Obituaries Feed

Fr Casimir Niezgoda SVD dies aged 90


Fr Dariusz Kaluza and Bishop
Bishop Dariusz Kaluza MSF and Fr Casimir Niezgoda SVD


BUKA - Bishop Dariusz Kaluza MSF  (the Catholic Missionaries of the Holy Family), who is based in Bougainville, conveyed the sad news of the death of Fr Casimir Niezgoda SVD in Kundiawa Hospital on Sunday afternoon.

“On Good Shepherd Sunday, God called his good shepherd from Papua New Guinea to eternal rest,” Bishop Kaluza said.

Continue reading "Fr Casimir Niezgoda SVD dies aged 90" »

Death of Aitape’s last Franciscan bishop

| Facebook | Thanks to Rob Parer

Gone from our midst
All now gone from our midst: Bishop Austen Crapp OFM CBE,  Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, Bishop Tony Burgess (Gianni Gattei)

AITAPE - I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Bishop Austen Crapp OFM at Sydney Royal Hospital yesterday at 5 am, a day after his 90th birthday.

An era has ended with Bishop Crapp's death, for this great man was the last  missionary priest of the Franciscan Diocese of Aitape. He had served our people as parish priest and bishop for more than 40 years.

Continue reading "Death of Aitape’s last Franciscan bishop" »

Honouring the life of Sir Hubert Murray


| Extracts of a letter from Mr Greenshields to Australian environment minister Tanya Plibersek, and copied to foreign affairs minister Senator Penny Wong and arts minister Tony Bourke MP

Murray 1

MILLSWOOD, SOUTH AUSTRALIA - This article is based on a letter I recently wrote requesting the Australian government to consider including the grave of Sir John Hubert Plunkett Murray in Australia's List of Overseas Places of Historic Significance.

In the above photo, taken in 1907, Murray is seen with a member of his staff at Government House in Port Moresby.

Continue reading "Honouring the life of Sir Hubert Murray" »

Wera Mori, senior Simbu politician, dies at 65


Wera Mori (Facebook)
Wera Mori served in a number of senior portfolios until his sacking in 2022 for abandoning Pangu, the governing political party (Facebook)

CHUAVE – The death has been reported of former Chuave MP and minister, Wera Mori, at the age of 65.

After his death, there was rioting and arson which caused significant destruction of property and the closure of the Highlands Highway.

Continue reading "Wera Mori, senior Simbu politician, dies at 65" »

Recent Notes 27: Kevin Byrne dies at 74


Kevin Byrne, who died in Cairns on Thursday, was born in Lae in 1949, the scion of a family that first set foot in Papua in 1906 when his grandfather was sent to Port Moresby as Chief Collector of Customs. Kevin received his primary education on Manus and then, like many expatriate children, travelled to Brisbane and Nudgee College for secondary schooling.

I received the sad news of Kevin’s passing from his mate, Mark Mathews, who remarked that Kevin, former chief executive of the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority and Cairns mayor, was “a great leader with vision and drive; I was privileged to work with him.” As for me, I only met Kevin – a keen reader of ours - in emails and blog comments. He was a straight talker, a thinker and a bloke who would get things done.

Continue reading "Recent Notes 27: Kevin Byrne dies at 74" »

‘Incredible’ Kostas Constantinou dies at 66


Sir Kostas Constantinou - “His impact will be greatly missed but his  vision will be cherished, especially through his philanthropy"

NOOSA – The death of leading Papua New Guinea business figure and philanthropist, Sir Kostas Constantinou at the age of 66, has deprived the country of the head of its most prominent, wealthy and politically-connected family.

In the 1950s, his father George migrated to PNG with his Greek Cypriot family to make their fortune.

Continue reading "‘Incredible’ Kostas Constantinou dies at 66" »

Lazarus Towa: a man of humility & sacrifice

| Academia Nomad

Lazarus press

PORT MORESBY - This is a difficult article for me to write. On Tuesday of this week I lost a good friend in Lazarus Towa.

Lazarus Towa was known for many traits. To those who he assisted to find jobs or help develop their curriculum vitae (CVs), Lazarus was a real professional who loved his job, his country, and his people.

Continue reading "Lazarus Towa: a man of humility & sacrifice" »

Lazarus Towa, the Job Vacancy Man, passes on

| Academia Nomad

Lazarus Towa and Michael Kabuni Feb 2021
The late Lazarus Towa meets Michael Kabuni at Vision City in February 2021 (Lyn Yana)

PORT MORESBY – Lazarus Towa, a most unusual man, has died. He was a man of great community spirit and pride in his country.

On 14 February 2021, I had a long chat with Lazarus. I blogged about it the next day and my article was republished in PNG Attitude.

Lazarus Towa ran the popular ‘Current Job Vacancy Repost with LT’ group on Facebook, which had 202,000 followers.

Continue reading "Lazarus Towa, the Job Vacancy Man, passes on" »

Farewell, my dear brother, Philip Kai Morre

Mundua     Philip recent
A recent portrait of the late Philip Kai Morre - counsellor, churchman, author, community leader


KUNDIAWA - It is often difficult to accept reports or notices of friends’ passing, especially if they are very close to you.

On the morning of Tuesday 25th April, a work colleague of Philip Morre Kai in the Community Services Division of the Simbu Provincial Government called me.

He was enquiring on behalf of the Division’s members to find out if what they heard that morning about Philip’s passing was authentic or a mere circulation of rumour.

Continue reading "Farewell, my dear brother, Philip Kai Morre" »

The story of Chief John, poet & radical

Portrait of Chief John Kasaipwalova placed on the casket for his funeral

| The National Weekender

PORT MORESBY - Her voice rose high and echoed in the big hall of the Reverend Sione Kami Memorial Church, drowning the noise of the heavy rain thudding on the roof.

The woman dedicated her song to the man she addressed as the father of her children.

Least to say, she brought the house down with emotion.

Continue reading "The story of Chief John, poet & radical" »

John Kasaipwalova, poet & radical, dies at 74

John & Keith
John Kasaipwalova and Keith Jackson back together at UPNG in 2017


NOOSA – The death of Chief John Kasaipwalova at the age of 74 on Tuesday night has robbed Papua New Guinea of one of its outstanding literary figures.

John was born in Okaikoda village on Kiriwina Island in 1949 and later proved to be a bright and outstanding student, receiving a scholarship to St Brendan's College at Yeppoon in Queensland  and from there an Australian Commonwealth scholarship to attend the University of Queensland to study arts and law.

Continue reading "John Kasaipwalova, poet & radical, dies at 74" »

Ex-PM Namaliu dies suddenly in Rabaul

Namaliu pim
The September 1990 issue of Pacific Islands Monthly features Rabbie Namaliu on its cover


NOOSA - Sir Rabbie Langanai Namaliu GCL KCMG PC died unexpectedly in Rabaul yesterday afternoon at the age of 75.

He was Papua New Guinea’s fourth prime minister, serving from July 1988 to July 1992 and held other important posts, including foreign minister, in a long career in politics.

I received news of his death from his friend Arthur Smedley, who told me he had last spoken to Rabbie about a month ago when “he was his normal self and bright and cheerful”.

Continue reading "Ex-PM Namaliu dies suddenly in Rabaul" »

Death of a giant: A tribute to James Arba MBE

James Arba MBE - authentic, wise and down to earth


KUNDIAWA - It was on the last day of January that Philip Kai got the news that his brother and tribesman, retired public servant James Arba (pictured), had just passed away at Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital in Kundiawa.

“I wasn’t prepared for that and was shocked. It was the saddest day of my life,” said Philip, “as I looked upon James as an elder brother who I turned to for prudent advice. Now he is gone forever.

Continue reading "Death of a giant: A tribute to James Arba MBE" »

Great men die twice: Angel Pesevski's legacy

Gordon Peake
Gordon Peake (far left) and Angel Pesevski (bottom right) with colleagues, Bougainville, 2016 (Gordon Peake)

| DevPolicy Blog

ADELAIDE - Angel Pesevski, a former colleague of mine who became a good friend, passed away in Türkiye, one of the untold number of victims of the recent earthquake.

Angel and I met in Buka in 2016. He was working as a management adviser in the aid project I joined.

Continue reading "Great men die twice: Angel Pesevski's legacy" »

Déwé Gorodé: champion of Oceanic culture

In September 1974, Déwé Gorodé and Susanna Ounei were arrested for protesting against ceremonies that commemorated the colonisation of New Caledonia. It was the first of three stints in jail, and in prison she wrote poetry and joined other young people to reflect on the role of women in the independence movement

Déwé Gorodé  Melbourne  1987
Déwé Gorodé during a visit to Melbourne in August 1987. The text on the whiteboard reads:
"My country is Kanaky" in her language Paicȋ (The Age).

Yesterday before they landed
in our history
of roots recited
of origins memorised
who you were exactly
what your place was
in the world of our people

It’s up to you, my mother,
it’s up to you, my sister
to try and find out….

Millenia’ by Déwé Gorodé, written in Camp Est prison, 1974

Continue reading "Déwé Gorodé: champion of Oceanic culture" »

Peter Ryan, writer: Never an ugly sentence

From his hospital bed Peter’s last words were spoken to his wife, Davey. “I have to get back to my desk.” In the last day of his life all he wanted to do was work on his next Quadrant column

Tidey Ryan top
Peter Ryan amongst his books. He wrote "the finest Australian memoir of war"

| ‘Soldier, Writer, Publisher’: Obituary of Peter Ryan
| Sydney Morning Herald, 22 December 2015

SYDNEY - It was once said of Peter Ryan that he climbed many mountains in his life and that his view of things was invariably an elevated one.

His death on 13 December 2015, at 92, has removed quite a remarkable Australian – a war hero, a gifted writer and columnist, publisher, raconteur and mischief-maker.

Continue reading "Peter Ryan, writer: Never an ugly sentence" »

With Sir Jacob Luke's death, a torch went out

Jackson Kiakari's father, Pastor Thomas Bob, and Jacob Luke were ace tractor drivers and mechanics at Pausa Lutheran High School in Enga Province. As sons of the Sakalin people, they bonded and remained very close friends to the end of Jacob's life

Jacob luke
Chief Sir Jacob Lengepombet Sole Luke: A testament to the belief that a person could rise to the top from just about anywhere and remain humble

| A Personal Tribute

PORT MORESBY - Only a few rise to the very top - to the highest echelons of business and life.

And from this small group, there are fewer still who choose to remain humane, humble and simple.

Continue reading "With Sir Jacob Luke's death, a torch went out" »

Authentic bikman: Memories of Sir Jacob Luke

“Jacob had a rare quality for a famous person in PNG, he was famous for his humility and kindness, and not an infamous thief like many others.  He has left a true impression that transcends wealth”

The late Sir Jacob Luke


Luke - A Mapai truckNOOSA - “Did you ever run into Jacob Luke? It was sad news to hear of his passing,” the message said.

“I had the pleasure of meeting him on a trade mission to Tokyo. I didn’t realise how wealthy he was as he was so humble.

"I saw him a couple of weeks ago with a new jet and now this week’s sad news….”

Continue reading "Authentic bikman: Memories of Sir Jacob Luke" »

Long-serving taxman John Lohberger dies

John Lohberger OBE wrote many of Papua New Guinea's taxation laws in his 18 years serving as taxation commissioner in the Internal Revenue Commission



NOOSA – Papua New Guinea’s former long-serving taxation commissioner, and spare time rally car enthusiast, John Lohberger, died in February aged 84 after a short illness.

John Wolfgang Lohberger OBE (1937-2022) spent his youth in Hobart before beginning his career with the Australian Tax Office in Victoria, where he became the youngest person to be appointed as a full taxation assessor.

Continue reading "Long-serving taxman John Lohberger dies" »

Dr Sheldon Weeks, UPNG educator, dies at 90

Weeks was well settled as an educator when in 1974 he was appointed research professor and director of the educational research unit at the University of Papua New Guinea. And in PNG he was to marry for a third time

Sheldon Weeks
Dr Sheldon Griswald Weeks (1931-2022) - educator, traveller, writer and Quaker


NOOSA - Sheldon Griswold Weeks who spent 17 years as a university professor and educator in Papua New Guinea has died in Vermont, USA, aged 90.

Weeks was born on 18 November 1931 in New York, graduating from Brooklyn Friends High School in 1949 where he had been active in art, writing and sports as well as academic pursuits.

Continue reading "Dr Sheldon Weeks, UPNG educator, dies at 90" »

Rabaul-born Philip (Hooky) Street dies at 91

The government's insensitivity to the widows and children continued long after the war until, in 2009, a small group from the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia formed a task force to do address the long official silence

Rabaul's main street 1942
Rabaul's main street as it was just before the Japanese invasion in 1942


NOOSA – The family of Philip (Hooky) Street, who died recently in Sydney aged 91, was among the small Australian population of Rabaul just before the Japanese invasion in January 1942.

Most of those families lost their husbands and fathers, who stayed behind while the women and children were hurriedly evacuated.

Continue reading "Rabaul-born Philip (Hooky) Street dies at 91" »

Death of PNG’s remarkable Dr Roy Scragg

Dr Scragg's commitment to public health extended for the entire post-war colonial period and the health system he fostered doubled the average life expectancy of Papua New Guineans from 32 to 64

Dr Roy Scragg outside his iconic home in the Adelaide suburb of Glenelg just before he sold it in March  following the death of his wife, Joy (Dean Martin)


Dr Scragg’s funeral will be held on Friday 1 July at the Prospect International
Seventh-Day Adventist Church, 7 Ballville Street, Prospect, at 1.30 pm.
The funeral service will be webcast and you can link here to the livestream

NOOSA –Dr Roy Scragg, who died of cancer in the early hours of last Thursday at the age of 98, was a most remarkable man.

The richly honoured and credentialled Dr Scragg AM OBE, DUniv MD MPH MBBS, spent 27 years from 1947 to 1974 developing the health system in Papua New Guinea both as a pioneering administrator and later as a ground-breaking university professor.

Continue reading "Death of PNG’s remarkable Dr Roy Scragg" »

Sir Peter Barter, great figure in PNG, dies at 82

'Three times a year from 1998 to 2013, I travelled from Mt Hagen to Madang for meetings of the University Council, where I associated with Sir Peter. Quite often several of us would be lodged at his Madang Resort. I only have good memories of those times'

Peter Barter and Sir Michael Somare
Sir Peter Barter and Sir Michael Somare at a Divine Word University function in Madang (Garry Roche)


MAYNOOTH, IRELAND - Sir Peter Barter, 82, who passed away in Cairns after a short illness on Wednesday 22 June, was well known and respected as a politician and businessman.

It is widely acknowledged that he achieved much in his time especially for both Madang Town and Madang Province.

Continue reading "Sir Peter Barter, great figure in PNG, dies at 82" »

Basil: distrusted in life; praised at ‘belsori'

Sam Basil. The 'belsori' vote following his death increases the prospects of ULP candidates winning seats.

| Academia Nomad

WAIGANI – Many tributes have been written about the late deputy prime minister Sam Basil MP, who died last week after a motor vehicle accident.

In this article, I will write about the impact of Basil’s death on the political party he formed in 2020 - the United Labour Party (ULP) - and its situation leading into the 2022 elections before the tragic accident that took his life.

Continue reading "Basil: distrusted in life; praised at ‘belsori'" »

Death of Joe Kaowai – man of courage & conviction

Schram - Joe in Venice during his studies in Europe
Joe in Venice during his studies in Europe (Albert Schram)

| Albert Schram Blogspot

VERONA, ITALY - On the night of Monday 14 February, a wonderful friend, servant-leader, educator, and colleague Joe Kaowai passed away in Angau Hospital, Lae, aged only 39.

Joe is survived by his wife Joy, son Alberto and daughter Paulina. As a sign of our special bond and true friendship, he kindly named his son and his daughter after me and my wife.

Continue reading "Death of Joe Kaowai – man of courage & conviction" »

Senior administrator Gabriel Buanam OBE dies at 79

Gabriel Buanam OBE - a “soft-spoken but down to earth” senior administrator


NOOSA – We old Papua New Guinea hands - who remember the country as a colony (though we never so called it at the time) and our service there mostly with deep affection - now share a melancholy time of life.

Even we younger officers (we were all called officers – patrol officers, education officers, health officers etc etc) are charging through our seventies and too often mourning the death of a former colleague or acquaintance.

Continue reading "Senior administrator Gabriel Buanam OBE dies at 79" »

Old original kiap Bill Aaron dies at 82

Bill Aaron's Oro
Bill Aaron's Oro - a province of mountains fjords, fast-flowing rivers and home to the Kokoda Track


TUMBY BAY - Bill Aaron (aka Aaron William Panige), one of the original Papua New Guinean kiaps recruited in the 1960s, has died in Oro Province.

Aaron, 82, died on 17 January in his home village of Dombada. He had been the second patrol officer recruited from Oro following Basil Koe of Buna.

Continue reading "Old original kiap Bill Aaron dies at 82" »

Death of Harry Roach - a man for all seasons

Harry Roach  Otto Alder and Betty Roach  2009
Harry Roach,  Otto Alder and Betty Roach at a kiap's reunion in 2009


NOOSA – On Friday, they’ll bury Harry Roach in the pretty country graveyard at Cooroy.

Cooroy, 20 kilometres inland from Noosa, had been his and Betty’s home pretty much since they left Papua New Guinea just before independence in 1975.

You’ll have to tolerate my vagueness because, for a man who did so much, knew so many and seemed a permanent fixture anywhere he was, Harry didn’t leave behind too many tracks.

Continue reading "Death of Harry Roach - a man for all seasons" »

Death of Sam Akoitai: MP for all occasions

Sam Akoitai
Sam Akoitai - "A peacemaker serving all parties, political persuasions and interests"


KIETA – Sam Akoitai was a man true to his convictions as a national leader representing the interests of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville as a national parliamentarian.

He was a national, regional and community leader of unwavering courage and a peacemaker serving all parties, political persuasions and interests.

Continue reading "Death of Sam Akoitai: MP for all occasions" »

Joseph Watawi, Bougainville leader, dies at 61

Joseph Watawi - ‘Bruk lus, bruk gut, bruk steret na bruk olgeta’ 

| Sydney Morning Herald

SYDNEY - The autonomous region of Bougainville has lost a champion of independence and the father of the 2018 independence referendum.

Joseph Watawi, 61, who died in November, away last month, was born in January 1960 in Gohi village in north Bougainville.

Continue reading "Joseph Watawi, Bougainville leader, dies at 61" »

Sir Paulias Matane, an outstanding leader, dies at 90

Paulias Matane
Sir Paulias Matane - "Never let go of his humble roots"

| The Pacific Newsroom

FINSCHHAFEN - Very sad news this morning on the passing of Sir Paulias Matane, a truly great human being.

My mind goes back to the last interview I did with him. It was after he had retired as Papua New Guinea's Governor General.

We met him still living in the same humble home across the road from the school where he first worked as a teacher. This was the first thing that struck me.

Continue reading "Sir Paulias Matane, an outstanding leader, dies at 90" »

Peter Kepa - philosopher & educationist

 Arnold  Philip Kai & Peter Kepa  October 2021
Arnold, Philip and Peter following Sunday service. The last photo of these good friends together  Peter was admitted to hospital the same week same week


KUNDIAWA - The fall of a giant or a biknem often creates sensational headlines through the towns and provinces of our country.

Politicians, business tycoons and prominent public servants top the list of who are seen as important at the time of their demise.

In this tribute, we want to mark the passing of Peter Kepa, who has died in Kundiawa aged about 68.

Continue reading "Peter Kepa - philosopher & educationist" »

Val Rivers, Baroness of Burra, dies at 78

Val Smelters Home top
The historic Burra Smelters Home Hotel bought by Val in the mid-1990s as visitor accommodation for her tourism business


NOOSA – We have to be grateful to James Kidd, the surviving son of Valerie Bridget (Val) Rivers, who died in the Royal Adelaide Hospital four months ago aged 78.

It was James who meticulously went through Val’s papers to ensure that friends and colleagues learned of the death on 2 July of the woman I call the Baroness of Burra.

Continue reading "Val Rivers, Baroness of Burra, dies at 78" »

Death of Marie Charley: Woman of sweet strength

Phil and Marie Charley - "their romance smacked of the silver screen”


NOOSA – Marie Charley has died in Sydney aged 93. She was the doyen of my favourite family and wife of my great comrade, the late Philip Charley OAM.

Marie, a school teacher by profession, had accompanied Phil for most of his long career in broadcast management, usually taking teaching positions along the way.

Continue reading "Death of Marie Charley: Woman of sweet strength" »

An undefeated hero in the land of racists

'David Gulpilil Two Worlds' by Craig Ruddy, Winner 2004 Archibald Prize (NSW Art Gallery)


TUMBY BAY - We in the West tend to judge people of other cultures in terms of our own values. We do this because we are conceited and assume that our values are superior to theirs.

This conceit was a fundamental ingredient in Australia’s past colonial experience and still informs how we relate to nations like China and India.

Continue reading "An undefeated hero in the land of racists" »

Pius Tikili dies: nation builder & peacemaker

Tikili Pius
Pius Tikili - an extraordinary entrepreneur, a notable peacemaker and a Man of God


NOOSA – The eminent Papua New Guinea businessman and chairman of the National Broadcasting Corporation, Pius Tikili, died early last Saturday morning at Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby at the age of 64.

A member of the Mogi Komunka KomKui tribe of the Western Highlands, Pius studied at the University of Papua New Guinea and the University of New England in Australia before becoming an announcer with the NBC.

Continue reading "Pius Tikili dies: nation builder & peacemaker" »

Nick Booth, PNG in his blood, dies at 76

Nick in late life
Nick Booth - "A first rate and highly skilled radio presenter with a wonderful sense of how to construct a music program"


NOOSA – Nick Booth, who died yesterday in Sydney aged 76, was a busy and enthusiastic man, who delighted in being with people and working with people to get things done.

I knew him not in his professional, paid career as a senior public service administrator but in his role as a broadcaster on community radio, especially between 1976 and 1983. I also knew Nick and his wife Lynn as good and kind friends.

Continue reading "Nick Booth, PNG in his blood, dies at 76" »

Death of Bougainville patriot Reuben Siara

Reuben Siara
Reuben Siara - "We remember him for his patriotism and his will to progress the ideals of our revolutionary cause"

| President, Autonomous Region of Bougainville

Source: New Dawn FM News

BUKA - Bougainville has truly lost one of its great sons in the passing of Reuben Siara.

Reuben was a man who believed in Bougainville’s aspirations for independence and contributed immensely to our revolutionary cause.

Continue reading "Death of Bougainville patriot Reuben Siara" »

The story of Captain Sheriff: Pride of the Tribe

PNGDF cadet pilots after graduating from the RAAF Flight School, Point Cook, Australia, 1988. From left: Captain Ted Pakii (flight instructor), Chester Berobero, Major Kwadi (language instructor), Eric Aliawi and Peter Wanamp

| Ples Singsing

PORT MORESBY - Captain Peter Wanamp (‘Captain Sheriff’) Ansphil - a flag bearer for the Jiwaka people and the pride of Senglap tribe - was the first son of the Wahgi Valley to brush aside fear and become an aviator.

His breakthrough as the first person to become pilot from the province broke a barrier in becoming a pioneer pilot for the three ethnic groups, Jimi, Waghi and Kambia – from whose first two letters the name Jiwaka is formed.

Continue reading "The story of Captain Sheriff: Pride of the Tribe" »

Death of prominent Oro leader, Benson Garui

Benson Kavia Garui and Gary Juffa
The late Benson Kavia Garui and Governor Gary Juffa - "a hard-working, honest and genuine leader" 


ORO - It is with great sadness that I convey news of the passing on 19 October of Hon Benson Kavia Garui, an Oro leader and member of the Afore local level government.

Benson died in Popondetta General Hospital after a short illness at the age of 65.

Continue reading "Death of prominent Oro leader, Benson Garui" »

Rick Giddings MBE OAM: An exceptional man

Neil Leahy & Rick Giddings 1987 (Bill Gammage)
Neil Leahy & Rick Giddings, 1987 (Bill Gammage)


Rick Giddings was buried at Pontville in Tasmania on Tuesday and his family has kindly approved sharing this edited eulogy with his friends from his time in Papua New Guinea - PF

PONTVILLE - Richard James Giddings MBE OAM, our dad, was a good man. He was kind, generous, funny, intelligent and wise. He was a storyteller and a poet.

He lived his 84 years with love, devotion, passion and integrity, whether that be for his family, friends, community, or his work. He was a dear friend and mentor to many.

Continue reading "Rick Giddings MBE OAM: An exceptional man" »

Aviation pioneer David Inau dies in Moresby

David Inau
David Inau - "Only birds can fly. But having a man in the machine was fascinating"


Captain David Inau, CEO of Sunbird Aviation in Vanimo and a pioneering Papua New Guinean Army aviator, died in Port Moresby on Sunday after being medically evacuated from Boram. He was in the second group of Papua New Guineans to train as PNG Defence Force pilots in Australia in the mid-1970s and in 1979 became the first Papua New Guinean to fly solo in a Machi jet. Journalist Liam Fox has commented on how, in his later career with the PNG Accident Investigation Commission, he “transformed it into a competent, professional outfit”. The article that follows was written by Scott Waide in September 2017 for the Inspirational Papua New Guineans website – KJ

LAE - As a six-year-old, David Inau, watched the legendary American flying Bishop, Leo Arkfeld,   transport supplies and other cargo into some of the most remote parts of East Sepik.

At that tender age, the young David decided he wanted to fly planes.

Continue reading "Aviation pioneer David Inau dies in Moresby" »

Judge, scout leader Sir Robert Woods dies

Sir Robert Woods
Sir Robert Woods served in the PNG judicial system for 30 years and held pivotal roles in PNG and regional scouting


NOOSA - Sir Robert Kynnersley Woods CBE (1939-2021), a former national and supreme court judge in Papua New Guinea, died in Wellington, NSW, on 23 September aged 81 after a short illness.

Sir Robert had a distinguished career in the PNG judicial system for 30 years from 1970-2000, including as a judge from 1982-99, and in 2001 was appointed a judge of the district court of NSW.

Continue reading "Judge, scout leader Sir Robert Woods dies" »

Founding father Sir Pita Lus dies at 86

Lus - Marape Lus
James Marape and Pita Lus at this year's Independence Day celebrations in Maprik,  just a few weeks before Sir Pita died


NOOSA – Sir Pita Lus, one of the fathers of Papua New Guinea independence, has died in Maprik aged 86 only a few weeks after giving his last public speech.

Sir Pita was elected to seven PNG parliaments, including the first House of Assembly in 1964, his political career ending in 2002 after 38 years. He was knighted in 1979.

Continue reading "Founding father Sir Pita Lus dies at 86" »

Ian Dunlop, pioneering filmmaker, dies at 94

Ian Dunlop with Spencer (Nuni) Banaga  from ‘Desert People’  1965
Ian Dunlop in 1965 with Spencer (Nuni) Banaga from the film 'Desert People’ 


NOOSA – The Australian documentary filmmaker and author, Ian Dunlop OAM, has died in Canberra at the age of 94.

Dunlop began making films for the Commonwealth Film Unit in the late 1950s and is probably best known for his international award-winning series, People of the Western Desert.

Continue reading "Ian Dunlop, pioneering filmmaker, dies at 94" »

Buruka Tau – keyboard maestro & PNG patriot

Buruka Tau - ambassador
Buruka Tau - PNG's ambassador of culture and the arts

| My Land, My Country

PORT MORESBY - My dad, Buruka Tau, who died in early September, was a larger than life character and as spontaneous in nature as jazz.

As a kid, I just saw him as dad, a musician. One day, he would be with us doing everyday things and the next he was somewhere in the world being a rock star.

Continue reading "Buruka Tau – keyboard maestro & PNG patriot" »

Death of 'quiet' broadcaster, Philip Satchell

Philip Satchell  2002 top
Philip Satchell in 2002 - "a gentle and calm presenter with a knack for getting his guests to talk at length”


NOOSA –Philip Satchell, who has died in Adelaide aged 83, spent the formative part of his 40-year career in radio with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Papua New Guinea.

He was born in New South Wales and spent a brief time with the ABC in Sydney before moving to Port Moresby in 1963, where he was one of the ABC’s leading radio presenters for six years.

Continue reading "Death of 'quiet' broadcaster, Philip Satchell" »

Sudden death of Professor Evelyn Lavu

Professor Evelyn Lavu

| Kirby Institute

SYDNEY - The Kirby Institute joins colleagues and friends in Papua New Guinea in mourning the sudden loss of Professor Evelyn Lavu.

Professor Lavu was the country’s most senior pathologist and an internationally recognised leader in the fight against HIV, malaria and drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Continue reading "Sudden death of Professor Evelyn Lavu" »

Andrew Greig, scholar, peacemaker, dies at 77

Andrew Libby & Andrew - Shetland to Scilly
Libby & Andrew Greig on their 1,800 km Shetland to Scilly 'New Technologies for Peace' ride in 2016


NOOSA – On Monday in Sydney, surrounded by his family, my good friend Andrew Greig died of the pancreatic cancer he had been living with for three years.

Andrew Burnford Greig, 77, born in Jerusalem in 1943, was a scholar, humanitarian, peacemaker and a man of consistent honour, courage, conviction and passion.

Continue reading "Andrew Greig, scholar, peacemaker, dies at 77" »