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The King & Duncan & the mangroves of Boera

It was then the team leader informed us of the royal visit to Papua New Guinea, including a trip to Boera village. The Prince of Wales would officially launch our mangrove conservation project

Prince Charles plants the mangrove seedling at Boera village
Prince Charles plants the mangrove seedling at Boera village during his visit of 2012

DUNCAN GABI

WEWAK – On this morning in 2012, I stood inside the greenhouse surrounded by mangrove seedlings and in a state of high anxiety.

Soon I heard distant singing and the beating of kundu drums followed by cheering.

Continue reading "The King & Duncan & the mangroves of Boera" »


Give the raskol a tenner & watch him grow

These are youths who sleep in the drains beside the Courts, at Yakapilin Market and in various dirty shanties around Port Moresby

10kina

JORDAN DEAN

PORT MORESBY - Whilst others were painting their faces on Independence Day, I spent my day at Jack Pidik Park.

I had been invited to give a little speech at the Human Development Institute graduation ceremony. So, what is significant about that?

Continue reading "Give the raskol a tenner & watch him grow" »


Thoughts on the brutal death of a vagrant rat

I do not want to take a life; I’m not a barbarian or a savage. I was not cut out for taking a life. Rats, do not put me in such a situation. Maybe I should join the Jain religion

Gabi dead rat

DUNCAN GABI

WEWAK - A few days ago, I set a rat glue trap to catch the pests who had invaded our home and established squatter settlements in the walls and ceiling.

Some of the rascals would walk around the house like they had a property title.

Continue reading "Thoughts on the brutal death of a vagrant rat" »


How to catch a croc in five quite easy steps

Wanem kain mit?” I asked. What sort of meat? 
Bai you kisim sampla han, olsem.” Then you get an arm.
Bai mi nap kisim displa han lo we a?” Where do I get an arm!

Oates- pukpukPAUL OATES

CLEVELAND QLD - When stationed at Sialum in Morobe Province many years ago, I asked Councillor Zorika from Gitua whether there were any crocodiles in his area.

I was intending to do some fly fishing for Jungle Perch along the local rivers and thought it prudent to do some background research.

Continue reading "How to catch a croc in five quite easy steps" »


8 days of rain & a some bizarre musical chairs

My call alerted the authorities to my existence as a primary trained teacher in a secondary trained position. This triggered a rather drastic chain reaction

Tapini airstrip c 1967 (Bob Grieve)
Tapini grass airstrip, c 1967 (Bob Grieve)

IAN ROBERTSON

BRISBANE – The Tapini airstrip featured as an oddity during my service in Papua New Guinea.

This has begun in 1959 after I had completed the two-year Cadet Education Officer’s certificate course at the Australian School of Pacific Administration in 1958.

Continue reading "8 days of rain & a some bizarre musical chairs" »


Bongbong wins on a myth as history wanes

A bongbong
Philippines new president Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr was an indulged youth whose excesses came at the expense of the ordinary people of the Philippines who suffered under his father's ruthless rule

MARTIN HADLOW

SAMFORD VALLEY, QLD -The result of this week's presidential election in the Philippines are a reminder of the adage that ‘those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it’.

With the son of the former dictator and looter of the nation’s resources, Ferdinand Marcos Sr, winning the presidency in a landslide this week, the wheel of history turns and brings to mind the worst excesses of the past.

Continue reading "Bongbong wins on a myth as history wanes" »


Port Moresby Harbour is not Fairfax Harbour

A Port Moresby  19th century - from The Colonial Portfolio (The Werner Company  London)
Port Moresby,  19th century - from The Colonial Portfolio (The Werner Company London)

CHRIS WARRILLOW

MELBOURNE - Names often change with time but, after nearly 50 years of independence and 150 years after the arrival of Captain John Moresby, the name of Papua New Guinea’s remains Port Moresby.

Prior the arrival of the first British sailors in 1873, and still today, the traditional inhabitants lived in a few small villages on the harbour shores with many houses built over its waters.

Continue reading "Port Moresby Harbour is not Fairfax Harbour" »


Never in PNG: Noosa's pignorant decision

A Daphne Clarkson and Lenny the pig
Daphne Clarkson and Lenny the blind pig

MEG BOLTON & JESSICA LAMB
| ABC Sunshine Coast

MAROOCHYDORE, QLD - Cooroy woman Daphne Clarkson has been given one more week to find a new home for her emotional support companion pig, Lenny.

Ms Clarkson, who has anxiety and a sensory processing disorder, said she did not know how she would cope without her companion animal.

"Being without him isn't really an option, to be truthful," Ms Clarkson said.

Continue reading "Never in PNG: Noosa's pignorant decision" »


The great ‘My Aged Care’ package scam

A my-aged-care Simon Kneebone
Illustration by Simon Kneebone

GARRY LUHRS

“I always like to firm up vinaigrettes with some facts” – Garry Luhrs

The email came with a tantalising opener, “Hi Keith - I would like this scandal to be advertised far and wide.” In my business, it doesn’t come more pulse-racing than that. The missive came from former kiap and forever humourist Garry Luhrs, but it had a serious message. “This misappropriation of aged care funds is right across the board. Every provider appears to have front trotters and snouts in the trough. They seem to be creaming up to 70% of the funds as administrative expenses. This requires a Royal Commission. Any assistance that you can provide will be greatly appreciated.” So folks, if after reading Garry’s revelations you find you’ve had a similar experience, just drop him an email or a note in the Comments section and make sure Garry adds your case to the growing list - KJ

WUNDOWIE, WA - Greetings and salutations, survivors of the great PNG experiment who are still on the perch!

Lend me your eyes and ears. I am in search of volunteers who would like to be recruited to accompany me on my last patrol.

Like Don Quixote I have picked up my drooping old lance and am setting out on this last epic patrol to tilt once more at the windmills of an uncaring bureaucracy.

Continue reading "The great ‘My Aged Care’ package scam" »


New Guinea, 1965: Machines, men & landing places

Omkolai 2
Final approach, Omkolai, 1960s (PNGAA)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – This photograph and the one below emerged on Facebook not so long ago.

They brought back many memories of a time now long gone in a place dear to our hearts.

Omkolai airstrip is about 20 km south of Kundiawa. It doesn’t sound that far now. But the road from Kundiawa – precipitous and riven with landslides – always made it seem much, much further than that. Still does, I hear.

Continue reading "New Guinea, 1965: Machines, men & landing places" »


The amazing, absurd & shocking story of Port Moresby

moresby 1886
The first printed plan of Port Moresby was compiled from surveys made in July and August 1886 by Walter R Guthbertson

THERESA PATTERSON
| From a story originally published in
  the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier

Eda Moresby: Our Moresby by John Brooksbank, K250 each (K200 each for five or more). To Australia: $100 + $15 post. Link Facebook and find Eda Moresby here or email here

PORT MORESBY – ‘Only in PNG!’ People might think this catch-all phrase for our country’s extraordinary quirks is a relatively recent addition to our lexicon.

But if the outrageous stories in John Brooksbank’s new book, ‘Eda Moresby’ (Motu for ‘Our Moresby’), are anything to go by, the expression would have applied way back to before Papua New Guinea existed.

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Graduating to illiteracy? Just not on

Justin Olam - rugby league champion (nrl.com)
Justin Olam - rugby league champion (nrl.com)

JUSTIN KUNDALIN

KANDEP, ENGA – Papua New Guinea is a developing country doing everything it can to catch up with the Western world.

In my view, easily the greatest Western influence in shaping PNG has been education; although other transformational forces, such as building a minerals-based economy, have been crucial.

Continue reading "Graduating to illiteracy? Just not on" »


Escape from Mariupol: '21 days changed everyone'

theatre
The Mariupol theatre, with its vivid red roof, was packed with 1,300 people taking refuge and presented the softest of targets

SVITLANA ZLENKO
| Translation by Roman Sheremeta

Last Tuesday, Svitlana Zlenko fled the besieged eastern Ukraine city of Mariupol with her young son. After finding safety, she used Twitter to share this account of life under siege. Dr Roman Sheremeta is an associate professor of economics at Case Western Reserve University at Cleveland, Ohio, in the USA. He prefaced this translation with a warning: “The faint-hearted should not read this” - KJ

SOMEWHERE IN UKRAINE - We collected snow, warmed it on a campfire and cooked macaroni. My family was in the bomb shelter of High School No 2.

Continue reading "Escape from Mariupol: '21 days changed everyone'" »


Solved: Mystery of the Ialibu pioneers

Capture
Ialibu 1972

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – In April 2019, Raymond Sigimet shared his father’s memories of being a policeman in the kiap system in the early years of Papua New Guinea’s independence.

The article, A Policeman Remembers, included two photographs, the first of four members of the disciplined forces (army, police and corrective services) posing in their uniforms for Paul Oates at his Morobe outpost.

The other, reprised here, of a group of expatriate men based in Ialibu, posing in the fashion of 19th century pioneers.

Continue reading "Solved: Mystery of the Ialibu pioneers" »


On the trail of The Phantom's PNG exploits

Use of Tok Pisin established The Phantom as a PNG superstar (Mark Eby)
The production of as Tok Pisin comic book reinforced The Phantom as a PNG superstar (Mark Eby)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - From time to time Slim Kaikai drops me a note from somewhere in Papua New Guinea and we have a brief email swap until the next couple of years pass.

In January Slim sent me his usual “just a quick wan”, asking would I know “where to get a hold of any phantom comics in pidgin”.

Continue reading "On the trail of The Phantom's PNG exploits" »


Down south on long leave, Sydney, 1964

Jag
"“I’ve got just the one for you,” Filshie said. “It’s a red XK120 Jaguar convertible. Goes like the clappers” (Rob Barclay)

ROB BARCLAY
| Memoir | Edited extract

ADELAIDE - After six years’ service in the Territory, I had six months long leave, which I decided to spend in Melbourne and Sydney.

In neither place were there receptive females on holiday, so securing companions would be an ongoing problem.

I had discussed this difficulty with two fellow patrol officers due to attend the long course at ASOPA [Australian School of Pacific Administration] after their own leave.

Continue reading "Down south on long leave, Sydney, 1964" »


From humble street camera to tool for justice

A Kodak Instamatic 104 such as Busa's father might have used as a 1970s street photographer
A Kodak Instamatic 104 such as Busa's father might have used as a 1970s street photographer

BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

PORT MORESBY – It was only recently that I discovered my father was once a street photographer.

Back in the 1970s, he and some village friends took up the activity as a form of employment, to earn money, to put food on the table.

This was well before modern digital cameras and smart phones made photography simple and ever-present.

Continue reading "From humble street camera to tool for justice" »


Fred Wilson: The boomerang boy of 1PIR

graves
The Taurama Cemetery as Terry Edwinsmith found it in 2011 before it was revamped

TERRY EDWINSMITH

Boomerang Boy by David Wilson,‏ Take A Leaf Publications, October 2021. Available: Kindle (Amazon Australia) $11.99; Paperback (Waterstones, UK) £20

BRISBANE - The book, 'Boomerang Boy', tells the compelling story of Taurama Barracks Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) Frederick Alexander (Fred) Wilson.

This remarkable soldier died suddenly while serving with 1PIR on 27 March 1968 aged 43.

Continue reading "Fred Wilson: The boomerang boy of 1PIR" »


Adieu Harry, it was good. May ONGU travel with you

Abbot Roach
Harry (right) with former Sunshine Coast mayor Bob Abbot. Considering Harry's ubiquity and his reputation for having a finger in every pie, strangely this is the best pic we were able to find at short notice. Looks like ONGU operatives were at work

HARRY ROACH

Harry Roach died this afternoon bringing to an end an illustrious career as a Papua New Guinea kiap, a Cooroy property salesman and a Noosa shire councillor. He was known wherever he went as a can-do man, a thoroughgoing professional, a solid citizen and an inveterate prankster. Life with Harry could be eye-popping, hair-raising and mind-blowing, but the saga of ONGU was perhaps his greatest accomplishment – a true tour de farce - KJ

AITAPE - There was very little to occupy the ever-enquiring minds of the people who lived and worked in the many and varied outstations of the Sepik District in the mid 1960's.

And so it was with those who filled the various government and private occupations on the small Aitape outstation at the time.

Continue reading "Adieu Harry, it was good. May ONGU travel with you" »


Pax Australiana & techniques of pacification

Forster - Roy edwards
Patrol Officer Roy Edwards and police with a group of manacled villagers, Kunimaipa section, Goilala Sub-District, late 1940s (photo previously unpublished)

ROBERT FORSTER

NORTHUMBRIA, UK – Roy Edwards was an uncompromising kiap (patrol officer), not fond of paperwork and with his own way of bringing pacification to the warring tribes of Papua New Guinea.

He patrolled the Kunimaipa section of the Goilala region for months on end and was ultimately successful in erasing a traditional payback murder spiral that led to dozens of deaths each year.

The perpetuation of payback was an insurmountable obstacle to securing the wellbeing and progress of the villages.

Continue reading "Pax Australiana & techniques of pacification" »


How Stewy Brown beat the Dog Act

I am what i am
'I Am What I Am' - Stewy Brown was a serial drunk and on the verge of deportation from  colonial PNG when Bob Parer asked the Policemaster to give him one last chance

ROB PARER

BRISBANE – One of the unusual colonial laws of Papua New Guinea when it was an Australian territory was the so-called Dog Act.

Under the Dog Act a magistrate could order that people with an alcohol problem could have their name and photograph posted at all local hotels and clubs for a year.

During that time any premises that served that person alcohol would be fined.

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Involuntary voyagers await repatriation

Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni (Denyse Ealedona)
Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni now have to get the paperwork out of the way after 29 days lost at sea (Photo - Denyse Ealedona)

JARED KOLI
| Solomon Islands broadcasting Corporation

PORT MORESBY - Two Solomon Islands' men missing for 29 days until rescued off the coast of East New Britain 10 days ago are now in Port Moresby awaiting repatriation.

Mary Walenenea, second secretary with the Solomon Islands high commission in Papua New Guinea, said the men, Livae Nanjikana and Junior Qoloni, are staying at the embassy.

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The wreckage they left behind

Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park
Ikara-Flinders Ranges National Park in South Australia. Phil Fitzpatrick found this country more to his liking than a city teeming with consultants

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - After leaving Papua New Guinea I went to work for the South Australian Museum in a new unit responsible for Aboriginal heritage legislation.

There were less than a dozen of us and shortly after I arrived we were shifted from the museum to a warehouse with attached offices out in the suburbs.

It was a decidedly casual arrangement and on most days when I wasn’t doing fieldwork I turned up at the office in shorts and tee shirt.

Continue reading "The wreckage they left behind" »


Fahim Dashty - pioneer of Afghan press freedom

Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)
Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)

MARTIN HADLOW

SAMFORD VALLEY – Not long ago in PNG Attitude, this photograph was published alongside my article, ‘Taliban had time & are not so benign’.

It shows the Kabul Weekly newspaper being compiled by hand.

The newspaper was established by an extraordinary journalist, Fahim Dashty. And this is his story.

Continue reading "Fahim Dashty - pioneer of Afghan press freedom" »


The peerless, resilient Massey Ferguson

Tractor flambe
Paul Oates' Massey Ferguson after the fire

PAUL OATES

Phil Fitzpatrick recently paid tribute in these columns to the incomparable durability of the Massey Ferguson tractor.  In this piece, extracted from his memoir, ‘Phascogales and Other Tales’, former kiap Papua New Guinea kiap Paul Oates recalls his own experience with this wonderfully resilient machine. By the way, Paul's book available here from Amazon - KJ

Continue reading "The peerless, resilient Massey Ferguson" »


The saga of the mighty Fergie 135

Mf135
Not ours at Kiunga, but an old Massey Ferguson 135 put out to pasture

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - It was 1969 at Kiunga on the Fly River and we were unloading MV Pipi Gari, named after Steamship Trading Company’s first Papuan skipper.

It was the dry season and the river was very low, but the skipper had been able to steer the vessel across the rock bar eight kilometres downstream and motor to the station.

Continue reading "The saga of the mighty Fergie 135" »


A Baiyer court case: A good kiap reflects.

Weaponry PNG modern style
A Tagali warlord presents his Mac58 and M16 at a Hela gun surrender. Technology has made clan warfare much more lethal

JIM MOORE

WARRADALE - Among the boxes of stuff in my shed, I dug up a document I had kept because I wanted to prove I had not embellished a story.

The document was a carbon copy of a Local Court case I heard at Baiyer River in the Western Highlands nearly 50 years ago, on 10 December 1971.

Continue reading "A Baiyer court case: A good kiap reflects." »


The man who was told he wasn't Australian

Troy Lee
After a five-year legal battle against the Department of Home Affairs Troy Lee has his passport again. His life was wrecked by a callous act of bureaucratic stupidity 

STEFAN ARMBRUSTER
| SBS News | If you have a similar story, contact Stefan: stefan.armbruster@sbs.com.au

BRISBANE - Almost five years ago Troyrone (Troy) Zen Lee did what thousands of Australians do every day: applied to renew his passport.

What he did not expect to be told in 2016 was that he was not Australian.

Born in pre-independence Papua New Guinea, Troy fell victim to the Department of Home Affairs' stubborn misinterpretation of the Citizenship Act.

Continue reading "The man who was told he wasn't Australian" »


It was the Aussies who drove PNG to drink

Arthur Williams
Arthur Williams - "The American Bishop of Kavieng asked me to ring the Convent and invite two of the Sisters to join us to play Rummy"

ARTHUR WILLIAMS

CARDIFF - Phil Fitzpatrick often writes about subjects that capture what many of us ex-New Guinea types think about now we have more time on our hands having left behind the daily commute to work.

His Power, Hedonism & the Best Years of Our Lives’ was one such essay.

During the latter part of my 30 years in Papua New Guinea, I often felt that the life of expats who were off duty influenced the local people.

Continue reading "It was the Aussies who drove PNG to drink" »


Great NG airship expedition that never happened

Thumbs_luftschiff_order_card
Postcard printed in 1913 to pre-order of the Pf2, Mk1 and never-produced Mk20 stamps. Only known copy in existence

PETER KRANZ

MORRISET – It is an historical oddity more like an absurdist Monty Python sketch than reality, but it is true.

In 1913, Germany, Britain and Holland, all colonial powers sharing New Guinea, began planning a joint expedition to the giant island.

Continue reading "Great NG airship expedition that never happened" »


The day I gave the bad news to Kela Smith

Mal Kela Smith
Malcolm Kela Smith (PNGi). "Mal's response was furious and littered with profanities. Needless to say, my relationship with him ended acrimoniously"

WILL MUSKENS
| Ex Kiap Website | Edited

BARDON, QLD - The people who live along the Sepik River, who depend upon it for their livelihoods, are facing the fight of a lifetime.

The Chinese-owned Guangdong Rising through its subsidiary, PanAust, is seeking approval from the Papua New Guinea government to establish the Frieda River copper and gold mine.

Continue reading "The day I gave the bad news to Kela Smith" »


Annie’s story: Escape from abuse

Annie at Vision City -
Annie at Vision City - “Archie was only 12 and still needed me, but he gave me the courage to escape from my abusive husband”

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY – Archie Iso Kundal loves his mother very much but, as a small child, was frequently distressed to see his abusive father, Ismael, habitually beat her.

The two small boys would often see their mother lock herself in a room and cry while nursing her wounds.

So one day Archie told his mother to escape, return to her people at Kerema and not come back to Wabag until he and his brother Victor were old enough to defend her.

Continue reading "Annie’s story: Escape from abuse" »


The big yellow excavator

Buk Bilong Pikinini students
Students from the Buk Bilong Pikinini School worried that their home has been removed by the developer.

BETTY WAKIA
| Ples Singsing | Edited

I interviewed some of the students who went to Buk Bilong Pikinini School on the ATS hillside. This is one of their stories. The girl’s name has been changed - BW

PORT MORESBY - It was a bright sunny day and Mekeme was reading a book at the Buk Bilong Pikinini School on the hillside of the ATS settlement.

As she sat on the school veranda, she saw a big yellow excavator come slowly down the hill towards her house.

Continue reading "The big yellow excavator" »


Into the backblocks with the sorcerers

SangumaBILL CORDEN
| New English Review | Edited extract

Link here to read more of Bill Corden’s writing

VANCOUVER – It’s 1993. My older brother, Ron, had ended up in a remote village in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

He was the manager of a town called Goroka. How he got there is a story that would take too long to tell, but suffice to say he's completely immersed in the culture.

Continue reading "Into the backblocks with the sorcerers" »


Musing on the death of Prince Philip

Brittania in Kieta Harbour  Prince Philip on board   April 1971 (Terence Spencer)
Brittania in Kieta Harbour with Prince Philip on board,   April 1971. It is anchored behind a freighter waiting to dock at Kieta wharf (right) (Terence Spencer)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Early on the morning of Wednesday 17 March 1971, the black-hulled royal yacht HMY Brittania slipped slowly into Kieta harbour through the narrow main channel abeam of Pok Pok Island.

On board was Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visiting for a two night stay on Bougainville after a voyage through the Panama Canal and the Pacific islands and on to the then Territory of Papua and New Guinea.

Continue reading "Musing on the death of Prince Philip" »


The dogs of Manus

Dogs of Manus (Stefan Armbruster  SBS News)
Dogs of Manus (Stefan Armbruster,  SBS News)

BEHROUZ BOOCHANI
| Newsroom | Translated by Mohsen Kafi

AUCKLAND - This is a topic that has rarely been written about, simply because few people care about how dogs live.

The story dates to the time I was imprisoned on Manus Island. In 2013, the Australian government exiled me and almost 1,000 other refugees to Manus in the north of Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "The dogs of Manus" »


Remembered: Michael Somare’s escape from Rabaul

Double outigger canoe (Mariners Museum  Virginia  USA)
A Philippines double outrigger canoe (Mariners Museum, Virginia, USA)

CAPTAIN STEVEN JOLLY

ALI ISLAND - I want to share with you all a special tribute to our late great Great Grand Chief Sir Michael T Somare with a short story from my home, Ali Island in the Aitape District of Sandaun Province.

During the childhood years of our Great Grand Chief at Rabaul during World War II, a late gentleman by the name of Makarius Menik from Jaltaleouw village on Ali Island, with some of his fellow comrades, sailed out of Rabaul to Murik in a traditional double outrigger canoe.

Continue reading "Remembered: Michael Somare’s escape from Rabaul" »


Kerenga Kua & lip ti no swit

Kerenga_Kua
Kerenga Kua - spoke about an embarrassing experience with a cup of tea during his high school days

DUNCAN GABI

LAE - Kerenga Kua, Papua New Guinea’s petroleum and energy minister, has occupied senior political positions since he was first elected as the member for Sinasina-Yongamugl in Simbu Province in 2012.

My story, though, is about his student days at Aiyura National High School as told by the man himself in 2014.

Continue reading "Kerenga Kua & lip ti no swit" »


How a janitor helped me become a soldier

PNGDF personnelBERLDON TIMAH
Graun Blong Mi - My Land | Edited

LAE – Many years ago, I was working as a cleaner at a power plant at Ok Tedi mine in Papua New Guinea’s Western Province when I saw an advertisement for PNG Defence Force recruitment.

I’d wanted to join the Army since childhood, so I submitted a form and was called for an entry test at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby. I would need travel there by sea.

Continue reading "How a janitor helped me become a soldier" »


The dog that took over my abode

Nebula and family
Nebula and her new family members. Nebula found an inconvenient place to give birth

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My People

LAE - Two years ago, my son’s dog-daughter, Nebula, ‘adopted’ me as her human parent.

She seemed to claim me even more after he left to join the army last year and I became full-time parent, or Nebula adopted me as full time parent, whatever.

Continue reading "The dog that took over my abode" »


Living in the slums

 

HeavyHAZEL KUTKUE
| Sipikriva Girl Blog

FINSCHHAFEN - After ending my career as a resident doctor at Angau Memorial Provincial Hospital, Lae, it was time to pack up my bags and move temporarily to the big city.

In Lae, I had lived in accommodation provided by the hospital for resident doctors. I had initially lived in a bedsitter inside the hospital, and then I moved to Eriku in flats rented by the hospital.

Continue reading "Living in the slums" »


The patrol that went wrong – Part 2

HelicopterNALAU BINGEDING

PORT MORESBY – As somebody called “The white men are going to steal us and take us to Australia,” every trooper fled from the helicopter in every direction into the thick jungle.

Although barefoot, we did not care about rattan spikes or any other mishap that may be in our way.

We had to flee as fast as we could to get away from the helicopter.

Continue reading "The patrol that went wrong – Part 2" »


The patrol that went wrong – Part 1

HelicopterNALAU BINGEDING

PORT MORESBY - As a kid, the Busoo River in the Bukawa area of Morobe Province was the best place in the world to be.

In Wagangluhu village, on the banks of the Busoo, the river was our swimming pool, fishing ground and playground. This and the surrounding lush tropical rainforests provided my friends and me with countless adventures.

Continue reading "The patrol that went wrong – Part 1" »


The unwanted Christmas present

Phil on patrol  Star Mountains  early 1970s
Phil on patrol, Star Mountains, early 1970s

PHIL FITZPATRICK
| Published in PNG Attitude, 24 December 2019

TUMBY BAY - In 1970 I received a Christmas present I didn’t really want.

At the time I was the officer-in-charge of Olsobip Patrol Post on the southern slopes of the Star Mountains in the Western District.

Earlier in the month I had returned from a 31 day patrol into the rugged and remote Murray Valley.

Continue reading "The unwanted Christmas present" »