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Reunion for Australian Army personnel who served in PNG

Australian and Papua New Guinean soldiers at Kerema in the 1960sGREG IVEY

A reunion for Army servicemen who served in Papua New Guinea, and their wives, will be held on the Gold Coast on Saturday 20 June.

The reunion will allow the PIB NGIB HQ PIR Association to observe the 75th Anniversary of the origin of the PNG Defence Force: the official formation of the PIB (Papuan Infantry Battalion) in June 1940.

The Association is inviting surviving servicemen from the PIB and NGIB as well as Servicemen in PNG during the post-war period.

This includes those who served or lived at Murray, Goldie River, Taurama, Igam or Moem Barracks from the 1950s to the 1980s who wish to catch up with old friends and view memorabilia from that era.

Members of allied associations, such as the PNGVR, the 39th Battalion and the 2/14th Battalion are cordially invited to participate in the commemoration service where we will pay respect to all those who died as servicemen in PNG during and after World War II.

Some formal and social activities will take place on Saturday, leaving Sunday free for informal get-togethers.

The reunion will include a commemoration service, lunch with a guest speaker, the annual general meeting for PIB NGIB HQ PIR Association members and the reunion dinner.

The commemoration service will be at Broadbeach at 11am while all other reunion activities will be at the Surfers Paradise RSL Club from 12.30pm.

The reunion date avoids the more expensive school vacations and offers participants the chance to spend a warm winter weekend on the sunny Gold Coast.

There is no reunion fee, people will pay as they go for meals and drinks.

More information about this 75th anniversary reunion is on the website

For reunion acceptances and enquiries, contact me at [email protected] or Kev Horton at [email protected].


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Barbara Walsh

I heard on Macca's show this morning that a group of soldiers who served in PNG and/or their families are having a trip to PNG on 11 November, I think regarding the Battle of Warraggy (spelling?).

I am trying to find out where this battle was as my brother and I want to go to PNG (Aitape, Maprik and Wewak in particular) and I am wondering if this is anywhere near there.

I have not been able to locate the battle that was on the radio this morning and I do not know the spelling. Does any one know of the battle or the reunion?

Yvette O'Brien

I would very much like to get in touch with Ian Lightowler who was serving in the army in Lae in 1971. He changed his name legally to Ian Grant in that same year while still in fhe army. If it is possible to find his records. He married a Lyn Crane and remained in Lae. I can be reached at the email address below, and in Australia by phone on +61413439014 thank you Yvette O'Brien

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