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25 August 2010

Barry Apps

I worked for Morgan Equipment, 1971-1973.

I had the best time of my life and accordingly I am married to a Tolia(Rabaul)lady.

I am looking forward to working back in the Island - mining locations until retirement. I would like to hear from any past Morgan employees.


Greg Beehre looking for Des

Hi there ,

my name is Greg Beehre and i worked for Comtrade Eng on Bougainville from 1986-88.

I'm trying to locate a friend i made on the island who worked in the pit workshop as a diesel fitter. Des is his name, originally from Scotland.

I can't remember his surname. Photo above.

I found your email address on the friends of Bougainville page so hope this reaches you and i hope this isn't an intrusion of youir privacy.

Yours Sincerely

Mike Edwards


Happened to stumble on your page which is now in favourites so thought I might drop you a few lines. My name is Mike Edwards and I worked on Bougainville for Morgan Equipment 1970 / 71. Lived first up in Panguna, Kawrong Haus (excuse if spelling got lost somewhere), a long spell in Camp 6 Loloho. I do remember those red plastic chairs and the dongas under the coconut trees with a great deal of affection. I lived with friends Kevin & Mickey Gill in a Morgan unit in Toniva for a while. Finished up a bunch of us from Morgans lived in a house in Arawa.

I'm sure you would remember the wet mess at Camp 6, first time I went there I was a little amused at those little roof things over the tables, soon found out what they were there for. And could not go without a mention of Arovo Island (or the Davara Hotel in Toniva) spent many a happy Saturday night and / or Sunday there. And the diving, just magic.

I had just a little under two years on the island, after I had been home a while I found myself regretting leaving. Morgan Equipment was a great company to work for and with a very few exceptions the people both expats and locals were great.

I suppose the years have put a bit of a rosy glow on the memories, but looking back there were so many more good times than bad, would love to see the place again.

Mike Edwards

Lansel Taudevin


I still look at the site and recall Bougainville. While I don't make it to many if the reunions in Australia, I still stay in contact with friends I made there. It is strange in one way. Having lived in many countries on many assignments, it is the people I met in Bougainville that I mainly keep in touch with.
I now spend my time in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur - it depends on the state of the laksa! - and if anyone is passing through, please get in touch.
My email contact is still the same at

Lansell Taudevin

23 June 2010

Blowing your own vuvuzela

Vuvuzelas are all the rage at South Africa's Soccer World Cup.

Of course, it helps to know where all those vuvuzelas come from:

20 June 2010

Lisa Faithful née Beaton


I was a teacher with the International Education Agency on Bougainville Island from 1986 until September 1989, I was Lisa Beaton back then. I have the most wonderful memories of the island and my time at Panguna International Primary and North Solomons International High School. My classroom at NSIHS looked right over Loloho beach and there was many an afternoon when it was very difficult to concentrate on teaching a geography or economics lesson – I can’t imagine how hard it was for the students to concentrate. I would love to hear from some past students or parents of those great kids and see what they are doing now.

Thank you for putting together a wonderful website. I now live in freezing Calgary, Canada, a long way from the hot sunny days and torrential downpours at 2.00 pm that was Arawa. Great memories and wonderful times.

Lisa Faithful

Mike Thorne emailed from Cape Town:


Thank you for your web page.

I came there from Western Australia and worked on shovels and drills for a year before going back to the iron ore mines in Western Australia.

I did however end up working and living in PNG for a total of 14 years at Ok Tedi and other construction projects till I left for the last time in 1994.

I ended up living and working in 22 countries, and now live in Cape Town, South Africa.

While in Indonesia did run into the old lost soul from PNG, and one Western Australia, Rod Chandler “The Fox”, but have not seen him for over 20 years now.

The shovels and drill foreman Frank Thomas was killed in a car accident in NSW in the 70’s. It was his first job after leaving PNG; it was very sad as he was so young.

Would I go back? Yes, just to visit as I did in 1983, to work no, have past that, enjoy living in Cape Town too much.

Loved looking at the photos, sorry I don’t have any left of my time on Bougainville, but all the best and thank you for doing what you have done.

I did recognize some of them but not all, there was John from the cricket club and I often wonder what did they all get up to and where are they today.

Have a Blessed Day,
Mike JW Thorne

Steve Scott


Congrats on a great site.

I discovered your site by accident but it has brought back many memories. I ran in the Hash group for the 4 years and have still got the 400th Anniversary Run book which has many photos, stories, etc. I also have some old photos which I would be happy to share.

My details for the Honour Roll are:-

Steve Scott
Noosa, Sunshine Coast QLD
BCL Accounting 1976-1980

Loloho Power Station

Customs board, impound oil tanker off Rabaul


A oil tanker suspected of transporting heavy fuel oil unlawfully siphoned from fuel tanks in Loloho, Bougainville has been impounded.

Customs and PNG Defence Force Navy operations nabbed the tanker 400 nautical miles out of Loloho on Monday in a special operation codenamed Steady.

PNGDF vessel HMAS Seadler intercepted the oil tanker and escorted it to Rabaul where customs officials and police boarded the vessel to investigate before it sails back to Port Moresby.

The tanker’s Asian crew members have been arrested and charged for being in possession of pornographic and other contraband materials.

The Malaysian registered tanker MV UVP Sjorg was in Loloho for almost three weeks loading oil, which was used by the Loloho power station in the 1980’s to power the Panguna mine and the whole of Arawa town.

The vessel was closely monitored by Bougainville police, but it was loading under very tight security provided by armed locals who kept watch on the vessel.
This was the second shipment of crude oil out of Loloho, and there is heated debate over the activities of the tanker between ex-combatants.

PNG Customs Commissioner Gary Juffa said the vessel had been detained in the port of Rabaul while Customs investigate the legality of the shipment. He said a search of the vessel by the team found significant amounts of pornography and other contraband.
“My officers have confirmed that the oil tanker entered Papua New Guinea without reporting its arrival in advance as required under the Customs Act and Maritime Transport laws,” Mr Juffa said.

He alleged that the vessel illegally loaded the siphoned heavy fuel oil without authority and attempted to depart without properly reporting its cargo as required under the Customs Act. Mr Juffa said the Customs officers in Bougainville were believed to have cleared the vessel under duress and it is believed that Customs is contemplating withdrawing its officers to Buka as the officers’ situation on the main island becomes untenable.

He confirmed that the oil tanker was chartered by a Singaporean company under an agreement with a company alleged to be operating in Bougainville. Customs is investigating the matter with police and PNGDF officers. “PNG has laws to protect its citizens and these laws must be followed and respected. Foreign elements have on far too many occasions taken the liberty to ignore our laws,” Mr Juffa said. He warned foreigners to respect PNG’s sovereignty as a nation when travelling into its territory and not whenever they felt like it and operating with little concern for the laws because such behavior could no longer be tolerated.

He said the risk posed by foreign elements that illegally travelled in and out of PNG, especially in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, was becoming unacceptable.

19 June 2010

Kevin McDean emailed from China:

Hello Peter

As is noted on your website, I was on Bougainville from mid 1970 till about Octoberr 1977 I think, our paths may have crossed at some point during those life changing days.

Many respectable and less then respectable stories to tell but no room here.

But briefly, was with Mike Blackwell, Tom Kuzman, Ian white and others in the mine engineering office at the Pink Palace then down near the pit workshop from my first day, and gradually progressed doing many things to commissioning the Port facilities and Crusher etc.

I have been sorting out some old things here and found these scanned copies of photos taken pre digital days, thought that if you have a place for them, others may be interested in seeing them.

The quality is not so good so do what you want with them.

I am currently in China and have been in and out of here for the last 5 years, managing a trading etc company. So if you know anyone that wants anything from up here from big bits of machinery to table forks let me know.

Enjoy looking at your website from time to time, but with us all getting older we may tend to do that more frequently trying to remember youth.

Have a good day in Gods country.

Kind regards
Kevin McDean
Telephone: +86 134 399 27922

Steve Craft

It is still an enjoyment to read notes from former B'villians. I was a ComBanker in 1971-72 and saw a lot of raw island life (that is until the International grade Arovo Island) and loved it all.

Steve Craft (Moondance)

Baden Stewart

G'day from Baden Stewart (aka Badman)

This website was passed on, and what a great website it is.

It would be great to catch up with anyone . I was working for BCL in the pit workshop, i arrived in Bougainville in 1970, and left in 1978.

So if anyone would like to drop me a line, you can send it to ajandsel[at], would love to hear from you.


Brian Hamilton


I came across your website this morning.

I worked at Panguna for Dumez(Australia) on the construction of the concentrator in 1970. I also spent a couple of months as a storeman with Bechtel Pacific. I lived in Camp 1 during my contract there and will see if I can dig out some old photos. Please add me to the honour roll. Thanks.

Brian Hamilton
Projects Manager
P O Box 6127, West Gosford NSW 2250
ph. 02 43221212 fax. 0243221213
mob. 0434 100138 e-mail.

Carl Shurte

Hi my name is Carl Shurte.I worked on Bougainvelle Copper Project from 1969 to 1975 I lived in camp 6 and worked on the wharf. best days in my life. now 65 still would love to go back one day please put me on that Honour roll

Benny Sapea

Hello my name is Benny Sapea,

I come from PokPok Island ,Kieta,Bougainville.

I never grew up on Kieta and have no Idea what it was like back then! due too the crisis ,

Ive been home to Pokpok Island ,Tausina Island and Arovo Island .Everything is back to being it natural environment. No Manmade reminding accept for the old Arovo jetty

Thanks for you websites its help me to understand and rewind back to how good the time and place was!!!!!!!!!!!!CHEERS.


Allan Lange


Hilda Meyer

Hi – Great site!

I worked on Bougainville for Bechtel Pacific 1971-72. Then I was Hilda Meyer. I now am back in Canada and live in Toronto, Ontario. Have lots of great memories of my time on the island and will forward this site to people I am still in contact with!

Best regards from Toronto,


Christine Jones

Hi to you

Great to see some names that bring back good memories.

Alan & Christine Jones Alan AKA Noddy Jones

Arrived Bougainville 1968 Employed CRA Exploration, Bechtel, BCL,
Public Works in Kieta
Left Bougainville Dec 1978

Reside Nambour Queensland


Thanks for the opportunity

Christine Jones

Toby Kalipa

G'day wantok,
My name is Toby Kalipa, I arrive on Bouganville Island on 17-Jan-1970. I was employed by BCL, as an apprentice Carpenter/Joiner, my term of indenture was completed in 1972. From there I progressed my carrer and became the Superintendent of Civil & Buildings, at Panguna township. Initially I lived at Camp Two, as my career progressed, I moved to various locations within the mine town-ship. Eventually I was allocated a house at Kawerong Crescent, living next door to Errol Ryan. When the crisis began, I remained at Arawa, and was one of the last BCL employees to be evacuated.
I have since retired and live on my home island, Panaeati, Misima.
Tonight was my first time to view your site, and it brought back precious memories of good times on Bouganville.
I have a fair few photos from Bouganville, dating from the early Seventies till the late Early Ninties. I am more than willing to share my memories, please feel free to contact me should you wish.

Best Regards,
Toby Kalipa

David Williams

Hi there

Just a note to say I was in Bougainville from 1971 to 1985 with 1 or 2 stops off the island in between.

It was a good job, a pity they couldn’t have talked about the “troubles” and kept going.

Regards from
David Williams

Stan Keilty


Pls find attached a photo from Google on some of the reefs around Arovo Island that we used to fish in the old days.

Google of "5 Islands" where we all have fished during our time on Bougainville. Many a good fishing trip with Steve Waller, Joe Stevens, Arthur Perry, Maurie Chadwick and others. Keep in touch with Arthur Perry, Phil Lugg, Ray Stiles, Syd Osborne. Anyone wants to contact me or 0418721914. LUKIM U OLGETA.


Stan Keilty
Electrical Commissioning Supervisor
Lycopodium Limited
RTIOEP Hope Downs Project 1 - Stage 2
Locked Bag 40 Newman WA 6753
( (08) 6213 9162
( 0418 721 914
"If it isn't safe, don't do it that way"

Eddy Hendriksen

Hi Peter

Just came across your website while googling arawa hashhouse
harriers. I spent a very brief 6 week holiday in Panguna and
surrounds back in 76/77 when I was living with a lass who's father
was an electrical foreman at Panguna. Loved it and always wanted to
go back to visit but I guess that isn't possible these days. Anyway,
have some photographs from that trip if you are interested - I've
scanned them from slides I took back then so the quality ain't great
for some of them but still good enough to bring back memories. I'll
attach one so you can see for yourself


Heather Fielden

Hi, was looking at your website, my father told me about it, he worked there (at Panguna) and we lived there from '71 to '79, in Arawa. It was very interesting to read and see the old place. I was only 3 when we went over and it was the only place I knew that existed (growing up in paradise was hard....) until returning to Australia in '79. I can still remember going to the "movies" in the hut, and the natives coming up and selling their wares at interval. We lived in Arawa and often stayed at Loloho Beach, as well as visiting and fishing off many islands. I have heaps of photos most of them are still in slide form. I will get some transferred to photo and send them to you for your web site.
Thanks for bringing back good memories
Heather Fielden
Townsville, QLD

Peter Reed

Amazing memories resurfaced,,, thanks for the trip down memory lane. wow wish i was back there who needs this life of treadmills.

Peter Reed

Christine Long

Like many others I have just stumbled across your site. I went to Bougainville as an eleven year old in 1970 with my parents Jim and Glenda Blue and my 5 brothers and sisters. I went to boarding school and later nurses training in Brisbane and returned to get married in 1978. I met my husband Matt Long on the island and we married at the Panguna church with a reception at the Poraka Tavern ( which later burnt down).This was followed with a 3 day honeymoon at Arovo Island. We were the only guests there and so it felt as if we had our own personal Island. I can't remember the name of the manager there at the time, but I do remember him making me my first 'Brandy Alexander' and then (because there was no-one else to drink it) giving me the whole jug to take to the room. I was one very sick young lady on the first night of my honeymoon.

Matt and I remained on Bougainville, living in Arawa ,until 1984 when we move to Thailand and eventually back to Kimbe and then Lae before returning to Brisbane in 1990.

My mother Glenda died in 1984 and my father Jim died in 2006. I have many very happy memories of my years in Bougainville and have many photos stashed away.
Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Christine Long ( nee Blue)

John and Kris Herron

Just found this site, as i was reminded it was 30 years this month that we went to Bougainville.

Our Bougainville experiences have come alive today, when Ian and Jill Roy contacted us, reminding us that we all arrived in Bougainville 30 years ago this month.

What a great place, great experience, funny times, always a laugh, but had some serious times as well.

Our son went to Bovo School, our daughter to Kieta PreSchool, and they had one of the best lives young children could ever had.

I think often of what has happened to that magic place as a result of civil unrest, and wonder just how the locals are currently faring.

John worked at the Mine Training College for two years. We recently caught up with John Marshall through John Davidson’s website. John is in Canberra.

If there is a reunion then we would love to go.

It will be a case of reminiscing while I sort through all my photos. We have heaps of slides, but it is a slow process putting them onto the computer.

We are retired, my from illness, John from choice, but he has been working part time for his previous company. We live in Hervey Bay a great spot 3 hours north of Brisbane.

We have a holiday house, or rather a holiday haus (Annesley Haus At the Bay), named in recognition of our wonderful and exciting time on Bougainville.

We do know that Justin Marshall (John Marshall’s son) and Moses Havini’s son are trying to create some business adventures on Bougainville.

John and Kris Herron

George Banasiak

Hello - I worked for BCL from July 1979 for 2 !/2 years at screenhouse fine crusher as boilermaker.
What division were you in and do you have a list of others that worked up there?

George Banasiak

John Patey

Dear sir .
I only stayed on Bouganville for 6 weeks in the summer school holidays of 1976. I come from a small town in sw N.S.W called Boree Creek.
I went to boarding school with two boy from there and they invited me back to their home for the holidays. The parents were Norm And Mary Fielden.
I have some photos from that time but they were taken by a 14 yearold with a kodak instamatic and there not that good.
The main things I remember Heat, Rain that hurt when it fell on your head, big toads.
Riding down the river near the mine road on rubber tubes,black sand beaches ,fishing off the reef and catching barracuda.
Id only seen them in books.Lots of other things that crop up in the memory when people talk about this place.
I thought it was the best place for a holiday and I loved every day eaven thought it would have been fun to go back there to work once I left school.
That was the end of that as it never happened.It seems a pity to see what has happened to it after all these years.
Actually suggested to my wife I would take her there one day and show some of the places i had been.
I had heard there are some land mines still there {dont know for sure].Great website keep up the good work.

Regards John Patey

Richard Pettigrew


I worked for Hastings Deering Pacific Ltd, Bougainville 1981-1982 then from 4/1985 to 1988 approx, as a diesel mechanic, when the war broke out then transferred to Ok Tedi Hastings Deering Pacific.

Look forward to hear from you soon.

I hope with the impending cessation changes going to the vote this May, the place fire up again.

Richard Pettigrew.

Financial Planner,
AMP Waikato.
Tel: 07 8544037.
Fax: 0282 550 3820.
Res:07 8544016.

Theo van der Meulen

Just found your website - it's brought back a lot of memories. I arrived in Bougainville on 26 August 1971 and I was part of the orginal crew which commissioned and operated Loloho Power Station. Our group were all recruited from the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and included Alan Wilson , Jim Watts , Ron McInnes, and Tom Griggs . Later, After Units 1 and 2 had been commissioned we were joined by a contingent from the UK including John Black, John Withers , Keith Britton and Robin Agar . The first Power Station Manager was Tom Worth and the first Operations Manager was John Dutton . Henry Pearson was the Maintenance Engineer

We had a great time, parties every few days and lots of SCUBA diving in some of the best waters in the world. I can remember many great days at Arovo (Pub Island) and some wonderful dinners at the Kieta Club.

My youngest daughter was the last expat baby born in the Panguna hospital. It closed immediately after as the Arawa hospital had opened. I can remember our house number in Arawa - it was 11/53. I have lots of 8mm movie film taken over the 3 years we were there. We left in 1974 to take up a position in Gove, NT.

Tony Kearsley

Greetings from Pommyland
Just found your site and another covering Bougainville. Worked there 71/73 as a Training Officer setting up the first Supervisory/Management courses. Had emigrated to Oz in 69 and worked for Ford Australia and Ciba Geigy in Sydney then got recruited by Maurie Pears (Training Manager with BCL and noted poker player) to develop programs for Supervisory and bottom end management training at Panguna. Returned to UK after PNG and have never forgotten the people or the job. Retired in 1992 to play golf and all that but thanks to a few websites particularly the Australian Institute picture site am able to light up the memory box again. Am saddened by what developed in Bougainville. Will plough my way through your wonderful site.
Kind Regards and Thanks
Tony Kearsley
Cheshire UK

P.S. Thanks for your prompt reply. Sure go ahead and use my email, you will be interested to know that a few minutes after sending to you I clicked into another part of your site and found the name of Lansell Taudevin who was the Company Psychologist and who I knew, I emailed him and astonishingly got a reply within a few hours !! I was Extension Training Officer, worked out of the new training centre after it was built and originally lived in a block in Panguna until my wife and family arrived from Oz then moved into a house in Arawa. I was there for about two years then went back to UK for a leave and my wife would't return. I came back for a few months then terminated and returned to work in the UK, got divorced, went out to work as Personnel Manager for British Aerospace in Saudi Arabia and met and eventually married a nurse who was working out there also. Some years on I did a job assisting with a recruitment for a UK firm who were trying to find a training manager for Burns Hudson - could not. They offered me the job and I thought about it for quite some time before deciding not to take it. Probably wish I had done now. Would love to go back but guess this is highly unlikely now. Thanks again for the response.

Update received February 2009:
Out of contact for so long, now living in Kuching, Sarawak, we have been here since Dec 08 and settling down well. Haven't been on to the BCL website for ages and it was really good to browse around and pick up on the new posts, really enjoyed looking at the pics by Peter Marshall showing some of the old places, the amazing thing was that the picture of him and Nancy really turned me over, Nancy is the absolute image of a local girl who used to work as a typist for us in the Mine Training Centre. Doubt if anyone will ever get in touch with me via the BCL web pages but is there some way I can update my location and contact details ? My new email is redvet8[AT]

David Feeney

I cannot get/purge my time on Bougainville out of my system. It's a bit of a problem now as I have a new partner in life (13 years) and she cannot fully understand the bond between ex Bougainvillians (Expats or otherwise).

Ian Johnson

Well, this certainly brings back plenty of memories. Was there from 1977 to 1987, as a youngster of 9 when we arrived. Will attempt to dig out some old photos and get them scanned. Anyway, well done on the site, will keep an eye on developments.

Cheers Ian

Rod Powell

Hi folks,I have just been fortunate enough to find this great site, regards to all.

I arrived on Bougainville for SHRM in 82 and was there for three years. I have worked in the Middle East, Africa, the Far East, Europe and North America but I have yet to find a place to live and work to better my time on Bougainville.

Me bin pinim wontok tumas,long dis pella ples. Lukim yu. Rod

Danny Gekesun

It's good to see Bougainvillean faces on this site. This shows how we are proud of our people since the war started. Thanks to the webmaster who created this site for the people all around the world who want to know about bougainville and it's history. Thanks once again to the people contributing to the peace on the Island.....:)

Sandra Clark

John and I arrived Bougainville in December, 1980 with our two sons Gavin and Stuart. We left in October 1989 on our yacht Tiare which John had built whilst on Bougainville.

We are currently living in Atyrau in Kazakhstan which is as different from our island as could be. Flat, no trees, biggest landlocked country in Europe/Asia. John was on the Kutubu pipe line project in the Southern Highlands from December 1990 - June 1992, then he started with Chevron Oil during operations. He is now on loan from Chevron/Texaco to Tengizchevroil and is the Training Manager. Gavin works for AI Scientific, Redcliffe Queensland, but is currently working in Italy setting up the robotic machines and training the service engineers in the use and repair of the equiptment. Stuart works for BPH Billiton at the coal mine at Mouranbah and expects to be a Mine Manager within ten years.

We have very fond memories of our time on Bougainville, we call it Paradise, and only last night we were show! ing some dinner guests our photograph albums of our time there.

Regards Sandra Clark

Bob Jackson

Hello Peter

I have looked for years for a web site featuring the "expat workers" view of Bougainville, it was a very pleasant surprise to find yours. I was in Spain at the end of a "too long" holiday, was bored and searching for something familiar, finding it brightened my whole day.

I was a BCL "power house pom" originally hired from Kalgoorlie West Australia (after travelling out overland) . I went there as a single man in 74 to work as an instrument technician in the power house at Loloho, after a couple of years I transferred to Operations as an "assistant unit controller".

I was in Loloho Camp 6 during the first night of the "74 rock festival" and electrified my donga window flyscreen in the hope of "staying alive". We had valiantly emptied our beer fridges to "save the amber fluid". The next night we camped in the power house smoko room after welding up all the doors (but one). We took up guard duty at the front gate armed with 24" stilsons and a length of water pipe, fortunately the riot squad were between us and the rioters so our weapons remained unused.

After a little over three years I left, had a couple of cruises and ended up in Brazil (intending a big S.American trip) but after Bougainville I didn't enjoy it much. I went to UK got married and returned to Bougainville (after a two year absence) to the same job, and living in Arawa Section 6/28. My first child was born in the Arawa hospital in 82 my second child in 85 in Brisbane (after an emergency medivac from Bougainville). I stayed in the power house until Dec 88 ending up as a shift supervisor. I left before the troubles really got started and as such have few bad memories of Bougainville.

Hash house harriers. I first ran with the Loloho Hash House Harriers and on my return joined the Arawa Hash. In the early days Arawa Hash hired a DC3 for a combined run with the Honiara Hash. Later we had 4WD trips to Sohano Island (the old Bougainville District Office) and every one slept in the old District Commissioner's House (or camped on his lawn). I was a shift worker and as such missed many runs but those I did gave me a buzz which kept me going until the next one. The adventure, the running, the beer, it worked for me!

I moved to (and still live) in a house half way between Brisbane and the Gold Coast in a place that I bought on a five day visit from Bougainville. Since leaving Bougainville I've had about thirteen years in local government (working in electrical design).

That's about it (apart from the inevitable divorce and re-marriage) a few years ago.

Keep up the good work with the web site!

Peter Robinson

Hello, whoever you are!

I'm Peter Robinson and was on the island for exactly 7 years - 23rd November 1970 to 23rd November 1977. I was employed by BCPL as Parts and Warranty Supervisor at the Pit Workshop. I set up the Pit Warehouse and ran it for the first five years and then transferred to the role of Maintenance Planning Supervisor for the next two. My wife, Colleen, and I brought three children to the island and left with four - Jennifer being being born in the old Haus Sik at Panguna on the 18th February 1972.

We had seven very happy years there and have many nostalgic memories of the place. However, I have no romantic illusions as I had the opportunity of a two day return visit while working for Woodlawn Mines in late-ish 1981. In those four short years the place had gone backwards quite significantly since the time we left. The most obvious outward signs being the drift in municipal cleanliness and maintenance. I shudder to think what the place would be like now more than 30 years later and after the effects of the uprising.

My first four months were spent living in Camp 3 - waiting for the houses at Arawa to be built and made available. Those were really great days - watching the final stages of the hydraulicking and the gradual completion of the project. I remember the old road up from the coast and how impressed we were when we could finally travel on the new one.

There is much more I could add but will leave it there for the time being. I don't have many photos of those days but do have many slides from which photos can be taken off. I also have a copy of "BOUGAINVILLE, The Establishment Of A Copper Mine" a 386 page official record of the show, from whoa to a bit past go. And also the somewhat smaller PR blurb "Progress In Action" both of which have a number of excellent photos.

Peter, the older of the two Robbos

Theo Zachos

I was just on your website, and it brought back a lot of memories, especially Arovo. I was up there from 1980 till 1985 with my parents. I was only 7 years old at the time we went up there but I have fond memories.

The reason I'm e-mailing you is that my dad - Efthimios Zachos aka - Makis, Markus or Mike, was up there during the exploration days and has quite a few photos of the exploration and stories, also as I mention he also did the 1980-1985 stint. He worked at the Loloho Filter Dryer during the 80's. He also used to work at Ok Tedi as well, but I don't know if you would be interested in those photos.

When I get the photos from him and scan them, would you like me to either send them via e-mail or would prefer me to burn them onto CD and send them to you.

I've also got the induction video that was give to families when they first arrived to Bougainville, and also videos about the exploration of Bougainville, if you interested in those as well let me know.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Russell Somerville

Good Day Peter,

I had the dubious fortune of starting work for BCL the day Francis Ona resigned. I was there until the end, intending to stay for the care and maintenance. I was the Leading Hand Maintenance in the Mills Concentrator, reporting to Graham Talbot.

I sailed out on my Yacht Butterfly after the airport was closed. We spent some time sailing around the Solomons before sailing back to Australia. I then returned and with a friend then sailed John Golden's Yacht Sahaier back to Australia.

I shall check through to see if I have any old photos I can scan and email to you.

Lansell Taudevin

Most would remember me as Lanse! I lived in Bougainville from 72 to 80, working first as the company psychologist with Mike Asgill, then Superintendent Training under Win Herry as Manager.

Both children were born there, Robin (1977) and Allison (1979). We left Bougainville for Port Moresby in 1981, thence to Indonesia, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Kiribati, East Timor and a few other places in between. Now living in Otford, NSW, just south of Sydney in the Royal National park. After 35 years overseas, I returned to Australia two years ago and now run a publishing company, Otford Press. We have not yet produced any books on Bougainville, though one of our titles had a chapter on the impact of the mine on the environment and society - that book (Moving Mountains) is now also published overseas. So if anyone has a book in them of exceptional quality (!!!!!!) about Bougainville, get in touch. Email contact is phone number is 02 42948800

Jamie Shaw

I stumbled across your site last month and was delighted to view the photos you've got posted. Memories came flooding back. I had the pleasure of growing up in Panguna - our parents Eric & Jacky Shaw moved us to Bougainville in 1971 and remained there until shutdown and evacuation in April 1990.

I have attached some photos that might be of interest. Please feel free to use them as you see fit. There are more where these came from. Details are as follows:

arovo01.jpg - Arovo Island Jetty 1986
arovo02.jpg - Arovo Resort Scuba Hut 1986 (this was owned / managed by John McLeod
arovo03.jpg - Arovo Island Resort approx 1983 (white game fishing cruiser at mooring was owned by Robbie Robson)
arovo04.jpg - Looking towards Loloho & Mt Bagana volcano from Arovo 1986
arovo05.jpg - Arovo Island Resort Ferry High & Dry approx 1987
loloho01.jpg - Loloho Wharf from behind power station 1986 loloho_panorama - Loloho Beach at Sunrise 1986
mine_panorama - Panguna mine 1986
r170.jpg - Euclid R170 Haul truck 1986
goldmine01.jpg - Old Kupei Gold Mine Stamping Mill 1984 (this was on the bush track walk between Panguna & Arawa)

These were taken by me around 1986 when my time in Panguna was coming to a close as I started university and moved to Brisbane. I flew back regularly with the intention of getting more but never got around to doing it

As a long time resident we took Bougainville for granted, and never really made a conscience effort to capture our home in photographs. The end came suddenly and we lost the opportunity. Your site has helps fill the void - thanks. My brother and sisters still consider Panguna "home". I'm now having difficulty explaining to my children were I grew up and what it was like.

Dad has hundreds of slides stashed away somewhere. Next time I go through them I'll look out for ones relevant to your site.

Can I also suggest you get in contact with Don & Llane Hadden. Don is listed in your "Comments" page. Don is an avid birdwatcher and talented photographer - and should have some excellent images of what Bougainville looks like now. He and Llane were teaching in Arawa around 1999 - 2001. Don might have some photos for your "aftermath" page currently under construction.

There used to be an annual get together of ex-BCL people here in Brisbane. I missed last year. I don't suppose you know if it is being held this year by any chance ?

Hope the above is of interest.

Regards & Thanks for the Memories

Jason Garland

Hi , Found your site just surfing for info on Bougainville , My cousin & a couple of good mate were also there for a while.

Warrick Garland ( Caterpillar)
David Scott & Paul Meynell (Theiss).
I'll be letting them know about this site. Good Job !!

Jim Hocking

The following names are people I have maintained contact with since Bougainville and who I have heard of through those contacts:

Neil Turner - went to Perth some years ago - Died 2002
Dean Bond - lives in Cairns
Ian Bond - lives in Cairns
Mal Baker - lives in Tumby Bay SA
Henry Pearson - lives in Adelaide
Cliff Newman - was living in Queensland - lost contact some years ago
Hal George - was living in Brisbane - lost contact some years ago
Russ Peterson - was living in Townsville - not sure of current status
John Wallace - living in Brisbane (worked in community relations for some time)
Mal Duthie - works for UN - last heard of stationed in Saigon Vietnam
Neil Steward - ?
Paul (not Peter) Quodling?
Maurie Pears?
Ken Edwards?
Don Vernon (of course)
Wal and Min Kaka - Melbourne
Nick Crawley?
John Beagley?
Horst Allman - chopper pilot - loctation?
Jan Blance? -chopper pilot - location?
Les Smith
Ed Denari - Bechtel

More to follow when I can think of them .......... Jim

P.S. Peter - I also have a heap of stuff which will take me a while to dig up - I even have photos from the chopper (which I coordinated the operation of for some time) - also add to the list John Bensemen (I think that is spelt correctly) - he was one of the mechanics at the light vehicle workshop in Panguna and now lives (up to a few years ago at least) in Brisbane.
Laurie Devereaux - died some years ago I think in Brisbane
John Trezise - I think on the Gold Coast although was very ill some time back.
Erwin Goodfruit - again I think in Brisbane (or Queensland anyway).
Jack Dalby - (Port Superintendent during Bechtel days) - whereabouts ?
Bob Hope - I think mine manager - whereabouts ?
Bob Hutton
Bill Dutton

Talk to you soon - lookum yu puk puk .. Jim

Denise Arnold

My name is Denise and although we were not on the Island during the construction stage we certainly enjoyed the fruits of your labour.

My father spent almost 15 years working in the mine from 1974-1989. After 3 years apart, my mother, younger brother and I joined him early in 1978. This was my final year of school and I had the option of staying in a boarding school in Australia or joining Dad and completing the year by Correspondence. I chose to travel - which turned out to be the start of my affection with world travel !!

I lived in Arawa for just over 10months and I learnt to drive by taking my brother to the International Correspondence School in Loloho - until I was pulled over by the local Police for having a passenger in the car while on "L" plates. It didn't appear to matter that the locals had the whole family with them !! I became proficient at driving in torrential down pours, which panicked my Australian instructor when I finally took lessons back home during winter. He wanted me to stop as it was raining "hard" but that was nothing compared to the windy roads I had to negotiate during "afternoon showers" on Bougainville.

I met many wonderful people from many Countries of the World. One was a young lady from New Zealand who introduced me to many people that my Dad certainly would not have. She introduced me to Squash and sun bathing, and having already obtained her drivers licence in New Zealand, was the source of many interesting day trips. We spent many hours of many days together, but for the life of me I cannot remember her name - which is terrible considering I often think of the fun days we had.

My younger brother got very drunk one night in Panguna as the other guests at a party offered to keep him supplied with cans of beer. It was a very interesting drive down the mountain ! He was lucky enough to spend two years in Arawa as he was still in school - I was unable to stay longer than the first year as my schooling was complete and I was not permitted to work on the Island. We also performed in a couple of Arawa Theatre Performances "The Dracula Spectacular" & "Oklahoma".

We spent many a lazy Sunday on the water at Kieta harbour, sailing. There was that day where the race was unwatchable due to a sudden mist settling into the harbour. When it cleared, there, right in the middle, was a very large container ship ... to this day I do not know how those sailing in the race managed to avoid it, nor how it appeared so quietly.

The peaceful beauty of the Island is one I will never forget, nor the hidden perils. My father contracted a mild case of malaria even after years of taking medication to avoid it. I was shocked to find that a sand fly bite soon became a leg ulcer when left untreated. The geckos, the mosquitos, the wasps and flash floods !!

It certainly was a year to remember !!

Maxine Dean

A PIONEER WIFE - The first three years.

My husband, Bob Dean, went to Bougainville in 1970 as Piping Superintendent with Bechtel. We left in 1973 for 6 months and returned again with B.C.P., this time as Maintenance Superintendent in the Concentrator - we were there until 1988. We are now working with Minera Alumbrera in Argentina and have loads of photos in Aussie which I will send to you when we return. Please excuse spellings, I'm a little rusty on local names.

Rob was on Bougainville Island but I had to stay with my parents in Brisbane until housing was available. After three months all was ready and off I ventured. The only contact with Panguna was by radio phone and "the powers that be" assured me that all was organized. Emma, our eldest, was 17months old and Jason was 4 months old. The journey was horrific - three hours in Port Moresby waiting for a connection and then another three hours to Bougainville. We finally arrived at about 5 p.m., everybody disembarked and went their various ways, and I was left at the airport by myself with two tired and grumpy children - yes, nobody there to meet me and pouring rain. About 30 minutes later a Bechtel bus arrived - luckily they had come out to pick up some people from a charter flight. They bundled us into the bus - I'm exaggerating when I call it a bus - and off we went to the first check-point at Kobuan. The driver tried to radio through to Panguna to see what had happened to Rob, but could not get through, so he took me on to Loloho where the Port Construction families lived. The trip from the airport in those days took forever as we had to cross all the flooded creeks and negotiate the mud. We arrived at Loloho at about 8 p.m. and went to number one donga where Stan and Dot Clarke lived. He then rang Panguna, got in touch with Rob and informed him that his family was in Loloho - great surprise for Rob, huge panic! I then waited there until Rob came down to pick me up. There was another check-point at the top of the mountain, D8's waiting to pull us out if we got bogged and much reversing if we met another vehicle. I finally arrived in Mud Valley at about midnight, swept out the cockroaches, made the beds and got the children off to bed. Rob's boss Lyle Cantwell was there with his wife Maudie to meet us, along with a much appreciated Survival Kit.

Mud Valley was pretty wonderful in those days, lots of young women with children and all very supportive of each other. The kiaps and some of the police lived in the center in dongas and we spent many a time listening to them reciting "The Man from Ironbark" and "Three Little Pigs" in pigen. None of us had cars - it was impossible to drive anywhere because of the dirt roads and the flash floods, so we used the buses. The buses went from Married Hill to Mud Valley to the supermarket - they stopped outside Ron Uru's! Actually, one of our methods of occupying the children was to bundle them into the bus and take them on the route a couple of times. The supermarket was pretty exciting, everything mixed up together, no order at all, Kenwood Chefs next to the sugar. One needed to use a plastic bag glove to fossick around trying to find a hard onion, and the meat kept in regular household freezers was black at times - it was often a surprise to discover what in fact we were having for dinner! I had a good scheme going for fresh milk and cream - unheard of anywhere on the island, milk was Longlife and I made my own cream with the Kenwood. I had been an airhostess with T.A.A. before we were married and two of my former workmates were then flying on the Gulfstream and regularly coming to Bougainville each time bringing me milk and cream. They also supplied me with eggs which were not soaked in ether for preservation! We bought our veggies at the local markets, much better than yellow broccoli, and once a month we got down to shop at Kieta.

The trip to Kieta was also pretty horrific. We went in the work Ute, through the mission at Tunuru and usually arrived in Kieta covered in dust - but once there it was a shoppers paradise for us, deprived as we were in Panguna. There was a row of Chinese shops just as you turned right at the bottom of the hill and of course Steamships and Greens. We usually had a list as long as your arm for all the neighbors and came home laden with exotica. Oh yes, we always had to check on Clarry 's boat at Birempa on the way up to see if work was progressing.

Gurias were a common occurrence, and every afternoon we had the 3 o'clock blast.

Henry Moses lived across the road from me, and one day he asked me how I got my curtains closed each night and opened each day. I went over to investigate his curtain system and found he had them nailed to the wall. Later when he moved to Townsite he bought furniture from departing Americans, superb Spanish-style sets and pride of place in his lounge was a television set which he wouldn't have been able to use for about five years.

Other neighbours included:- The Kuzmans, Whiteheads, Edens, Garretsons, Marg and John Milne, Wellingtons (Gilly was the best nurse - along with The Sheriff), Tony and Geraldine Brown, Clarry and Norma Bradley (Norma's daughter Judy, lived at the Fur Farm and later married Ross Henderson and moved to Kieta) and the Collins lived behind us on Married Hill. Jenny White ( nee Collins) married Ian and stayed there for many years. Rob had Sundays off and we usually went to Loloho for the day - another adventure. One of the better parts of the day was the trip home. If it had rained in Panguna the Piania was up - no bridge there then - and we all sat around on the Birempa side waiting for the water to subside. There were always a few beers left in the esky just for that occasion!

When I went to Bougainville I was not much of a cook, but, I had two cook books, the beloved Margaret Fulton and the Country Women's bible, and eventually I cooked every recipe in them - our only other alternative was to go to Camp 3, which, by the way, I really enjoyed. That was our social life - dinner parties. Of course we had no T.V., but instead radios and the most super-duper sound systems with woofers and tweeters and hoofers, you name it!

We had a Bechtel Ladies Luncheon every month, held at someone's home. By that stage families had started to move into Townsite. One luncheon was extremely memorable. During the afternoon it poured and of course all the roads were washed away. We sat around drinking the punch deciding what to do, and eventually were all transported home in man-hauls, rather degrading in all our finery and ruined hair styles. By the way, Jan MacKenzie was our hairdresser then, she had a salon in Married Hill.

Another outing was to go down to the Jaba for a swim and a B.B.Q. It was really beautiful then, clean and picturesque. There was a swinging bridge leading over to a village, lots of us have paintings of it.

One weekend, we went to Loloho for dinner with one of the Port families. We returned home fairly late to be met by the police and security just before Birempa. We were told there was a bit of trouble brewing there and not to stop for anything - a bit of trouble? It was a full-blown riot, rocks through the police station, nationals (we called them indigenes then) running amok - frightening stuff.

One weekend we were experiencing the tail-end of a cyclone which had come pretty close to Torakina on the other side of the island. We went off to dinner at Townsite with the Cantwells and when we returned home around midnight, the whole hill behind us had come down slap bang up against the back door. We were told to evacuate, grab everything we could and get back to Townsite. Collins duplex behind us was declared unstable and it was thought that it could drop at any moment. Rob took me back to Cantwells and returned to Mud Valley to load as much as he could into the car. While he was at the house there was another mud slide which blocked the road and with no access now available he had to stay there for the night until the road could be cleared. Our dinner date turned into a six day visit - the Cantwells were packing to leave and I was there with the two children and no water or electricity. When we finally returned home our little valley was really living up to its name.

We eventually moved over to Townsite into a brand new house, it was the last one on the left before the drive up to Koniana. Gay and Tina Garretson moved in after us and I think the Goldens lived there later. We bought a car - a V.W. and I could finally visit friends who had moved to the newly-built Arawa and of course the Arawa Markets.

After start-up we stayed on with Bechtel for the 9th Ball Mill and moved to Birempa - dinner in the mess, open air movies (bring your own chair), darts and dances in the Rec Club. Occasionally we went to the movies at the Fermentary in Arawa, much more civilized. Emma started at Pre-School in Arawa down by the beach, and each day I had to negotiate the Arawa road which was not sealed and in the wet season a nightmare, just ask Norma Bradley, she "fell off" it two or three times!

We bought our first boat, a 23ft Bertram and a whole new world opened up for us. We went to the Wakini Fair each year, camped on the beach or stayed at the Numa Numa and of course we discovered all the beautiful islands off Loloho, and had a freezer full of Spanish Mackerel.

Will also include a few extra names from those first three years which I haven't heard mention of for quite a while. Rolf Thieman. Hans Ohff - Manager of Eglo Engineering, he worked with Rob and they called them Bob Down and Hands Off. Last we heard he was M.D. of the Collins Class Submarines in Adelaide. Bill Byson - Bechtel, chewed and spat tobacco. Marty Nagle. The "One Armed Bandit" Frank Gardiner, Bruce Machen and "Chooky" Fowler, Graham Talbot, with E.H.M. in Cloncurry. Ray Knight, also E.H.M. Peter Thielmann.

Chris O'Brien

G'day bloody great job, will be great to be able to catch up on some old mates "Irish" Chris O'Brien BCL now living in Townsville Qld, will dig out some old photos when time allows and send them on, I have some from 1968 if I can only find the buggers

Gray Chandler

Arrived in January 1973 and left in 1985, the time frame included three tours of duty. Just couldn't stay away from the place. Lived in Camp 10, mud valley kupei road and Arawa. Lindsay Swanson stayed with us, convalescing from a bout of malaria or something of that nature!!! My experiences on Bougainville, be they good, bad, or indifferent, will remain forever memorable, especially the race with KIWI Tony McDonald to beat the 15-minute drive from ARAWA to the PINK PALACE. Regards to all. Gray Chandler (PHANTOM)

John Davidson

Hello Peter, We have a Personnel Recruitment business. I was with the project from 4/70 until close-down. There are several hundred people with a Bougainville background recorded in our database. You can find out all about us on our website. Several of our staff are ex-Bougainville. My wife worked for Ivan as a teenager. Her maiden name was Christene Heater. I was "the Bookie" for several years and for part of that time was in partnership with Stan Neal from S P Brewery. In 1972 i was running the tavern in Panguna under the management of Ken Graham of Kangaroo Club , Manila fame. Ken is now in Brisbane.

Wayne Ledwidge

Greetings Regretfully I did not have the pleasure of working on the development of the project but did have the honour and privilege of helping to bring in the cash and help pay for all the fun you guys had in the early days through positions in Commercial, Marketing and Shipping between 1980 and 1989. Bougainville certainly shaped my life and the lives of my 2 boys who spent their formative years on the beaches and in the jungles of Bougainville. After leaving in 1989, I moved to East Kalimantan in Indonesia (the next best posting after Bougainville we from the Bougainville Mafia used to say) where I spent the next 10 years. I'm now in Shanghai working for Rio.

[Acquaintances from those days] included David Karpin, Philip Morley, Colin Evensen, Jack Dalby, Henry Bailey, to name a few. I started off in a commercial training role in the pink palace and ended up 9 years later down at Loloho at the port. They were great years.

Jerome Wallace

What a great web site, thank you Peter Goerman!!!

Since I already sent a note to 'guestbook' I thought I'd add some comments. For the 73 to 76 gang some more names now come to mind: Alison Colbert (married in the US), John Barnham, John Downie, Peter Hobday, John Craig, Duff Ericson (AGM) and the Mining group, Mike Blackwell, David Swain, Trevor Schultz.

Leaving Boug' in 76 with Island blood in my veins forever, I emigrated to Canada , then back to the Islands of the Caribbean, Trinidad, then Grenada. After there, Mexico, Venezuela and Zaire , where I was Tech Mgr for a Mine in the Northeast of what is now Congo. --- just look up COLTAN (Columbium and Tantalum) on the web to see extreme 'exploitation,pollution and Rival Militias'

I'm now in Grand Cayman and I'm not leaving this Island I now call home. "Everyting is cool here, Mon"!

PS I'll get some photos to you soon.

Ivan Bell

I was in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary on Bougainville from 1970 to November 1975. I met my wife (Anne Manning) on Bougainville. She was working as a Statistical typist for MKF at camp 5. We came to Aus and got married in January 1972. Both our kids were born on Bougainville. We returned to Bundaberg, my wife's home town, and lived there until 1994 when we moved to our present address at Jindalee one of Brisbane's Western suburbs.

I was at camp 5 for a start. We called it Nairovi back then, Later was known as Birempa. I then went down to Loloho for a while and then after we got married I was stationed at Arawa.

I have stacks of stuff on Bougainville, but half of it is on slides. Will have to put on a show one night and get the daughter to use their new fangled digital camera and capture them for the web site. Meanwhile I will dig out the other stuff and scan some of it and send it to you to put what you want on the web site.

Joe Fragnito

I was in Bougainville from 1969 for 20 years, I recognised some of the people in the pictures you have included, I also seem to remember yourself but not sure, Russ Gill was also there for 20 years, Russ will be able to identify some of the guys and Russ keeps in touch with a lot of people from that era. Tom Richards was in Bougainville at the same time, Des Hudson currently in the USA married Tom's sister in law, they have 2-3 children (Tom you can pick up on that) I see that Chris Maxwell is in one of the pictures. Lindsay Swanson has names and e-mail addresses of quite a few "Bougainvilleans" you may want to contact him, including Ivan Bell e-mail, he was the "law" on the island, Goldfinger married in Bougainville and went back to New Zealand, I think, also you all remember John Davison.

Des Smith

Hi there,

I worked for BCL from 1979 - 1981 (three years) as Operations Controller for the Computer Division. Essentially my role was to make sure that the mines two mainframe computers stayed up and running 24 hrs a day - 7 days a week. I had 12 locals reporting directly to me. As onsite personnel I lived in Panguna with my wife and two small boys - the eldest at that time being of school age. I still consider this experience to be one of the most valuable I have had - and like many others who were there loved the place and the challenges that it offered. Over the years I have met people who were on Bougainville (some who were there when we were - but we never actually met) and the conversations that we have had are as though we were old friends.

I am now semi retired although I have never been busier with three part time jobs to keep the wolves from the door. My wife (Jan) and I live in suburban Melbourne but have plans on retiring to Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula within the next two years.

Diane Soul

Dear Peter,

I spent 7¼ years on Bougainville (mid 1975 - October 1982). I moved into the single girls’ quarters (G Block) in mid ’75 spending the first two years working in B36 for Maurie Pears, Ron Kay and Treasury.

In ’77 I took over Secretarial Training at the Mine Training College where I spent a very happy five years. As well as training I looked after some aspects of the girls’ welfare which I really enjoyed. I was able to leave the island three or four times a year for recruiting trips and meetings- the best of both worlds!

Many of “my girls” were Bougainvillean and I hate to think what may have happened to them. It’s hard to watch footage of the island now -it really is the stuff of my nightmares. I keep in touch with some of my close friends from those days - Colleen and Ian Wood, Phil and Jenny Quigley, Liz Abbott (now McQueen) in Sydney, Bob Hutton in Adelaide, Frances Cohn in Geelong, Russ and Remi Wilson in Brisbane and Geoff and Sylvia Westwood in England. Ian and Jenny White were on Lihir until quite recently - I’m not sure whether they are still there, now that they are grandparents!!

I don’t know the criteria for your “Role of Honour” - Christine Smart (who was at one time the artist at the Mine Training College) died in a car accident involving my car in 1983. Sue Kinman went to Bougainville as a single girl, was married to Shan Rochford for a short time and later found real happiness as Mrs. Sue Wilson. She died of cancer after a long and brave struggle. Now I feel really depressed.

I have lots of photos (more of people than buildings) but don’t have a scanner. I’ll go through them and see what I can find. Bob Hutton is hoping to make the reunion next year and I hope to meet him there.

How long have you had this site? - what a great idea!
Best wishes,
Diane Soul

Peter Broderick

I would like to add my name (Peter Burrell, now Broderick) to your list. My father was Bill Burrell, Manager of Arawa Department Store from 1976-79, and Panguna Department Store from 1979-80. My mother, Maureen Broderick, is now living in her home town of Forbes, NSW. I am living in Bondi Beach and work as Manager of Major Works(Architect/Project Manager) for the NSW Attorney General's Department.

I often think of Bougainville, of Bovo Primary, swimming in the Bovo River at Blab-Blab and Martin's Hole. Rumba Mission was a popular destination for expeditions with friends. Where are you all now? I remember lots of strange and interesting people, the kind of people who are attracted to PNG in the first place. This probably included ourselves!

Other not-so-strange people that spring to mind include, Phil Smith( now deceased) who used to take me fishing when I was a youngster, Bill Dyer, David Mitchell, Chris Marshall, and others, the memories of who I hope will be stimulated by your website!

John Torres

Good to see the interest in our beautiful island still as intense as ever. So many familiar names appear in the website. For those who may be wondering who the hell I am, well I used to work at the Davara Motel in Kieta as Deputy Manager. I am from Nissan Islands and therefore a Bougainvillean. My family and I moved to Darwin in 1999 to live. I do hope to return home at some point but that is looking more like hoping than reality. Well keep up the good work with this wonderful website. Hello to all who remember who I am.

Lloyd McChesney

Dear Peter:

I have just spent several hours touring your website and revelling in the self indulgence that comes with seeing old friends and associates. There are a lot of good memories; we all put a lot into our efforts there, and most everyone who came away was a more "can do" person for the experience.

Mary and I, and our children, David , Stephen and Mona still look back fondly on our time at Panguna and what a fine experience it was for our family.

Sydney B. Lhotka, (and his wife Jana,) is in Concord, CA where he is still running his Financial and Tax Service business. Mary and I have been in Houston for over 25 years now, and I retired from Bechtel after several careers within the company, with 42 years of service, in July '99.

I haven't seen Ernie Wayland in many years now (15 or 20). He was in Houston in the early '80's. At that time he was handling the financial affairs of Gary Bechtel the younger of Steve Jrs. boys. At that time Gary headed up the Construction arm of the company, but then decided to leave the business, and go into car racing and as far as I know has had some success there. I believe Ernie followed him to Charlotte NC and continued to handle his affairs. About that time, Ernie lost his middle boy, a promising Accountant in Las Vegas, in a car accident and he took that very hard.

Following Bougainville I worked a job in Greenland out of Montreal and had several old Bougainville hands on that work; Jim Adamoli, Don Hotaling, (a young red-headed New Zealander whose name escapes me, who was the radio telephone technician), and the former Loloho Procurement man, Dwayne Miller. (That last one took some thought, but I believe it's correct.) I heard that he is now deceased.

A story about Dwayne; a number of expats were at Arovo one weekend, and Mary engaged Dwayne in conversation, centered around shortages of foodstuffs, and how she would love to be able to find some Lasagna noodles. Dwayne offered as how he thought he had some under his bunk, and next day a driver delivered some Green Lasagna Noodles to me at the Panguna Office with a note from Dwayne, explaining that they were green noodles, and their colour was natural and not due to the length of time they had been under his bunk !

Peter, I have thought of you fellows often over the years, and it's just "super" that you've put this website together, so that we can catch up on a time in our lives when we were all "just full of it!"

Kindest Personal Regards,
Lloyd McChesney

Mark Lintern

Just found your website; looking at the photos brought back a lot of memories. My father Howard Lintern worked for BCL for about 9 years from about 1973 to 1982. We lived up at Panguna. I attended Arawa High School from 1973 to 1975. They were the best years of my life! Spent most of my school holidays down at Nukui village in the Siuai (Siwai) area with my mate Tony Kasu or walking through the hills east of the minesite. Have kept my PNG connections through my wife Winifred Gorogo who is from Doura village about 50 kms from Port Moresby. Anyway will pen off for now. A great website!

Peter Goerman

Perhaps it is the result of having read Coral Island and Somerset Maugham at an impressionable age, but the South Pacific islands have always evoked a powerfully romantic image with me. Mention the South Seas and I conjure up a vision of waving coconut palms and a dusky maiden strumming her ukelele. Silhouetted against the setting sun, Trader Pete (that's me!) sits in a deck-chair in front of his hut sipping a long gin and tonic while a steamboat chugs into the lagoon, bringing mail from home.

In truth, I came to the then Territory of Papua & New Guinea as an audit clerk with a firm of Chartered Accountants in Rabaul (and thereby hangs another tale).

When the local newspaper, the POST-COURIER, began carrying ads for audit personnel on the Bougainville Copper Project, I applied and was invited to fly across for an interview in October 1970. In those early days, all incoming traffic stopped at the transit camp at Kobuan where one had to wait for transport to Panguna where Bechtel's "top brass" had their offices. The road to Panguna was still something of an adventure and it was some time before I could present myself to Sid Lhotka, Bechtel's Manager of Administrative Services.

He hired me on the spot and I returned to Rabaul to give notice and get my things and within a few weeks I was back "up top" only to be told that I would be working at Loloho, senior auditor in charge of several large contracts such as the construction of the harbour facilities (built by Hornibrook), the Power House construction (built by World Services), the Arawa Township (built by Morobe-ANG), and the haulage services (provided by Brambles-Kennellys.) Des Hudson and a string of time-keepers, amongst them Neil Jackson ("Jacko"), Bob Green, and "Beau" Players joined the team later.Kobuan Transit Camp

We all lived in Camp Six which was idyllically situated on Loloho Beach. Every day (and often even before going to work), we would go for a swim in the beautifully warm and clear waters of Loloho Bay. Except for one: Bill Avery, our telephone operator who was ex-Navy and claimed he had a pact with the sharks: they wouldn't come onto his land, and he wouldn't go into their water. I'll never forget the day when we had a prolonged power failure and no running water in camp, and the whole camp population washed and shaved in the surf! Ever since I've been keeping a cake of soap which lathers in seawater. The camp had a certain hierarchy with "oldtimers" occupying the front row of dongas facing the beach, also known as "Millionaires' Row." Twice a week was film night to which viewers brought their own plastic chairs and victuals and liquid supplies and watched whatever was being offered (the Natives were crazy about Cowboy movies), against a backdrop of stars twinkling through swaying palm fronds and with the surf as background music.

Payday was the big night in Camp Six with gambling tables such as Snakes & Ladders doing a roaring trade. Flick shows (with little to be seen across the tops of a dozen boisterous guys, all drinking and smoking, crammed into a 6-by-10ft donga) were also highly sought-after.

The "boozer" (or Wet Canteen in the official language), set right on the beach of Loloho, was a great place for an evening out! Offshore, across the dark waters, several small islets marked the outer limits of the reef. We named them "Number One Island", "Number Two Island", and so on. On some night, after a sufficiently large intake of SP (also known as 'Swamp Piss'), heated debates would develop as to whether they were ships coming into port!

Sometime in 1971 I transferred to Panguna where I was put in charge of the General Accounts Department with Brian Herde doing the Accounts Payable and Gaskill keeping the General Ledger. Neil Jackson somehow found his way "up top" as well and became offsider to Brian Herde, imitating one of the Three Musketeers by attacking all passers-by with a long wooden ruler until the day the booze got the better of him and he didn't turn up for work at all. Sid Lhotka visited him in his donga at Camp 3 and rumour has it that "Jacko" told him to f%@# off! He was on the next plane out! Panguna shrouded in clouds Another auditor wasn't quite so outspoken to get off the island but did so even more quickly: Frank Joslin was given the monthly "perk" of hand-carrying a batch of punch cards to Bechtel's Melbourne office where he presented himself, never to be seen again thereafter. His neat little trick became known as "doing a Joslin" and was much talked about but never imitated. Some of the new recruits to the audit team were less than delighted with their posting to muddy and rain-soaked Panguna and started counting the days to the end of their twelve-month contract - literally! They ran up an adding-machine strip list from 365 days down to zero and pasted it to the office wall, ticking off one day at a time. Needless to say, not many survived that kind of mental torture.

There were some others who never left Aropa airstrip: they had seen the mountain range shrouded in clouds from the aircraft and, refusing to leave the small airline building and spending a fretful night on a hard wooden bench, reboarded the same aircraft for its morning flight back to Port Moresby.

Loloho beach party Others took to the wild camp life with gusto, spending what little time was left after a 10-hour working day, in the "boozer" and even investing in their own 'fridges outside their dongas. The nights were punctuated by the squeaking of 'fridge door hinges and the squishing sound of rings pulled off beer cans. A common "status symbol" amongst serious drinkers were door-frame curtains constructed from the hundreds of pull-top rings collected from empty
beer cans. Les Feeney was put in charge of the audit group but more often than not was in charge of the carousing going on in the "boozer" and endlessly stuffing his pipe but never succeeding in lighting it. He and Peter the "Eskimo", a lumbering polar bear of a man hailing from Iceland, ran a constant "throat-to-throat" race as to who was the biggest drinker.

"Bulldog", a likeable Pom, tried hard to catch up with them! On one occasion he also tried to learn how to play the electric organ. He never did but the speakers and amplifier which came with it, were put to good (and all-too-frequent) use when he played his favourite Neil Diamond record, "Hot August Night." The whole camp rocked when "Bulldog" plugged in that organ! I shall always associate "Hot August Night" with nights at Camp One!

During my time on the island I became a Justice of the Peace and also obtained my registration as a tax agent (Registration No. TTA322, dated 26th April 1971) and assisted many in the camps with their tax returns. I even made successful representation to the New Zealand Inland Revenue to have the then 18-months "world income rule" set aside for the Kiwis working on Bougainville. Had I not obtained this particular ruling, they would have been liable to pay New Zealand income tax on their Bougainville earnings. I became something of a scribe for many in the camp who wanted to apply for a passport or needed documents authenticated or who - surprisingly - couldn't read or write and asked me to handle their correspondence - including some pretty red-hot love letters!!! I always toned down their replies which must have kept quite a few guys out of troubles!

After Bougainville came stints in the Solomons, back to PNG (setting up the Internal Audit Department for AIR NIUGINI in Port Moresby where I run into Brian Herde again who'd taken a job with Tutt Bryants), Playing chess with Noel Butler on Lae beach Christmas 1974 Rangoon in Burma, Samoa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iran, PNG once again (setting up the tug-and-barge operations for Ok Tedi; Bechtel was back in town to manage this project and with it came Sid Lhotka with whom I had dinner at the Papuan Hotel in Port Moresby to talk about "old times"), Saudi Arabia (where I met up with Des Hudson again), Greece - but none of those assignments came ever close to the comraderie and esprit de corps of the years on Bougainville!

Over the years I repeatedly ran into "ex-Bougainvilleans" and "ex-Territorians" in Australia and elsewhere. We would swap yarns which always ended in a great deal of nostalgia and a hankering for a way of life that would never come again. Like myself, many had found it difficult to settle back into an "ordinary" life and, like myself, had moved from place to place in an attempt to recapture some of the old life style.

I moved on to Honiara in the then British Solomon Islands Protectorate, back to Papua New Guinea, then Rangoon in Burma, Iran, again Papua New Guinea, Thursday Island, Apia in Western Samoa, Penang in Malaysia, Australia, back to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Piraeus in Greece, and finally came "home" to Australia in 1985.

I now live in retirement on the South Coast of New South Wales but still do some occasional volunteer work overseas. My next trip to Samoa is due in May. Read about it here!

Graeme Wellington

Hello Peter

What a nostalgic moment to find your site. It brought back so many memories. So many memories of the people and characters from the early days.

I grew up on Sohano and later my parents went to Kieta. So naturally when I needed a job after my first year at Uni I wandered around the bay to Kobuan to see what was on offer for a bright young lad whose only real skill at the time was a fluent grasp of tok pisin.

I started working on the project in late 1966 when it was still CRA Exploration. I was based at Kobuan for a couple of months working on training (then under Don Pearce's area of responsibility) but was soon moved to run Barapinang Camp when Ray Katt (spelling probably wrong) didn't come back from a field break to Rabaul. I then moved to Pan Flat when the main office was established up there. At the end of 67 I went back to Uni in Brisbane for a year, and started back on the project later that year.

In 1970 I married Gillian Mann who was working at the Panguna Haus Sik (met her on Sohano a couple of years earlier). We have two boys, both born at Arawa.

I spent all of my time up there in personnel department, first with Basil Turner and Des Bowlay, later under Chris Normoyle and then Ken Edwards. Towards the end of the time I was working for Paul Quodling , and when he became GM, John Trezise and then Pat Gilles took over the division.

About the same time the country and the social climate were undergoing dramatic changes (for the worse, alas), job satisfaction was dwindling, there was no career path etc. etc. and I reasoned I had to move to Australia. The move was extremely emotional as I was leaving the place that I had always considered "home". I have never since had such an emotional attachment to any place, and it's probably made worse by the fact that you can never turn the clock back to the way it was.

We left in November 78 and settled in Western Australia (Gillian's home state), got employed by a major mineral processor, worked up the corporate ladder to the top level and then had the revelation that there was too much bullshit there. Left that mob in 91 and started my own business which Gill and I still operate.

We don't get to see many ex Bougainville people, as we are 2 hours south of Perth. Davo (John Davidson) dropped in a couple of times on visits from Brisbane, we've had Gerry Clark (Mine Geology) visit a couple of times, once with Mary. Peter and Jenny Searle (Coffey & Hollingworth, then BCL Mine Geology) spent a couple of nights with us on a visit from UK. Richard and Val Rummery (Powerhouse) live up the road a bit in the hills behind here. Ian Worth (Mining Engineering) and family called in a couple of times, we keep in touch with the Jorritsmas (Mine Maintenance) and occasionally run across Les and Margaret Lyons .

I've got quite a lot of early Bougainville photos which might be of interest. I'll scan some over the next few weeks and email them to you.

To check out one of our latest activities, see

Best regards
Graeme Wellington

Bob Hamilton

It appears now that everything can be found on the Internet. On a lark, I decided to search with "google" for "Bougainville Copper" and I found your site. I worked in the Bechtel Electrical Engineering Group for Jim Gillin up at the mine site. I mostly worked in the Concentrator. The group was headed up by John Boland. I recall also working with Chris Sinka. The instrument group included Chuck Laferney and John Moller. I also remember Jim and Wendy Murren. Although it was April through December 1971 that I worked there, it does not seem so long ago. The work was good and fast paced. I recall many Sundays when we went down to the beach and snorkelled around, had a few South Pacific Lagers and then went back up the hill. I usually had a short nap on Sunday afternoons as we were on 60 hour work schedules Mon-Sat. I lived for a short time at Camp 3 then over to the dormitory type housing down from the family housing. There I shared a room with a guy named Bob Nelson and I remember his small refrigerator which he kept filled with good Australian Beer which he always shared. Since leaving and returning to the US, I have come across several of those that were at Bougainville. There were the two Australians, Allan Fitzpatrick and Lindsay Boyd who turned up on a startup team in Northern Minnesota where I was working on a Taconite Plant. That job was headed up by Glen Fuson who also had been at Bougainville. About 20 years later, I was at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA building a Cogeneration Powere Plant. We were looking at subcontracting a short 115 kV transmission line and across the table was a guy named Alex Takahashi. We both thought we had met before and it turned out it was at Bougainville where he had been at the port site. Small world and it is amazing when people turn up after long times. At this time, I am working again at Chevron Richmond in their Electrical Engineering Group. I enjoyed the pictures posted on your site. I may have some slides somewhere, but I do not have an easy way to convert to digital. I have not viewed the slides in many years and wonder if they are still OK. I am considering a scanner so perhaps if I get to it and you are still wanting input, I may send some contributions.

I recalled some more names. There was Lyle Cantwell with Bechtel at the mine and I recall a fellow name Kevin Torpy with FMIC-ODG (Fischbach Moore -- O'Donnell Griffin) the Electrical Contractor. Two Electrical Superintendents with Bechtel were Artie Lookingbill and Carl Poglagen. There was also Tom Robles. I also remember a New Zealander, Peter ? his surname still escapes me. I recall Bob Vernon and a Russian named Alex Shasnev (SP?) at the port site. It is interesting how the brain starts to link these memories once it gets going.

Louis Tagovono

Dear Peter

I think your website is wonderful but I am not sure whether many ex-BCL people know about it.

I was there is 1972, as a young lad of 16 straight out of St Josephs High, then went off to uni in 1973. It was an exciting year because it was the start of commercial production and I was part of the team making it happen! I went off to uni in 1973 then rejoined in 1979 after graduation.

As far as I am concerned, the BCL project was the best project ever established anywhere in the world, then and now.

Cheers Louis T

Pete Maleckas

Just found your site courtesy of Rudy Laister and Steve Mcvilly. Having a great time walking down memory lane. I began work at the primary crusher in 1981 and shortly moved down to the coast at Loloho maintenance working under Dick Lukoszek and John Gretton --great to here from you geo. I left bougainville in 1986 and moved into Barney Roger's house in Brackenridge and worked as an electrician at AMP in Brisbane for a year and then moved down to Olympic Dam in South Australia working u/g for Western Mining--I have 2 kids --Dave who was born at Arawa general hospital is now 21 and living in adelaide and Jess who is now 19 and living in Broken Hill with her partner.17 years later I am still here . Sad to see what has become of Bougainville--I had always hoped that the mine would re-open and we could return but probably too old now---maybe as a tourist.

All the best to anybody that recognises my name.

Stuart Harris

Happened across your site and it has bought back some fond memories. I was a teller at the Bank of New South Wales at Kieta from February 1972 until December 1973.

I had some good friends who worked at BCL. but most of their names escape me. I was heavily involved with sailing and in those days the club was known as 'Kieta Sailing and Cruising Club'. I'm sure I still have one of the club pennants. I still remember the initial meeting on a beach at Kieta starting the club and the first race. From memory there were about 5 or 6 boats competing. A Hobie 16' owned by Jim Smith who ran the local Trade store, a Gwen 12 (which I sailed on) and I cannot remember the rest of the fleet. A name and photo I came across on your website was the Commodore, a Ross Henderson (the local kiap). I don't think Ross was the first Commodore, it was a tall blonde pommie bloke with a beard but I cannot remember his name. Ross and his wife Judy are very good friends of ours and we still maintain some contact with them.

I have some slides still but have not looked at them for years. Thanks for your website.

Stuart Harris
Government Casino Inspector
Government Inspectorate
Wrest Point Hotel Casino
410 Sandy Bay Road

Warren Johnson

I found this great site while trying to find a detailed map of the Buin area to cross reference some war time photos on the Aust. War Memorial site.

I worked at the power station & filter / dryer plant at Loloho for 2 years from Dec. 71 to Dec. 73 as an instrument tech. My superviser was Don Houston. Others included Arthur Banks, Eric Barnes, Peter ? and our assistants Ricky Essrom, Kokomi Tapio & little Ricky. Henry Pearson was Maintenance boss.

We did a lot of scuba diving in the Buin area & off Kieta. Getting to that area was a real adventure in itself, crossing all those rivers to end up at the Buin Lodge ( got some great photos of the owners ) Our eldest daughter was born at the Arawa hospital in Nov. 72.

Many great evenings involved with the Arawa Hash House Harriers, following that paper trail back to where the hares had set up the hash thrash. Have some good photos of our time on the island..... I will keep checking this site for any updates........ all the best ..

Warren Johnson

Murray Smith

Hi I'm Murray Smith from NZ.

Have just come across this website and have to confess I have spent half a day and well into the night sifting through a memory-refreshing wealth of history. My thanks must go to the author of this website for a very well researched and presented site – well done! Also my thanks to those who have supplied photos and dialogue, for without them the site would not be as interesting.

I worked for Morgan Equipment from 1971 - 1974. Morgan Equipment were the agents for the Euclid R105 dump trucks, well and truly buried by now I expect although I still have the service manuals amongst my memorabilia. I was based at their workshop down the hill near camp 5, I think the area was known as Itakara Industrial area. I lived at camp 6 and later at Kawerong house Panguna. My job involved the engine overhauls plus other odds and ends. The last 18 months were spent at the pit workshop looking after warranty claims and associated paper work. The personnel I remember at the pit workshop were Peter Robinson, Kiwi Pat, Peter Hayes, a guy with the surname of Welch plus there was an American or Canadian Guy named Sam, unable to recall his surname who I think was in charge of the pit workshop around that time.

Those on the Morgan Equipment staff that I remember were Brandon Deal who was the Manager and Ray Banning was the service manager. Other names I recall are Neil Gregg, Keith Jenner, Jim Brophy, Fred Bins, Bob Cruickshank, Alan Roots, Len Hook, Kevin Gill, Mike Edwards, Evan Berryman, John Balding, Eric Mier and Titus Nasai from Roarovana village. In 1974 I went with Eric Mier and worked for Morgan Equipment in Rabaul for a brief period. Eric Mier along with Bob Cruickshank plus Bob's brother-in-law Don and myself eventually ended up working for Shin Asahigawa who were involved in logging and sawmilling at Bialla (East New Britain) for 2 years. Occasionally some of the crew from Morgan’s at Bougainville would come over and help out when we got busy.

Bialla is another story, which could go on forever if I got started. I will take a brief indulgence and mention some names. Barry and Ellee White and son Michael, the ex-Swiss cook from Bougainville Hans Tatari (I called on Hans in Switzerland on a couple of occasions), Keith Williams, Barry Donohue, Ed & Jenny Spanner, Ian & Margaret McPherson and son Tiger, they ran the trade store, Fred Hargesheimer of Airmen's Memorial School fame.

From Bialla I went to Europe for 18 months to finish of my OE which I originally started out to do but somehow PNG interrupted. I was 21 when I arrived in PNG and learnt more in the first year than I had in the previous 20! A wonderful experience, which set me up for life and will always cherish.

I returned to NZ in 1977 and went into business with my brother in the ready-mix concrete, paving and building industries. I married in 1984 and have 2 Children, Son 18 and Daughter 15. 1991 we sold our ready-mix concrete business and became involved with Dairy Farming and we now live on the Farm which is 20K’s south of Hamilton NZ. When I bought the Farm I discovered my next door neighbour Noel Watson worked for Hornibrook at Loloho.

I have always had an interest in Aviation so when I returned from my OE I obtained my private pilots licence in 1979. I have owned aeroplanes since then (C172 & C206) and have flown extensively in NZ. In April this year we had a flying trip in Australia, Archerfield, Dalby, Roma, Blackall, Longreach, Birdsville, Alice, Ayres Rock, Mt Isa, Great Keppell island and returning to Archerfield. My ultimate aim is to fly up to and around some of my old haunts in and around PNG. We are in the planning stages at the moment, ETD is tentatively 2006 so hope the Bougainville situation improves dramatically by then. I would like to show my family where their inheritance is coming from and to explore the coral reefs and Arovo Island where I used to spend what little spare time I had. Hope I can hack the climate. Any Starters?

I would like to make contact with all those who have worked for Morgan Equipment and those at BCL. The reunion that takes place in Brisbane every year sounds great although I expect there would not be many ex-Morgan employees there. Must try and make it sometime.

Em Tasol.

Stephen Swan

Hi. My wife Lee and I arrived in Bougainville from Rabaul in 1983 when I was posted there with Talair. Left in 1987. It has been a real buzz finding this site as, like so many others, we had the greatest time of our lives on the island. So many memories - the Bougainville Island Sub Aqua Club. Dive lessons with Jackie Shaw and Mike Crowe.

Would love to hear from any of our friends from those days. email

Bougainville's Coconut Revolution

This is just a preview. The full documentary can be viewed at

This is a documentary about the fight of the people of Bougainville against New Guinea and imperialistic mining corporations that only want to exploit Bougainville and its people leaving the environment of the island totally devastated. This is the modern-day story of a native peoples' remarkable victory over Western Colonial power. A Pacific island rose up in arms against giant mining corporation Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) - and won despite a military occupation and blockade. When RTZ decided to step up production at the Panguna Mine on the island of Bougainville, they got more than they bargained for. The island's people had enough of seeing their environment ruined and being treated as pawns by RTZ. RTZ refused to compensate them, so the people decided it was time to put an end to outside interference in the island's affairs. To do this they forcibly closed down the mine. The Papua New Guinea Army (PNGDF) were mobilised in an attempt to put down the rebellion. The newly formed Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) began the fight with bows & arrows, and sticks & stones. Against a heavily armed adversary they still managed to retain control of most of their island. Realising they were beaten on the ground, the PNGDF imposed a gunboat blockade around Bougainville, in an attempt to strangle the BRA into submission. But the blockade seemed to of had little or no effect. With no shipments getting in or out of the island, how did new electricity networks spring up in BRA held territory? How were BRA troops able to drive around the island without any source of petrol or diesel? What was happening within the blockade was an environmental and spiritual revolution. The ruins of the old Panguna mine where being recycled to supply the raw materials for the world's first eco-revolution.

And here is an ABC interview just days after the sudden death of Bougainville's President Joseph Kabui in June 2008: [click here].

"Walk into Paradise"

Walk Into Paradise is a fascinating film, perhaps more for its choice of location than its dramatic qualities. The location, of course, is the Australian-administered territories of Papua and New Guinea (before the country gained independence). The film indulges in some pro-colonial romanticism, in which Chips Rafferty shoulders the white man’s burden to bring civilisation to the savage heart of New Guinea which, says the introductory narration, is an island where 'today a gallant band of young Australian administrators are bringing civilisation to the most primitive people left on the face of the earth’.

The film was shot on location in several inhospitable locations, and it has some remarkable footage to show for it: Sepik River long canoes paddled exclusively by women, and a full-scale highlands sing-sing, with hundreds of warriors in traditional dress trampling down grass to make an airstrip. Much of the story mirrors incidents in the pioneering expeditions of the Leahy brothers, the first white men to reach the New Guinea highlands, in the early 1930s.

The DVD is sold by the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia.

Gerhard Heinemann

Hallo Peter,

Ich dachte mir da ist etwas deutsch im Namen Goerman, kein doppell n? Mit meinen deutsch hapert es etwas, ich bin in November 2003 genau 50 Jahre von Deutschland weg. Ich gebe Dir also etwas ueber Comtrade.

The firm does not exist anymore as the proprietor Dick France died quite a few years ago. We supplied tradesmen to BCL and quite a few other firms throughout PNG , Northern Australia and the South Pacific. I spent 3 years on Bougainville , had my family there for a while , two of my boys went to Bovo School. We did some house sitting , lived for quite some time at the hotel in Toniva and eventually rented a house on top of Kobuan Hill. From there we could watch the arrival of the supply ships , one was the Globe Trader, the other name escapes me, whose captains Hermann and Erich were great friends of ours.

This is just a short note for you by way of intro. I shall write in more detail with names of people I remember for the Bougainville Project.

In a letter under comments written by Denise Arnold mentioning a NZ girl and the great fun they had on the Island together. The girl is my daughter Cathy White nee' Heinemann. If you should have Denise's address could you pass it on please.

So, bis bald Peter, demnaecht kommt der Beitrag fuer die Bougainville Seite.

Gruesse, Kurt H.