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The Die Was Cast - My Journey to New Guinea

The Bougainville Aftermath

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24 November 2011

John Standen emailed from Brisbane:

Hello Peter

I did know you but you may not have known me, John Standen or better known as (Blossom), I would like to go on the Honour Roll, if possible.

I arrived on Bougainville in August 1971 as a Plant Fitter, first stop Loloho Dongas, and sat in that old red chair, started in B10 and worked all over the place or wherever needed or tolerated, got married while there to (Sniff) had children, they went to school in Arrawa, left in 1989.

Everything happened so fast, they were the best years, I do have many photos, and there are some of yours that I would like to acquire also, it was only the other night I was looking at that copper coin that we got on the start of production, I was wondering how many people still have them?

We are now living in Brisbane north.

Cheers and Beers

14 November 2011

Deanne Holmes emailed from the USA:

I stumbled across your website this evening and even noticed my dad had posted, Paul Holmes,

We lived in both Arawa and Panguna during our 3.5 years there, 1978 - 1981.

My sister and I both attended Bovo Primary School and also International School in Panguna My brother attended Boarding school in brisbane and i also did our 3rd year there St Peter's Lutheran College.

I remember one of my teachers well, Mr Hayden, who took us on a billeted trip to highlands in New Guinea.

I also remember the Brophy's, Kastener's, Groom's and Grant's. They were all in Panguna during our time there, I'm positive there are many other people I'd remember if i saw their names. My Mum, Jan Holmes worked a lot with the social club in Panguna and also at tech College, She use to cut peoples hair (a lot of the single guys with no wives etc)and also draw family's portraits etc for people..Tragically, she passed away in 2007, Dad is still going strong, still in the industry and lives in central NSW.

Arovo Island was magical, I have never forgotten the color of the ocean there, it was so beautiful, also all the treks into jungle looking for orchards with our parents, and playing in the Bovo river and swimming.. I miss so many things about Bougainville, Hot Bread Anyone? I still think it was the best bread on earth :)

The earth tremors, and playing in the rain, I saw star wars for the first time there at the Panguna Social Club, and ate my first ever star wars icy pop there too, haha how strange to remember such things,

The people were friendly, and going to Loloho beach for holidays, spending a week in the cabins, it was so fantastic, a real paradise.

I also miss Fred (affectionately we called him uncle) and also Blue and Marty who managed/owned plantations and I have the best memories of going up there and spending time game fishing, relaxing and enjoying the plantation lifestyles, the houses were immaculate and amazing, and I've never forgotten the first trip up there in our suzuki 4wd.. We owned 3 dogs while there, Bastie who passed away before we left, Boxer who was the best watch dog ever and Natasha a golden cocker, who had puppies thanks to Fog (another golden cocker) from down the street in Panguna. I think the Horns owned him.

Its been a long time, but i will always hold dear and treasured memories of Bougainville, and i am very blessed to have been one of the children who got to spend some of their childhood growing up in paradise.

Thanks for the website it brought back a lot of great memories, I live in the USA now so it also gave me a chance to share some of those memories and my childhood with my newer and extended family here.

Deanne L Holmes