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March 16, 2012

Natasha Mayer emailed from New Zealand:

Hi there. My name is Natasha Jacqueline Mayer, daughter of Herman Hanns Mayer.

I was raised in Arawa-Bougainville from the age of about 5 till 12 years of age.

I know I was young but Bougainville will always be the place that I will remember the most. I am now 42 and am due to head back to PNG to scatter my mum’s ashes.

I was born in New Zealand then headed back to the Highlands with my Mum and Dad.

My father was born in Austria and when he was 25 he decided to head across the other side of the world to seek his fortune.

Bondi beach in Australia is where my Mum and Dad met.

Love at 1st sight they said! They were married in 6 months and decided to head to the Highlands where he helped in the policing side of things.

Engineering was his trade so hence he ended up at Hastings Deering as a head mechanic.

From there till about 1982 he was in the Panguna Copper Mines working on the huge Caterpillar graders, cranes and dump trucks.

I know I was only 12 when I left there but I have so many memories of my beautiful country. It’s just so hard to believe it may never be the way I remembered it!

I also lived in Kieta and my younger brother and I went to Tonava School.

There are so many things that I remember. My pet Cocki and frogs. The huge storms and the fierce shakes - goriers [gurias] - that would rock the palm trees!

The gorgeous colorful singsings and the beautiful people. Snorkeling with dad collecting gorgeous fish for our aquarium. The flying foxes in the evening skies flying over our house.

I also remember the Hash Harriers with their paper trails! They used to run down our metal road and across some wild terrain across from the river.

On August the 3rd my husband and I will be in Port Moresby to scatter my mum’s ashes. My mum was English but her heart and Soul was Papua New Guinea.

Unfortunately, we won’t get to Bougainville but that’s ok! I think I would probably need an army of guards!

It was just by accident that I came across this site.

I would love some emails from anyone who misses the place. I have so much to say.

In the next couple of weeks I will email some of those who may have been around Bougainville between the years of 1975 and 1982.

Tash J
email nmayer[AT]pps-industries.co.nz