Namah case a 'waste of money & court time'
Realising the promise of the swamps

When the last old kiap dies….

Harry West OAM
Exploring the high hills in the early 1950s. The late Harry West OAM,  war veteran and kiap


They're all old now, their hair turned white as the years went rolling by,
And with every year that passes now, we see more kiaps die.
Their children scattered far and wide, grand-children further still,
And who will care when the last kiap dies, whose memory will he fill?

We'll remember all those lilting songs the mission children sang,
But who'll remember Maurie Brown, Jack Worcester or Mal Lang,
Ron Galloway or Preston White, Des Ashton or Bob Bell.
Jim Kent, Bob Fayle, or Brian Dodds, and Jack Emanuel?

We'll forget about Dan Duggan, Harry Redmond and Rick Hill.
But we'll remember Ela Beach, and the view from Paga Hill.
We'll forget about Tom Ellis, Des Martin and John Land,
And we won't remember Bill McGrath, Denys Faithful or Bill Brand.

We'll remember snow-capped Giluwe, and the islands of Milne Bay,
But not Keith Dyer nor Freddie Kaad nor Christopher Gordon Day,
Vin Smith and Graham Pople, and old Jack Battersby,
Peter Salmon and Des Fanning, and Bill Brown MBE.

And hundreds more we can recall, but too many here to name,
They all deserve our praise and thanks, they've earned eternal fame.
Heroes all of the jungle tracks, road builders of renown,
Across the country north to south, they helped build every town.

We'll remember all events now past, which developed PNG,
But the names of those who built this land, will fade from memory.
From stone age depths of PNG they helped this nation rise,
But who will morn his passing, when the last old kiap dies?


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Michael Dom

A fine poem, in the good old Aussie tradition of Henry Lawson.

This poem will record, much like the kiaps of another time, significant mileage.

"We'll remember all events now past, which developed PNG,
But the names of those who built this land, will fade from memory."

It's been said by someone wise that every person is the sum of our entire evolutionary history, our 'human being'.

And that this 'being' also includes the subconscious understanding of the past handed down to us through stories both fiction and fact.

Like sensing that you almost know something so that you only need to be reminded of one part of it.

It may well be that there is less of us being without remembering.

Remembering the kiap, is remembering our history.

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