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13 December 2016

How many accountants does it take to change a tyre?

 

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

Yamamoto's bomber

Des Hudson training for "Blitzkrieg"

Brian Herde (far left) and 'Goldfinger' (yellow top) lost in the jungle


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!

Peter Goerman
Blogmaster
riverbendnelligen[AT]mail.com