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Farewell to Fitzie, PNG media giant

PNG expat websites: (2) Ex-Kiap Network

We continue our occasional series on websites developed by Australians who worked in Papua New Guinea in colonial days. Peter Salmon’s Ex-Kiap project was the first of these, launching in February 2003. It has 185 registered users, mostly ex-Peter_salmonkiaps, who have posted a total of 2,385 articles on the site. It has developed as a true mine of information about colonial PNG and events thereafter.

Peter [left] is fortunate to have a number of correspondents who post frequently and often controversially, and who offer informative and provocative reading. Arthur Williams from Cardiff in Wales has posted 394 Paul_oatestimes. And Paul Oates [right], from Boonah in Queensland, with 402 posts, is  a most prolific and entertaining correspondent, as well as being a damn good writer. Try this for size:

"Quickly my young friends called me down to where they stood in about two feet of water on the sandy top of the reef. At first, all I saw was a brown thread, corkscrewing through the water. Then the water was alive with them. As the tide came in and the water came up to my waist, hundreds and then thousands of worms arrived until they clouded the water. Some worms were as long as a foot and some only three to four inches. The worms were about one sixteenth of an inch in width and came in two colours. Some were rusty brown and some azure blue. I could feel the worms sliding around my body and as it was not a pleasant feeling, I joined a young team in a nearby canoe."

The commanding heights of discussion on the Ex-Kiap Network are in a section entitled, in that perfunctory kiap-style way, ‘General’. This is defined as “critiques, commentary, discussion, dissertations, dummy spits, essays, memories, opinions, personal reflections (don't worry about the selective memory syndrome kicking in), public affairs, reflections, sprays, theses, thoughts”. Anything but ‘General’, you’d think. There’s also an ‘Editor’s Corner’ for Peter’s occasional effusions, a useful ‘Books & Publications’ section, obituaries in ‘The Last Patrol’ and plenty of news (mainly about reunions) and photographs (many of them rare and well worth a look).

The tone of the site is conservative, most of the more prolific writers blame many of PNG’s problems on Gough Whitlam and seem to imply Australia should still be in charge today. But this is a vastly entertaining and informative site and is a must-read for anyone with a serious interest in PNG – past and present.

You can click through to the Ex-Kiap Network here.


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Susan Kaupa

I am also looking for Marc Stephan Swan, his sister is Jammie and his parents are Stephan and Lee.

This was an expatriate family living in Goroka in 1987. My mother was Marc's nanny.

Please contact me on +675 7997 4855

Susan Kaupa

I am looking for Kate and Don Watson. They have two sons, one is Neil and I forget the name of their eldest son. At time the boys were teenagers living in the Talair flats in Goroka.

Mr Watson was working with Talair in Goroka between 1985 and 1989. My late father, Michael Kaupa, was their houseboy.

We went back to the village after the expatriate family finished their stay there.

Erick Rem

I am looking for Robert William (Bob) Dobenchburg who once lived in Josephstaal, Madang Province, 1971-1974. Please email or phone me if you can assist me in any way to find him.

PNG phone 7271 6865

Corney Korokan Alone

[Quote] "The tone of the site is conservative, most of the more prolific writers blame many of PNG’s problems on Gough Whitlam and seem to imply Australia should still be in charge today." [end quote]

The tone here in Papua New Guinea is a lot different. We thoroughly appreciate what Gough Whitlam did (by the way, urged on by the UN's de-colonization agenda) to grant the wishes of our Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and the Bully Beef Club.

Despite of the many challenges of our lives', Papua New Guineans are not entertained to ever fancy any semblance of white supremacist's right-wing conservative nonsense. We are sufficiently educated on the evils of the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 where the African continent was sliced and diced up to feed European conquest and greed.

South Africa's demonic Apartheid history is something that Papua New Guinean's would not have tolerated despite of our humble bows, arrows, clubs and stones.

So the observable nonsense that clearly had a bent towards land grabbing, capitalist inclinations and a documented history of distortions in the African history has ended.

Watch here to re-learn history, denounce bad behavior and repent:

Mind you, that claptrap attempted its exploits in Papua New Guinea in the early days with some excitedly claiming the highlands of Papua New Guinea's agricultural landscape as the new Kenya, where land theft and expulsion of natives would have been an idea not too far off in their minds.

We are aware of the lives and properties lost (mostly land) in the Mau Mau Uprising (1952–1960) there (Kenya) so, no thank you to colonial imperialism in Papua New Guinea.

So no, thank you! Papua New Guinea is not a failed state. Nor is it a shit hole.

We call it Paradise and we proudly call it beloved homeland, Papua New Guinea.

White supremacy with a thinly camouflaged evangelistic so-called gospel is NOT the authentic Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. That fallacy will not land here and make its abode.

We are about common decency, respect and love for humanity's good - for everyone! Not a select entitled few. The education that we attained causes us to think, analyze, reason and care.

Matilda Andoga

Hi - My name is Matilda, I am looking for a Michael (Mike/Mick) who was in Lae, Morobe Province, and moved to Garaina in the 1970s.

The information I have is a bit unclear as I do not have the surname of Mike but would appreciate it if anyone by the first name of Michael had been in Garaina in late 1969 early 1970s. I would very much like to hear from them.

Telita Seseka

I am looking for my grandfather Michael Lawton. He was a kiap back in the 1970s and hopefully would remember my grandma by the name of Dorothy who worked with Trans Australia Airlines back then.

If anyone has information regarding him kindly contact me on .

Thank you!:)

Ross Wilkinson has responded to Telita - "There has never been an ex-kiap named Michael Lawton or similar name. However, there was a Geoffrey Michael Lawton (1964 seniority) who was a Treasury clerk in Lae and Port Moresby and in 1970 was promoted and transferred as a Clerical Officer Cl.6 to Social Security and Home Affairs.
Have no idea who he is or his current whereabouts"

Merian Bob

I have been for some years looking and trying to locate my father who in the late sixties was in New Ireland Province as a kiap on New Hanover, Taskul District.

I very much long for him to contact me and I am looking forward to seeing him. My only wish is to talk and if I have that chance to see him that will be much appreciated.

I also know Arthur Williams and I would like to pass a message to him to communicate with me.

David A Lawton

Hi folks, I saw a person looking for Tony Lock and John Balderson.

I would like to catch up as well. I did a few jobs flying helicopters for Pacific and Nationair on different camps where Tony and John were involved. Treasure those days. Respect so much the days they had previously involved with as kiaps.

Philip Fitzpatrick

There's an address list on the Exkiap website Evelyn.

John is at and Tony is at

Evelyn Sevilla, MD

Hi- I'm trying to contact ex-kiaps John Balderson & Tony Lock. They are old friends I lost
Touch with for many years as I live in the US. I plan to visit Australia in the near future & would like to connect .
I'm a practicing Neurologist living in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Michael Onne

I am searching for Robert Wilson - an ex kiap based in the central highlands of PNG, especially Woitape. would be very glad to know and get in touch

Alan Coope

I'm trying to contact Paul Oates and Sue Maxwell from Boonah who visited Falmouth Cornwall to trace an ancestor - General William Jesser Coope.

If anybody knows them could you please ask them to contact me.

Justin Parker (PNG)

I'm looking for my father, Clifton Allan Parker, who was in PNG in the early 60s up until the early 80s. The last contact I had with him was in 2000, after which he move to New Zealand to continue a project he had with a linkage arm of a machine. He told me he had a brother whom I would like to find as well. I forgot his name.

George Finall

I am looking for a Clifton Alan Parker who once lived in the Highlands of PNG back in the 60's up to the late 80's. The last I heard was he moved to New Zealand in early 2000. Please email me if you can assist me in any way to find him.

Thank you

Arthur Williams

Hi Alan - I was in WP from 1979-82 (age is setting in I think).

Cannot recall a John Reever Mind my time was mostly on Aramia River. Sori tumas.

Allan Sakopa

Just to add on from Arthur Williams story on his stay at Kawito in Western Province. Even to this day MAF is still servicing the remote areas of Western Province and Papua New Guinea as a whole. There's no more Talair and Douglas airways, but Airlines PNG (was MBA before)is servicing the major towns and stations in Western Province now. Regards to developments, Western Province is one of the least developed Province in Papua New Guinea. If you ever visit you will definetly see the hand marks of your times as kiaps in Western Province.

I salute you all who were kiaps in Western Province, becoz you taught our grandfathers and fathers the way of civilization which are experiencing now.

Eso Gae kabigibega,

Allan Sakopa
Kiunga, Western Province
Papua New Guinea.

Allan Sakopa / Kiunga,Western Province

I was actually searching the web for an expat by the name of John Reever who worked in Western Province, especially Kawito and Balimo between 1960 and 1990; when I came across your network.

I am not an ex-kiap but I was impressed to know that there exist a network for ex-kiaps.

Really enjoyed reading some stories by Arthur Williams; Hope you might have information on the gentleman I'm looking for.

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