What for this curse of PNG paperwork?
Grand strategies shape Australia’s world view

On board, and overboard, in the Coral Sea



NEW ENGLAND NSW - In the late 1950's and again in the early 1960's, I twice signed as a ship steward on TSMV Bulolo (TSMV being an abbreviation of Twin Screw Motor Vessel).

It was a most enjoyable ship to work on, with its exciting itinerary travelling from Sydney to Brisbane then across the Coral Sea and around the Pacific island ports of Port Moresby, Madang, Samarai, Lae and Rabaul, back to Moresby and Brisbane and then its home berth at Burns Philp Wharf in Sydney Harbour. It was a round trip of about two weeks.

Back in Sydney for about two weeks, Bulolo unloaded cargo and passengers and then replenished preparing for its new passengers, loading fresh supplies and cargo and finally passengers. Then off again on the Bulolo’s Pacific Islands odyssey run.  It was a most enjoyable journey, 

In my book of my life story, Erskineville to the Bush, I also tell of the unfortunate time I fell overboard in the Coral Sea and my rescue, to be faced with a severe dressing down by the ship's captain, Bill Wilding. My poem, Man Overboard, also tells this story. 

My book is a composite of many nostalgic and memorable instants in my adventurous, sometimes reckless, youth.



Erskineville to the Bush by Steve Langley, Venture Publishing USA, 2017, 776 pages, hardcover & paperback. ISBN-10: ‎1943265798

Steve was born in Paddington in 1936 and grew through the World War II years in the then slum areas of St Peters, Erskineville and Newtown. He was three when his father joined the Australian Imperial Force famed Sixth Division in 1939 and fought in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Steve’s German born, naturalised Australian grandfather then took on the role of father, mentor and friend. But to the street children and pupils of Erskineville Public school, Steve was a Nazi and he was bullied constantly. He learned to fight back and later made the breakaway to find a better life.

Erskineville to the Bush is the story of Steve’s life from the 1930’s, through World War II and after the war. It covers his varied career on land and on ships doing the Pacific Islands run. There was a broken marriage and then, with a new partner and 10 month old baby son, his move to an abandoned homestead on Bullock Mountain in NSW.

There, in the high ranges of the beautiful New England region, Steve found a wonderful way of life when he created a long distance horse trekking business catering to riders from all parts of the world.


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Gerry Peacock

I'm a retired advertising executive in Brisbane, settling here after some 50 years (from 1971) working in advertising in the South Pacific region: PNG, Solomons, Vanuatu, Western Samoa -American Samoa -Tonga and Fiji.

I'm interested to find out if you ever covered the history of Gordon Sioni Pacific Advertising (GSPA)?

Chris Gordon was the managing director based in Port Moresby, where he largely pioneered cinema and TV advertising in PNG.

My years were spent with the Carpenter Group in TPNG then in Fiji, followed by GSPA in PNG, the Burns Philp Group in PNG and the Pacific, Islands and then Toyota South Pacific.

Be good to hear from you.

Hi Gerry (or should I call you Piksaman?) - Well over 17,000 pieces of writing and not one on the story of advertising in PNG and the Pacific Islands. Seems you are well placed to correct that deficiency - I'd welcome anything you care to submit - KJ

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