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14 posts from June 2024

Lulu’s Story


“The loss of a twin is a pain that never goes away, but you still have to live
because you are living the life of and for another”

The pain that never goes away

Some people say that losing a twin is like losing a part of yourself, a part of your identity gone that can never be replaced because it is a void that can never be filled and a hole in your heart that can never be healed.

I lost someone so close to me that I hold dear to my heart, someone with whom I shared 9 months of my first days, and being a twin is like being born with a best friend for life.

Continue reading "Lulu’s Story" »

Flying, speaking & sharing the Gospel

| Samaritan Aviation

Seventh Day Adventist Church in PNG

WEWAK - We here at Samaritan Aviation fly people to hospital on our float planes but that's just half of what we do.

Communicating the Gospel to our patients and Papua New Guinea is our ultimate priority. How do we do that?

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Grief is Courage


The heartache lingers (Generated with AI ∙ June 25  2024 at 8.52am)
Heartache lingers (Generated by AI, June 25 2024)

I've watched old women cry
at the mention of twins.
And never understood the heartache
caused at mere mention of this.
Now I do.
Heartache of losing a dear one lingers.

There are times I sit and ponder that emotion
and again the realisation creeps up on me
I too bear those same deep feelings.
My first heartbreak came when my sister died.
Grief is a constant tug of war
between trying to move forward
and not wanting to at all.
Grief is the Courage to feel loss.

Beware! Rob’s on the writing trail again


Mutiny on the 37th day.  “We want to go home now.”   “Really.”
Mutiny on the 37th day. “We want to go home now.” “Really?” Painting by Rob Barclay framed in New Guinea Rosewood (in the collection of Keith Jackson)

Rob Barclay writes letters that are as cheeky and entertaining as his books. And as energised and colourful as his paintings. Rob's just let me know that the publishing date of his next book, working title Cannibals, “has been shunted to next year as I’m busy renovating our house including a two-metre square painting for a new conservatory.” The painting here, "Mutiny on the 37th Day. 'I want to go home now.' 'Really'" depicts a young Rob confronting unhappy carriers as they realise the patrol is just settling into its work and home will be far away for some time. I hope you’ll enjoy Rob’s words which I share below and perhaps find yourself able to respond to some of his requests for help (which I’ve highlighted in bold) – KJ

Continue reading "Beware! Rob’s on the writing trail again" »

Australia & China both mistaken in PNG

| Pearls & Irritations | Republished from The Diplomat

Illustration by China Times
Illustration from The China Times

PORT MORESBY - While Australia and China have very different approaches in Papua New Guinea, both are working primarily with political elites - and alienating the PNG public.

Two recent financial deals that seemingly benefit PNG indicate the problems at the heart of the country’s political and economic outlook.

Continue reading "Australia & China both mistaken in PNG" »

The poverty of PNG’s 6-question census



WEWAK - The national population census has begun in Papua New Guinea, with the entire process scheduled to be completed in two weeks by 30 June.

From what I heard from PNG’s development partners during a briefing at the World Bank office in Port Moresby, a census questionnaire usually has 70-80 questions.

Continue reading "The poverty of PNG’s 6-question census" »

A gripping memoir of a nation’s birth


Timeline Papua New Guinea: 1949-1975 by Bill Brown MBE, a photographic memoir of the development and birth of a nation. Available free for viewing at YouTube here

Brown family 1966  Michael  Pamela  David & Bill
The Brown family in 1966:  Michael,  Pamela,  David & the Great Man himself

NOOSA – A couple of years ago, Bill Brown emailed me a link to a project he was working on and which was nearing completion.

Timeline Papua New Guinea: 1949-1975 is a slide-based memoir that traverses PNG’s critical years from the early post-war period to 1975, the year of its independence.

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Never a better time to be a writer….


Illustration from The Gates of the Kingdom (John Birmingham)
Illustration from The Gates of the Kingdom (John Birmingham)

TUMBY BAY – In 2013 I set up the book publisher Pukpuk Publications when I was looking for a lower cost alternative to the publisher we'd used for the first two editions of the annual Crocodile Prize anthology.

It was in that search for cheaper books that I came across Amazon’s CreateSpace online publishing tool as an economical method of producing the anthologies, my own work and, from 2013, books by Papua New Guinean authors.

Continue reading "Never a better time to be a writer…." »

PNG King's Birthday Honours List



Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE)

Sir John Bangkok BEM. For services to Business and to the Community.

Knight Bachelor 

Sir Arthur Llewellyn Jones OBE. For services to Business and to the Community.

Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Andrew Charles Abel. For services to Surfing Industries.

Ahmad Bin Ismail. For services to Business and to the Community.

Commodore Phillip Poleware MBE

Ian Alan Tarutia OBE. For services to Business and to the Public and Private Sectors.

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PNG’s Chinese emerge as influencers


The Chinese in PNG Cover

The Chinese in Papua New Guinea: Past, Present and Future, Edited by Anna Hayes, Rosita Henry and Michael Wood. Published 2024 by ANU Press, Australian National University, Canberra.  Free PDF can be downloaded here. Paperback version also available for $60 plus postage

TUMBY BAY - My first extended encounter with the Chinese in Papua New Guinea was in Mount Hagen in 1967.

There were several Chinese stores in the town, and a great restaurant. I think the Chinese community also had something to do with the picture theatre that was built around 1968-69.

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The impending, testy vote on B'ville

| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY – On Monday, not for the first time, the contentious matter of Bougainville’s future was debated on the floor of Papua New Guinea’s parliament.

The most controversial issue of all is that the result of the 2019 referendum, in which 97.7% of Bougainvilleans voted for independence, was intended to be non-binding.

Continue reading "The impending, testy vote on B'ville" »