Last Monday, 25th February 2013, long-time Bougainville and Buka resident Peter Trattner passed away.
Peter was born in Austria. He came to Australia in the 1960s, moved to Port Moresby (or was it Rabaul?) and finally to Bougainville in the late 1960s to work for PMAR construction managers, Morris Knudsen Fluor, based at Birempa (or Camp 5 as it was then called). Peter was one of the early appointments to the Arawa Town Council, later renamed the Arawa Town Authority. In 1985 he moved to Small Buka where he remained (self employed) right throughout the crisis and the intervening period. An ace tradesman and technician, Peter could turn his hand to any of the building and maintenance trades. Over a friendly chat, a cigarette and a brown bottle (or was it a greenie?), he could fix (almost) anything.
Remember when Peter arrived home from work one day with a huge mound of tin cans on the back of his old Toyota? He'd been down to the Loloho dump and found that SHRM had dumped 75 x 5kg cans of plums because one of the cans was damaged. Peter unloaded the cans then went back to the dump, returning with a small copper hot-water system and a length of copper tube. And, as they say, the rest is history. "You could always tell when Peter had a good brew underway because there was no parking space in either his yard or ours."
He will be sorely missed by those who had the pleasure of meeting him. Some people close to him include Urs & Assumpta Christen, "Buka" Mick & Bertha Michoff, Horst & Nicole Allmann, Reiner & Jill Georgi, Nick & Corinne Crawley, Rudi & Nola Weiss, Freddie Kastner and Fred & Elizabeth Boschart. However, there were many more, both expats and Bougainvilleans, who will remember Peter. Those were good days.
Condolences go to his wife Joanne, son David, daughter Jennifer, and sister Josephine, back in Austria.
RIP, old mate. You will be missed.