Waiting patiently in line (while others neglect their duties)
A Kiap's Chronicle: 3 - Kairuku

The bus that carried so many new kiaps

The kiaps Bedford bus finally expires (Chris Overland)CHRIS OVERLAND

BILL Brown’s memoir refers to an old bus in which he and other new Cadet Patrol Officers were transported  when they arrived in Port Moresby for the very first time.  

Both Phil Fitzpatrick and Paul Oates commented that they had been transported in a similar bus when they reached Moresby in 1969.

So was I and I happen to have a photo of the bus, taken when it expired on the road from Moresby to Kwikila.

The photo shows several of my colleagues entreating the driver of a passing Volkswagen to fetch help, while the bus driver tinkers ineffectually with the inoperative conveyance.

It may be of amusement and interest to PNG Attitude readers to see a photo of the bus that has stuck in our minds so vividly even after 50 years since we last rode in the blasted thing.


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

Colin Hayward

I just about missed out meeting you, Chris. I was there when Stolz was there and I remember the old clubhouse (just before the pub was opened).

I remember that four of us got behind his VW when it was parked outside the club and lifted the back end just above the ground. Stolzie sat revving the engine for a few minutes before he realised his tail was in the air.

Kwikila held out for quite a while after independence and was apparently closed down (as were most of the high schools) when the headmaster apparently stole all the school funds.

Arnold Mundua

Thanks Phil, it was in the recent times that I learnt from someone that the engine was located at the rear. Unfortunately, there is no VW around to physically prove it. But thanks, Phil.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Engine in the back Arnold. They were also air cooled. Worked well in the highlands but a bugger on the coast.

Arnold Mundua

As a kid I saw VWs running around in Goroka town driven by the expatriates thete. But I never knew that the engine was at the rear end of the vehicle like the modern cars. Is that true?

Tony Massingham

When I was eight my father Bill Massingham took on a posting teaching Manual Arts at Kwikila High School from 1969 to 1973.

Mr Stolz, the principal of Kwikila High School, drove a VW just like the one in the picture. I did a few trips to Hula and Kapa Kapa in that bus and it's replacement built on the back of an Austin Truck between 1969 and when I left to go to boarding school at the end of 1971.

Daniel Ipan Kumbon

Thanks for the photo Chris. The Volkswagen reminds me of a similar car I saw owned by one of our teachers (was it Mr McRae or Mr Wilberg?) at Kandep Primary T School in the 1960s. I think VWs were popular in the territory in those days.

Phil Fitzpatrick

I imagine that's a vast improvement on the one Bill had to endure - look at all those mod cons, glass in the windows - what luxury.

Of course, it's not dissimilar to all the PMVs that ply the Mosbi to Kwikila road nowadays. At the least they have a bitumen road I guess.

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.)