As creator of the Bougainville website and this blog, I am not surprised just how deep the memories are for those who spent any time on Bougainville as I myself think back to my time there and in other parts of New Guinea as the most formative and the most enjoyable years of my life.
Perhaps it is the result of having read Coral Island and Somerset Maugham at an impressionable age, but the South Pacific islands have always evoked a powerfully romantic image with me. Mention the South Seas and I conjure up a vision of waving coconut palms and a dusky maiden strumming her ukelele. Silhouetted against the setting sun, Trader Pete (that's me!) sits in a deck-chair in front of his hut sipping a long gin and tonic while a steamboat chugs into the lagoon, bringing mail from home.
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