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From the Kundiawa News 50 years ago today

KN cartoon 23 October 1964COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

Issue No 21 of the Kundiawa News ran to 18 pages including five pages of advertisements and circulation had increased to about 150. There were 14 voluntary staff members, including three Papua New Guinean school teachers who were producing a Pidgin edition, Simbu Nius, whose first issue of 60 copies had sold out within minutes.


Well known Highlands identity, Mr H (Blue) Russell, was hit by a flying projectile in a Kundiawa flat two weeks ago. A beer bottle was thrown at him. Mr Russell, who was visiting Kundiawa on Council business, indiscriminately referred to Australian Labor Party leader, Mr A Calwell, as a “mug”.

The term upset an avoid ALP supporter who let loose a South pacific brewery bottle at the floor. Mr Russell was between the floor and the supporter. The bottle struck him a glancing blow on the forehead. The empty bottle did not break but Mr Russell’s head did. With a faint gurgle, he rose to his feet and pitched face down on the floor.

This small action brought the political discussion to a close. Mr Russell, supporting the Liberal-Country Party league, won on a forfeit. His proneness astounded both his opposition and his assailant. As right wing blood gushed liberally on the floor, the Medical Officer was called.

His immediate diagnosis of “acting believed drunk” was tempered somewhat by the fact that Mr Russell had a stitch inserted in the wound. Mr Russell left Kundiawa the following day – no doubt glad to leave a place where political arguments are settled, but violently.


In a circular to all Kundiawa residents on Wednesday, Acting District Officer, Mr GR Burfoot, warned all power consumers that unless a maximum 850 watt load was not observed, load limiters would be fitted to all residences. Two lists showing the consumption of various electrical appliances were also published.

The 850 watt restriction is expected to apply mainly during peak periods. An example of the restrictions as if you have an electric refrigerator don’t iron while listening to the radio in a peak period – you are immediately using 1,000 watts and are likely to eb rewarded with a blackout.


From R Orreill, Kundiawa

“To see, or not to see / That is the question!”

On Friday the second of this month, our Club President, Mr W Jeffery, made an announcement after the pictures. He stated, in effect, that he and several other people in Kundiawa were dissatisfied with the situation as regards power in our small community. He further proposed a plan to circulate a petition to be signed by all members of our community who shared his sentiments.

That night he was given a large amount of encouragement in the matter. I know, I was there! Now I find that some of our n umber are unwilling to protest about the situation as it stands. They have approached Mr Jeffery and deterred him from going through with his commendable idea. When I approached him regarding the whereabouts of the petition, he informed me of this fact.

If some people are willing to put up with the present state of affairs, well and good, but I feel there are several who would be more than willing to sign an official petition and have it forwarded to Goroka for some definite action. I personally consider that it is ridiculous to have three perfectly good engines in the powerhouse and be forced to continue using one. Isn’t it strange that the power never used to cut out like that before the electricians from Goroka came. Never before did the machine overload.


I see that Bob Delbridge, our Public Service Association representative, is back in Kundiawa after sunning himself on beautiful Ela Beach for four days. From the size of his report, it would appear that he did quite a deal of work. Welcome back Bob. So you sat up until midnight deciding to leave a motion for the next meeting…which club was that, Bob?

Our illustrious cricket captain led the team to a glorious defeat in Minj on the weekend. Congratulations, Keith! Maybe next time we’ll beat them. The score was certainly creditable – four beer glasses for one shilling!

Hate Department of Native Affairs Week is hereby proclaimed. Let’s all see what complaints we can dig up. How about going through the archives. But first remember something, we have a sorely understaffed office which is piled high with work, most of which is caused by other departments. Now that we think of it, what about the Public Works Department. I have heard rumours to the effect that we have a grader in Kundiawa. With a road like the Highlands Highway, you would never know it. Anybody been weeding around it lately?


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