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An elegy for an ended war & an uneasy peace

How to catch a croc in five quite easy steps

Wanem kain mit?” I asked. What sort of meat? 
Bai you kisim sampla han, olsem.” Then you get an arm.
Bai mi nap kisim displa han lo we a?” Where do I get an arm!

Oates- pukpukPAUL OATES

CLEVELAND QLD - When stationed at Sialum in Morobe Province many years ago, I asked Councillor Zorika from Gitua whether there were any crocodiles in his area.

I was intending to do some fly fishing for Jungle Perch along the local rivers and thought it prudent to do some background research.

Zorika said there were reports of some crocodiles in and would I like to know how to catch one?

When I showed interest, the conversation went something like this:

“Pastaim yu kisim wanpla bikpla huk olsem bilo kisim sark.” First get a big hook as if you wanted to catch a shark.

“Yu painin gutpla ples lo klostu liklik wara em kapsait lo solwara na lukautim wanpla strongpla, yangpla diwai istap klostu.” Find where a little stream runs into the sea and search nearby for a strong sapling.

“Pasim displa huk lo sampla longpla rop and pasim rop lo antap liklik lo displa yangpla diwai.”  Tie a long rope to the hook and then tie the other end of the rope to the middle of the sapling.

“Olsem na bai yu kisim sampla mit na putim lo displa huk.” Then put some meat on the hook.

Wanem kain mit?” I asked. What sort of meat?

Bai you kisim sampla han, olsem.” Then you get an arm.

Bai yu nap kisim displa han lo wanem hap a?” Where do you get the arm?

Em displa tinmit istap lo stua tasol.” It’s the canned meat you buy in the trade store.

Oh, ham. That made things easier. Maybe.

‘Olsem wanem sapos pukpuk ibin kaikai huk?’ I thought. What happens if the crocodile is hooked?


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William Dunlop

Bernard, re your comments on the empty pies.

It brings to mind the sacking of the big fella Gough Whitlam by knight of the realm, Governor-General Sir John Kerr. I as a simple layman thought at the time they both lacked filling.

As I felt about the protesters hounding High Commissioner Tom Critchley at the Australian High Commission in Waigani on the ascension of Big Mal Fraser as Australian prime minister.

Paul Oates

Well at least they 'weren't short of a crust', Bernard.

The bloke in the production line putting the top on the pies was correctly performing the job he was told to do.

Probably never ate any of the pies anyway. Clearly couldn't see the point. Em no gutpla kaikai tru.

Kinda reminded me of that claim from further up north: 'We'll make you rich but we won't let you think for yourself'.

Bernard Corden

My dear William,

There was an amusing tale of two expatriates enjoying a lunchtime beer with a meat pie at a Boroko watering hole. One of them took a bite from his pie and it was devoid of any filling.

His colleague began tucking into a pie he had also purchased and it was empty too.

They both informed the bar manager who discovered that all the pies on sale in the pie warmer had no filling.

A visit to the baker and further investigation found the guy responsible for filling the pies with meat had taken a sickie and the next person in the production line merely placed the crust on top of an empty base and after baking the culinary fare was despatched to local retail outlets.

Henry Sims

Was racing gummies down from Sirinumu Dam and saw the best bait for pukpuks. A bicpela Red Setter bilong ol hotel proprietor taken from the river bank by a 4m saltie, just at the spot where we finished the race and exited the water. Made us all stop and think, then sink more SP greenies.

William Dunlop

Paul, I was in a group in the Boroko RSL around 1980 when this topic was raised.

Keith Tetley enlightened us as to the best method with hooking crocs, to wit, place a couple of detonators in the bait meat. Also best to use treble hooks, he I recall him saying.

Expanding bait* was a no-no; too damaging.

* An Australian bush term for using dynamite as a fishing technique - just light the fuse and entice the croc to swallow the delicacy. Stunned fish and pieces of pukpuk float to the surface - KJ

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