Djones Richard Jones [ASOPA 1962-63, pictured] has contributed a reminiscence to David Keating’s PNG school sports project, and I encourage you to do the same by sending your PNG school sports story to David here. Here’s an extract from Richard’s piece…..

Like our 1962-63 ASOPA convenor Keith Jackson I spent just a few, short years in the teaching business. It wasn't a profession for me I decided pretty early on. But it was through writing articles about local sport, including school track and field carnivals, for Port Moresby's South Pacific Post which later became the national daily Post Courier that I got a start in my life's real career: journalism.

I was posted to the Sogeri Primary T School in 1966 and through a friendship with 1961-62 ASOPA graduate Allyn Hicks became involved in the Papuan Amateur Boxing Association. Hicksy played rugby league for the Magani-Badili club in the five-club senior Papuan Rugby League structure, but he also had an abiding love of boxing.

I, too, had been a keen boxer at a large Victorian private school and indeed ended up as the School Captain of Boxing -- a title much grander than anything it actually implied. Anyway, the PABA needed a publicity officer so Hicksy, House of Assembly member John Stuntz and other members of the boxing body's committee installed me as the person in charge of publicity.

This involved a fair bit of driving up and down the range from Sogeri to Moresby and back, but the newspaper seemed to like accounts of the bouts arranged by the PABA and eventually wanted previews of upcoming tournaments too. The ABC pricked up their ears as well so I ended up in the Moresby studios doing live reads to air about the bouts. The airtime and newspaper column inches (this was long before metric conversion) picked up remarkably whenever a national PNG championship was nigh.


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