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19 June 2010

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!