The Die Was Cast - My Journey to New Guinea

The Bougainville Aftermath

Want to share a house in Bali? Click here!

Sohano Ocean View Apartments in Buka Passage


If something on this blog doesn't work, please contact the janitor
Alternatively, contact the Helpdesk

February 20, 2015

A message from the webmaster:

It is perhaps not surprising that this blog and the Bougainville website are dying a slow death. However, as the numbers of ex-Bougainville employees are diminishing, it puts an even greater responsibility on those who are left to keep recording those times which were important to us as well as to the island of Bougainville.

If you have an anecdote to contribute or some old photos, please email me at riverbend[AT]

I look forward to hearing from you.

Peter Goerman
PO Box 233
Batemans Bay NSW 2536
Email riverbend[AT]
Skype riverbend2

February 18, 2015

Ivan Iroro emailed from Papua New Guinea:


I am a Bougainvillian and was a small boy at that time of construction days, I grew up and went to international school at Panguna in 1973 my father was a employment supervisor By the name of James Iroro. I am surprised to see that people like you are still recalling the good old days at Bougainville.

I am sending photos of Old Kieta Harbour and what Kieta harbour looks like now and also Loloho beach in the eighties. It’s a bit blurry but it will recall back some of the old memories back.

I would like to share stories from people whom have worked here on Bougainville Island, here is my Gmail address; iroroivan[AT] and also my company email address: ivan.iroro[AT]

Thank you very much and hear from you soon.

February 3, 2015

Black Tie Ball Friday 15th May 2015


The reunion this year falls on Sunday 17th May. On this special occasion of the 25th year of our departure from Bougainville`s shores we are combining the picnic with a formal ball, see flyer above. The venue is the Queensland Irish Association`s function rooms at 175 Elizabeth St. Brisbane.

Attendance for the picnic is not limited but for the Ball the maximum seating is 250. Half of the tickets have some claim upon them so they should be sold out by early next month. Payment for tickets will be accepted from the 1st March.

January 22, 2015

In a Savage Land - a movie set in the Trobriands






Some interesting video clips


January 21, 2015

Taim Bilong Masta


Back in 1983 (or was it 1984?), when I flew into Adelaide from Saudi Arabia to finalise a grain shipment to the Middle East, I took time off to visit the local ABC Bookshop and discovered a couple of dozen cassette tapes of the ABC radio series Taim Bilong Masta, produced by Tim Bowden and first broadcast in 1981.

It was the distillation of 350 hours of tape-recorded interviews with Australians and Papua New Guineans who had been involved with Australia's colonial administration which ended with self government and independence in 1975. The result was a superb 24-program social history, so evocative of a time and place, revealed through a tapestry of voices from those who lived through it. These were first-hand accounts of the pre-war history in the early 1900s, the masta-boi relationships, the gold rush and the exploration of the highlands. In it, Australian men and women who spent so many years living and working in Papua New Guinea before independence in 1975 could be heard again, telling their own stories.

Of course, I bought the whole set and for years after I listened again and again to those tapes until they had worn out.

In more recent years I also found the book based on the radio series and containing 224 pages of informative text with many archival photographs, newspaper clippings and a detailed index but nothing could ever replace those wonderful audio cassettes - until just now when I found them as a downloadable 17-hour audiobook on Amazon's

Of course, I immediately bought it!

Peter Goerman, Webmaster


January 20, 2015

Stanley Semery emailed from Port Moresby:



I was surfing through the net for some particular information and came across your site.

I am just curious to know what has happened to the public share ex-BCL workers from PNG have bought.

My father worked in BCL for almost 20 years and we left during the crisis in 1989. Up until now he has never pursue the agenda on his shares and I would like to help him as much out here.

If you could kindly provide some advice/info and direction on this matter will be greatly appreciated."

Unfortunately, I couldn't help Stanley Semery as I know nothing about BCL's share issue to PNG Nationals. What I do know is that BCL shares are still occasionally traded on the Sydney Stock Exchange (latest quote AUS$0.235); however, they don't seem to be listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange. If anybody can help Stanley with more information, please email me at riverbend{AT]

Stanley is the OHSE Manager of the PNG Ports Corporation (the former PNG Harbours Board) which made me reflect on how far the country has come and how long ago it was when we built Bougainville Copper as back in those days there was barely a mention of occupational health and safety. I mean, those thousands of Highlanders all proudly wore their safety helmets but hardly any of them had boots, let alone safety boots.


December 30, 2014

Happy New Year!

(don’t mind the German introduction — the video is in English)


here are myriad New Year’s Eve customs worldwide. In Japan, toshikoshi soba noodles are eaten to bring in the coming year. In Anglo-Saxon countries, finding someone to share a New Year’s Eve kiss with as the clock winds down has become a boon to the romantically-challenged. In Germany, however, a different tradition has taken form: every year on December 31st, TV networks broadcast an 18-minute-long black and white two-hander comedy skit.

In 1963, Germany’s Norddeutscher Rundfunk television station recorded a sketch entitled Dinner For One, performed by the British comics Freddie Frinton and May Warden. The duo depicted an aging butler serving his aristocratic mistress, Miss Sophie, dinner on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Although four additional spots have been set at the table, the nonagenarian’s friends have long since passed away, and the butler is forced to take their places in drinking copious amounts of alcohol while toasting Miss Sophie’s health. Hilarity, as it is wont to do in such cases, ensues.

Since its initial recording, the clip has become a New Year’s Eve staple in Germany. Although Dinner For One has never been broadcast in the U. S. or Canada, the clip has spread throughout Europe to Norway, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Austria, Switzerland, and beyond the continent’s shores, to South Africa and Australia. In Sweden, a bowdlerized 11-minute version of the clip has been produced, where, for decency’s sake, much of the butler’s boozing was excised alongside its attendant comedic effect. In Denmark, after the national television network failed to broadcast the sketch in 1985, an avalanche of viewer complaints has guaranteed its subsequent yearly appearance. Although the category is now defunct, the clip held the Guinness World Record for Most Frequently Repeated TV Program.

Above, you can view the original 18-minute comedic opus and celebrate New Year’s day in the same way that much of Europe will ring in 2015.

I wish you all a happy new year! Rest assured, it'll be the same procedure as last year.



December 23, 2014

Wishing you all a very
Merry Christmas!


We have outsourced this year's Christmas Greetings to keep costs down. Refer to our Christmas card from last year for a translation.

Please take some time out from all the merry-making and reflect here on the many things you can be grateful for! And ponder again the age-old question,

"Why is a Christmas tree better than a man?"

Here at last is the answer:

It's always erect,
Stays up for 12 days and nights,
Has cute balls,
And even looks good with the lights on!

A very Merry Christmas to you all!

(This Christmas I'm putting Mistletoe in my back-pocket
so all the people who don't like me can kiss my ass!)



And here's one for all you hopeless romantics out there to get you into the Christmas spirit of things:

A couple were Christmas shopping. The shopping centre was packed, and as the wife walked through one of the malls she was surprised when she looked around to find that her husband was nowhere to be seen. She was quite upset because they had a lot to do and she became so worried that she called him on the mobile phone to ask him where he was.

In a quiet voice he said, "Do you remember the jewellers we went into about five years ago where you fell in love with that diamond necklace that we couldn't afford, and I told you that I would get it for you one day?"

The wife choked up and started to cry and said, "Yes, I do remember that shop."

He replied, "Well, I'm in the pub next door."


December 22, 2014

Down memory lane with Louis Tagovono


The above photos are from Louis Tagovono's facebook page. And there are more. Just click here, then click on 'Open Photo Viewer', and click next and next and next ...