First House of Assembly Election, Yassip Mission, 1964
PNG Attitude's writing fellowships are off and running

The chalkie mob that triggered the start of PNG Attitude


Dubbo Dave Kesby - 1964THE ASOPA CLASS OF 1962-63 gathers in Canberra today, 50 years on, for three days of reuniting, reminiscence and solidarity.

It’s the fifth time in the last 10 years that this group of former cadet education officers has got together.

Each time the ranks thin: this week we’ll miss ‘Dubbo’ Dave Kesby [pictured as a young ASOPA graduate soon after arriving in PNG], Bill Bergen, Dave Argent and Bill Wilson. All fine men.

When the first reunion was mooted early in 2002, I committed to producing a newsletter to stimulate a bit of interest. So was born Vintage, which morphed into ASOPA People, that became a blog of the same name which later transformed into PNG Attitude.

At each step in this process, the scope of what we did expanded until we have the website as it exists today.

ASOPA, for those unfamiliar with the acronym, was the Australian School of Pacific Administration – a very important Australian-based institution in the colonial history of Papua New Guinea.

The ASOPA story is both compelling and unusual – you can read all about it here.

But back to the Class of 1962-63. Later today 36 people, including 25 of the original 58 students, one of whom was me, will convene at a haunt called the Tradies Club in the Canberra suburb of Woden.

Unlike back in 2002, when they had remained unmet for 40 years, most of them will recognise each other.

StreetsignFor three days they will catch up with each other’s recent histories, reflect on times and people past, compare medical conditions, chat and laugh a lot, probably have a bit too much to drink, and once more enjoy their shared company.

The Canberra-based organisers, who have developed a fine program but have no control over the weather, are Ian Mclean, Bob Davis and Geoff Chapman.

It will be a grand time.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Diane Bohlen

This page came up when I googled House of Assembly. This post reminded me of the good time we had at the reunion.

Your picture reminded me that I had a call from The National Museum. The caller asked me if they could have permission to use my photo of ASOPA in a display. I can't remember which display.

Diane Bohlen

Dubbo and the others were missed. Top marks to the organisers.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)