Seeking Peter Kerr, ex Mumeng kiap
Greetings from the old Soviet Union

Kundiawa, Goroka and Frank Hiob

David Craig

Early in 1959, I attended what I believe was the first ASOPA short course for teachers selected for secondment to Papua New Guinea. I had been teaching in NSW for four years before applying for secondment. A distinguishing feature of our course was a very infectious influenza which swept through the school and caused the cancellation of our bulk travel booking from Sydney to Port Moresby. We were given a week’s vacation before boarding a special charter flight brought down from Townsville. We left Sydney at 2.30 am and were nearly turned back from Moresby as dusk was approaching and there was no night landing available. Fortunately we made it as the sun was setting.

I was appointed to the Henganofi Primary T School as head teacher. As I arrived, I received the news that much of the school had burnt down and one of my first tasks was to organise its rebuilding. Luckily I had an excellent Tolai couple on staff who understood building and after a few weeks we had comfortable classrooms and a dorm.

In 1960 I was appointed as head teacher of Kundiawa Primary T School, which was situated at Gon on the western edge of the station. Kondom, the paramount luluai and prominent Chimbu leader, had demanded a ‘master’ who could speak English for the school. At that stage I was the only Government expatriate teacher in the Eastern Highlands outside Goroka, except one at Kainantu. The following year some of the E course graduates from Rabaul arrived in the highlands.

My main reason for writing is to contact Frank Hiob, a Bathurst Teachers College and ASOPA graduate who taught at the Goroka Technical School in North Goroka in 1960. Des Peisker, who was mentioned in one of the ‘Missing Person’ requests was head teacher at the time. I got to know Frank on my infrequent weekends in Goroka and we spent a Christmas holiday backpacking together in Asia . This was before ‘back packing’ was in our vocab. We flew to Hollandia and went by Dutch cargo boat to Singapore and overland to Penang. We went 3rd class rail to Bangkok and flew to Hong Kong before returning to PNG.

I read with interest your tale of how you received a nickname after an episode at the Chimbu Club. The club must have changed from when I was at Kundiawa as it was very family oriented with film nights and weekend BBQs. I was secretary for quite a while.

My memories of my two years at Kundiawa are very positive as I met my wife of 46 years there. She was teaching at Ega Lutheran Mission in Kundiawa. We are now retired in Adelaide but spend 3 or 4 months a year in Asia doing voluntary teaching of English.

Congratulations on your election as president of the PNGAA. I have been a member for many years and find it extremely interesting.  Ross Johnson, the treasurer, was the kiap at Henganofi when I was posted there.

Comments

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Paul Rixon

At 82 years old, I still remember Frank Hiob, still would like to meet him again

Ed Brumby

I bumped into Frank Hiob in Sydney around two years ago. His phone number then was 02 9908 4965.

I don't have his address but I think he was domiciled in Mosman at that time.

Paul Rixon

Hi, I am a graduate of ASOPA, having subsequently taught in TPNG for ten years.

I would love to contact Frank Hiob again. I am listening at this moment to music composed by his uncle.

tg

Hello,

Did you ever find Frank Hiob?

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