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Do you know the names any Papua New Guinean national kiaps?


Kiap and government-appointed leaders
A kiap and government-appointed leaders - in Tok Pisin, luluais and tultuls

TUMBY BAY – Between 1961 and 1975, more than 450 Papua New Guinean kiaps were in government service during the significant period in PNG history leading to independence.

Now a group of expatriate former kiaps is seeking to find details of these men.

Several years ago, Australian kiaps who had served in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea sought to have their service recognised in a meaningful way by the Australian government and, importantly, the Australian public.

After a long campaign this recognition came in the form of the Police Overseas Service Medal.

During the campaign an attempt was made to compile a list of all the Australian kiaps who had served in Papua New Guinea.

This proved a difficult task because of the inadequate records available and it was abandoned in favour of former kiaps identifying themselves.

This list was produced but required a lot more work which has been undertaken by ex-kiap Ross Wilkinson through the Ex-Kiap website.  His work was greatly assisted by the contribution from a number of other former kiaps, notably District Commissioner Bill Brown.

Another list of kiaps who lost their lives during the course of their service was also produced by former District Commissioner and author, Jim Sinclair. This was expanded by ex-kiap Paul Oates to include all who had lost their lives whilst in service regardless of the cause.

This list is known as the Kiap’s Honour Roll. Ross Wilkinson has incorporated the honour roll into a master list, otherwise known as a nominal roll, which is divided into several categories and time periods.

Kiaps who served with the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU) during World War II have their own list, as do kiaps who served prior to the war.

These lists, although extensive, are still incomplete and further information is still coming to light.

PNGn kiap stamp (unissued)
A postage stamp from the early 1970s paid tribute to Papua New Guinean kiaps - but it was never issued

One of the categories incorporated into the master list is that containing the names and details of Papua New Guinean kiaps who served from 1961-75 and beyond.

Information about these kiaps, of which there are believed to have been more than 450 is also difficult to find.

The list represents a significant period in Papua New Guinea’s history and the part played in it by Papua New Guinean officers.

PNG Attitude readers might be interested in the list, which can be downloaded on a PDF file here, and may be able to provide further details.

Download 'Papua New Guinean Kiaps 1961-75'

One aspect that has been impossible to determine is whether any Papua New Guinean kiaps lost their lives during their service.

This and any other information would be useful in the ongoing quest to have the kiaps of both Australia and Papua New Guinea recognised for their work on a number of proposed memorials.

If you can supply any additional information it will be gratefully received and you can email Ross Wilkinson at lpwrw@tpg.com.au.


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Philip Fitzpatrick

I agree with you Garry. It's good to know the old bugger is still alive and kicking.

Any chance of a few words from him and maybe a photograph Christopher?

Garrett Roche

Christopher Kup-Ogut, I am very happy to hear that John Kup Ogut of Wipmul, Mt Hagen is still alive. Please pass on my regards to him. I can indeed remember his jolly sense of humour.

Christopher Kup-Ogut

John Kup is alive and lives in Wepmul Village, just beside Newtown, Mt Hagen, WHP. His health if failing but still in a jolly mood. In 1986 he was posted to Western Province as a Kiap until he retired in 2000 and moved back to Mt Hagen.

William R.Irapawe

Am kindly asking if any one can update to me a brief Biodata for the following people, Sinaka Goava, Edric Eupu, Cletus Harepa, Pokwari Kale, Ignatius Kilage, Posa Kilori, Boana Rossi, John Kup and Philip ToBongolua.

Robert Wilson

I see P Torot listed. His first name is Peter and he was still working with the Madang Provincial Government when I caught up with him in January 2017. Still the same bloody good bloke I remember from back in the late 70's & early 80's

Philip Fitzpatrick

Thanks Joseph. It's good to know that John is still with us.

It would be great to know where he is living and what he's been doing for the last 40 years or so.

Joseph Kup

John Kup is alive but in poor health. Gary Roche is correct with his information.

Philip Fitzpatrick

SFA I suspect Paul.

Joe Nombri was living on Coke and Panadol before he died because the government wouldn't cough up for overseas treatment.

Somare wasn't racist - he hated both white and black kiaps.

Paul Oates

That's a good point Phil. If the RPNGC were eligible for recognition, and the Australian Kiaps are eligible for the POSM etc. What are the PNG National Kiaps eligible for and what did they receive?

Philip Fitzpatrick

That's great Raymond.

The national kiaps tend to miss out on the attention that the Australian kiaps get.

The old-time police from before independence also need to be celebrated.

Ross Wilkinson

Terrific Raymond. I remember Leo from my days in Madang 35 years ago. I can't wait for his list. Please give him my best wishes and thanks.

Raymond Sigimet

I have recently communicated with ex-PNG national Kiap, Leo Winuain.

He has provided close to 50 names of PNG national Kiaps. Some of the names are in Ross Wilkinson's list while a few are not in the list.

His list has complete names of the national Kiaps excluding one with just the surname.

I don't know if he might have some more names. I will have to check up with him again before I email his list to Keith.

Ex-PNG national Kiap, Leo Winuain served in Madang Province until he resigned recently from the public service.

Philip Fitzpatrick

I was surprised at the number of local PNG kiaps there actually were.

A close inspection reveals that the majority of them were recruited between 1970-75.

This tells me that there was a clear intent on the part of the Australian administration for the kiap system to continue after independence. The idea seems to have been to replace Australian kiaps with PNG kiaps.

It's now interesting to speculate how the country might have developed had Michael Somare not had such a grudge against the kiap system.

My gut feeling is that things would have turned out a lot better.

Garry Roche

Among the PNG kiaps are several who later became prominent, one of them being Bougainville's Dr Alexis Sarei, one time high commissioner to the UK - see asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2014/09/dr-alexis-sarei-priest-politician-diplomat-dies-at-80.html

Peter Tsiamalili was also a Bougainvillean politician. Ningkama, and Joe Nombri were well known Simbu men.
Anthony Siaguru became prominent for his leadership role in Transparency International.

I seem to remember that a Veratau was serving in Western Highlands years after independence.

Raim, R. If R stands for Raphael then it may be Raphael Raim from Mokei in Mt Hagen.

Ross Wilkinson

Unfortunately, though, he was a dentist not a kiap and I guess a more appropriate photo should be used.

What a shame - much more photogenic than your average kiap. Nice set of teeth too. I've replaced the pic with (I hope) the real thing - KJ

Geoff Hancock

The man holding the child and surrounded by villagers is identified as David Cameron on a National Archives website.

The photo was said to be taken in 1948 by Jim Fitzpatrick.

Philip Fitzpatrick

Thanks Garry. I met John in Hagen in 1967. He must have just left the army then. I was doing some land purchasing and he came along to help.

I caught up with him later when he was a member of the Commission of Enquiry into Land Matters in 1972. He played up a bit and had to leave unfortunately.

I was never sure whether he was a kiap or where he served. I also don't know whether he is still with us.

Garry Roche

I believe that the person listed as 'Kup Ogut, J' is no less than John Kup of Mt Hagen. His father was Jacobus Kup. Ogut (or Ugit) was an ancestor sometimes referred to as Kuel Ugits.

John Kup had studied in Australia and later was a kiap in Western Province. I do not know if he is still alive. Phil, I think you knew John Kup. He had a brother Akai Kup.

The person listed as 'Smare, Arnold' is from Sepik and actually married Josephine Kup a sister of John Kup. Their son Anthony Smare is a company director. Arnold Smare was with the diplomatic service for some time.

'Tembon, Johannes' is probably John Tembon from Hagen from the same clan as Paias Wingti (Jika Mukuka). He died several years ago.

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