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Bernie Woiwod

Hi Keith - This is just an update on an old story that has never died, even if many may have thought it had done so.

I am referring to the proposed memorial for the victims of the eruption of Mt Lamington on the 21 January 1951.

For the last 10 years or so a small group has worked on plans to erect a suitable memorial to those Orakavia victims of the eruption.

Money has been raised and promised, plans drawn up and changed and an area of land dedicated and changed for a more suitable memorial site.

Well at last it can be announced that funding is available, plans completed and a site settled on for the proposed memorial.

It is well known that there is the memorial cross at Lamington Memorial Park at Popondetta.

That memorial was put in place in 1952 by the Australian Administration at the time. It lists the names of the European victims on brass plates fixed to the perimeter of the cross.

That memorial is usually found to be in a completely neglected state as the local population have never accepted it as representing the Orokavia victims.

I am pleased now to say that Governor Garry Juffa of Oro (Northern) Province has instructed that funding is approved for the proposed memorial submitted by architect David Gole of Tropical Projects Port Moresby.

David Gole’s wife Mary lost her family in the 1951 eruption.

The original site for the proposed memorial was at Hohorita village near the Popondetta – Kokoda Road. It was later changed to Lamington Memorial Park near the present concrete memorial cross and also the site of a World War II memorial at Popondetta.

It has been a long journey and the number of the original witnesses to the actual eruption reduces every year.

Every year since the eruption in 1951 memorial services have been held in the Oro Province and the day marked by special activities.

We look forward to having a memorial to tell the story for future generations.

Lewis Mora

Hi Keith - I have been reading through PNG Attitude and was interested in one topic on the Tigi people of Dei district in the Western Highlands.

I am interested in Tigi plantation. Who are the people living in the Tigi area? Who are the first people John Collins met to start the coffee plantation? Who were the directors?

I would also like to know how their work has progressed.

I hope a kind reader can update Lewis on this - KJ

Graham Bone

Hi Keith
I spent four years with the PWD in Port Moresby from 1971 to 1975. During my travels I heard of a famed Admin Officer who built massive fireplaces in the Highlands. I think his surname was Faitful, but maybe one of your readers, or yourself, may be able to assist. my direct emailo is [email protected].
Beat Regards
Graham Bone

Henry Sims

Well done for you and the work of keeping Attitude online.

I have to visit several times each week and would miss the post severely should it ever not be there.

Please survive the ailments we all suffer due to our advancing years (and probably from service in the tropics). Haheauka, Tura.

PS, Isn't it a hoot that we just get used this email thing and the youngies think up Facebook and X?

Apparently the China-owned Tik Tok is the big thing now, Henry. I was worried for a nanosecond about the corruption of young minds and then realised that the next big thing will probably be with us next week. Thanks for your kind words about Attitude. It is a poor thing now, but I cannot put it down - KJ

Lloyd Bunting

The only radio we had in Port Moresby in the 1950s was 9PA VLT6. It had a children's hour and one of the shows was Tarzan. As a pre-teenager I cycled around to the ABC radio station waiting for Tarzan to come out (but of course he didn't).

There wasn't much radio security there at that time. Our family was set to fly to Honolulu to meet my grandparents. The day before we were due to fly out there were several people trying to contact my father about a phone call (apparently everyone listened to PNG/Australia phone calls over the radio). My grandmother had died in San Francisco the day before her departure, so we didn't go.

One of the great things about homes in those days was the relationship with the local people. We had a servants hut (hausboi) where our 'house boy' (as they were called) lived with his wife and son.

Today that would sound like exploitation, but I believe it was good because we had an inter-relationship. They had a house on our block, and were paid and provided with food supplies.

The 'houseboy' was Dinda from Daru. His son, Labu, and I got on well - although he did not go to our school, which was the Boroko Coronation Primary School.

My mother (a former RAAF nurse) used to watch the native woman across the street chopping wood. Her axe and body were flying as she chopped away. My mother would mutter: "One of these days...."

My mother tried to encourage the local women to wear bras. There was nothing more incongruous as a dark skinned woman wearing a large white bra.

As kids we learned a lot about relationships: native adults would talk to us as our own parents would, and we respected native adults as we did expatriate adults.

It's a shame that after Independence all of that (from all reports) seems to have been lost, and Port Moresby is now regarded as a dangerous place to visit.

As a senior executive at ANZ Bank in Melbourne, I was asked to support an improvement to the security of the staff compound in Port Moresby. The justification included awful stories. Such a shame. Of course, it was approved immediately.

In 1961 our group of pre-teen school students flew to the Highlands and walked from Kokoda to one of Port Moresby's rubber plantations. We were welcomed with hospitality at each village.

I have a sad feeling that Port Moresby is past the tipping point for recovery from entrenched corruption and violent crime.

Lloyd Bunting

Hi Keith. Noting your ABC experience, I lived in Port Moresby from ages 8 to 14 (1955-61).

My father had been at Hickam Field, close to Pearl Harbour, on 7 December 1941. He returned to the Pacific with the 22nd Bombardment Group on 1 January 1944 when General Kenney upgraded bombers in Australia and New Guinea from B-25 (Mitchells) and B-26 (Marauders) to B-24 (Liberators).

They used Wards Strip in Port Moresby as a refuelling base before missions against the Japanese until moving north and west and eventually to the Philippines.

After the war he went back to Yale (where I was born) and then came to Australia and then Port Moresby, where he worked at the Commonwealth Works Department (CWD) as an architect, designing government buildings.

In the 1950s Port Moresby was a peaceful place where kids were greatly appreciated and looked after by those who had experienced the war and the still recent history of destruction.

My mother worked in the Burns Philp store, with the big punkas overhead.

The RSS&AILA Club at Ela Beach had the only library in town. All the kids used to watch movies on Saturday mornings (matinees were really matinees [mornings]).

Saturday nights the Salvation Army used to play their band out front of the pub next to PMF (Port Moresby Freezer).

My Dad's office would rent a boat for day excursions to Fisherman's Island and Local Island. It was a wonderful place in those days.

Allen Evera

I came upon your blog by fluke while searching for writers who could share ideas and critique my writing.

The international platform is very unlikely, as it concentrates on subjects that don't depict our cultural settings but rather a much more sophisticated outlook on modern lives, times, and eras.

Our humble settings are no match to how we want to portray our identity - our culture, lifestyle, food, customs, and traditions.

I am currently writing and only just started. I first started with poetry, lost them, and now have only rekindled the fire within to write.

I feel more passionate now and wish to share my recent writings. I will be happy to hear from you back and be able to send you my draft writings.

Hi Allen - The best thing I can do is direct you to Ples Singsing, the brainchild of poet Dr Michael Dom, which is a writers' blog and 'a space for Papua Niuginian creativity'. You can find it here: - KJ

Elizabeth Janhom

Hi Keith, I'm searching for Mr Roy Tiden images.

If you have some of his pictures, it will mean a lot so I could show them to his grandchildren. Thank you.

Alan (Jim) Bryans

Hello Keith, I have a query that I hope you can signpost for me.

I am trying to contact any of Max Middleton's offspring. My family are interested in exploring Max's war escapades which I believe, are described in some manner in Sir John Middleton's book on his life on Karkar.

My grandfather Ted Bryans and Max were very close on the Western Front and I was hoping to find out if any stories had been handed down through their family.

I live in Townsville (NQ) and can travel some distance to meet if any of the family are available. Being a little naive in how to track down people, I thought I would seek your guidance.

Any advice you could provide would be greatly appreciated (especially by the remaining members of Ted's children now aged 99, 97 and 89.

If any readers can assist Jim track down Max Middleton's family or other people who may know of Ted Bryans, you can leave your info in the Comments section below - KJ

Geoff Conlon

Hi there Keith, hope this finds you well.

I'm looking for someone who remembers Henry Thomas who was an officer in PNG and who was killed/died there.

I am in contact with his daughter who never met him and she is anxious to find out more.

She is Judith Ann Thomas, now Brayshaw, of Goulburn who is a close friend of many years ago when her grandparents and mother were our neighbours in Dubbo.

If you can help Geoff track down more information for Judith, you can leave a note here - KJ

Loch Blatchford

Hi Keith - My computer crashed and I lost part of 'The Blatchford Collection'. When I try to download it from your site I get the error message - 'Not Found - The requested URL /asopa_people/files/Blatchford_1962.pdf was not found on this server.'

Can you advise how to access the material
I need?

I've been in touch with Loch about this most recently identified loss from PNG Attitude's crash earlier this year, which caused the loss of all images and all links and nearly all textual content - KJ

This note has been added to the site:

"After the devastating crash of the PNG Attitude site in early 2023, The Blatchford Collection, perhaps the largest compilation of archival materials relating to the pre-Independence Papua New Guinea education system ever brought together in the one place, has lost all its content on this page.

"The bulk of the Collection comprised letters and documents from the files of the PNG Department of Education before 1977. These were supplemented by material from other PNG departments and a number of private collections.

"Loch and I are taking what steps we can to remedy this situation."

Rod Miller

A lot has been written about the finding of the wreck of the Montevideo Maru in the last couple of days.

It wouldn't have happened without that first meeting in Keith's office all those years ago.

Lest we forget.

Audrey Ahwan

Hello Keith - I have been looking for one of my English teachers at school called Peter Kranz.

He was my English teacher, while I was at a school in Watford, England. I did a search of Peter Kranz and a link in Google led me to your blog. I see that a Peter Kranz wrote a short piece on your blog back in 2014.

I know this is very unconventional, but I see that you approve messages before they are published, so I'm hopeful that you will read this.

Is there anyway that you could share the email address of Mr Kranz? I'm coming up to my 60th birthday and am trying to track down people who made an impact on who I am today.

Mr Kranz's English lessons influenced my choice of a career in community development and social justice. I would love to be able to tell him 'thanks a million'.

If it is an absolute no-no, please feel free to share my email address with Mr Kranz.

Hi Audrey. I have provided Peter with your email address. I feel sure he'll be in touch with you - KJ

Bill Sanders

Keith, morning - Can I draw you attention to the draft Master Plan for the redevelopment by the the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust of the area around ASOPA.

Released 14 March 2923, information session on site Tuesday 21 March, comments must be submitted by 18 April.

There's not a lot in the plan that suggests an understanding of the significance of ASOPA.

And as a member of the PNGAA can you pass this message on please:

Thanks Bill. Do you know whether the old barracks that were used as ASOPA and ITI lecture rooms are still with us? - KJ

Tony Noki

Hi Keith - I have a short story about a Catholic priest who was ordained in the Komkui Tribe in Mt Hagen.

Can I email you the story to go through and possibly publish it?

I've advised Tony that we warmly welcome contributions from readers - KJ

Lewis Mora

I am interested to know more about Tigi Plantation Ltd, WHP, Papua New Guinea and want to get a copy of the book called 'Tigi Adventures' from 1967 to 1986.

Heather Hummel

I'm looking for Sue Ward, an ex Sogeri colleague. Any information will be appreciated.

David Sheekey

Hi Keith - My father was Peter (David Peter Sheekey) and I was just looking to see if you have stories in relation to him or my mother Gwen? Gwen is turning 94 this year.

I did not have the pleasure of meeting Peter or Gwen, David, and I cannot recall them being mentioned on this site (until now). May I pass on our congratulations for Gwen's impending 94th - KJ

Sharon Johnson

Hello Keith, I am wanting to gain permission to use a photo of Dr Clarrie Burke published in PNG Attitude after his passing in 2019.

I am writing an article for a newsletter, acknowledging his generous philanthropy to our organisation and would like permission to use the image. I look forward to hearing from you.

I was happy to give permission to Sharon and it is so good to know that Clarrie is remembered and still gaining recognition. He was a fine educator and a fine man - KJ

Pascale Bonnemère

Dear Keith Jackson - I am writing following the advice of Peter Franz looking for a picture of one of the cinemas that were operating in Port Moresby during the 1960s and 1970s.

It is for publication in a book I wrote on the life and work of Chris Owen, the filmmaker.

I would be grateful to you if you can tell me where I could find one or if you have one yourself that I could use (with due crediting of course). It should be 300 dpi or higher.

Pascale is a researcher in social anthropology based at CNRS-CREDO at Marseille in France. If anyone can assist with her query, Pascale's email is [email protected]

Iava Parapa-Falvey

Hi Keith - My name is Iava Parapa-Falvey and I'm the editor of the Garamut, a newsletter of the Gold Coast PNG Club.

I am writing to seek your permission to reprint the vale you wrote on the late Sir Peter Lus in the PNG Attitude on 3 October 2021.

PNG Attitude is an interesting read.

Hi Iava - You have our permission to republish the obituary with the usual attribution to author and PNG Attitude - KJ

Koraea Kingsley Lore

Commendable personality and a true friend of Papua New Guinea. Wishing you good health and a peace of mind. God bless.

Thank you Koraea, and best wishes to you and your family - KJ

Ralph Perry | Banana Leaf Books

Dear Keith - Greetings again from Chicagoland. Let me again compliment you on your PNG blog, which I enjoy regularly reading.

As a shortwave radio hobbyist, I especially enjoy the stories about historic broadcasting in PNG as well as elsewhere in Asia (like your Maldives series).

I am a retired expatriate who lived in SE Asia for about thirty years - Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines and Thailand.

And now, at the youthful age of 70, I have just finished an adventure travel novel following the exploits of a young expat essentially lost in Asia, 'Pacific Dash, From Asia Vagabond to Casino King'. The story is written under my pen name of Chet Nairene (long story there).

In 1968, a sudden job transfer catapults young Dash's family from sleepy rural Illinois to scintillating Hong Kong, a move the teen believes only temporary ... but thus begins his lifelong odyssey meandering between continents and crisscrossing Asia.

Eccentric personalities roll through Dash's vagabond existence as he roams the jungles, beaches, and cities of the Far East.

He makes amazing friendships, falls in love, saves lives, and nearly loses his own. 'Pacific Dash' continually delights with a parade of humorous but sometimes life-threatening West versus East misadventures as young Dash jostles with flamboyant characters in colourful Asian locales.

Please inform your blog readers of this work, since I think they will fit the profile of my targeted readers to a " -anybody who enjoys exotic travel adventure fiction, packed with humour and thrills.

Folk like that simply can’t go wrong with 'Pacific Dash', recently available on Amazon in paperback and ebook.


Ralph is the Publisher of Banana Leaf Books, a new imprint of exotic travel adventure fiction. We wish Ralph well both with his publishing venture and his new book, Pacific Dash. I've just ordered two copies from Amazon - one for me and one for Phil Fitz to review - KJ

Sebastian Beier

Hi Keith - Thank you for posting Georgina Beier’s obituary. It was nicely done and well researched.

Thanks Sebastian and condolences on your family's loss. Ulli and Georgina contributed greatly to PNG and their places in its history are secured - KJ

Geraldine Cabañero

Hi Keith, I am a teacher and currently works as the Curriculum Officer at Flexible Open and Distance Education (FODE).

It is a a government distance learning institution and we are now developing our courses for online delivery. Hence, we are looking for reading resources online that we can provide our students.

In this regard, I would like to ask your permission to use one of the articles to supplement our Grade 11 Personal Development topic on Role Models in Papua New Guinea.

The link to the article is:

Thank you so much and also for creating the PNG Attitude blog. I enjoyed reading the articles.

Go right ahead Geraldine. And thanks for keeping in touch through PNG Attitude - KJ

Louise Inglis

Re: Phil Fitzpatrick's post last year
I smoked Brus (sp?) in the laundry with the woman who worked in our haus long Waigani. Strong and deliciously aromatic rolled in the SP Post.

Ross Wilkinson

In response to Jim (Chuck) Dixon, an Errol George French, aged 73, died in Tamworth on 22 November 2018.

Jim (Chuck) Dixon | Goroka 1962-65

Keith - Hope you can help. I am trying to trace Errol (Froggy) French, ex Commonwealth Bank.

Last I heard he went to work for Brian Heagney.

Bit of a long shot after all those years, Chuck, but if any reader can assist they can leave a comment here and I'll put you in touch - KJ

Stephen Henningham

Hello Keith - You and your readers may be interested in a new publication in the Documents on Australian Foreign Policy Series, edited by (the late) Bruce Hunt & Stephen Henningham, with the title 'Australia and Papua New Guinea, 1970--1972: the Transition to Self-Government'.

It follows on from the volume edited by Stuart Doran on Australia and Papua New Guinea, 1966--1969.

A further volume, also edited by Hunt and Henningham, and on the period from the end of 1972 to independence in September 1975 is scheduled for publication in 2022.

If you or an associate would be interested in doing a review or short notice on the volume, please send me an email address and a postal address for us to send the volume to.

Thanks indeed for PNG Attitude which I have been reading from time to time with great interest, and from which I have learnt a lot.

John Mirmaul Domial

Hi Keith - Could you please help me find out about two brothers, namely Aina Toai Dom and Mirmaul Dom.

Both were right hand men with Jim Taylor during the colonial days in the 1950s and 1960s.

They are brothers and one is my father, Mirmaul Dom, who usually delivered mail from Simbu to Goroka and Hagen by foot to colonial kiaps.

I would really appreciate any information, photo taken during those times.

It will be a treasure to my kids and family whom I am struggling to find and explain to my family tree.

I want to thank you for educating our fathers during those colonial days, and may God bless and long live.

I any reader can assist John with this, you can leave a comment here - KJ

Ralph Perry

Keith, greetings from snowy Chicago. Bumped into your blog whilst googling around for info on Radio Maldives and enjoyed reading about your days there.

Have you compiled your various blog posts into a more comprehensive memoir? I searched Amazon but found nothing. If not, please consider doing so!

Hi Ralph - Hope you're keeping thawed in the big deep freeze. I have nothing more comprehensive but thanks for asking. A couple of decades ago, diagnosed with an illness that took me pretty much out of action for five years, I began an attack on a longer work of my Radio Days. A five chapter manuscript is mouldering in my PC, incomplete and likely to remain so. Too many diversions. Perhaps if I hit my eighties and the world slows its spin I'll get back into it - KJ

Bibra Japara

Hi Keith - I am trying to find my biological father who was doing construction work in PNG in the 1960s.

He was working on the Kumusi bridge in Oro Province in the 1967-68 period. His name might be Tom or Thomas, of Irish descent.

Any help would be appreciated.

Bibra's email is [email protected]

Daniel Doyle

Hi Keith, I don't know where I should post this:
Fee-free option for dropouts (The National)
By GYNNIE KERO THE Government has urged parents to enrol their children who have dropped out of school into the Flexible Open and Distance Education (Fode) this year […]

This is a classic example of policy on the run, decision making by politicians and not the professionals. The minister's statement is nonsense.

"The Government has paid the fees" - how could the government have paid the fees when they have no idea how many pupils will enrol? Were funds provided in the recently passed national budget? What's the line item and how much? Given that this decision was made after the budget, probably nothing.

"The Education Department is working on a plan". So, no plan for something that is supposed to be implemented" on February 1st". This involves attaching "Fode centres to high school and nominated primary schools in districts and provinces". Has any school been consulted about or appointed to host one such centre? Unlikely, without a plan.

Has FODE already printed or somehow obtained the massive amount of materials that will be required from February 1st so that "Fode students will study the same contents and they will sit for the same exams"? Dream on, especially as none other than the existing FODE centres are known.

Uguro said teachers would be paid an allowance for teaching Fode. Does this refer to work to be done after a full day teaching, or is there an unemployed cadre of teachers that no-one knows about? How much will they be paid and on what basis, per hour or as a top up to their normal salary? Who will monitor allowance claims? Has this additional expenditure been budgeted?

For at least 2 decades the education system has been greatly harmed by "political brainwaves", with little or no professional input, unplanned and un-budgeted.

Sunil Chopra

Hi Keith - Could you please advise contact details of any one who can do Tok Pisin to English interpreting over the phone for a medical assessment.

Readers who are competent in Tok Pisin- English translation should contact Sunil here [email protected] - KJ

Peter Morua

Hi Keith, your information is clearly defined and based on facts. I like most of your articles you posted on your web page.

People capture new things and new ways of living as time passes. However, the history of our people is our pride, our culture is our backbone.

Through publishing articles on culture and the past experiences of our people, we can be rooted from generation to generation. Thanks very much for that.

Judy Ireland

Hi Keith, I was just looking at information on Dylup Plantations when I found this article.

I was very interested as my husband worked on Dylup in 1971 for three years. He eventually became the Livestock Manager, and we were sad when we had to leave, because we loved our time at Dylup.

Our eldest daughter was nearly 5 so we had to come south for the kids to go to school.

I also know you name from Montevideo Maru society as I was very interested in that group, my uncle Keith Morden ‘Jim’ Smith was one of the members of ‘Lark Force’ who went down when the ship was torpedoed. Although I had never known my Uncle as he died a couple of years before I was born.

Sadly my mother died before the monument was dedicated in 2012, but she was alive at the time that mention was made in Parliament. I feel that she felt that something was being done to bring attention to the loss of her adored brother, and all his mates, so that she could ‘rest in peace’.

Phil Fitzpatrick

Muruk was a twist tobacco (trade tobacco) produced like a normal cigarette in a flip top box.

Bloody awful and eventually a flop. People preferred rolling in in newspaper.

Robert Johnston

Hi Mr Jackson! My sister and I were among the 10-15 students in your one room, all ages school in Kundiawa during 1963-67.

It was - by far - the best educational experience of my life.

I have a photo of you and the entire school and would love to send it to you. And, of course, reminisce a little about the old days! We are Robert Johnston MD and Sindi Johnston.

With much love and appreciation!

PS: Until their dying days, our Mum and Dad - Jack and Una Johnston - would sing the chorus of your song at the Christmas Show: "Marook Marook Marook, we always smoke Marook / Marook Marook Marook... the tobacco that makes you crook!" (Can't remember how to spell Marook.)

Great to hear from you Robert. I remember those days (and you guys) as clearly as yesterday. I'm sad to learn Jack and Una are no longer with us. They were wonderful people and so very supportive of the young teacher (I was 19) foisted upon the community to run the A School. I'd love to see the photo (PO Box 1688, Noosa Heads QLD 4567) and, given the memories you've triggered, will soon write more about that little school - KJ

Philip Fitzpatrick

Francis extensively revised 'Fitman, Raitman and Cooks: Paradise in Peril' a couple of years ago and we published a 2nd edition under the shorter, original title 'Paradise in Peril'.

This newer 2nd edition is available on Amazon by following this link:

Robert Butcher

Hi Keith - I'm interested in buying a copy of 'Fitman, Raitman & Cooks: Paradise in Peril' but its out of stock on Amazon.

Any suggestions where I can get a copy?

Hi Robert - I'm sure Phil Fitzpatrick can provide more information on this - KJ

Timo Berger

Dear Keith, I am a German journalist and I am looking for a contact of Michael Dom. How can I send him something - we want to invite him for a contribution to our magazine.

I have provided Timo with Michael's contact email - KJ


Hello Keith

I thought to write you having just read a note on your page where you give your experience of Uriel Porter, a bass singing Seventh-day Adventist who was given accommodation in the 1960s by your father. I knew Mr Porter from my childhood days until he died when I was a teenager as we attended the same church. I have a photograph of Mr Porter and others listening to a pianist singing after one of our services at The New Gallery Centre, Regent Street, London in the 1960s and wondered if you would like to see it?

It would be good to hear from you, take care until then and all the best.


Brendan Watkins

Hi Keith,
I've recently read Philip Fitzpatrick's excellent 'Dingo Trapper' book. I'm doing extensive family research and thought Philip may be able to assist with some queries I have about remote South Australia. Could you please forward his email address or alternatively send him mine: [email protected]
Brendan Watkins M: 0417385929
Melbourne, Australia

Nicholas Brown | Ex-Handcrafts Marketing Officer

As a Technical Officer in the Department of Commerce in the early 1970s I’m interested to know about others who were involved in business development in those days.

There was an extensive network of Business Development Officers, many of whom I met and I would like to know how their work has progressed.

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