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9 December 2012

Bill Lane emailed from Emerald:

Hi Peter,

Worked for Hastings Deering as a fitter at Itakara and Panguna in 1972 the returned in 1977 with family until 1980 as workshop supervisor with Hastings Deering. Lived in Arawa and worked at Itakara.

Many fond memories of the people and the place, great job you are doing keeping the records going. Hopefully can get put on list and catch up with some old mates.

Many stories of Bougainville days and later at Ok Tedi as I went from Bougainville to Lae to be there with Hastings for construction phase of OTML, 1980 - 84, will send pictures next round.

We live in Emerald, still have diesel in the blood and living the dream working 7 on 7 off at a Rio coal site here at Clermont with a contactor Emeco International Pty Ltd as a Panel supervisor keeping the big yellow dirt taxis going.

Bougainville was such a great place to work and live, the Hastings Deering/ BCL experience certainly set us up for life and we still have some great contacts from that chapter of our lives.

Jim Walker ( Westrac) was my service manager, Doug Bestwick was branch Manager and Ian Brown was parts manager at this time. I still have a list of people who worked for Hastings during this period.

Jim Brophy, Len Hodder, Barry Smith, Hermann Mayer, Jim Embery, Peter Bawden, George Limberg, Alan Shaw, Buka Mick and Tony Grimwood were BCL blokes I had most contact with.

The late Sven Satre, Matt Long, Col Tweedie, Wally Vrbancic, Peter ( Digger) Wilson, Dennis ( Piggy) Pigram, Keith Hunt, Keith Darch and John Gilluley were some of the Hastings workshop guys there.

Our neighbours the Kennedys( Mick and Jenny and the girls) are still in contact with us every Xmas whilst Dennis OFlanagan ex Hastings and BCL keeps me up to speed with Bougainville news.

Kind regards,
Bill and Dale Lane
Wr.ds.lane[AT]bigpond.com.au