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He emailed these photos:
He started with Bechtel in 1970 and then took over my job at Camp Catering Services - which became S.H.R.M. - in late 1972 and stayed until 1976. His reasons for staying that long were the low court fees at the Arawa Tennis Club and the free Arnott's Scotch Finger bikkies.
During a trip to the Mt Hagen Show he became interested in girls but first had to get chummy with the in-laws ...
... who covered him in pig's fat, put some feathers on his head, and gave him this choice of two:
You may have noticed that in the first photo he wears a goldwatch whereas in the second photo he is bare-armed (as well as -arsed).
It's known as the bride price which was negotiated on the basis of 'get one for the price of two and get the second one for free'.
He was able to keep the price down (his watch was a cheap SEIKO) by doing a trade-in - see below:
P.S. After leaving Bougainville, Des got himself a plastic spade and bucket and for the next eleven years worked in the world's largest sandbox, Saudi Arabia, (where we met again in 1982) before being transferred to the company's office in New York where he stayed for the next 28 years until his retirement in late 2015. He now lives in Fairfield in Connecticut, practising his American accent and playing granddad to a string of doting (and praying) grandchildren.
Courtesy of Roy 'Goldfinger' Goldsworthy, here's a whole pile of old Bougainville Copper Concentrates magazines. Enjoy!
BOUGAINVILLE "OUR ISLAND, OUR FIGHT" IS A POWERFUL DOCUMENTARY ABOUT AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLE TAKING UP ARMS FOR INDEPENDENCE TO PROTECT THEIR CULTURE AND STOP THE ECOLOGICAL DEVASTATION OF THEIR LANDS. THIS MULTI-AWARD WINNING DOCUMENTARY IS ABOUT ONE OF THE LAST WARS FOR INDEPENDENCE, ACROSS BORDERS IT SMUGGLES US INTO THE WORLD OF THIS BESIEGED PEOPLE. CUT OFF FROM ALL HUMANITARIAN AID AND INVISIBLE TO WESTERN MEDIA, THEIR ONLY RESOURCE IS THEIR RESOLVE TO FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE IN AN ATTEMPT TO PRESERVE THEIR CULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT. THIS IS THE ONLY DOCUMENTARY OF THE LONGEST WAR IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC. A WAR WHICH KILLED 20 000 PEOPLE JUST TWO HOURS FROM AUSTRALIA.
At least three: Brian Herde in the yellow top, yours truly wheeling the big tyre and doing all the hard work, and Des Hudson who, as always, avoided work altogether by being behind the camera.
This was the Bougainville Copper Project in 1971, where several thousand expats and indiginous laboured on the world's largest construction job to build the world's largest open-cut copper mine.
Our own small band of intrepid accountants and cost engineers were exposed daily to the risk of impaling ourselves on lethally sharpened pencils while overeating on strawberry shortbread biscuits as we tried to keep the project's $300-million budget under control.
On this occasion we had left our gruelling schedules and airconditioned offices behind and driven down from Panguna to Aropa airstrip, where we chartered a light plane to fly us to Buin for a look at some old Japanese war relics.
Yours truly on Buin beach ...
... and on a Japanese tank
After spending a night on Buin's black sand beach and being eaten alive by mosquitoes, we hired an old jeep to drive us all the way back to Panguna - well, almost all the way back to Panguna as the last river was in flood and couldn't be crossed by vehicle.
Rather than running the risk of heat exposure, we took our chances with the crocodiles as we cooled down in the river before those of us who survived hiked all the way back to Panguna.
All good memories! Thanks for those photos, Des; it's only taken you forty-five years to send them to me!
As your blog entry says ex-Bougainville employees are diminishing and last Saturday my father Richard Rummery passed away. He worked at the Loloho power house and my sister Kay and I went to Bovo primary. We were there 1972 to 1979. I am so grateful to my parents that I had a chance to grow up in such a wonderful place.
I now live on the island of St Helena in the South Atlantic. There is something special about living on islands and I am sure that I can trace a direct link between growing up on Bougainville and now living out here. Though a completely different environment there are some similarities and I hope in time our son Tobias will come to appreciate how lucky he is growing up on St Helena.
And one day I hope to take my wife Belinda and Tobias out to Bougainville.
I could not get back to Australia to see Dad before he died but I spent a lot of time last week going through your website because our time on Bougainville was so special.
A few years back Graeme Wellington came on a cruise ship that stopped by for a few hours. He was one of the few people we knew from Bougainville that we stayed in touch with as he lived fairly close to us in WA. But if any old BCL employees visit they are most welcome and I would be happy to show them around.
P.O Box 112
St Helena Island
South Atlantic Ocean
Ph: ++ 290 23744
and, yes, they do have television ...
... and since 2011 an airport:
It was in the dying days of 1974 when I received an urgent telegram from TOTAL - Compagnie Française des Pétroles to fly to what was then Burma to take up a new position as chief accountant in their exploration office in Rangoon.
I was at the time living in Papua New Guinea which was heading towards independence the following year. When the then Chief Minister Michael Somare - soon to be Sir Michael and Prime Minister of the independent country - heard of my impending departure, he expressed his regrets that I wouldn't be there for this momentous occasion. "However," he said, "the least we can do is make our Independence Day the same as your birthday."
And so it came to pass that my birthday and Papua New Guinea's Independence Day are celebrated on the same day each year.
P.S. Of course, if you believe this, you'll probably spend the rest of your life doing a convincing impression of a cabbage! ☺
"First Contact" is a 1983 documentary by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson which recounts the discovery of a flourishing native population in the interior highlands of New Guinea in 1930 in what had been thought to be an uninhabited area.
It is based on the book of the same name by the same authors. Inhabitants of the region and surviving members of the Leahy brothers' gold prospecting party recount their astonishment at this unforeseen meeting.
The film includes still photographs taken by a member of the expedition and contemporary footage of the island's terrain. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Remember those pre-glued photo albums of yesteryears? You pulled back that transparent coversheet, placed your photos on the sticky stuff, and rolled the coversheet back over it again. Almost fifty years later, the photos are still in almost-mint condition but there's no way of prising them off that glue again.
Having just bought one of those new print-and-scan CANON gadgets, I scanned a few of those glued-down photos to share with you. They all date back to 1970 and 1971.
And here are a few more shots after I'd come back to Bougainville in mid-1972 as Office Manager for Camp Catering Services - see here: