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June 19, 2010

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.