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First House of Assembly Election, Yassip Mission, 1964

DAVID WALL

First House of Election day at Yassip Catholic MissionTHIS PHOTO IS HISTORIC for what it depicts and the memories it conjures up for me.

Yassip, and its Catholic Mission, was in the area under the control of the Dreikikir Patrol Post.

In 1964 the Patrol Officer at Dreikikir was Jock McIntyre, a storybook Scotsman both large in statue and personality and the priest at Yassip was Fr Jünemann, a Hanoverian rather small in size but more than large in his spiritual qualities: humble, charming and devout.

According to Dr Shelley Durham, who spoke German with a Bavarian accent, Fr Jünemann’s accent was of the most refined high German variety.

Initially, Jock because of his Presbyterian background was a little ambivalent about the prospect of meeting Fr Jünemann when he was contemplating a patrol to the Kombi census division, the division where Yassip was.

But on meeting, these two charming, urbane and admirable individuals got on famously, particularly after the good Father produced a bottle of altar wine.

There’s no doubt Papua New Guinea threw up some extraordinary people the like of which I suspect we’ll not see again.

The extraordinary historic event in the picture is the villagers taking part in the democratic process of selecting a member of the first House of Assembly.

From memory, on this occasion it was Pita Lus who became the member for Dreikikir.

I don’t think Pita Lus was the candidate of choice for the Kombi people. But there we see the beginnings of the processes of democratic nation building.

Comments

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Peter Daugaard

A parade through Port Moresby of RAN, ARA and RAAF commemorating the forming of the House of Assembly. Does anyone remember what Sabre squadron from 81 wing, RAAF Base, Williamtown, took part in June 1964?
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The following citation may go some way towards answering your question, Peter - KJ....

"In January 1961, No. 81 Wing was re-established at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales. Flying CAC Sabres, its complement included Nos. 75 and 76 Squadrons, as well as No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit (No. 2 OCU) and a re-formed No. 481 Maintenance Squadron.

"In September 1964, Nos. 76 and 481 Squadrons were deployed to RAAF Base Darwin, Northern Territory, as part of Operation Handover, a little-publicised contingency plan put into effect during the 'Konfrontasi' between Indonesia and Malaysia.

"No. 76 Squadron's Sabres, armed with Sidewinder missiles, were to defend against possible attack by Indonesian forces following the recent establishment of the Federation of Malaysia. This was the first time since World War II that an RAAF flying squadron was positioned in harm's way on Australian territory.

"As No. 75 Squadron was effectively out of action pending conversion to the Dassault Mirage III, the deployment meant that practically the entire mainland fighter force had been committed to the north."

More here: http://www.encyclopediasearch.com/article/no-81-wing-raaf/1329139

Alan Moore

My wife and I were fortunate enough to provide accomodation to 3 members of the first House of Assembly back in 1965. Wilson Suja from Popondetta, Mangobing Kauun from Lae and Momai Pangial from Mendi. All 3 were thorough gentlemen and delightful house guests. We were living in East Ryde, Sydney at the time and our guests were studying at ASOPA in Mosman.

Peter Kranz

Was this the same as the first "common roll" elections, 1964? Must be. Don't underestimate stamps.

http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2012/09/pre-independence-png-stamps-are-still-a-delight.html

And 'statue' is fine, Jock deserves one.
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Ues, the first common roll election, a strange bureaucratic term, was the first House of Assembly election - KJ

David Wall

My mistake - should be,'...a storybook Scotsman both large in stature and personality...' - not 'statue'!
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Editor also kicks himself in arse, should've been picked up! - KJ

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