VICTORIA - I had gone to Papua New Guinea in 1971 as a 25-year old seeking adventure.
I’d found life in Britain a little less exciting than I had originally hoped and wanted to do something useful.
But, in those days, I had really no idea as to what that might entail.
I was born in London and left the UK in 1972 and, determined to travel and see the world, lived and worked in Papua New Guinea, after which I took up a similar post with the Commonwealth Secretariat in the British Virgin Islands before eventually continuing my career in Australia in the early 1980’s.
I’ve been retired since 2011 and am currently working on a sequel to my first book, ‘Better than Rich and Famous – My Papua New Guinea Days’.
Arriving in PNG to captain a boat carrying cocoa and copra between Rabaul and Bougainville was a bit of a worry. Until then, my experience in sailing had been limited to messing about on a small placid lake in Britain.
Coming face to face with the implications of sailing between islands on the Solomon Sea, I had to admit the lives of others (and myself) were too precious to risk.
Staying at Kuraio on Bougainville was also a bit of a shock. The Bougainvilleans were all kind and helpful but it was all a bit too much.
Fortune prevailed however and the Voluntary Service Overseas representative managed to get me a job with the colonial Administration in Port Moresby.
This involved travelling to various parts of the country meeting craft producers in towns and villages to find out what they were making and then, back in Moresby, helping to develop a scheme to encourage the development of the handcrafts industry.
Apart from all this being of social benefit to PNG generally, I was fortunate to have time to explore the country and enjoy myself in climbing mountains, sailing and generally enjoying a great social life.
Self-government in 1972 and independence in 1975 were exciting times for Papua New Guineans and us expatriates and there was a positive mood in being part of a new nation moving forward.
With these good memories of PNG still in my mind even after so many years, I simply had to write about my experiences.
And with all the aerograms I had sent home, plus the diary I’d kept and more recently a wealth of information available on the internet, I had plenty of raw material to go on.
What became of the boat I came to captain and progress on the craft project and many other anecdotes are related in my book of the first two years of the seven I spent in this wonderful country.
A further book, to be entitled ‘Fortuity: Of Virtue and Reality’ covering progress in business development and my further adventures, will be complete by early next year.
My memoir ‘Better Than Rich and Famous – My Papua New Guinea Days’ deals with my experiences during the first two years, firstly in Bougainville then Port Moresby. I believe it would be of some interest to Papua New Guineans and expats alike (a second book relating my time over the later years is due in 2021). It is published in Britain by Mereo Books: http://www.mereobooks.com/buy-our-books-selfpublishing?writer=420 and available through Dymocks in Australia: https://dymocks.com.au/book/better-than-rich-and-famous-by-nicholas-c-brown-9781861519641 and on Amazon internationally and Australia, here: https://www.amazon.com.au/s?k=Better+than+rich+and+famous&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss