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19 June 2010

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.