Picturesque Waterfront Cottage available for permanent rental - click here

The Die Was Cast - My Journey to New Guinea

The Bougainville Aftermath

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Sohano Ocean View Apartments in Buka Passage

70 years of PIM are now available on the internet - click here


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6 April 2019

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.

An old Bougainville friend from those early days, who stayed until the very end of the construction phase, wrote, "I remember clearing up old files after Bechtel left. There were a couple of box files filled with letters from women, solicitors, lawyers etc., all much of the same theme, so-and-so was believed to be working on the project and was wanted for child support payments, etc. The standard reply clipped under the lid was to the effect that there were over fifty companies working on the project with a total of 10,000 workers, and if the writer would please care to contact the respective company. Of course, they knew that if they dobbed in one guy, they would instantly lose a big percentage of the workforce."

Camp 6 Loloho
Click on image to enter Bougainville Copper Project website

Well, I was still single and too young to have done a runner from home. To me, Bougainville was home and it came in the shape of a 9x9ft donga tastefully decorated with PLAYBOY centrefolds of girls waxed to the point of martyrdom, where one's wordly possessions easily fitted into a 2ft-wide metal locker and one's needs for comfort were satisfied by a red plastic chair on the porch.

Life was so simple then; we were so innocent! Or, at least, some of us were. The old saying that Papua New Guinea attracted three types of men, namely missionaries, moneymakers, and misfits, had to be rewritten for the Bougainville Copper Project to include those running away from their wives, the police, or themselves.

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

I look forward to hearing from you.

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

3 April 2019

This should bring back memories:


29 March 2019

Listen to Radio Yumi FM 93.0

Click here


20 March 2019

From the facebook pages of
Ex Bougainville Copper


Click on each image to enlarge



1 March 2019

Michael Lorenz sent some early photos of Panguna in 1967/68

Clearing Helipad approach

Clearing Helipad approach

Gunther Fromel and chainman

Gunther Fromel, the surveyor

The old Panguna gold adit

Looking down on Barapena with Panguna in background

Making road Barapena to Panguna

Michael Lorenz at Panguna

Fuel delivery

New helipad

Panguna airport

Playing around on helipad in hills behind Karato village

Prospecting with security; Tony Osman on log

Restaurant, laundry and rig

Smoko at rig with Tank, Rod Sales and can't remember


Visit by bigshots, Espie, etc.