who dedicated 38 years to his scientific career in Papua New Guinea, died in Cairns on 1 July aged 76. The cause of his death is unknown.
Dr Hill arrived in PNG in 1970, soon after the establishment of the University of PNG, as a senior tutor in biology.
Continue reading "Lance Hill, scientist: a career devoted to PNG" »
Maev O'Collins - "Maev loved PNG, and this is seen in the many close friendships she developed over her years there"
MICHELLE NAYAHAMUI ROONEY
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - Emeritus Professor Maev O’Collins, an important person in the collective history of Papua New Guinea and Australia, has passed away in Canberra at the age of 92.
As well as Maev’s joyous and warm spirit, it was her relationships with many Papua New Guineans and her stories about her life and friends in PNG that are markers of the real friendship between the two countries.
Continue reading "Great friend of PNG, Maev O’Collins, dies at 92" »
Peter Bridger - "Lived a positive and full life, and contributed a great deal to his spiritual home of Papua New Guinea"
YUNGABURRA, QLD - My mate Peter Bridger (3 March 1951 – 26 June 2021) has sadly passed on to that classroom in the sky.
He had retired to Deal in Kent in the United Kingdom in November after 42 years in Papua New Guinea.
In 1978 Peter John Bridger responded to an advertisement in an English newspaper calling for people to teach in Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "Peter Bridger, PNG educator for 42 years, dies at 70" »
The popular Rev Victor Haste
MELBOURNE – The Reverend Victor Haste who sadly passed away this week aged 85 after a short illness, spent the early part of his ministry in Papua New Guinea.
Victor trained for the Anglican priesthood in England and came to PNG as a young man with his wife Barbara, a nurse.
Continue reading "Death of ex-Boroko priest, Victor Haste" »
The breathtaking landscape of PNG. In a nation where land is embedded in the soul, Norm Oliver spent his working life managing the volatile balance between its spiritual and economic values
MELBOURNE – It is with enormous sadness that I heard the news of the passing of Norm Oliver – former Land Titles Commissioner in Papua New Guinea, basketball stalwart and a friend to so many people throughout the country.
A native of Tempe in Sydney, Norm was a draughtsman at the Sydney Water Board before joining the PNG Land Titles Commission in the early 1960s.
Continue reading "Norm Oliver dies at 87: A great friend of PNG" »
Ruth Fink Latukefu - Turned the tables on the kiaps in the case of Herr Dr CJ Blunge
NOOSA – The esteemed anthropologist and academic Dr Ruth Annette (Fink) Latukefu (1931-2021) has died at her home in Newport Beach, Sydney, aged 89.
Ruth was born in 1931 in Frankfurt am Maine, Germany, arriving in Australia in 1939 with her parents, German Jewish refugees.
Continue reading "Death of distinguished academic Dr Ruth Latukefu" »
Chris Ashton and Ambassador Ana Pisano Ashton, 2016
NOOSA - Christopher Philip Mackenzie (Chris) Ashton – journalist, author and broadcaster – has died in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Chris had a long association with Papua New Guinea as a young man and it was there he forged a remarkable career.
Continue reading "Death of Chris Ashton, an exemplary journalist" »
Sir Jerry Nalau was part the small group that accelerated PNG independence and provided the political skills the country required
NOOSA - Sir Jerry Kasip Nalau has died in Lae aged 83 just two months after the death of his great friend and Bully Beef Club comrade, Sir Michael Somare.
Nalau and Somare met while attending Dregerhafen High School in Finschhafen in the early 1950s. Somare was in the year ahead of him.
The friendship they forged eventually brought them together again in an important moment in Papua New Guinea’s journey to independence.
Continue reading "Death of another PNG independence great" »
Andrew Peacock and Julius Chan, Sydney, 1980
NOOSA - Andrew Peacock, who has died aged 82, as Australia’s Minister for External Territories was instrumental in gaining Australian acceptance for independence in Papua New Guinea.
In 1972, then Australian prime minister William McMahon made Peacock, then aged 32, Minister for External Territories, a position that gave him responsibility for bringing Australia's colonial possession, the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, to self-government.
Continue reading "The man who was there when PNG needed him" »
Hon Scott Morrison MP
SCOTT MORRISON MP
Motion to acknowledge the life and service of the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare delivered in the Parliament of Australia by Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison on 16 March 2021, as recorded in Hansard.
CANBERRA - Mr Speaker, I move that this House acknowledge the passing on the 26th of February 2021 of Papua New Guinea Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and place on record its gratitude of his long-standing and respected relationship with Australia and tender its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.
Continue reading "Australia records gratitude to Grand Chief" »
Pauline Wapen Mango, a third grader at Lahara Avenue School in Boroko, recited a poignant poem at one of Grand Chief Somare's haus krais
PORT MORESBY - The tears kept coming as I saw two elderly men - same age, same height - smile and hug each other tightly, as best friends do after missing each other for a long time.
And indeed, they were best friends – two of Papua New Guinea’s founding fathers, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and Sir Julius Chan.
I was at Kavieng airport in New Ireland and they probably suspected this would be their last time to meet, then wave farewell forever.
Continue reading "Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare: a reflection" »
Over 840 issues between 1931 and 2000, Pacific Islands Monthly became the ‘bible’ of the South Pacific. In the mid-1960s it also spawned a famous lunch that outlived the magazine and continues to this day. Ruth Burleigh contributed greatly to upholding this tradition
SYDNEY – Ruth Jedlin Burleigh (née Palling), who died on 19 February, was born in Sydney in 1935. Her father was a teacher (later principal ) at the Scots College Junior School and the family lived on campus.
Ruth trained and worked as nurse at the Children’s Hospital until she married Steve Jedlin, whose family operated stock feed mills in Sydney and later Fiji.
Continue reading "Convenor of famed Pacific lunch dies at 85" »
Dr Harry Beran interviewing residents of Egum Islet, Milne Bay, 2017 (Luke Wong)
Dr Harry Beran was born in Vienna in 1935 and migrated to Australia in 1957. He obtained his PhD from the University of Sydney in 1974 and taught philosophy at the University of Wollongong until his retirement in 1998. Harry was a frequent visitor to Papua New Guinea and wrote numerous publications on its art. In particular he was a scholar, author and collector specialising in the Massim culture of Milne Bay Province - KJ
PARIS, FRANCE – We have lost a treasure, a library, a friend.
Early one morning in Cambridge, England, Harry Beran left us to go study the ancestors on that little island just beyond the horizon where we cannot see him anymore.
Little do the spirits there know what awaits them.
Continue reading "Death of Dr Harry Beran: Oceania scholar" »
JACKSON YALO KIAKARI
GEREHU, PORT MORESBY - One never really thinks that someone like Grand Chief Sir Michael Tom Somare will eventually have to leave us at the end of his journey.
How can someone who is very much Papua New Guinea leave us?
Continue reading "A tribute to the founding father" »
English translation follows
O Sana, bai mi tok wanem, Bikman
Anutu tasol save gut long yu
Kamap bilo yu na taim bilo go daun
Em iet i makim pinis laip bilong yu
Papa blo mi iet luksave long yu
Tasol mi bikhet olsem ol wel pik
Na kros pait long laik bilong Anutu
Mi sot long pasin blong yu na wokmak
Continue reading "Sonet 27: Sana, Bikman, Lida" »
| Academic Nomad
the sun did not rise as it used to
it knew it won’t shine on you
the heavens above mourned heavily
its tears rushing down streams
sweeping away all in its way
the clouds are low today
as if they want to get a glimpse of you
laying in your bed
to make sure it truly is true
that you are no more
Continue reading "Sana" »
Michael Somare talks to Cr Chris Gryllis of Orange and me at the PNG high commission in Canberra, 2009 (Ingrid Jackson)
NOOSA – The great nation of Papua New Guinea is in shock and in mourning following the death just after midnight yesterday of its founding father, Sir Michael Somare, long known as The Chief.
Somare was 84, a considerable age in PNG, but his mark on the nation he brought to creation seemed so indelible that he, like it, might last forever.
Continue reading "Our Chief has gone: The Michael Somare I knew" »
Michael Somare and Gough Whitlam on Independence Day, 1975 (Whitlam Institute)
RONALD J MAY
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA – With the death of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare – the man who led Papua New Guinea to independence in 1975 and became Papua New Guinea’s longest-serving member of parliament – the Pacific has lost one of its most prominent and respected leaders.
Somare was born in 1936 in Rabaul, where his father was serving as a policeman in the colonial administration, but returned to his father’s home province of East Sepik at an early age.
Continue reading "Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare dies at 84" »
The late Sir Mekere Morauta and prime minister James Marape
JAMES MARAPE MP
| Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea | Edited
I delivered this short eulogy in honour of Rt Hon Sir Mekere Morauta at his funeral service on Friday. It is short and succinct. No amount of words can adequately describe this huge persona - JM
WAIGANI - I stand today sadly to offer tribute to this great man who selflessly gave his life in service to Papua New Guinea.
Continue reading "Eulogy in honour of the late Sir Mek" »
Marj Walker and students pose outside the Sogeri High School Museum
NOOSA - Marjorie (Marj) Walker, a highly respected teacher at Sogeri national high school, died at Mount Waverley in Victoria on 31 December aged 84.
Marj was the head of expressive arts at Sogeri from 1972-85 and made a number of return visits to Papua New Guinea over the years including one in 2013 to meet former students.
Continue reading "Marj Walker, respected Sogeri teacher, dies at 84" »
Vin and Rita Smith with Bob Cleland, Rabaul, October 2010
BILL BROWN MBE
SYDNEY - Ernest Vincent (Vin) Smith, who saw notable service in Papua New Guinea as a kiap before independence and a senior public servant after, has died on the Gold Coast aged 90.
In two separate stints totalling 39 years, Vin served PNG with distinction and was admired for his coolness under pressure and great good humour.
Continue reading "Vin Smith, one of the best, dies at 90" »
Sir Mekere Morauta - "Your People Mourn"
NOOSA – The Rt Hon Mekere Morauta KCMG (popularly known as Sir Mek), Papua New Guinea’s prime minister from 1999-2002 and regarded as one of its greatest constitutional and economic reformers, has died from cancer in Brisbane aged 74.
His wife, Lady Roslyn Morauta, released a brief statement saying, “It is with the deepest sadness that Roslyn and James Morauta announce that their much loved husband and father, Sir Mekere Morauta KCMG, died peacefully in Brisbane on Saturday 19 December”.
Continue reading "Loss of an outstanding leader: Sir Mek dies at 74" »
Marlena and Michael Jeffery
| President, Papua New Guinea Association of Australia
SYDNEY –A great Australian, former governor-general, Major-General Michael Jeffery AC GCL CVO MC, died on Friday at the age of 83.
General Jeffery had a close association with Papua New Guinea as the last Australian commanding officer of 2 PIR and as co-patron of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia (PNGAA) since 2003.
Continue reading "Death of General Michael Jeffery at 83" »
Commodore Sam Bateman - a leading maritime strategist and friend of Papua New Guinea
VICE ADMIRAL PETER JONES
| President, Australian Naval Institute | Edited
SYDNEY - On 18 October 2020 Commodore Sam Bateman AM, RAN passed away aged 82. He was one of the leading maritime strategists of his generation and has left a significant legacy.
During two stints in Papua New Guinea between 1967 and 1975, Sam was senior officer of the PNG Patrol Boat Squadron, where he knew Colonel Reg Renagi, and was later Naval Officer in Charge, Port Moresby, and Director of Maritime Operations in PNG.
Continue reading "Commodore Sam Bateman's 'heart for the PNG Navy'" »
PORT MORESBY - This is the story of an old Englishman who passed last Sunday morning.
It was late when our small Korobosea Seventh Day Adventist Church group knew about his plight on Facebook and immediately stepped in to help him.
Continue reading "The death of Rodney" »
Daughter Nancy (PNG meri blouse & fedora) & Nepe with family members, 14 August 2015. Nepe is survived by 5 children, 19 grandchildren, 29 greatgrandchildren and 1 great-greatgrandchild (left of Nancy)
FIFE, SCOTLAND - The Oral History Project of Papua New Guinea’s National Museum & Art Gallery and the Military Heritage Project are essentially a national search for common identity and, dare I say, a national consciousness, in a country where divisive diversity is the norm.
The former participates in this search through a blending of different stories while the latter does so through the preservation of the materiality of World War II.
Continue reading "For God, country or what? Kumaniel’s war" »
BRISBANE - My father was a big man, a tall man, a loud man, a funny man. A man with many moods, many strengths, and the usual amount of weaknesses.
He asked me to officiate at his funeral party, and so that means here I am, struggling to express my thoughts about a life lived, a rich, adventurous life.
As I collated my thoughts in the days following his death, I was struck by how many people loved and respected my father, but also how many different people he was to others.
Continue reading "An adventurous and rich life – John Philip Fowke" »
Nahau Rooney - worked to catalyse the constitutional promises of equality, participation and a focus on rural development
SADHANA SEN & GYNNIE KERO
| DevPolicy Blog
CANBERRA - Trailblazing, hardworking, audacious, always vivacious and at times controversial – some of the descriptions offered of Papua New Guinea and Manus pioneering woman in politics, Nahau Rooney, who passed away on Tuesday 15 September, aged 75.
Nahau Rooney was one of only three women elected at PNG’s first post-Independence elections in 1977 to its 109-member national parliament, where she served as the regional member for the province of Manus.
Continue reading "Nahau Rooney: A life of achievement & controversy" »
John Fowke - astute critic and interpreter of the Papua New Guinean condition
NOOSA – John Fowke, an erstwhile contributor to PNG Attitude and forceful critic of what he (sometimes unfairly) perceived as humbug and banality, has died in Brisbane aged 81.
Fowke went to Papua New Guinea as a Cadet Patrol Officer aged 21 in April 1958.
In 1962 he changed career direction when he was appointed a Cooperatives Officer, working in the Goroka region.
Continue reading "John Fowke, rough-hewn sage, dies at 81" »
The late Francis Nii - showed us what was meant to be an authentic human being
PHILIP KAI MORRE
KUNDIAWA - A giant has fallen, his sufferings and distress he has lived. He is gone to his Father’s House where there are many mansions.
It was Sunday 2 August that I visited Francis Nii for the last time at around 11.30 am.
I saw him in so much pain and with complications such that his survival looked grim.
Continue reading "The suffering and death of Francis Nii" »
Liz and Chenz at an ASOPA class reunion in 2011
NOOSA – When the message circled the globe a few times and finally landed in my inbox it brought the gloomy news that Barry Whitby Vincent had died last Sunday. He would have been close to 80.
My immediate thought was of a young man with a friendly grin. A more pleasant fellow than Chenz not to be found.
Continue reading "A more pleasant fellow not to be found" »
NOOSA – Francis Sina Nii, the author, publisher, mentor and literary innovator, whose promising career as a banker was cut short in a vehicle accident that rendered him a paraplegic but who became a towering figure in Papua New Guinea literature, died yesterday afternoon at the age of 57.
Francis had been in ill health for some months but surviving crises was not new to him as he had fought many battles in his three decades in his bed in the critical care ward of Kundiawa General Hospital.
From this unlikely location he wrote articles, and a novel, often with no technical assistance other than a mobile phone.
Continue reading "Francis Nii, eminent literary figure, dies in Kundiawa" »
Laurie Meintjes and family, 1988
Laurie died on 15 July 2019 at his home in Cooranbong NSW. He was a kiap, teacher, writer and poet. This article, taken from his memoir ‘Pretzel Legs’, was published in PNG Attitude on 25 January 2011. There are copies of ‘Pretzel Legs’ available on e-bay, for example here
COORANBONG – He said he had never seen a White man's ghost and I told him he was lucky; that a White man's ghost is very bad business. His eyes widened.
It all began earlier that morning when I emerged from the hauskiap and saw the clay figurine glaring up at me through cowrie-shell eyes from the bottom step. Someone was meddling with my karma.
Continue reading "The white man's ghost" »
Tim Terrell and two local kiaps on the first course at Finschhafen Training Centre, 1960
TUMBY BAY - Former kiap Tim Terrell AM died in Canberra last Tuesday at the age of 90.
His passing is significant in the history of Papua New Guinea because he established the first training centre for local kiaps at Gagidu near Finschhafen in 1959-60, assisted by another kiap, Peter Foldi.
Continue reading "Trainer of kiaps Tim Terrell dies at 90" »
David Noifa - made the rest of the world XIII in rugby league
| Radio New Zealand
AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea's rugby league fraternity is mourning the death of former PNG Kumul legend, David Noifa.
Noifa died last weekend at his Warala village in Jiwaka province, after a short illness. He was 56 years old.
Continue reading "Kumul legend David Noifa dies at 56" »
PNGAttitude's obituaries column does not purport to be comprehensive, but we always publish what is submitted as a permanent record of people, very often people known to us personally, who mostly had close links with Papua New Guinea. In this feature we have reduced the length of the tributes but provide a link to the original along with the writer's name - KJ
Clarrie Burke - teacher, academic, humanitarian / by the late Murray Bladwell
Continue reading "Good people we lost: Our 2019 obituaries" »
Keith, Ingrid and Libby - we shared many good times and, with Libby coming from a family of restaurateurs, many good lunches
NOOSA - Ingrid’s mum Libby died early this afternoon.
Libby was 94, a venerable age, and had been in pretty good health until a fall, two broken vertebrae and great pain compromised that about three weeks ago.
She was born in Prague in 1925, where her parents owned restaurants and lived a reasonably comfortable life until the Communists took over Czechoslovakia after World War II.
Continue reading "The day that Libby died" »
A recent photo of Albert Toro with Elizabeth Tsitseka, who played Lucy's mother in the film ‘Tukana - Husait I Asua’
ALPHONSE M HUVI
DEVARE, BOUGAINVILLE - I was in the garden planting aibika last Wednesday when my sister approached and asked if I had heard the news.
When told me that Bougainvillean actor Albert Toro MBE had died, I was shocked and stared at her in disbelief.
My heart sank as I reflected on what Albert had contributed to Bougainville and Papua New Guinea and how he had mentored some of us. The tears fell from my eyes.
Continue reading "Death of veteran actor Albert Toro" »
The Brisbane Gang - Murray Bladwell at left with hands on Francis Nii's shoulders. These writers and their supporters ensured the PNG writers' appearance at the Brisbane Writers Festival was a roaring success
The funeral of Murray Bladwell, our dear colleague and a great friend of Papua New Guinea, will be held this coming Friday at 11am at Centenary Memorial Gardens, 353 Wacol Station Road, Sumner in Brisbane
KUNDIAWA - Death is part of the life cycle mankind must go through, but the passing of both a friend and a good person is an especially painful loss.
When I read Keith Jackson’s obituary about the passing of Murray Bladwell, shared by Robert Parer on his Facebook page, my heart stopped beating for some seconds.
Continue reading "RIP Murray Bladwell: Man of Simbu" »
How it always was - and how it always should be
NOOSA – Murray Bladwell, one of the loveliest men I have known, and our relationship had been close for 56 years, died in Brisbane this morning after a short illness.
At this moment in the cycle of grief, when a close friend has died suddenly, the mind struggles to sort the terrible reality from the expectation that such a staunch and solid figure will always be around.
Continue reading "My mate, Murray Bladwell, dies in Brisbane" »
James Tawila Wagiebu - a pioneering medical technician whose death leaves a big gap in PNG's health service
BETTY GABRIEL WAKIA
PORT MORESBY - Hela has lost one of its most dedicated, committed and humble public servants with the death of James Tawila Wagiebu (1958–2019), the most qualified Papua New Guinean echocardiographer.
And, with his death, echocardiography services in PNG have come to a temporary halt as an urgent search for a replacement continues.
Continue reading "ECG scientist James Wagiebu dies at 61" »
Peter and Russell Kranz
NOOSA – Pastor Russell Kranz, who died yesterday at the age of 94, was a church leader, composer, choirmaster, talented watercolour artist - and a good man
His legacy is one of love and achievement.
He is also the father of PNG Attitude contributor, Peter Kranz, whose words have so often stirred and delighted readers of this blog.
Continue reading "Russell Kranz, evangelist & artist, dies at 94" »