Sijo – At this hearth
My Story: I can see my country clearly now

The night the lights went out

Hagen Ball InvitationBOB TURNER

IN MAY 1963 my late wife Garda together with John and Margaret Paynter went to the Mt Hagen Show.

At that time, we were all schoolies in Goroka.

It was a pleasant and uneventful trip made in the Paynter’s small Toyota Tiara car.

On the Daulo pass, we stopped to say G’day to Sparrow Clinton who was on a grader repairing road damage.

At Hagen the four of us slept in the District Commissioner’s office, I believe without his consent.

Toyota TiaraOne of the highlights of the weekend was the Show Ball. The image above is of the entry card, which has survived all those years.

During the ball the generator failed and the hall was plunged into darkness.

I shouted, “Everybody put your hands in the air.”

At this precise moment, miraculously the generator kicked in and the lights came on.

I was immediately able to produce the line, “You see, many hands make light work!”

I still believe this to be one of my best quips and reckon it is worth another airing more than half a century on.

Unfortunately Garda died last year and I have lost touch with John and Margaret Paynter.


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Terry Shelley

I can assure you that the lights are still going out in PNG and I doubt that a million hands could fix the problem. Great story.

Bob - I went for my Sunday drive to the top of Daulo and the view is as amazing as ever.

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