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11 November 2013

Bob Hope (no, not the Bob Hope) emailed from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland:

Hi Peter,

Been meaning to contact you for some time but life has a habit of interferring in casual pursuits.

My stay, with my family (wife Maureen, son Phelps, daughters Leanne Victoria and Janin), was on site 1971 through 1974. Prior to that period I was running the BCL engineering team in Melbourne from early 1970.

We were resident at Panguna during the construction and after start-up we continued for another year before we returned to Sydney and another career direction.

My family have the fondest memories of our period there and it is deeply embedded in their psyche.

Phelps went to boarding school in Sydney but the three girls attended the local school.

After a number of years in Oz and the USA with mining companies I finally became a consultant, being mainly engaged in formulating and negotiating mining contracts, including Lihir and Century Zinc. One of my consulting assignments was with the PNG Government in Port Moresby where I spent 3 months reviewing the Kennecott feasibility study on the Lihir project for them. In the office was a Bougainvillean who was a chief who had been condemned to death by the rebels and had to leave. Not sure now because of the passage of time but I recall his first name was Thomas and he worked for BCL in the early 70s.

The photos attached may be of interest.

Your effort in organising, establishing and running the website is a sterling effort and congratulations for that.

Currently we reside on the glorious Sunshine Coast with golf as the main activity.

Kind regards,
Robert (Bob) Hope

P.S. My families plan to see "Mr Pip" together, but in view of the review we may leave the grandchildren at home.

After the 17km run down the mountain to Loloho.
With Methodius who beat Robert whilst running in boots

Phelps, Maureen
Nina, Tory, Lana
at Kowalski's Sak Sak Kobuan Bougainville 1971

Us at Loloho, Bougainville

Loloho, Bougainville

Maureen's painting of Loloho Bougainville