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The Die Was Cast - My Journey to New Guinea

The Bougainville Aftermath

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Sohano Ocean View Apartments in Buka Passage

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30 March 2016

David Dioth emailed from Brisbane:


Hello Peter,

I would like to add my details to the honour roll.

I was with the Commonwealth Bank in Panguna in 1973, living in the dongas at Camp 1 (up the hill above the Bank Branch that was near the entrance to the mine) and then to Camp 6 at Loloho.

My details are below.

Reading your blog brings back good memories of my time on the Island. I have been able to show my children and grandchildren my time on the Island with the pictures on your web.

Thanks for great effort,


David. AKA Chimbu.

David Dioth
Moneywise Mortgages
21 Billiard Street
Bracken Ridge. Qld. 4017
Phone. 0732614900
Fax. 0732614911
Mobile. 0419704605
Email. david[AT]
Web Site.


Taim Bilong Masta


Back in 1983 (or was it 1984?), when I flew into Adelaide from Saudi Arabia to finalise a grain shipment to the Middle East, I took time off to visit the local ABC Bookshop and discovered a couple of dozen cassette tapes of the ABC radio series Taim Bilong Masta, produced by Tim Bowden and first broadcast in 1981.

It was the distillation of 350 hours of tape-recorded interviews with Australians and Papua New Guineans who had been involved with Australia's colonial administration which ended with self government and independence in 1975. The result was a superb 24-program social history, so evocative of a time and place, revealed through a tapestry of voices from those who lived through it. These were first-hand accounts of the pre-war history in the early 1900s, the masta-boi relationships, the gold rush and the exploration of the highlands. In it, Australian men and women who spent so many years living and working in Papua New Guinea before independence in 1975 could be heard again, telling their own stories.

Of course, I bought the whole set and for years after I listened again and again to those tapes until they had worn out. If you ever see them on CD, please let me know as I would like to buy them.

Although nothing could ever replace those wonderful audio cassettes, I have found the book based on the radio series which contains 224 pages of informative text with many archival photographs, newspaper clippings and a detailed index. I add the book in pdf format to this blog for all of you to enjoy:

Click here to open TAIM BILONG MASTA in a separate window

Peter Goerman, Webmaster


P.S. During my time in Camp 6, the postcard shown below was one of the hottest sellers in one of those little "shops" run by some enterprising fellows in their dongas in Camp 6.

In one donga, they had even suspended both beds from the ceiling so as to have more floorspace in which to display their wares. And, of course, there were sly-grog places and others which showed flicks of both bad quality and taste (the term 'x-rated' had not yet been invented).

And a carpenter operated the ALI BARBER shop near the boozer which did a roaring trade as he was the only barber - well, hair-remover - in the camp. The photo below shows this webmaster BEFORE he had any damage inflicted on him.

26 March 2016

George Day emailed from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada:

Hi, Peter

I worked for Camp Catering Services at Camp 5 Arawa from July 21, 1972 to August 12, 1973. I was the Camp Manager. Russ Gill was there with me. Joe Fragnito was the head chef.

I got married on Bougainville, January 31, 1973. I used Russ’s motorbike to take myself and my bride (Yumie Kono) to the District Commissioner’s Office to get hitched. Yumie and I lived in one of the saksaks up the hill from Camp 5.

I think Des Smith worked for Camp Catering at the main office in Panguna.

I had a friend, Hans Helgesson, who worked for PNG taking care of the radio communications system. Hans made me a cassette tape, Led Zeplin. I still have it. It works. So yesterday I was transferring Hans's tape onto my computer and got thinking about Bougainville. I did a search and here we are.

About ten years ago, here in Victoria, I met another guy, an Aussie, named Peter J Gibson who worked at the hospital in Arawa. He would have worked in Administration, I expect. He told me about the civil war.

I remember another guy, John Finch. I think he was second in command at Camp Catering. I think he stayed in Camp 6.

I still have a letter of recommendation from Bert Nightingale (M.F.W. Nightingale).

I’m Canadian and got the job with Camp Catering when I was travelling in Australia.

It would be great if I could connect with Russ Gill.

What a cool thing you have here. Thanks for doing it.

George Day


Reply by Webmaster: Thanks, George. Can't remember you although I was there with you at the same time, hiring staff and setting up the office when CCS first got started in May 1972 (I had first come to Bougainville in 1970 as Senior Auditor with Bechtel). I was CCS's office manager (and, amongst other things, would've been making up your pay-packet ☺) until September 1972 when I transferred to their Sydney head office and handed the job to my friend Des Hudson ('Hudson' not 'Smith', but don't worry, George: first you forget names, then you forget faces; next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down ☺). Des and I briefly met again when he visited me in Burma in 1975, and in 1982/83 we were both working in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Yep, John Finch was at the CCS office in Panguna, right next door to me. He had been a long-time Territorian; short, fat guy, spoke Pidgin like a native, and was in charge of all things to do with camps and camp managers. Chances are the same magistrate, David Moorhouse, who naturalised me at his Arawa office as an Australian citizen in December 1971, also officiated at your wedding - (no, he didn't as evidenced by the Marriage Certificate you emailed later; your marriage celebrant was Bill Brown). Merv (not 'Bert') Nightingale and I remained friends until he died just a few weeks ago, on the 8th of February 2016, aged 88. Your radio communications friend, Hans Helgesson, is shown in the photo at the bottom left-hand side of this webpage - click here. He lived in a donga across from mine in Camp 1 and used to play music right throughout the night. I guess it was to drown out the noise from the dump trucks. His cassette player had this unique loop on top which pushed a series of cassettes up and then flipped and dropped them back into the player to play the reverse side. I have never seen a contraption like this ever again. Roy "Goldfinger" Goldsworthy had his donga right next to him; in fact TWO, one for himself and the other for his ham radio equipment.


More from George Day:


I was thinking it over and Camp 5 was also called Birimpa. Not Arawa. The ExPat part was for sub-contractors. SteelDeck Construction had a fair number of guys staying in the camp. Russ looked after Camp 5 for the “indigenes”. We had a Wet Canteen.

I’m not surprised you don’t remember me. I was a complete dead loss. I’ll put something together to jog your memory.

I looked at the picture of Hans Helgeson. That’s him. Too much! Great guy. When I first came to Bougainville I stayed in Camp 1. Hans lived across the hall.

Camp 1 on a rainy Sunday afternoon; Hans Helgeson was with Ericssons;
the chap in the lower right corner is "Goldfinger" fixing up the shoelaces on his thongs!

Do you have contact information on Des Hudson? He may know how to get in touch with Russ Gill. I read the bit from Joe Fragnito - click here.

I’ve come up with some other Bougainville names. I remember Allan Wright because he was my boss. He took over John Finch’s position with CCS.

Warehouses and office of Camp Catering Services at Panguna
Camp Catering Services' Panguna office and warehouses

I can’t picture these people but I have their names so I did know them back in the day:

Ken O’Dowd
Roger Gidlow
Spike Jones
Ian Omond
Ian Collins
Rod Hair
Owen Dolan
Chris Maxwell

I’ve always wanted to come back to Australia and Bougainville. Your website has reinvigorated me.

Thank you for making the website. I’ll be in touch.

My contact information:
George Day
3441 Mayfair Drive
Victoria, British Columbia V8P 1R2
Landline Telephone: 1-250-592-1800
Cell: 1-778-587-3441
email georgeday77[AT]


23 March 2016

John Carthew emailed these comments:

IN early 1971 I was working in Broken Hill on the South mine as an Engine driver in the power house when i received a call from my brother in-law FRED ANSPACH
who was working for BARCLAY BROS in PANGUNA BOUGAINVILLE as Head mechanic in their workshop, Asking me if i would like a job over there as a service truck operator I thought this could be an adventure not to be missed so leapt at the chance The only down side was that it would only be a 6 month contract . HE said that if one stayed any longer they may become Troppo? Still i was keen to go SO tickets were arranged a TEMPORY entry visa to NEW Guinea A letter from the army stating that i was not required for service (i had in a few years earlier been discharged SERVICES NO LONGER REQUIRED ) as Vietnam was still an issue . The exact date escapes me now but sometime around may or June i boarded a DC3 from Brisbane to Morseby then a Fokker Friendship to LAE and RABAUL Stayed overnight then next day then a 12 seater to KIETA . ON alighting at KIETA the humidity nearly blew me back into the plane im sure i was gasping I had just left BROKEN HILL where the heat at times was oppressive but this was something else!! A small people mover was there to collect me and take me up the mountain , the driver a kiwi pointed out places where dozers trucks and men were lost over the side of this treacherous road during construction the year before I could see how this could happen on the 29 klms up this hill climb from hell SO i arrived at Panguna MET my new Boss the workshop foreman MR Gordon Munro Greeted by FRED the bro in law AND then up to the site office and met BARCLAYs Project manager Mr BOB CUSH .After all the pleasantrys iwas taken up to the donga that i would be sharing with Fred NEXT day i began work, i was introduced to my vehicle a Toyota 3000 tip truck . This vehicle carried 44 gallons fuel 2 x 13 gallon drums of hydraulic oil and transmission oil 5 gallon drum of grease and various tools in a metal tool box . All of this gear was in the back of a steel floored tipper . I was shown 6 Boys (indigenies) that i would be teaching to service vehicles when they( THE people of BOUGAINVILLE ) gained their independence . These Boys are not allowed to ride in the front of the truck for any reason, i was told.. Imagine
dear reader 6 boys no boots , Drums of fuel oils tool box A steel floor THE most mountainous terrain to traverse NOW picture the dance in the back of the truck as the drums slide backward and slam into the tailgate and forward into the headboard as we go up and over the hills .I had to learn Pidgin pretty quick and the Boys didn't help, Mostly all i got from them in the first few weeks was ME NO SAVVY TO Mus Master Lik LIK tasol I soon learnt and would answer Rouse im arse belong you . I will say now that i became quite proficient at speaking pidgin i had to WE worked 6 days 10 hrs aday except for about an hour most days at 3pm when the sky would open and man did it open and drench everyone and every thing. We all ate breakfast in the mess and while there i would make my lunch as invariably i would be away from the camp at lunch time , I would get back to the workshop around 4pm and replenish my drums on the back and top the truck up with fluids as required , THEN at knock off time was the drag race to the camp . I think every body on the mine knocked off at the same time and all wanted to get to the dongas or the wet canteen or the mess first. THE rain that had fallen in the afternoon would make the gravel road to the mess a bloody MESS and was uphill Many a time i would receive a whack up the rear from another 3 speed petrol Land cruiser that we all seemed to drive,With my passengers telling me to go faster, i usually had 6 or more crammed in the ute . I often had my lunch (after leaving my boys at the last vehicle we had serviced) in a small clearing that i had found off the side of a track not well used , i loved this peaceful little spot , I would eat my lunch , READ my book and think of home . One day while reading i thought i saw something out of the corner of my eye a movement in the thick jungle,. on the edge of the clearing I FROZE a cold shiver down my spine ,WAS i being watched? did i imagine it ? What to do? I decided to pretend i had not seen it and continue to read though watching that spot with strained eyes. THERE IT IS AGAIN definitely something there, far out i was packing poo, Don't move your head John PUT you finger on the starter button and get ready to Move. then i spotted him a piccaninny of about 6 or 7 years, naked as a jay bird , curliest crop of hair, Jesus where did he come from? the jungle that he emerged from was to me impenetrable and yet here is a lad staring at the truck . I made a move to open the door and he was gone POOF! gone,disappeared. The next day i had hatched a plan I would make some extra sangas and take one to this place I arrived a little earlier and placed the sandwich on a rock close to where i had seen the boy. I did not see him that day but before leaving to return to work i walked over to the rock and the sanga was gone. you little devil i will get you tomorrow . NEXT day i placed the sanga out in the open and sure enough he ran out of the the jungle grabbed the food and was gone!
WE played this cat and mouse game for a week or so but in the end he would take from my hand . ONE day the rain came early bucketing down in torrents and the little fellow was shivering with cold i had a spare shirt in the truck that i always carried and i placed it around his shoulders . Off he went happy as larry swallowed up by the bush . NEXT day Holy hell there was with my little mate with this huge Black man holding his hand and my shirt in his other hand . Shit im in trouble now what do i do?? ( Dont back down John always be assertive when dealing with these natives I was warned constantly by my superiors and workmates if not it would be a sign of weakness and could end badly for me ) I Stood over to the waiting pair with an air of purpose and greeted the man with WoT EM to which he replied ME tin tin long piccaninny belong me emme stealem dispela lap lap masta . NO GAT i replied ,, lap lap belong piccaninny, me kissem dispela , long im .Then with a stern voice i said while pointing to the lad KISSIM Lap Lap and with that he thrust the shirt at the boy THEN he said to me Master,Piccaninny tellem me you kissem Im Kai Kai ? I nodded in the affirmative and went and got the sandwiches from the truck WE all had lunch together that day . Now i was making lunch for three each day Probably not in the rules I did not disclose what i was doing to any body as i knew it would be viewed as a sign of weakness if i was found out. On one of these lunches i asked if i could come to their village to take some photos (me like kissem pitch long bilage belong you) No Gat Master NO whiteman ever lookim pastime, I said OK no more Kai Kai e come , HE had be come quite partial to bacon and egg sandwiches (Bloody marvellous what food can do) so he relented after a short time He led me to the bridge that spanned a deep chasm he said not many men have seen this place This is special place You kissem pitch you go merris not happy Some years ago some men they try to cross they disappear not seen again JESUS !!! WE crossed the bridge and entered the clearing where there was a collection of wooden houses perched on stilts with thatched roofs The merris spotted me coming and promptly disappeared. I took many photos of that village and felt very privileged My new friend was the chief of the village and he delighted in showing me his collection of 5or 6 pigs and i made all the right noises about how good they were He was so proud. I'm glad he did not detect what i really thought about that sty of stunted ugly inbred swine . I did not get to see these friends very much after that day, work took me in a different direction. Which meant i did not visit my special lunch place again. I wonder how long they waited daily for their kai kai I Felt i had deserted them they probably felt the same!!! Sundays were a welcome relief from work some Sunday's i would venture down to Kieta or Arawa i loved going to the markets and watching the goings on, or lying on the beach at Kieta . On one occasion i was lying on the beach catching some rays when i heard a noise beside me, i sat up and there was a young indiginy about 7 or 8 years old He was holding a coconut YOU likem dispela massa?? I said OK and threw him 20 cents i returned to my nap ,30 minutes later another noise disturbed me i sat up and there were roughly a dozen boys all with coconuts and hands out Of course I did not have that many coins so i motioned them to follow me over to the Chinese traders shop and bought them all an ice block THEY loved that I didn't collect my coconuts I loved to watch the string of merris toting their heavy loads of produce to the market with the old man with his staff(big stick) out in front leading the way . I had to be careful and not get caught staring as the old guy would get nasty if he saw you. Some of us who lived in the camps used to entertain ourselves at night playing crown and anchor in one of the dongas WE would have to barricade ourselves in as quite often there would be a Boy Knocking on the door or walls demanding to be let in we would tell him to piss off and they would reply YOU cant speak to me like that IM edicated or I'm missionary boy you let me in. They would come looking of trouble after visiting the wet canteen. ‘’Kissem Spark He Come”, mostly South Pacific Lager. I tried this brew once, after that our mob would drink Stein Lager that was imported from New Zealand. The boys that were allotted to me to teach the job were a mixture of different tribes. We had Chimbu, Sepik River, Mt. Hagen, and a few others. These boys did not like each other and more than once l would ask where’s was Wombas, or some other boy that hadn't turned up for work, the answer would be “Eme Dead Master something nothing He Pinis True”. On occasion, some boys would turn up for work with the reddest mouth I would say “You Kai Kai l am betel nut” they would answer “ Me no sabby betel nut master”. Betel nut was forbidden to be consumed at work. But the evidence was clear to see, l would send them home for the day. If the boss had seen then they would have been sacked on the spot. I loved my time on Bougainville. So many memories But the six months was up too soon and Barlosse he come and Kissem me long Bilage Belong Me. One day if l live long enough l would like to venture back for a visit.


17 March 2016

Taim bilong Rabaul - Reminiscences of a Blogmaster

Grahame Ward and Peter Logan at the Royal Papuan Yacht Club in Port Moresby


Peter Logan, a friend from my days in Rabaul in 1970 where he worked at Rabaul Garage selling cars for John Dowling, recently travelled back to Papua New Guinea to meet up with another friend of ours, Grahame Ward.

Rabaul had been my jumping-off spot in the then Territory of Papua & New Guinea when I arrived there in early January 1970. It was everything I had expected of the Territory: it was a small community settled around picturesque Simpson Harbour. The climate was tropical with blazing sunshine and regular tropical downpours, the vegetation strange and exotic, and the social life a complete change from anything I had ever experienced before! And to top it all, I loved the work which offered challenges only available in a small setting such as Rabaul where expatriate labour was at a premium.

I worked for Hancock, Woodward & Neill, a small firm of chartered accountants: the resident manager, Barry Weir, his wife Muriel as secretary, and two accountants, Peter Langley and Grahame Ward, plus myself. Grahame was a real character who was destined never to leave the Territory. For him the old aphorism came true that "if you spend more than five years in New Guinea you were done for, you'd never be able to get out, your energy would be gone, and you'd rot there like an aged palm."

Mango Avenue

He and an accountant from another chartered firm and myself shared a company house (which was really an old Chinese tradestore) in Vulcan Street and a 'hausboi' who answered to the name of Getup. "Getup!!!" "Yes, masta!" Each of us took a turn in doing the weekly shopping. I always dreaded when it was their turn as they merely bought a leg of lamb and spent the rest of the kitty to stock up on beer! We spent Saturday nights at the Palm Theatre sprawled in our banana chairs with an esky full of stubbies beside us. The others rarely spent a night at home; their nocturnal activities ranged from the Ambonese Club to the Ralum Club to the RSL. When they were well into their beers, mosquitoes would bite them and then fly straight into the wall! Then, next morning, they were like snails on Valium. How they managed to stay awake during office hours has always been a mystery to me!

Palm Theatre

When the tradestore lease terminated, Graham and I moved into adjoining flats above New Britain Bakery in Mango Avenue until the stale smell of bread and the noise of the nightly baking drove us away. We next took up quarters at the mess hall of the Public Works Department along Malaguna Road where Grahame Ward, Peter Logan, an alcoholic spray-painter by the name of Brian Davies who worked for Rabaul Garage, and I shared a 'donga', each of us occupying a separate room connected by a long verandah, with the ablution block at one end.

On that verandah, right next to my door, stood an old beer fridge beside an old wicker chair. This chair was always occupied by Brian who never wore anything other than the same pair of paint-splattered overalls (I think he even wore them when taking a shower which he did every Sunday, whether he needed one or not ☺). After a hot working-day during which he had quenched his thirst with paint thinner, Brian would sit all night on the verandah and work his way through the contents of the beer fridge (as we all know, alcohol doesn't solve any problem, but then neither does milk). I will always associate the sound of a creaking fridge door and the soft popping of bottle tops with those tropical nights in Rabaul!

Unfortunately, I have no photos of that period in my life as I didn't own a camera then. Maybe I ought to have bought one instead of the worthless mining shares which my fellow-accountants had talked me into "investing" in - read more here.

The address says it all: Box 187 P.O., Rabaul, New Guinea, T.P.N.G.

During my time in Rabaul, advertisements began to appear in the local POST-COURIER for the Bougainville Copper Project. I applied to the project's construction managers Bechtel Corporation for the advertised position of Senior Contract Auditor and was invited by the Project Administration Manager Sid Lhotka to attend an interview at Panguna. It was a case of vini,vidi,vici and within a month I was flying back to Bougainville to start work with Bechtel (but thereby hangs yet another tale.)

I've sometimes wondered what would have become of Grahame had he come across to Bougainville. I had a job lined up for him in my contract audit group at Loloho looking after the construction of the Arawa Township, Loloho Port, and Loloho Powerhouse. He actually flew over for the interview and said he would return within the month but never did.

I guess when Grahame returned from the interview on Bougainville, Mark Henderson, who by that time had taken over from Barry Weir as partner, offered him a few extra dollars (which, in Grahame's currency of the day, may have been the equivalent of several cartons of SP) and Grahame was happy to stay. It is also possible that he may not been cut out for the pace on Bougainville where we worked a minimum of 10 hours a day, 6 days a week.

Grahame Ward was never to leave Rabaul - well, not until September 1994 when the town was totally wiped out by a volcanic eruption. By that time Grahame had already got married to a PNG citizen and had become a PNG citizen himself and moved to Port Moresby. He remains there to this day, little changed in looks (further proof that alcohol is a great preservative ☺).

I wished I could've been a fly on the wall and listen in as he and Peter Logan talked about the good ol' days.


15 March 2016

A video clip about Bougainville:


14 March 2016

The Errol Flynn Blog

Anybody who spent time in New Guinea would have read the Pacific Islands Monthly and heard of Errol Flynn, writer, adventurer, con-man, screen star, Don Juan, frustrated in marriage and career, butt of sexual jokes and sly smirks ("in like Flynn"), bouts with disease, drink, and drugs, and then suddenly death in 1959 at the age of fifty.

He lived a fast life but left behind some revealing introspections:

"I am going to front the essentials of life to see if I can learn what it has to teach and above all not to discover when I come to die, that I have not lived.

We fritter our lives away in detail, but I am not going to do this. I am going to live deeply, to acknowledge not one of the so-called social forces which hold our lives in thrall & reduce us to economic dependency. The best part of life is spent earning money in order to enjoy a questionable liberty during the least valuable part of it.

I am going ... to drive life into a corner & reduce it to its lowest terms and if I find it mean than I'll know its meanness, and if I find it sublime I shall know it by experience --- and not make wistful conjectures about it conjured up by illustrated magazines."

Errol Flynn most certainly "fronted up" to life, spent money as fast as he earned it (and then some), and learned about life from first-hand experience.

Here are some pages from PIM's May 1977 issue which I found on the Errol Flynn Blog:

Part 2     Part 3     Part 4


13 March 2016

John Carthew emailed from Lavington (Albury) N.S.W.:

I was there in 1971 working for Barclay Bros and have lots of memories, some sad but most good.

I am beginning to write my memoirs at the moment and I would like to source a few photos from the 1970s for illustrations in my book. I came home from Panguna with a shoebox full of picturess but two failed marriages later I'm left with just memories (no pictures). I think one of the darlings burnt the lot (as they do), so I will be asking you for permission to copy from your website a few relevant shots.

Thank you for keeping Bougainville alive in our hearts. I really was excited when I stumbled across your site.

Will send you a short story of my time on Buka very soon.

John Carthew
email poohbear.1[AT]


... and here it is!


11 March 2016

Some memories by Andrew Leslie Phillips who was a 'kiap' on Bougainville:

Andrew Leslie Phillips

"In Australia I sickened of the urban life, the crowded rush to work in the mornings, the tiresome after-work booze-ups at the pub and the predictability of my future. I’d spent five years in advertising. I was now an account executive doing the bidding of my corporate masters, selling the American dream that had become Australia’s. My initial fascination had become a curse and no longer was I interested in the shallow search for unique selling points and catchy phrases, the pretty pictures and the jingles, selling capitalism to the masses.

As I observed the careers of my fellow workers grinding relentlessly toward retirement, I felt a dark cloud descending and as it thickened around me I struggled to find a way to escape. I thought about inland Australia where mining companies paid well and life was rough in the desert. I considered joining the army, something to initiate and toughen me and help me escape the malaise I felt. But the war in Vietnam was in the headlines every day and Australians were dying in a distant struggle that made no sense to me and I quickly dropped the idea. And then, one day, an old school friend suggested Papua New Guinea ..."

So begins a blog written by Andrew Leslie Phillips who spent several years as a 'kiap' on Bougainville. Continue reading his story here.

His description of Kieta brings back lots of memories:

"Kieta was perched on a narrow ribbon of land skirting the harbour. Pok Pok Island loomed offshore, protecting the harbour from the squalls and storms that sometimes tore in from the east with great ferocity. Pok Pok means crocodile in Pidgin English and the island had the shape of a huge crocodile laying flat on its belly on top of the sea, its huge head jutting out to the south, its tail tapering to the north. It was inhabited by local natives who paddled their small canoes loaded with copra, fish and vegetables for sale in Kieta.

Jimmy Wong’s Chinese trade store was at one end and of the settlement and Kieta’s hospital, a series of grass huts with tin roofs, was at the other. Between were administrative buildings huddled under the ubiquitous coconut trees that curved and swayed against the cloudless sky providing dappled shade from the tropical sun. Houses with enclosed verandahs protecting the inhabitants from the teeming malarial anopheles mosquitoes, crept back from the shoreline and climbed steeply up the mountains offering a fine view of the picturesque harbour. A thick green blanket of jungle, a carpet of dense undergrowth and a profusion of tropical forest trees swathed in creepers and vines and screeching wildlife, accelerated rapidly into the clouds toward the inland spine of the island.

The Kieta Club, a whites-only club where the local expatriates drank too much and run by a small jolly Aussie fellow who wore colorful sarongs, took pride of place at the centre of the small community and near the shoreline was the Kieta Hotel where I stayed when I first arrived."

For a full profile of Andrew Leslie Phillips, click here.


10 March 2016

Paul Wilcock emailed:

What an amazing site, i have got goose bumps, i worked for M.K.F @ Camp 5 1969/70 as a welder fitter, just a mere callow youth of 21, looking forward to your reply.

Kind Regards
Paul Wilcock


2 March 2016

Mick Thomson (Scotty) sent this photo of the Hash House Harriers:


Mick Thomson (Scotty)
email Mick.Thomson[AT]

1970 to 71 Construction period

1973 to 1978 B16 Shovels and Drills

1981 to 1986 B16 Shovels and Drills


Maus bilong san kamap


Radio Bougainville was the eighth broadcasting station built by the Australian Administration in Papua New Guinea and was launched on 20 April 1968 following some weeks of testing.

The station, which later became part of the National Broadcasting Corporation, programmed news, music and information for its listeners.

It aimed to inform the people of activities the government was undertaking and was an important source of information for people across the region.

The station was officially opened by Assistant Administrator Les Johnson, who later became the last Australian Administrator of Papua New Guinea before independence.

Keith Jackson, station manager at Radio Bougainville from 1970 to 1973, says perceptions of the station by the local people changed greatly during his time there.

“Bougainvilleans are great people and even back then were very tuned in to current affairs,” Jackson said.

“Initially the people around Kieta wouldn’t let their young people join the radio station, because it was seen, and rightly so, as a propaganda machine for the Administration.

“We started to take their views into account and broadcast programs and news that provided a balanced view of what was going on.

“Later we successfully recruited announcing staff from central Bougainville – I remember that Perpetua (Pepi) Tanaku was the first to join the station and she was a very popular personality.”

The station increased its broadcasting hours greatly, diversified its programming, sent recording patrols into the bush and saw its audience growing rapidly.

“We opened the station up to let people air their views and the response was overwhelming,” Jackson said.

“The news was straight down the middle, but our current affairs and audience participation programs offered a variety of views.

“On one program, Kibung bilong wirelesss, we would use material from cassette tapes people would send us as well as broadcasting their letters.
“At one point we were getting over 1,000 letters a month from listeners, often on political and social issues.”

One of the announcers who worked at Radio Bougainville at that time, Sam Bena (pictured, top left) is still on air as a member of the team at New Dawn FM. He has been involved in broadcasting as an announcer for more than 45 years.

Radio Bougainville initially broadcast for 21 hour a week, which within three years had increased to 81 hours a week.

The station provided features on education, council news, health, agriculture and political education. Through Toktok Save vital local information was provided such as weather forecasts, copra and cocoa prices, land for lease and information that people wanted to communicate with each other.

Music was also an important part of the Radio Bougainville’s content and programs included Bougainville traditional music, string bands, hymn & choral requests, listeners’ requests, South Seas music, march with the band, latest releases and plenty of country music.


Bali's Best Exotic Marigold Hotel


This beautiful Boutique Hotel is located in the cool foothills of Lovina in the peaceful north of Bali, overlooking the sparkling Java Sea across to the peacefully smoldering volcanoes of Java.

The moment you arrive here, you won't be able to stop yourself from saying 'Wow' and 'Oh my God'. As you relax and unwind by the pool with its sparkling water spilling over the edge, and feast your eyes on the breathtaking view, you think you've died and gone to heaven. For more pictures, click here.

I have had my eyes on it for over ten years during which time I have stayed there on numerous occasions. It is now for sale at a very good price and I am looking for nine other 'shareholders' to purchase a 1/10th share, equal to approx. AUS$25,000, in this hotel.

If you are interested in this fantastic lifestyle opportunity, email me at riverbendnelligen[AT] and I will send you further details.


1 March 2016

Picturesque Waterfront Cottage for permanent rental:

This is a very long shot but then who knows who might be out there looking for just such an opportunity:

We have been running "Riverbend Cottage" - click here for more information - for many years. It is popular with holidaymakers who are looking for a quiet and very special place. Once they've found "Riverbend Cottage", they keep coming back year after year.

We're now getting a little tired of running it and would prefer to have a retired person permanently living in it, someone who has not too much personal stuff as the cottage is just one open-plan room, approximately 6 x 6 metres in size, and who enjoys the quiet life.

The location is perfect: totally quiet, with its own gated access, right on the water's edge and yet only 8 kilometres from Batemans Bay.

If you're interested, please email me at riverbendnelligen[AT]