John Neitz spent 16 years as an educator in PNG, rising to the rank of superintendent
KEITH JACKSON | From Jason Nitz
SOUTHPORT, QLD - John Desmond Neitz was born on 22 June 1934 at Torwood in Brisbane and spent his childhood in the Currumbin valley on dairy farms operated on a ‘share’ basis by his parents.
He was educated at The Beeches State School, Currumbin State School, Southport State High School and Brisbane State High School.
After high school, John entered the teachers’ training college at Kelvin Grove in Brisbane and, in 1954-55, undertook a physical education diploma course at Queensland University.
He was posted to Kragra, near Chinchilla in Queensland, and in 1957 to Palm Island off the Queensland coast near Townsville. Here he befriended triple certificate nurse Dell Jackson, but she moved to Melbourne and John decided to pursue his career in Papua New Guinea.
But Dell was not to disappear and, on 16 December 1961, John was to marry her at St James Anglican Cathedral, Townsville.
In the 16 years between 1958 and 1974, John was first a teacher and then an administrator in the PNG Education Department.
He taught at Yangoru, Pagwi and Brandi Junior High School in the Sepik District, Malabunga Junior High near Rabaul and Milfordhaven Primary School in Lae. This was followed by various postings as an inspector of schools, district education officer and later to the high rank of superintendent.