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An adventurous and rich life – John Philip Fowke

John Fowke
John Fowke

ANNA FOWKE

BRISBANE - My father was a big man, a tall man, a loud man, a funny man. A man with many moods, many strengths, and the usual amount of weaknesses.

He asked me to officiate at his funeral party, and so that means here I am, struggling to express my thoughts about a life lived, a rich, adventurous life.

As I collated my thoughts in the days following his death, I was struck by how many people loved and respected my father, but also how many different people he was to others.

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My father’s last moments on this earth

CHARLENE DINIPAMI NII
Charlene Dinipami Nii - Francis was very  ill, but insisted on making the tortuous trip to witness his father's burial

CHARLENE NII

KUNDIAWA - It was on Wednesday 1 April that bad news came to Francis in his hospital bed in Kundiawa.

It was early in the morning when the phone rang. The caller was his cousin Duma Paulus from Diani village.

In broken tones, Duma told Francis that his father, the chief, Nicholas Tura Duma, had passed away.

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Fred Kaad: 100 years of courage & achievement

Brown 11 Brown Kaad
Bill Brown MBE and Fred Kaad OBE - two outstanding figures in the late colonial history of Papua New Guinea, Sydney, 2018 - KJ

BILL BROWN

SYDNEY - Fred Kaad is an inspiration. And this day, 12 September 2020, marks a notable anniversary for this remarkable man.

We salute his wonderful achievements, his steadfastness and courage and his contribution to all our lives and to the lives of so many others.

This is a tribute of respect and admiration for Fred Kaad on his 100th birthday.

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Yeah, I know I’m getting on, but….

Phil Fitzpatrick recentPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - We’ve only got one pharmacy in Tumby Bay. I believe it’s been in the same family since it began.

The grandfather passed it on to the father and now the father has just passed it on to the daughter.

I was in there the other day collecting some diabetic gear: a box of needles for my disposable syringes; a couple of packets of test strips for my glucose testing gizmo; and my blood pressure tablets.

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The story of Francis Nii’s last project

Kin Francis bushfire rally
An ailing Francis Nii leads the big bushfire rally for Australia from his wheelchair in Kundiawa. He saw the huge funds raised from this poor province as a token of the close relationship between the two countries

MATHIAS KIN

KUNDIAWA - My friend Francis Nii rang me on a Friday afternoon in early January to say he wanted to meet me about something that had been bothering him.

He briefly told me over the phone that it was about the terrible Australian bushfires and that he was surprised the Papua New Guinea government and other organisations were not doing anything about it.

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Two extraordinary PNG politicians

Iambakey
Sir Iambakey Okuk - the famed Simbu politician who died prematurely and is not a prisoner of the Vatican as the mythology would have it

ARTHUR WILLIAMS

CARDIFF – There are two significant moments in Papua New Guinea’s political history that I will never forget.

The first was when Lavongai’s bikman Walla Gukguk was persuaded by Wally Lussick and Goroka MP Sinake Giregire to stand for the Kavieng open electorate in 1977.

With huge support from the followers of Lavongai’s TIA (Tutukuval Isukal Association - ‘Stand Up Together and Plant’) and the main island’s TFA (Tutorme Farmers Association) Walla easily beat his opponents.

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Paul Kiap in need & a friend indeed

Paul Kurai with Assumtha and his boys in Australia
Paul Kurai with Assumtha and his boys in Australia

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - An obvious sign of embarrassment and guilt appeared on Paul Kiap Kurai’s face as he recalled how in Mt Hagen 27 years ago he had been blindly betting on horse races and, over a three-year period, lost all his savings.

“They said I was a good gambler,” Paul said. “The one who bet on the right horse and always won.

“I thought they were telling me the truth and kept playing.”

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O’Neill's K15m Sydney home; sells another for K30m

Chateau Pete
O'Neill's new Sydney pad, the architect John Amory-designed residence in Warrawee, Sydney

LUCY MACKEN
| Sydney Morning Herald | Edited

SYDNEY - The wife of Papua New Guinea’s former prime minister Peter O’Neill, Lynda Babao, has bought a K15 million house on Sydney’s upper north shore just months after a Point Piper residence that was previously home to their son was sold on the quiet K30 million.

The Point Piper duplex was linked to PNG’s former first family in May last year just days before O’Neill stepped down from the top job following weeks of high-level defections from the ruling party.

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A letter to my dear friend Francis Nii

Francis and Daniel in Brisbane  2016
Francis and Daniel in Brisbane, 2016

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - Francis, I met you through your writing in 1985 in Ondobondo and later PNG Writer at the University of Papua New Guinea. But we never physically met.

Later I met you through your writing and comments in PNG Attitude.

I never imagined you sat in a wheelchair until I met you in Simbu in 2015 during the Crocodile Prize presentations.

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Unfinished journey: Francis Nii & the struggle for PNG literature

Francis NiiBEN JACKSON
| First published in PNG Attitude, 3 July 2019

….If no one supports me
I alone will carry you

Until you smile and say
Papa, thank you I am healed

Then my heart will be at peace
My soul will rest….
                  - Francis Nii (2016)

PORT MORESBY - The twisted metal of a motor vehicle accident in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands nearly brought Francis Nii’s story to a dramatic end.

The crash, at the start of 1999, left him forever paralysed from the waist down and brought his promising career as an economist and financial adviser to a sudden halt.

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Some of the wise sayings of Francis Nii

Francis Nii at Sir Joseph Nombri Hospital  Kundiawa  2014KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - In the late Francis Nii’s  many articles for PNG Attitude and in his books are hundreds of aphorisms and wise thoughts.

Here are just a few I’ve quickly gathered.

”Keep hoping and keep searching with patience and you shall find the answer”

“Every wickedness has a cost. At the ripe time the perpetrator will each pay his price”

“One can escape from the court of justice through cunning and false device but the court of conscience is inescapable and sometimes the justice meted is fatal”

“The rural grass roots are survivors. They know how to survive in the harshest conditions and difficult moments. They will still survive whatever the situation”

“Keep dreaming and keep writing. A man with no dream has no purpose in life”

“This is Papua New Guinea, the land where corruption is a way of life”

“When political heroes of today are gone tomorrow and forgotten forever, writers will live on beyond the grave - and that's the beauty about writing even though there is no money in it”

“Literary excellence is the key to unlocking the hidden treasures of life. A nation without literature is a people with lost identity”

BushfireFrancis’s final project – February 2020

From his hospital bed and in his wheelchair Francis was a creative force and a meticulous planner and organiser.

When terrible bushfires devoured eastern Australia last summer, Francis decided to repay Australia’s long history of assisting Papua New Guinea by asking the Simbu people to raise K400,000.

“The great news is that I set the target at K400,000, which everybody thought was impossible. But now we have surpassed that.

“We will be presenting a check of K425,000 to the national government-sanctioned fundraising PNG Heart for Australia Bushfire Appeal.”


The story of a highlands politician

Paul Kurai
Paul Kurai (left) with Daniel Ezikiel at Loniu Evagelical Church in Manus. Daniel served in Enga in the 1970s as a teacher and Paul presented him with K5,000 as a sign of his gratitude

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG - Paul Kiap Kurai was only 24 when in 1982 he nominated to contest the Wabag Open seat against Sir Tei Abal, a distinguished leader and one of Papua New Guinea’s founding fathers.

He knew he was no match for the experience and status of Sir Tei, who had served four consecutive terms in parliament.

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Radio Days: Political pressure & public resistance

Radio Days - Gareth & me
As new communications minister Gareth Evans wanted to give the ABC a shake-up. That never happened in history without a major brawl

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1988 – After my first go at the ABC in 1966-69, I spent the best part of four years in the organisation the second time around between 1985 and 1988.

They were years full of incident, drama, stress, occasional misadventure and gritty management. I rarely had so much joy in a job and never so much fear.

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Radio Days: The Canberra connection

Radio Days - Ken  Geoffrey  Wendy
ABC chairman Ken Myer, managing director Geoffrey Whitehead and deputy chair Wendy McCarthy, 1985

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1987 – Australia’s centre of government and ‘bush capital’, Canberra, looms large in the life of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, both because 90% of the its money comes from there and because the government of the day appoints the ABC chairman and board.

Furthermore, federal politicians tend to have a proprietary view of the ABC. And, to give this an edge, right wing politicians have a belief, neatly expressed by my onetime business associate and Liberal Party heavyweight Grahame Morris, that the ABC is a manifestation of “my enemy talking to my friends”.

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Radio Days: The ascent of David Hill

Radio Days - David good portrait
David Hill - an exhilarating and exhausting man to be around. He left the ABC, where he was Chairman then CEO from 1986-95, much better than when he found it

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1986 – In mid-August 1986, I had just got back to my desk after what I considered a well-earned week’s break in Bali when I was called into managing director Geoffrey Whitehead’s office, on the twelfth floor of Broadcast House overlooking Hyde Park.

Geoffrey had just returned from Canberra with new ABC chairman David Hill, in his first week in the job, and Geoffrey was looking worried.

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Radio Days: Return to the ABC

Radio Days - journalKEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1985 – I first began to keep a journal in 1973 during my last months in Bougainville. Over the next 15 years I was faithful to it except for the period at 2SER-FM when my days were too long and crowded and my fidelity lapsed.

In the beginning, it was a work diary and was consequently terse and utilitarian.

But it soon became something else, more descriptive and observational - a record not just of decisions and commitments but of issues and adventures, important people and conversations, significant insights, and articulations of my own feelings.

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Radio Days: Back to ASOPA

ITI aerial
The olive roofs of ITI, the tennis court at the rear was owned by the army, whose commando base was in the green-roofed buildings to the left

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1983-84 – In 1973, with Papua New Guinea having achieved self-government as its final step on the way to independence, the old colonial training institute, the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA), was reconceived and rebadged.

Early in 1974, as the International Training Institute (ITI), it accepted its first trainee middle managers from developing countries. It was a 180 degree shift from its colonial roots.

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Radio Days: A dash at politics

ALP hawkie
Despite John Pilger's assertion in A Secret Country, Bob Hawke and I were never mates (in the ALP sense), but we had some interesting encounters in the 1980s. I think in this pic the Silver Bodgie was having a go at the state of my hair

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1983 – When my family and I returned to Australia in 1979 and moved to live at Clareville on Sydney’s northern beaches, one of my first priorities outside work was to join the Narrabeen-Pittwater branch of the Australian Labor Party.

I’d been a member of the ALP for eight years, having joined in strange circumstances in 1971, but had never been part of a branch.

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A wind of change in Maramuni

Dr Lino Tom MP meets the people of Maramuni
Dr Lino Tom MP meets the people of remote Maramuni

SIMON DAVIDSON

KOKOPO - Maramuni, a poorly developed region in Enga Province, is experiencing the wind of change as a new road project, initiated by national government minister Dr Lino Tom, takes shape.

The Maramuni local level government is located 250 kilometres north-west of Wabag, the provincial capital.

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Radio Days: Broadway follies

2SER chalk radio headKEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1981-82 – Vulgarity, offence and obscenity have cherished places in the folklore of broadcasting and all broadcasters have their favourite story of how they said something inadvertently odious or incredibly stupid while the microphone was live and thousands of people listening in.

A colleague of mine, the manager of Radio Rabaul, Paul Cox, given the job of broadcast director of the royal tour of Papua New Guinea in early 1974, was one broadcaster who experienced the fallout from inadvertence.

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Soldier without a weapon

Chaplain Kakeni
Chaplain Norman Kakeni issuing a bible to a soldier before deployment to Daru

ALEXANDER NARA

PORT MORESBY - Chaplaincy is an intense and profoundly rewarding experience and chaplains play a distinctive role in the military setting.

They are strategically assigned to all military establishments and wherever there are military members, including in combat zones.

Chaplains tender to the spiritual well-being of soldiers regardless of religious background, provide confidential counselling and help personnel meet challenges in areas like religious education, ethics and morale.

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Radio Days: Hello Sydney!

Keith-jackson-2ser- 1979
Keith Jackson in the main studio of the just completed 2SER-FM, August 1979

KEITH JACKSON

SYDNEY 1979 – Sue and the kids had returned to Australia in January while I wrapped up my Maldives consultancy for UNESCO.

I was counting on getting a job in Sydney.

I’d been told by my onetime ABC colleague In Papua New Guinea, Andrew Greig, that an educational radio station, to be known as 2SER-FM, had been licenced for the city and the two universities that held the licence were looking for a manager to get it going.

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Radio Days: The cultural conundrum

IM & AM
The PNG Independence Medal sits beside my Order of Australia (AM) in a box at home. To me they're poignant reminders of a career now left behind but which was always exciting and sometimes terrifying

KEITH JACKSON

MALDIVE ISLANDS 1978-79 – In mid-1978 I was sitting at my desk in the downstairs office of my home, White Waves, the spray from the waves pounding on the nearby reef corroding the light fittings, when a large manila envelope arrived in the morning post.

It was addressed to ‘Mr K Jackson BA’ and was festooned with Papua New Guinea stamps. Like much of the mail we received in Malé it had a battered and soiled appearance that suggested it had travelled for many months in a dirty sack in the hold of a slow ship.

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Radio Days: Journeys by sea

Busy Male harbour with Malship freighter in background
The busy boat harbour at Malé, with a Malships freighter anchored in the lagoon.  The hub for small boats from more than 200 populated islands

KEITH JACKSON

MALDIVE ISLANDS 1978 – I grew up in the NSW coastal town of Nowra on the banks of the Shoalhaven River where, from a young age, I became familiar with sailing and the sea, sometimes accompanying fishermen on stomach churning early morning exploits beyond sight of land.

But nothing prepared me for the Maldives archipelago where, even for a picnic lunch, you had to travel by dhoni and the completion of any serious work around the country necessitated a sea voyage.

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A soldier’ story

Bren gun carrier fitted with Bren light machine gun and Vickers .303 sub-machine gun (Digger History)
Bren gun carrier fitted with Bren light machine gun and Vickers .303 sub-machine gun (Digger History)

ROSS WILKINSON

MELBOURNE - Recently I have been involved in a project with a Papua New Guinean colleague to investigate the service history of some ex-servicemen buried at Port Moresby’s 9 Mile Cemetery.

During the course of this project, the history of one of the names evoked memories of my own father’s service in World War II.

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Radio Days: Landfall in the Maldives

Mrs StevensKEITH JACKSON

MALDIVE ISLANDS 1977 – First came the telegram from UNESCO in Paris then the letter from a Mrs Stevens concerning the vexed subject of toilet paper.

I was sitting on the verandah of our house on the Bundarra Road 20 kilometres from Armidale when I spotted the Australia Post motorbike slowly skid off the main road below and grumble up our long dusty drive.

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Radio Days: An Australian foothold

2ARM - press clipsKEITH JACKSON

ARMIDALE 1976-77 – In May 1976, I had no sooner proffered my resignation from the National Broadcasting Commission than an advertisement appeared in The Australian newspaper for a ‘station coordinator’ of 2ARM-FM Armidale.

This was an embryonic community based radio station with a board of directors, a programming collective, $10,000 in the bank, but no staff, no programs and a six month deadline to get on air.

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Radio Days: Fights between whitemen

Graduates assembled
I graduated from the University of PNG on 1 August 1975, six weeks before independence day

KEITH JACKSON

“The NBC in the first decade of its existence was a model developing world broadcaster. It was one of the first PNG bodies to be totally localised and it had an outstanding record of performance in a remarkable number of communications fields” - Editorial, The National, 2 November 2004

PORT MORESBY 1975-76 – Even for us who were in Papua New Guinea at the time, it’s easy to forget that – while we knew independence was on the way – the precise date was announced just three months before the momentous day.

For many expatriate public servants, including the seconded ABC managers in the National Broadcasting Commission, the date was irrelevant. They had already received letters thanking them for their services and a one-way ticket home.

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Radio Days: Building a corporation

NBC 5 year plan
Abstract from the cover of the NBC's first five-year plan. The primary task of the new commission was to blend two radio services into one and build a network worthy of a newly independent nation

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY 1973-74 – As I returned to Port Moresby in October 1973 after six months developing an educational radio operation in Java, life in Papua New Guinea was in upheaval.

The rush towards independence was well and truly on and the impacts were tangible as many expatriate public servants readied themselves for imminent redundancy.

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Radio Days: Brink of secession

Somare cuts trip - head
Thursday 11 January 1973 was a tough day for chief minister Michael Somare - helicoptered out of Panguna when felt to be under threat only to be confronted by an angry protest in Kieta

KEITH JACKSON

BOUGAINVILLE 1970-73 – Bougainville is a magnificent gem of an island; and its people are warm and generous in that customary Melanesian way.

Kieta, which had become the Bougainville district headquarters just before I arrived in late 1970, was an idyllic seaport nestling on the side of a steep ridge; its deep harbour protected from the ocean by Pokpok Island.

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Radio Days: Blood on the streets

Rabaulmuseum
I was surprised, when visiting Rabaul Museum in 2006, to come across a small display marking Gough Whitlam's visit to the town in 1970. It featured my words, an adaptation of which you can read here

KEITH JACKSON

RABAUL, 1970 – When I arrived in Rabaul with Sue and two-year old Simon in late January 1970, I soon discovered the most hated man in the Gazelle Peninsula was not one of the leaders of the feared Mataungan Association.

It was not the anti-colonial John Kaputin, who, despite his acclaimed prowess at rugby league, had offended the colony by marrying an Australian woman.

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Radio Days: Journey into management

Leigh HH 'Jim'
Jim Leigh with trainee broadcasters. He had a deep-seated dislike of the ABC but was instrumental in constructing 18 government radio stations across the length and breadth of PNG

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY, 1969 – For some minutes my eyes remained fixed on the newspaper advertisement.

Placed under the logo of the Department of Information and Extension Services, it sought three assistant managers for government broadcasting stations in rural areas of Papua New Guinea.

The colonial Administration, fed up with the ABC dragging its feet on extending its own PNG services throughout the Australian territory, was building its own radio stations and looking to recruit expatriate managers.

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Dr John Gunther: PNG’s colonial 'driving force'

John_Gunther
Sir John Gunther - "Easily the strongest single driving force in the PNG Administration”(Sir Paul Hasluck)

HANK NELSON
| Australian Dictionary of Biography | Edited extracts

CANBERRA - Sir John Thomson Gunther (1910-84), medical practitioner, public servant and vice-chancellor, was born on 2 October 1910 in Sydney.

He studied medicine at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1935. His mother had been one of the early women medical graduates there.

Gunther represented Sydney in inter-university boxing and rugby. After a year’s residency at Sydney Hospital, he applied to be medical officer with Lever’s Pacific Plantations Ltd and, working out of Gavutu and Tulagi in the Solomon Islands, he travelled widely to over 30 of Lever’s properties including to Milne Bay.

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Radio Days: Welcome to the ABC

P-C front page 16-8-69
I have always freelanced, still do. I spent two weeks on leave from the ABC writing for the Post-Courier in August 1969 reporting on athletics at the South Pacific Games

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY, 1966 – Late in 1966, I received a pleasant surprise when Papua New Guinea’s 30-something director of education, Ken McKinnon, recently returned from Harvard with a PhD, transferred me from my highlands hideaway at Gagl Primary T School to Port Moresby as editor of the School Paper.

For this unexpected elevation I had to give thanks to the trifecta of Kundiawa News, scriptwriting for the ABC, and freelance journalism for Pacific Islands Monthly and the South Pacific Post.

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Radio Days: In the beginning

Haus Pig (Pig Sty)  Kundiawa  1964
The haus pik, just across the road from the Chimbu Club, and my first home in Kundiawa (1964)

KEITH JACKSON

GAGL, 1966 – I’d been teaching in the New Guinea highlands for two years at the one-teacher, 12-student Australian curriculum primary school in Kundiawa when Konedobu (Pidgin English for ‘place where big men give orders’) decided I was old enough.

With me having reached the significant age of 20, Konedobu determined I had accumulated enough chronology to be dispatched as head teacher to a more remote primary school – a fully-fledged institution with real classrooms and 150 students.

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The prayer from next door

Daniel
Daniel Kumbon - "And the birds continue to sing every morning, perhaps praising God as they've done for millennia"

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY – With Papua New Guinea under a state of emergency, I haven't been able to return to my home in Wabag and, here in the national capital, I continue to hear the lady next door pray to God every morning.

Today's prayer, translated from the Enga and Pidgin languages, went something like this.

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The importance of place

Tumby Bay
Tumby Bay - a fine place to be born and  to die - but cast my ashes to the winds, writes the much travelled Phil Fitzpatrick

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - It is not so long ago that people were born in one place and remained there for their whole lives.

This can still happen, as we know, but many people now pass through multiple places over the course of a lifetime.

In places like Papua New Guinea it is still common for people to spend their lives in one area, just as it is in rural regions of Australia.

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Fr Jerry Bus & the Enga

Sir Albert Kipalan (with spade) on the spot where Fr Jerry Bus settled at Kopen
Sir Albert Kipalan (with spade) on the spot where Fr Jerry Bus settled at Kopen

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY – In 1948, there was a sudden rush by Christian denominations to establish mission stations after the colonial Administration lifted restrictions of movement to unpacified areas of what is now Enga Province.

Prior to that there had already been rivalry between Lutheran and Catholic missionaries to win new converts around Mt Hagen.

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Where did the kiaps go

John Gordon-Kirkby's old patrol box
John Gordon-Kirkby's old patrol box

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY - Many kiaps [patrol officers] and other expatriates left Papua New Guinea in the years immediately before and after independence in September 1975.

Imagine the memories they took with them and may still have in their minds today?

One of the last kiaps to leave the highlands Enga District [now a province] was John Gordon-Kirkby who liked to eat sweet potatoes roasted in an open fire.

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Generosity is what counts

The handover
Ordinary Simbu people and some business people have donated money to the bushfire appeal, saying this is one way of repaying Australia for all she has done for them

FRANCIS NII

KUNDIAWA - In a critical economic situation like now in Papua New Guinea, when even a single kina matters a lot to many families, the generosity shown by the Simbu people toward the Simbu for Australia bushfire fundraising appeal is amazing.

Simbus from all walks of life poured their hearts out for the fundraising effort to help the people of Australia affected by devastating bushfires.

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Freda’s trip of a lifetime

Freda Duma
Freda Duma and her mum - on their way to Texas for life-saving heart surgery

CHARLIE LYNN

SYDNEY – Friday was the end of a long journey in our quest to help a young Kokoda schoolgirl, Freda Duma, have a lifesaving heart-operation in Texas, USA.

A chance sighting of one of our Facebook posts by Dr Amyna Sultan at the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby, and the coincidence of having an American specialist working with her at the time, led to an agreement to perform the operation free of charge in Texas.

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Success through endless struggle

Roselyn Sakias
Roselyn Sakias and her girls

ALPHONSE MEK

ENGA - Roselyn Sakias, originally from Enga, had a dream to become high school teacher. Life was rough and Roselyn faced a lot of challenges getting educated.

Many times it seemed her dream would just be that – a dream. But she completed Grade 12 at Pause secondary school in 2008 and was selected to attend the University of Goroka. That was a big step forward.

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My eulogy for Murray

Murray Bladwell provided practical help for Simbu and other projects
Murray Bladwell provided practical support for projects in Simbu and many other places

KEITH JACKSON

The funeral of our great friend and PNG Attitude colleague Murray Bladwell is being held in Brisbane as this tribute is published. I was asked by his family to offer a brief eulogy focusing on his relationship with Simbu….

NOOSA - The death of a friend chips away at us. When we lose a friend, we lose something of ourselves. And I miss this man of kindness, substance, practicality - and really bad puns.

Murray and I met in the Papua New Guinea highlands in early December 1963, a week or so after the assassination of John F Kennedy. Murray was 22; I was 18. Both of us were fresh out of teacher training.

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Jamie Maxton-Graham: A tribute

Jamie Maxton Graham
Jamie Maxton-Graham in Mexico in 2008 - he persuaded Daniel Kumbon to adopt a healthy lifestyle

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG – When we met for the first time far from home, the late Jamie Maxton Graham encouraged me to give up Coca-Cola.

It was in Mexico City in August 2008, and it’s not often you come across a national minister who talks on a personal level about health and other important life issues.

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My long awaited meeting with Sean Dorney

Pauline and Sean Dorney in Brisbane
Pauline and Sean Dorney in Brisbane: "You can’t separate one from the other" (Scott Waide)

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country

LAE - A year ago, I remarked to my small news team how good it would be if the universe gave me one opportunity to sit down and have a chat with the great Sean Dorney, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s longest serving PNG correspondent.

I grew up watching Sean on ABC television. My parents talked about him when he was deported.

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After 50 years, a forgotten friend

John Gordon Kirby  Melbourne 2019
John Gordon-Kirby, Melbourne 2019 - a reuniting with Daniel Kumbon after nearly 50 years

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY - How am I supposed to react when suddenly finding a friend after losing contact for many years?

When John Gordon-Kirby recently commented on an article I had published in PNG Attitude back in 2016, my impulse was to contact him immediately.

It was strange. His comment was about people I mentioned in the article but said nothing about me.

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