Picturesque Waterfront Cottage available for permanent rental - click here

The Die Was Cast - My Journey to New Guinea

The Bougainville Aftermath

Want to share a house in Bali? Click here!

Sohano Ocean View Apartments in Buka Passage

70 years of PIM are now available on the internet - click here


If something on this blog doesn't work, please contact the janitor
Alternatively, contact the Helpdesk

11 December 2011

Lindsay Riddick emailed:


I am not one of those in Bougainville in the 1970s – 80s. I arrived in Arawa in 2010 on a volunteer assignment. One of my “extra” personal challenges is researching the history of Tunuru Mission, I plan to publish a small book late in 2012 detailing this story.

I understand the present church was built in 1987-88 and that a significant part of the construction was done by mine workers who were on strike/locked out for 2-3 months. I would dearly like to hear from anybody involved with that construction.

Similarly I would like to hear from anybody with memories of Tunuru church and mission activities over the mining period.

A final request to Urs Christen. You have a great photo of Tunuru from the air on page 10 of this site. I would like to use this in the book, please contact me regarding possible use.

Lindsay Riddick

Iain MacPherson emailed from Western Australia:

I worked for Buin Earthmoving 1976 t0 1979.
I would love to on the list and include my e-mail.


Iain MacPherson
80 Beenyup Rd
Byford W.A. 6122
Ph 9525 1668
Mob 0412 165 069

Sean Byrne emailed from the Gold Coast:

Hi there,

Really liked coming across your site. I was there twice during the building of the mine. First time for Brambles and second time for Johns and Waygood. I think it would be around 1971 ish. My location is now Gold Coast, Queensland

Sean Byrne

10 December 2011

Merv Nightingale emailed from Londonderry in N.S.W.:

Merv Nightingale, my boss on the Bougainville Island contract with the Camp Catering Services Group almost forty years ago, sent me this message:

"Oh I thought that I better let you know that I have been working my way through your various blogs and am both amazed and impressed by your ability to produce such items. I must admit to also being very impressed with your obvious computer skills and your excellent command of the English language. If all else fails you would have no trouble in switching to journalism such is your ability ... I was fascinated by the blog on the Islands, but still have not come accross the old camp office. Brings back a lot of memories, but looking at the areas and the people, I am glad that things turned out the way that they did as I think that it would have proven to be a disaster had we all stayed. Hope all are well down there, and while I think of it, you look well in your photos and obviously the area agrees with you. Best wishes, Merv Nightingale"

Thank you, Merv, but of course you were always most flattering of my abilities, as testified by the glowing reference you gave me when I left Bougainville to take up the position of Financial Controller in Camp Catering Services' head office in Sydney. This reference, together with some fifty other similarly glowing ones, is now slowly yellowing around the edges and fading away just as I am.

Click on image to enlarge

And here's a photo of the old office, Merv:

Warehouses and office of Camp Catering Services at Panguna


1 December 2011

Colin Burns snail-mailed from Belowra:

"Gut de Masta Peter,

Mi laik sekan yu - nem bilong mi Masta Col Burns, mi bin wok long Bougainville namel 1969 - 1972 ..."
, and he continues to write in Pidgin English for a whole page.

I am sure Col would like to hear from other ex-Bougies but he's not an easy man to contact as he lives in dinosaur-country far away from an internet connection.

You can write to him at

Colin Burns
via Nerrigundah NSW 2545

or phone him on (02) 44779306.

I guess you could also visit him but let me warn you: Nerrigundah is in a remote location. We went there several years ago and I wrote this webpage about it.

If you're not from the South Coast of New South Wales (and even if you are), you'd probably never heard of Nerrigundah, let alone Belowra which is another 35 km beyond Nerrigundah and even farther out in the sticks.