Helen Avenell writes from her base in Scotland that she’s researching the role of Scots in New Guinea from earliest contact until Independence. Helen, who you can contact at this email address, is interested in information people may have about PNG residents with a Scottish link.

One of the more famous PNG Scots, of course, was the ebullient E Course teacher, Doug Fyfe, whose association with PNG began in the late 1950s. Doug, from Glasgow, later became an educational broadcaster with the ABC, his Scots brogue familiar to radio listeners as the Form 4 Quiz master. Doug was a great entertainer, jazz pianist and raconteur.

Doug had a glass eye, the result of an exploding booby trap in the dying days of World War 2, and he may well have been the same expatriate teacher who, departing the classroom, extracted his glass eye, placed it on his desk with the admonition: “I’m keeping my eye on you!”

Helen Avenell says her husband grew up in New Guinea and has relatives who still live and work in Rabaul. Her interest in the role of Scots in PNG stemmed from her first visit to the country in 1998. She will be in Australia for three months from August working on her research.


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