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

RETURN TO TOP OF BLOG

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

30 July 2012

Ian Louth emailed from Christies Beach in South Australia:

I spent a year on Bougainville in 1978 when I was a 24 year old boilermaker doing maintainence in the concentrator at Panguna and living in that fabulous Panguna apartment block for single guys two in a room. I can honestly say that the experience was a milestone in my life and probably set completely my attitude to the way mining is conducted in the third world. Flying in from Pt Moresby and seeing the grey smuge that was once the mouth of the Jaba River for I dont know how far out to sea then viewing the hole excavated in the island was certainly an eye opener. I however will never forget the stunning beauty above and below the water on the other side of the island and the way the Bougainvilleans conducted themselves. Running with Panguna HHH did me a lot of good also.

I was a keen diver in those days and when I realised where I was had my gear sent out from Australia . A group of us from Panguna ; Kevin Hart being the only name I remember out of about five of us worked on the out of order BSUC boat and got it going. We then had every Sunday off and went diving. Dont ask me about refurbishing of concentrator cells with an oxy torch and arc welder but ask me about the time on the big wreck when we had 200 feet visbility and the boat was floating in the sky 110 feet in the sky above us.

A couple of years ago when I got into song writing I though that my feelings about my time on Bougainville should be expressed. I wrote the song by simply tying real memories together. A lot of the imagery is about the place itself as well as the diving we did there.I perform this song at folk clubs and venues and it always touches someone in the audience to the point of talking about it to me afterwards.
I sympathised with Bougainville landowners and the BRA cause at the time of the conflict and while others may differ my view is that money to shareholders does not come at any price. The song is attached if anyone is interested.

email ilouth[AT]optusnet.com.au

PICTURE OF THE 400TH RUN PANGUNA HHH 34TH MARCH 1978

 

 

Bougainville Blue © Ian Louth

( On 2nd in D
C/Am/F/G)

C Am F G
Palm trees bleached coral , a dugout canoe
C Am G C
Paddled on flat sea , Bougainville Blue
F C F G
Calm clear waters , splashed colours onto
C Am G C
Deepest of shades, Bougainville Blue
F C F G
White wake behind us , reef islands in view
C Am G C
Splitting the water, of Bougainville Blue
F C F G
Deep under neath , hiding from view
C Am G C
Ghosts of the past , Bougainville Blue
F C F G
Ships of an old war , our boat flying too
C Am G C
Across the sky , of Bougainville Blue
F C F G
We dug a hole in the island , copper and gold for you
C Am G C
Poisoned the Jaba River , Bougainville Blue
F C F G
Francis mined the pylons , took back power when they blew
C Am G C
Crippled the mine , closed for all time , Bougainville Blue
F C F G
Strong proud people , mi lukim you
C Am G C
Keepers of an island , Bougainville Blue
F C F G
Memories forever , of a place I once knew
C Am G C
Home of the butterfly , the Bougainville blue
F C F G
The deep green forests, the wet dripping bamboo
C Am G C
The slow moving fluttering, of a Bougainville Blue

F/C/F/G/C/Am/G/C

For a live recording, click here.