PORT MORESBY - Early this morning, I received a ‘thank you’ note from one of the kiaps (patrol officers) John Gordon-Kirkby, now aged 84, who had served in Enga Province up to the time of Papua New Guinea’s independence in 1975.
A few days ago, John asked me to send him a dedication note with my signature on it so he could stick it somewhere in my new book, ‘Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter’, which he had just ordered.
The book has just been released on Amazon and, if you do not live in PNG, you can purchase it here. More about PNG later.
Back to the dedication of my new book, the words read:
I dedicate this book to my special ‘wantok kiap’ John Gordon-Kirkby
who in 1975 came unexpectedly to my grass thatched home at
Kondo village in Kandep, Enga Province, Papua New Guinea.
It is kiaps or patrol officers like John my wantok and missionaries
who brought change and development and opened up Enga Province
and other corners of my country.
I also thank and extend my appreciation to every kiap and missionary who opened up Enga Province and PNG and exposed the fertile and rich island to the outside world.
And a special thankyou to former kiaps like Graham Hardy and former magistrate Chips Mackellar whose full-length chapters have been used in the book.
And all the other people who’ve contributed articles and rare photographs which fit in nicely.
And not forgetting Ed Brumby, Sr Ursula Julich, Keith Jackson and Fr Garry Roche who guided me along to complete this mammoth task.
‘Victory Song of Pingeta’s Daughter’ is a book which I am sure will make you want to watch ‘First Contact’, the documentary video and read the book of the same name by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson.
It is a story about rebuilding Enga, a book that will bring back memories of the good old days in comparison to the present.
It is very sad that Amazon no longer ships book orders direct to Papua New Guinea, apparently because too many consignments have been lost in the postal system in this country.
To get them to me, they’ve had to ship my new books to Australia.
The package landed in Brisbane two day ago. Family members living in Brisbane are redirecting the shipment to me in Port Moresby.
Yesterday, I flew to Port Moresby to collect the books when they arrive. I trust DHL will deliver them to me in the next couple of days. I will then make the arduous trip back to Wabag.
On my way to the capital, I noted that DHL has an agent at Kagamuga in Mt Hagen with plans for direct international flights from Australia.
I am hopeful my expensive trips to Port Moresby just to pick up a few copies of books will stop.
Amazon does not know the hardship PNG writers face to receive their books.
I believe Amazon must reconsider its decision and deal with individuals, not bundle everybody into one group.
For instance, I received all my orders over the years except for one box.
Amazon promptly replaced it and I received it safely as I had so often before with my other orders.
I am planning to order 100 copies of my new book.
I hope Amazon will reconsider its stance and send them direct to us here to Port Moresby.
I am sure to pick them up safely from DHL’s Six-Mile depot here in the national capital.