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May 13, 2013

Donna Holmes emails from Singapore:


Dear Peter,

I really enjoyed reading your comments about Loloho. I can remember Loloho, even though I was only eleven years old. I went to Tupukas State School.

I was thrilled to see the photo on page 5 where you are sitting on the beach and behind you is a ketch. That was where I lived with my Mum and little sister. My Dad worked up at the mine and on some weekends he used to take a group of people over to - what was its name? - Pig Island.

The name of our ketch was Tauree. Dad and our family sailed her back to Brisbane in 1972, where Dad swapped her for an opal mine in Emerald.

I can remember the time when a tidal wave was headed for the island. Dad came down from Panguna and he sent us kids off to stay with some friends, somewhere up the mountain. Then he took the boat out to sea. Thankfully, the tidal wave didn’t come.

Recollections... The thunderstorms in the afternoon – the rain came down in curtains! The old projector that used to run the film on movie night – I could thread it! The small coral reef just off the beach at Loloho – and Mum scraping the dinghy on it one night when we were returning to the boat – the tide was really low that night! The gummy sharks that used to live under our boat – and would eat up the dinner scraps that Mum threw out after our meals. When the weather was calm and clear, the water at nighttime looked as smooth as glass and the big moon overhead throwing little fairy lights towards our boat (or so it seemed to me)!

I now live on another tropical island – Singapore! My husband and I have been here for ten years.

Bye bye,
Donna Holmes née Freer (Dad was Bob Freer, my Mum Del and sister Deborah.)
mjholmes@singnet.com.sg