Picturesque Waterfront Cottage available for permanent rental - click here

The Die Was Cast - My Journey to New Guinea

The Bougainville Aftermath

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Sohano Ocean View Apartments in Buka Passage

70 years of PIM are now available on the internet - click here


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19 July 2013


As the battle of WWII fiercely continued into 1942, an empowered Japanese Army swept through the South Pacific towards the Australian mainland. Sensing an immediate threat of invasion, civilian planters were enlisted and joined commissioned soldiers to form highly-trained espionage teams known as Spyforce.

This 14DVD-series starring Jack Thompson gives a historic insight into the war in the islands.

15 July 2013

Roy "Goldfinger" Goldsworthy (aka Barber Starver) sent this photo from Bangkok:

He must be saving a fortune on haircuts! ☺ Come to think of it, he already did on Bougainville - click here and here.


12 July 2013

Peter Goerman's return trip to Bougainville at Christmas 1980:

While in Brisbane, MORGAN EQUIPMENT asked me whether I would be interested to return to Bougainville Island. Would I ever! They had problems with their incumbent financial controller and company secretary and wanted me to "clean up" the place and introduce some tight financial and administrative procedures while he was on leave.

I flew back to Bougainville just before Christmas - and Shirley joined me shortly afterwards - for the first time since 1974 and it was almost like coming home! I revisited all the old places, Kieta, Arovo Island, Camp 6, and Loloho Beach, however, time did not permit to see Panguna and the minesite again.

Click on image

At the end of the assignment, they offered me the financial controller's job but I didn't want to steal another man's job while he was on leave and so I declined. Another opportunity lost?

Click here for more photos.

We want to hear from you!


Did you spend some time on the Bougainville Copper Project in the sixties and seventies? If you did, we want to hear from you! There aren't many of us left and it would be good to hear from those who lived with us in the camps or in Arawa or Kieta and shared with us the experience.

Wouldn't it be great to revisit Bougainville, drive up to Panguna or swim at Loloho Beach? The Bougainville Copper Project shaped our lives as many of us continued in overseas projects. Others returned to suburbia and ordinary jobs but they, too, were forever changed by the experience.

Where are they all today? Many are settled back in Australia while others stayed on in New Guinea and some are still on the move. When were you on Bougainville? Who did you work for and what did you do? Have you photographs or memories to share which we could publish on this blog?

My email address is


I look forward to receiving your email!

Peter Goerman
ex-auditor for Bechtel Corporation
during the construction phase of the mine

left-to-right: Des Hudson, Bob Green, Peter Goerman, Neil Jackson

(By the way, do you remember the rumours about the stuff they put in our tea in the camp, to keep our minds off it...? Well, 40 years later, I think mine's beginning to work.)


7 July 2013

Email from Brian Hamilton on the Central Coast of NSW:

Hi Peter,
My name is Brian Hamilton. I worked on the concentrator construction for Dumez Australia in Panguna in 1971. I also worked for Bechtel Pacific for a few months, before returning to Oz and working with Dumez again in Sydney Office and then the Dampier/Tom Price project in WA. I married a chinese girl from Rabaul and now live on the NSW Central Coast.
Brian Hamilton
email hamilton20[AT]

Email from Kerry Bridgland in Townsville:

Just cruising and came across your website, I (Kerry Bridgland ) started as a boilermaker December 1972 after a stint of National Service and finished up September 1977 (Mech. Foreman , Fine Crushing) I live in Townsville Nth Qld after Bougainville I went to Gunpowder Qld and later to Greenvale , Qld Nickel Project, , I am currently still working in a heavy fabrication workshop as amongst other things an apprentice trainer. A few ex BCL employees have crossed my path over the years, Vic Kolstad ,foreman Fine crushing, Malcom Calvert Engineer , B60, Kiwi (Tony) McDonald last heard of on dragline construction on the coal fields. I’ll dig out a selection of photos for you soon.
Kerry Bridgland
email kerry.bridgeland[AT]

4 July 2013

Condolences Peter Elias



Peter Elias passed away last Thursday, June 27th, 2013. He was 72 years young.

Pete was principal at Arawa High School in the early 70s before leaving in 1977 for similar stints in Kokopo, Wewak and Mendi. Peter enjoyed his golf, and was instrumental in the establishment of the Arawa Golf Club and the subsequent organisation of junior golf there, affectionately known as "The Welsh Wizard". He was a friend of Ken Graham, also a teacher (then), who became well-known to a lot of BCL employees as the proprietor of "The Kangaroo Club" in Manila. When he and Val went pinis from PNG, they went back to Wales where they ran a beaut pub, The Golden Lion, in Newbridge-on-Wye.

Upon return to Australia, they set up home near McLarenvale in South Australia, and Pete worked part-time at the Coriole Winery cellar door, a job he was a natural at.

Pete is survived by Val, and their children, Sara and Brett and their families. The family is holding a private service on Friday, July 5th, 2013.