Obituaries Feed

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"

JOHN TIDEY
| ‘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

JACKSON YALO KIAKARI
| 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”

Luke
The late Sir Jacob Luke

COMPILED BY KEITH JACKSON

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

Lohberger

KEITH JACKSON

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

EDITED BY KEITH JACKSON
FROM DR WEEKS' OWN MEMOIR

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

KEITH JACKSON

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

Scragg
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)

KEITH JACKSON

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" »


Basil: distrusted in life; praised at ‘belsori'

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

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

KEITH JACKSON

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

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

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

KEITH JACKSON

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"

SIMON PENTANU

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

ANDREW KILVERT
| 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"

TANIA FEWEC BALE
| 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 and Peter in the last photo of them together following Sunday service. Peter was admitted to hospital the same week
Arnold,  Philip and Peter following Sunday service. The last photo of these good friends together  Peter was admitted to hospital the same week

PHILIP KAI MORRE & ARNOLD MUNDUA

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

KEITH JACKSON

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

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

KEITH JACKSON

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

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

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

KEITH JACKSON

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"

KEITH JACKSON

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"

ISHMAEL TOROAMA
| 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

Capture
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

PAUL MINGA
| 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" 

GARY JUFFA MP

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)

SONYA & LARA GIDDINGS

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"

SCOTT WAIDE

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

KEITH JACKSON

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

KEITH JACKSON

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’ 

KEITH JACKSON

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

STEVEN TAU
| 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”

KEITH JACKSON

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

Capture
Professor Evelyn Lavu

STATEMENT
| 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

KEITH JACKSON

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" »


Hal Wootten, great friend of PNG, dies at 98

Hal Wootten
Hal Wootten - "Hawke said he thought PNG would not be independent for 100 years; Wootten said it would be 10"

MALCOLM BROWN
| Sydney Morning Herald

SYDNEY - Good lawyers stick to the letter of the law. Great lawyers seek justice for the disadvantaged and a fairer society.

Such as it was with Hal Wootten, who quickly tired of working for corporate clients and instead committed himself to all sectors of society, including the downtrodden.

Continue reading "Hal Wootten, great friend of PNG, dies at 98" »


Libraries pioneer Marian Baker dies in Sydney

Marian Lindsay Baker
Marian Lindsay Baker established the first Public Library Service in Papua New Guinea

GEWA BRADLEY
| My Land, My Country

PORT MORESBY - Marian Lindsay Baker stepped off the New Guinea Australia Line’s MV Soochow in Fairfax Harbour and took a look around at what would be her home for the next 21 months.

The year was 1959 and with one hand shading her eyes from the glaring sun, Marian took in the surrounding hilly savannah landscape that was nothing like her home in Sydney.

Continue reading "Libraries pioneer Marian Baker dies in Sydney" »


Remembering David Frodin: A giant of PNG botany

David Frodin in London  2018 (Tony Barrett)
David Frodin, 2018 (Tony Barrett). David died unexpectedly in London on 12 August 2019, unaware that bladder cancer had taken hold and metastasised

EDITED BY KEITH JACKSON

These are edited extracts of a comprehensive obituary by Dr Rodrigo Cámara-Leret & Dr Barry Conn in Blumea, the Journal of plant taxonomy and plant geography, no 65. 2020. Link here to read the full obituary - KJ

LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS – When Dr David Gamman Frodin died in London in 2019 at the age of 79, the scientific community lost a brilliant individual and a giant of Papua New Guinean botany.

David was born in Chicago, USA, in 1940 and his love for botany began in Vermont where he spent endless summer hours walking in the woods.

Continue reading "Remembering David Frodin: A giant of PNG botany" »


Georgina Beier, art pioneer, dies at 82

Georgina Beier and Ulli Beier at Oshgbo Awards  1992. (DEVA  Iwalewahaus)
Georgina and Ulli Beier returned to Nigeria for the Osogbo Awards in 1992 (Iwalewahaus)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Georgina Beier (1938-2021), called the ‘founding mother’ of contemporary art in Papua New Guinea, died in Sydney last Sunday aged 82.

Her husband, Ulli Beier (1922–2011), was a German editor, writer and scholar who pioneered the development of literature in Nigeria and Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Georgina Beier, art pioneer, dies at 82" »


Lance Hill, scientist: a career devoted to PNG

Lance Hill
Dr Lance Hill - "Goodwill, combined with diplomacy and devotion to the PNG environment, saw him through”

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Adjunct Professor Lance Hill, who dedicated 38 years to his scientific career in Papua New Guinea, died in Cairns on 1 July aged 76. The cause of his death is unknown.

Dr Hill arrived in PNG in 1970, soon after the establishment of the University of PNG, as a senior tutor in biology.

Continue reading "Lance Hill, scientist: a career devoted to PNG" »


Great friend of PNG, Maev O’Collins, dies at 92

Maev O'Collins
Maev O'Collins - "Maev loved PNG, and this is seen in the many close friendships she developed over her years there"

MICHELLE NAYAHAMUI ROONEY
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Emeritus Professor Maev O’Collins, an important person in the collective history of Papua New Guinea and Australia, has passed away in Canberra at the age of 92.

As well as Maev’s joyous and warm spirit, it was her relationships with many Papua New Guineans and her stories about her life and friends in PNG that are markers of the real friendship between the two countries.

Continue reading "Great friend of PNG, Maev O’Collins, dies at 92" »


Peter Bridger, PNG educator for 42 years, dies at 70

Peter Bridger
Peter Bridger - "Lived a positive and full life, and contributed a great deal to his spiritual home of Papua New Guinea"

GRAHAM KING

YUNGABURRA, QLD - My mate Peter Bridger (3 March 1951 – 26 June 2021) has sadly passed on to that classroom in the sky.

He had retired to Deal in Kent in the United Kingdom in November after 42 years in Papua New Guinea.

In 1978 Peter John Bridger responded to an advertisement in an English newspaper calling for people to teach in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Peter Bridger, PNG educator for 42 years, dies at 70" »


Norm Oliver dies at 87: A great friend of PNG

PNG landscape
The breathtaking landscape of PNG. In a nation where land is embedded in the soul, Norm Oliver spent his working life managing the volatile balance between its spiritual and economic values

ED BRUMBY

MELBOURNE – It is with enormous sadness that I heard the news of the passing of Norm Oliver – former Land Titles Commissioner in Papua New Guinea, basketball stalwart and a friend to so many people throughout the country.

A native of Tempe in Sydney, Norm was a draughtsman at the Sydney Water Board before joining the PNG Land Titles Commission in the early 1960s.

Continue reading "Norm Oliver dies at 87: A great friend of PNG" »


Death of distinguished academic Dr Ruth Latukefu

Ruth Fink Latukefu
Ruth Fink Latukefu - Turned the tables on the kiaps in the case of Herr Dr CJ Blunge

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The esteemed anthropologist and academic Dr Ruth Annette (Fink) Latukefu (1931-2021) has died at her home in Newport Beach, Sydney, aged 89.

Ruth was born in 1931 in Frankfurt am Maine, Germany, arriving in Australia in 1939 with her parents, German Jewish refugees.

Continue reading "Death of distinguished academic Dr Ruth Latukefu" »


Death of another PNG independence great

Sir jerry nalau
Sir Jerry Nalau was part the small group that accelerated PNG independence and provided the political skills the country required

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Sir Jerry Kasip Nalau has died in Lae aged 83 just two months after the death of his great friend and Bully Beef Club comrade, Sir Michael Somare.

Nalau and Somare met while attending Dregerhafen High School in Finschhafen in the early 1950s. Somare was in the year ahead of him.

The friendship they forged eventually brought them together again in an important moment in Papua New Guinea’s journey to independence.

Continue reading "Death of another PNG independence great" »


The man who was there when PNG needed him

Peacock png
Andrew Peacock and Julius Chan, Sydney, 1980

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Andrew Peacock, who has died aged 82, as Australia’s Minister for External Territories was instrumental in gaining Australian acceptance for independence in Papua New Guinea.

In 1972, then Australian prime minister William McMahon made Peacock, then aged 32, Minister for External Territories, a position that gave him responsibility for bringing Australia's colonial possession, the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, to self-government.

Continue reading "The man who was there when PNG needed him" »


Australia records gratitude to Grand Chief

Morrison
Hon Scott Morrison MP

SCOTT MORRISON MP

Motion to acknowledge the life and service of the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare delivered in the Parliament of Australia by Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison on 16 March 2021, as recorded in Hansard.

CANBERRA - Mr Speaker, I move that this House acknowledge the passing on the 26th of February 2021 of Papua New Guinea Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and place on record its gratitude of his long-standing and respected relationship with Australia and tender its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.

Continue reading "Australia records gratitude to Grand Chief" »


Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare: a reflection

Paulini Mango
Pauline Wapen Mango, a third grader at Lahara Avenue School in Boroko, recited a poignant poem at one of Grand Chief Somare's haus krais

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY - The tears kept coming as I saw two elderly men - same age, same height - smile and hug each other tightly, as best friends do after missing each other for a long time.

And indeed, they were best friends – two of Papua New Guinea’s founding fathers, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and Sir Julius Chan.

I was at Kavieng airport in New Ireland and they probably suspected this would be their last time to meet, then wave farewell forever.

Continue reading "Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare: a reflection" »


Convenor of famed Pacific lunch dies at 85

PIM
Over 840 issues between 1931 and 2000, Pacific Islands Monthly became the ‘bible’ of the South Pacific. In the mid-1960s it also spawned a famous lunch that outlived the magazine and continues to this day. Ruth Burleigh contributed greatly to upholding this tradition

BOB LAWRENCE

SYDNEY – Ruth Jedlin Burleigh (née Palling), who died on 19 February, was born in Sydney in 1935. Her father was a teacher (later principal ) at the Scots College Junior School and the family lived on campus.

Ruth trained and worked as nurse at the Children’s Hospital until she married Steve Jedlin, whose family operated stock feed mills in Sydney and later Fiji.

Continue reading "Convenor of famed Pacific lunch dies at 85" »