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15 January 2013

Steve Thompson emailed from Brisbane:


My name is Steve Thompson, I worked for BCL from 1985 to Dec 1989 in the concentrator with Peter Tilyard, Barry Deans, Graeme Talbot and Joe Sahin and Gary Young, Barney Clifford, John Jones, Ron Van Velsen, John Edgar. I was hired by Davo like most people who came to BCL.

My two oldest boys were David and Benjamin who were born in the Arawa private hospital. Ben was born during the curfew in 1989 which made the logistics of getting to the hospital at 3am very interesting.

I had two fishing boats during my time at Bougainville both moored at the Keita Yacht club. Some people may remember No-Nose a 17ft ply fishing boat with a 6hp diesel. The second boat was a 26 ft ex PNG work boat called Atomo. We had a lot of fun in those fishing boats visiting Pok Pok, one tree and other islands and also made several trips to the Solomon’s.

We have many good memories of Bougainville and will never forget the great time we had there and the friends we made. Some people that we had a lot of fun with were Wally Sanger (BCL Mine), Merran Sanager and their yacht Windstar, Bob and Jane Willis, Alan and Jenny Smith, Peter and Jann Haseldon, Jeff (Arawa Hospital) and Gaylene Pattinson, Peter and Vickie Claughton, Janice and Mick Johnson, Kevin White and Terry Sheady.

I live in Brisbane (Cleveland) and work with Bechtel in their Brisbane office. I joined Bechtel after leaving BCL in December 1989. I have worked all over the world with Bechtel from London, Bahrain, Oman, Russia, Guinea West Africa, NZ, Canada and Chile. I have just finished a FS for the development of the Frieda River copper concentrator in PNG. Was very interesting going back to PNG after so long. Frieda River must have been what BCL was like in the 1970's, untouched, very remote, no infrastructure, roads power etc.

Great site that brings back many wonderful memories. I will dig into the archives and send you some pics of our time at Bougainville.


Stephen Thompson

email sjthomps[AT]