The Die Was Cast - My Journey to New Guinea

The Bougainville Aftermath

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Sohano Ocean View Apartments in Buka Passage

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February 6, 2016

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

Back then, 'home' was 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 when 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 riverbend[AT]batemansbay.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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

February 4, 2016

February 2, 2016

John Hewitt sent these pictures dating back to 1973/74:

John Hewitt from Sheffield in the U.K. who had emailed me some time ago - click here - was kind enough to mail me a CD full of old photos and clippings which I am right now downsizing a bit to facilitate easier viewing on this blog. Here is the first crop (but there are more to come!)