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From the Kundiawa News 50 years ago today


From Kundiawa News No 22, 6 November 1964


So the Department of Native Affairs is no more. Now the Department of District Administration will the reclassification of certain offices.

Geoff Burfoot is now a Deputy District Commission (acting), Neil Macnamara a District Officer, Ken Connolly an Assistant District Commissioner and Peter Hardie an Assistant District Officer.

With these titular changes go, naturally, salary increases. Practically all DDA staff have participated in the reclassification in some way. All that is except for the poor CPO.

Polo Prince was a name of paramount importance to three Chimbu residents after the running of the 1964 Melbourne Cup last Tuesday. Cup sweep winner included Graham Collett of Kundiawa (£20), Pauline O’Connor Kundiawa (£10) and John Biltris from Gumine (also £10).

Oala Rarua (Malaria School) and Dick Broomhead (Chuave) proved themselves to be our two leading cricketers in the Orwin Cup Competition game against Minj last week. Rarua distinguished himself with his fine batting and Broomhead with an excellent all round performance with both bat and ball.


The Administration is to be asked to clarify reports that the Highlands Highway could be delayed in reaching Kerowagi. It was stated that reports had been received telling how equipment had been removed from Kassam Pass and a delay in the reconstruction of the road between Kainantu and Goroka was feared. This in turn would probably affect progress on the Goroka-Kerowagi aection of the road.

Gumine member of the TAC, Mr Kuman Dai, asked that a new hospital be built at Gumine. He stated that the existing building was in a poor condition, having practically no equipment and no office. He also asked that a long wheel base Land Rover be made available to the hospital for stretcher cases. The intention is that improvements be carried out before a Cadet Medical Officer arrives.

The attention of the Administration is to be drawn to the Endugwa section of the Kundiawa-Gumine road in view of improving this wet-weather dangerous strip of road. A staff reporter who has travelled over the road states that failure to clear landslips and repair bridges has made this section of road very difficult to traverse even in fine weather.

Present at the Town Advisory Council meeting were the Chairman the Rev W Bergmann, Councillors Messrs Waiye Siune, Kwatinem, Kuman Dai and Father Nilles; and two observers acting Deputy District Commissioner Mr GR Burfoot and Mr GHJ Pople MHA.


Many criticisms of the Kundiawa News are being made around the town. The main one seems to be that this is an ‘Education’ paper – meaning, no doubt, that the Education Department has infiltrated into yet another medium of propaganda. Not only is this attitude false but it is no poor reflection on the Department of Education if it did dominate the staff of the paper.

Two school teachers began it and since that time few people– especially the critics - have offered to lighten their job until the last few weeks. A count of proportional representation of Administration departments and other ways of life on the staff shows: Education 5; Public Health 5; Native Affairs 4; Private Enterprise 3; Public Works 2; Housewives 2.

The, to use a euphemism, removal of so many trees around the station has had both its favourable and unfavourable implications. On the good side is the fact that yar trees, when aged, are extremely dangerous; that where many yar trees were, more sightly gardens can be planted; and that this particular tree is a great nuisance in that its needles block up gutters of any house that is nearby.

On the other hand there are two particular cases where popular feeling wants the trees to be left alone. Firstly the yar at the swimming pool was the only shade tree in the vicinity and it was quite thoughtless to chop it down.

Secondly the big jacaranda behind the Primary A School had two of its three sections amputated by the eager axeman of the Kundiawa Corrective Institution. There are also other instances where trees should have been left. To coin a phrase, ‘Live and let leaf’.


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Kuman Dai Jnr

Interesting and memorable.
I'm just imagining how those days were.
Please could you kindly email me some of those old photographs if you have some?

Mathias Kin

Bro John Kaupa - Fr John Nilles was elected Regional MP for the then Chimbu District in 1970-72 between Eric James Pyne (1968-70) and Iambakey Okuk(1972–82).

Arnold Mundua

I hear that Peter Hardie was the kiap who started Gembogl station. I'd be interested to know if he is still around.

John Kaupa Kamasua

I see Father Nilles get mentioned here.

His granddaughter made a short film of his life in PNG and especially Simbu. I think she is now a lecturer with the University of Goroka, Skul Bilong Wokim Piksa.

Did Father Nilles become a member of the House of Assembly?

Richard Jones

Ah, yes, Keith the old trenchant criticism of the harried correspondent is never far away.

Not that the critics are usually too keen to shoulder much --- make that, any - of the workload. Just a bit of sniping from the sidelines will do, thank you very much.

I well remember typing up my weekly Moresby School Sports Round-ups on the trusty Olivetti portable back in the late sixties for a midweek edition of the Post-Courier....

Not long after the column hit the paper in would come the phone calls: "Why didn't my school get a mention. Why is such-and-such a school appearing so regularly?"

Makes you wonder why you bothered but in your case, stuck in the Highlands, there were the kiaps, didimen, liklik doktas and many more to deal with. Not just chalkies.
What bliss !

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