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October 25, 2011

Penny Spalek (née Rampling) emailed from Miriam Vale in Queensland:

Just found your site and some of the names are familiar. I arrived in Bougainville as a new wife in Feb/March of 1971 (not long out from the UK). We lived in married quarters in Panguna until Arawa was completed. Finally a house after nearly a year in a donga!! My son Dirk was born at Arawa Hospital on the 17 October 1972. Great timing, yes?

As so many people have said on your website it was a magical place and remembered fondly. Yes lots of parties and drinking but then no telly/DVD’s. I just recently had contact with Katrina Bartlett amazed that she remembered us. Ian White was best man at our wedding and I remember his brother David and his wife Jenny with fond memories.

We moved back to Australia in July 1974 and ended up in Darwin, not the best place to be on 24/12/1974. Sadly as a result the marriage broke down. I am now remarried and we coming up to our 23rd wedding anniversary on 1/11. Enjoying a great life in Queensland and have just bought a house in Miriam Vale about 72 kilometres south of Gladstone and looking forward to renovating the old place. Feel free to contact me if you remember us and would love to see photos as the ones we had were destroyed in Cyclone Darwin.

Thanks again for the site.

Penny SPALEK (nee Rampling)
lifeis2short@bigpond.com