Visual Memories

December 29, 2007 at 5:25 am (Commentary) (, )

jassip-catholic-mission-dreikikir-area-election-day-feb-15-1964.jpg2-anzac-day-angoram-1973.jpglucas-and-hill-families-2000.jpgsvd-pastor-and-artist-alec-thomson-wife-shirley-photo-1995.jpgpaul-peter-michelle-helen-rysavy-taken-in-the-cook-islands.jpgkeeping-mosquitoes-at-bay-dave-angoram-73.jpgfight-against-malaria-pora-pora-1973.jpgjudges-associate-john-bowers.jpgjohn-bowers-back-of-moresby-1973.jpgpeter-julie-johnson.jpgpost-office-angoram.jpgdreikikir-1963.jpgdave-wall-fr-mike-clerkin-dagua1965-photo-2.jpgcouncil-chambers-angoram-1973.jpgdave-wall-kami-dreikikir-1963.jpgpng-frferdy-mitterbauer.jpgour-house-in-angoram-photo-1973.jpgsomare-community-centre-angoram-1973.jpgdave-wall-maprik-1964.jpgsepik-river-1973.jpgkami-torembi-village.jpgkami-family-torembi-late-1970s-or-early-80s.jpgdave-wall-william-bataktobacco-rd-1973.jpgjohn-pandom-dave-wall-pora-pora-1973.jpgsomare-tobias-1973.jpgpora-pora-village-church-1973.jpgmalaria-conference-1969.jpgsepiksunset1email.jpgsepik-blue-watercolour.jpgwanlegemail.jpgclub.jpgimage001.jpgsepik-river.jpgadministrator.jpgpng-cassowary.jpghaus-tambaran.jpgSepik mishapsepik-mishap-2.jpgdavid_and_dr_jan_saave.jpg png-e-fons-ruijter-svd.jpg

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The Angoram Club

December 26, 2007 at 3:32 am (Commentary) ()

“Angoram, New Guinea; 1969

“Angoram is a chapter out of Somerset Maugham or Evelyn Waugh, the Yoknapatawpha County of Melanesia, belonging to the past, but intensely alive, full of color & characters, all gathered nightly in the Angoram Club, playing billiards under the Queen’s portrait (flanked by dartboard & crossed spears) or relaxing in broken furniture left over from World War II: crocodile hunters, gold prospectors, missionaries, adventurers, traders, remittance men, all drinkers & most smugglers, full of false dreams of the past & baseless hopes for the future, each sustained by some private dream of riches without labor. Such towns need their gold rush or illicit diamond trade: in the Sepik, it’s primitive art. Looting the Amboin caves of archeological treasures netted big money, and while little of this reached the looters, it put the smell of treasure in the air, bringing the town to life, corrupting officials & missionaries alike, creating an atmosphere of intrigue & wealth & great conversations.

“The Angoram Club’s volunteer bartender is a sensitive, witty Australian builder who, having failed at both architecture & suicide, abandoned his past to become the government carpenter in this remote outpost. His thirst for the printed word had reduced him to reading can labels, equipment instructions, even currency, until he discovered a set of the collected works of Aquinas, abandoned by a mad-missionary-turned-dealer-in-pagan-art. Late conversations usually end on some fine Thomistic point.”

Pages 74-75
Oh, What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me! by Edmund Carpenter
Holt, Rinehart and Winston –
New York, Chicago, San Francisco
Copyright 1972, 1973 by Edmund Carpenter

“The sun lowered as a great red ball and, like its ghost, a pale full moon came up in the east, while the blazing orb was still above the horizon. We arrived, with the dusk gathering in the river bank casuarinas, at Angoram.

“The Angoram Club has a bar and a billiard table in a hall big enough for dances. It has no staff whatever, and no cash-register. On the bar is a book. When you come in you put down a pound note and write your name in the book. All beer is served by the bottle and, for spirits, you help yourself. The barman tells you when your quid has cut out and you put in another. The barman is the member whose turn it is to be barman that night. His duties finish when nobody wishes to drink any more.”

Colin Simpson  Islands of Men  Angus & Robertson  Sydney  1955

“The Angoram Club was the meeting place for the expatriates and the town’s few mixed-race residents. It had a shabby spaciousness about it and was situated next to the hotel facing the river. The amenities consisted of tables and chairs with a bar, record player and billiard table. There was enough space to hold dances from time to time and the bar was largely run on an honour system, with members serving.

 “On this evening most members were present and James was welcomed by the president, Allen Warburton, a man in his fifties with a dignified air and a clipped spoken accent, a mixture of educated Australian and colonial British.”

David Wall  Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk  Swirl  Bury St Edmunds  2007

By the nineteen eighties the club had completely disintegrated. The building had been dismantled and interior furniture purloined.

Sepik Robbie, Ralph Ormsby, Freddy Eichhorn, Peter England, Don Bosgard and Ron Lucas would be turning in their graves.

One past member would be particularly upset with the removal of the billiard table for it was on this fixture that he pleasured a young lady at the dead of night after closing time.

 

 

   

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Ernest Spender, Prayer Book man to a New-Age channeler

December 20, 2007 at 4:44 am (Fiction) ()

To make a success of the first House of Assembly election, the Administration Officers at Angoram faced a gigantic task. The greatest burden fell on the Department of District Services represented by Harry Payne, John MacGregor, John Barnes and a new arrival, Ernest Spender. 

When Ernest Spender arrived, Harry Payne was out on patrol, so John MacGregor was virtually in charge. He had heard that a Cadet Patrol Officer was arriving from Wewak on the morning plane, so he was there to meet him. Before Ernest arrived, Jock thought he would be another eighteen-year-old from down south, wet behind the ears and without a clue. He duly arrived and proved to be something of a surprise not only to Jock, but to the rest of the station.

 Ernest Spender was a man in his late twenties of middle height with a spruce military bearing and a refined English accent. On leaving the plane, he approached Jock and introduced himself: “I’m Ernest Spender and I was told to report to Mr Payne.”  Jock put his hand out and said, “I’m MacGregor, call me Jock. I can see you are a Brit and I guess you know where I come from. Anyhow, Payne is out on patrol and I’m in charge while he’s away. I’ll have your gear sent to the house allocated to you. In the meantime, come with me to the Sub-District Office and I’ll introduce you to a few people.”

 When they got to the office, Allen Warburton was there with Karen Barnes who worked as a typist/secretary. Jock introduced Ernest to Allen and Karen. Before leaving the room, Karen said to Jock: “You must bring Ernest to the club after work.”  “Yes, I shall” said Jock.  She turned to Ernest with a big smile and said, “I’ll see you there.” To this Ernest replied “I’ll look forward to that.”  Jock excused himself as he had to attend to a problem Dr Jan Speer had in the hospital. Before going, he told Allen to show Ernest the ropes around the office and introduce him to Sub-Inspector Pius Kabui. 

 Warburton was relieved that Spender was not your usual callow Cadet Patrol Officer and was most impressed with what he gradually learned about him. To Allen it was clear that he had a military background and he was gratified to learn that he was a graduate of Sandhurst and had served in Northern Ireland, Germany and Malaya and to top it all off was an Old Carthusian. Allen was sufficiently in the know to realise that this did not mean that he had been a monk, but that he was an old boy of the Public School in England, Charterhouse. 

Both Allen and Karen were impressed with Ernest. Allen could see that Ernest was a man with a good pedigree and background. Karen was sexually attracted to him. She was thankful that John, her husband, was out on patrol and she pictured the possibility of a pleasant evening developing with Ernest. Spender was oblivious to the undercurrents he was creating. This was probably just as well. He was a committed Anglican of the old school with a devotion to the Book of Common Prayer. Karen’s desire “to satisfy men’s carnal lusts and appetites” Ernest would have found rather daunting.

 MacGregor eventually returned to the office and told Spender to go and settle into his house, and have the rest of the day off, and he would see him later in the club. In the club, Spender met some of the town notables. 

 Karen Barnes was in determined conversation with Ernest Spender. Sam Bell and John Pietro called in briefly. Since MacGregor had arrived in Angoram, it was noticed that Pietro appeared to be far less aggressive and bellicose in his general manner. It was speculated that Pietro felt that MacGregor had got his measure and was not going to stand for too much “bullshit” and stand-over tactics. On this particular evening he was on his best behaviour. After an hour or so the gathering broke up and Ernest kindly offered to walk Karen home. MacGregor was heard to say: “You can never underestimate a British officer.”The truth of the matter as it transpired was a little less clear cut. Karen offered herself body and soul to Ernest. Well, perhaps not so much her soul but certainly her body was offered, and it is probably true that Ernest declined in a most gentlemanly manner. Karen and Ernest remained on the best of terms. Karen displayed nothing of the “woman scorned” syndrome and remained her beautiful friendly self. 

 As well as MacGregor and Spender, there were two drivers for the outboard motors and two general crew hands. Jock also took one police constable. They set off down the river early in the morning and arrived at their first stop in about an hour. This was Taway, a saw mill run by the Catholic Mission. Jock thought it would be a good idea to call in as the saw mill employed a number of workers from various villages and a little bit of political education might go a long way. The mill was managed by a lay missionary, Snowy Clarke. Jock considered him to be a good bloke. He had met him in Wewak and they had shared a few drinks at the pub. He said to Ernest: “I’m starting to change my mind about some of the Popi (Catholics). What I like about them is they all like a drink. That priest in Dreikikir, Casey can drink any self-respecting Protestant under the table, and he was always straight with me. The trouble with most of the Protestant missions you find in the Sepik is that they are a mob of wowsers, not like our Presbyterian ministers in Scotland who are always ready to share a dram with you.” Ernest wondered a little about Jock’s criterion in measuring who was acceptable, but he thought it best to keep his own counsel. 

  ”Ernest, I’ve been in the Territory much longer than you have, and I’ve always made it a rule of thumb to never let my job interfere with my drinking. Don’t worry, laddie, I’ll get you down the river soon enough.” Ernest considered his most diplomatic response would be to have another beer, which he duly did. Ernest was most impressed with Jock. In dealing with the natives, he demonstrated confidence and poise. Even now relaxed with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, he exuded self-assurance and Gaelic charm. Ernest thought to himself, “No wonder we had so much trouble conquering them.” 

 Jock had not previously met Ted but it was obvious that Ted did not stand on formalities. He introduced Ernest, after which Ted said: “I did hear that there was a new pommy kiap in Angoram. I’ll see you at my place shortly.” 

 As the drinking progressed, Ted’s talk got bawdy especially when he asked Ernest if he had got his end in. At first Ernest thought that Ted must be referring to some sort of engineering operation of the big-end variety. When the true meaning of the question became obvious, Ernest was embarrassed and answered, “Of course not.” 

   Ernest Spender expressed his love in his dedication to The Book of Common Prayer, the Authorised Version of the Bible and a commitment to the Anglican tradition. He had passed through “the furnace of temptation” successfully. Jim McLaren had arranged an assignation with one of the princesses for Ernest, but he declined, in the most gentlemanly manner, to oblige the young lady. The town also learnt that Ernest was to be transferred to Port Moresby to join Special Branch in government intelligence. Allen Warburton arranged a farewell for him at the club and spoke of his excellent work while in the Sub-District, saying: “He was a man who refused to be compromised.” Allen also called for three cheers for Ernest and all the members joined in. 

  Ernest Spender left PNG after independence and returned to the United Kingdom with ideas of entering the church. Because of his age, and one suspects his rather independent nature, he found it difficult to find a bishop willing to sponsor him for the ministry. While his quest was going on, he met David Spangler who invited him to Findhorn in northern Scotland. At Findhorn Spangler had recently established a New Age community and there Ernest seemed to find his milieu. With Spangler, he became something of a guru. He was introduced to Alice Bailey’s earlier work on theosophical esotericism. It was   said that he collaborated with David Spangler in his great work, Revelation:The Birth of a New Age. Ernest became deeply involved in incarnational spirituality. This was a belief that ordinary lives can be both spiritual and sacred. He became a New-Age channeler and was said to be clairvoyantly aware. In fact, he became quite a hit conducting seminars around the country. 

At one of these seminars, he indirectly brushed up against his old life in PNG. While explaining his concepts concerning the existence of non-physical entities to a seminar audience in London, he became over demonstrative, and had a heart attack. He was rushed to nearby Guy’s Hospital, and referred to James Clayton who performed quintuple heart bypass surgery on him. The operation was a success and while Ernest was in recovery, he and James caught up on their PNG associations. The last heard of Ernest was that he was still at Findhorn and in his search for physical well-being, he was exploring body harmony, energy medicine and meditation.

Excerpts from Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk    

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A seeker after Aryan perfection

December 20, 2007 at 3:46 am (Fiction) ()

[ A seeker, not so much of righteousness, but for “a perfect specimen of Aryan womanhood”. The Fuhrer had found this in Unity Mitford but, alas, to date, Temlett had been largely unsuccessful. His life has many of the characteristics of love on the run, eternally associated with an assumption of white superiority.]

 Before he left Angoram, Temlett Conibeer, the District Malaria Supervisor, from Wewak arrived to take control of the malaria team and accompany them to Manam. 

Marek and Temlett arrived on an early morning plane from Wewak. Marek bounded out of the plane looking fresh and energetic and carrying a large brief case. Temlett looked somewhat the worse for wear, and despite his rather tall and large stature, he was overshadowed by Marek’s presence. James Ward then said:”Temlett can stay with me.”Temlett with a startled look said: “Thanks!” Bill then went off with Marek, and James took Temlett to his house, after arranging the luggage. They had all arranged to meet at James’s house for a working lunch. On the way to James’s house, Temlett held forth on the strain of being with Dr Karski: “He never stops. Last night, I was up with him until one in the morning, drinking all the time. This morning he was sitting down to a big breakfast, as bright as a button. You wouldn’t have known he’d had a drink. I don’t know where he puts it all. I hope you have a few cartons at home. He’ll drink most of them and stay as sober as a judge, but at least if you get pissed, it’s easier to put up with him than if you stay sober. The old bastard will talk malaria solidly for hours, so you just have to make sure the booze is flowing. He eats like a horse too, and if you produce a brandy after dinner he’ll polish off the whole bottle. He wants you to start spraying in the Grass Country. So, Ward, you’ll have to pull your finger out.” “Are there any funds for this?” James enquired. Temlett answered: “I don’t suppose so.” 

Towards late afternoon the conversation turned to subjects other than malaria. Dr Karski said to Temlett Conibeer: 

“Temlett, I have great admiration for your gentle race and I’ll always remember fondly my time in England.”

Temlett Conibeer made a name for himself as a pamphleteer for the National Front in the United Kingdom. Two pamphlets that were particularly popular with the National Front were Stop them at Calais and White Race under Threat.

Excerpt from Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk    

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Sam Bell, trader extraordinaire

December 17, 2007 at 4:21 am (Fiction) ()

As the evening progressed and the drink flowed, the group freely expressed its feelings and concerns. Sam Bell, who hailed from Edinburgh, had a pronounced Scottish brogue and was going on about his pet hate: government officers using government benzene and time on the river buying artifacts: “It’s not fair on private enterprise trying to make a living on the river.” It was a good thing that Dr Jan Speer had left sometime before, as Sam considered him the main offender in this respect: “That German doctor is building up his own museum and selling artifacts in Europe, all at government expense. Bloody Payne should do something about it.” John Barnes piped up with the comment: “At least everything he buys is documented from the anthropological point of view and I’ll bet you don’t do that, Sam.” “I’m spending good money on the river,” said Sam, “and it’s up to you government officers to protect private enterprise and not compete unfairly with it.” 

 “The less I see of kiaps in this part of town the better.” Sam Bell told James Ward. He made exceptions to this in the case of some officers but as he said:  “I don’t want Payne poking his nose into too much around here. As far as I’m concerned, there are no nefarious activities going on, just a few private enterprise people trying to make an honest bob. German doctors buying artifacts should concern Payne more than the people around here, and if I need medical treatment, I won’t be going to that German doctor.”  This was uppermost in Sam’s mind, as some weeks before he had gone to Wewak to consult a doctor about a bad dose of gonorrhea. He told James: “You pay these girls good money and what do they leave you with?” “No need to go to Wewak, Sam. I can always give you a course of penicillin,” said James, thinking that Sam was amazing, considering his age and still “cutting off a slice”. Venereal disease was a perennial problem among the more sexually active expatriates with a liking for the locals. Dr Jan Speer had done a lot to combat the spread of disease and discreetly counsel those involved on prevention. Not in a moralistic way: he even told Bill Clayton that he would be just as active himself if he were not a married man. Des Murray, the European Medical Assistant, was ever ready to offer confidential medical treatment and, for those who wanted it, a fatherly shoulder to cry on. Perhaps Sam found it hard to see Des as a father figure.        

 Near the end of the year, James Ward received a letter from Sam Bell, who had returned to Sydney: 

GPO PO Box 158 Sydney NSW

20th December 1969

 Dear Jamie,

As you can see, I’m back in Sydney and I’m very pleased with the way the property prices are going. You and Bill should invest in houses in Sydney. I heard that you both had a great time in Japan. I’m not too sure about Bill getting tied up with a Japanese woman.My love life is on hold. You know I was thinking of taking the plunge with Elaine. It would have been worthwhile to combine our two investments.But I really couldn’t come at it. We went to bed as a bit of a prenuptial experience, but I just couldn’t rise to the occasion. It was like going to bed with your grandmother. The experience has given me nightmares ever since. I know Davie needs a mother, but not at that cost.Remember me to the girls around the town, especially Namba. 

Your friend,

 Sam 

James couldn’t help thinking that some of the girls that Sam got off with around Angoram could have almost passed as his grandchildren, and poor Elaine would find it hard to compete with the nubile maidens that Sam was used to.Some are blessed with eternal youth and others are destined to age. James’s reflections were engaged with this philosophical and biological point 

Sam’s spiel gave Jim and Bill a lot to think about, especially as they respected Sam’s opinion on money matters. Sam was always canny in business and with his soft Scottish brogue, red face, Ernest Hemingway beard and impassioned manner, he was most convincing.

 . Sam Bell and Patoman passed on to their eternal reward. One could see them in paradise chasing their earthly pursuits: Sam on the look out for valuable artifacts and Patoman arranging assignations for others with celestial maidens.  

   Excerpts from Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk 

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Family affairs

December 8, 2007 at 11:08 pm (Fiction, Short Story) (, , , , , , )

“Keep your hands off my daughter”, Mary Collins said to her brother-in-law, Klas Olsen, one Sunday morning in his house in suburban Sydney in the early 1990s. This sparked an unholy row, leading to the disintegration of extended family relations with a litany of lies, denials and abuse.

You may wonder if this was a spur of the moment outburst or a considered decision to make a stand against a pattern of behaviour that no one in the family had directly confronted Klas with. There had been rumours for years about Klas’s endeavours at family social gatherings to get female members alone and make sexual advances to them. Most of the older women just laughed about this but when he turned his intentions to teenage nieces, the family seemed at a loss to know what to do. Mary could see how her daughter had been affected by Klas’s behaviour and, as it appeared nothing was being done about it, she was determined to make a stand.

Klas, a Danish seaman, had arrived in Australia in the early 1950s after jumping ship in Sydney. He was a strong and fit man and had no trouble finding employment of a physical nature around the city. His English at first was practically non-existent but in time he became quite fluent, speaking with an Aussie working class accent.

The Sydney of the fifties offered Klas a life that he thoroughly enjoyed. His Scandinavian good looks and his capacity for alcohol facilitated his access to women and fun around town. His chance for social and financial stability came when he met a beautiful young woman in a night club and was smitten by her. She was equally taken by him.

Angelica Collins was the nineteen-year-old daughter of George and Rebecca Collins. George was a successful solicitor from Wagga, in country New South Wales. Angelica and Klas had a whirlwind romance and 10 months after meeting were married in the chapel of her old school, Rose Bay Convent. Klas had converted to Catholicism and had been well accepted by Angelica’s family. George, Angelica’s father, was a little concerned about Klas’s drinking but he felt that he was a hard-working New Australian and should do well. Rebecca, her mother, was taken with Klas, particularly with his European good looks. She even said: “I like him, he likes a beer.”

Early in the marriage, one of Klas’s old girl friends got in touch with him through her lawyer and threatened to proceed against him for breach of promise. She must have heard that he had done relatively well by marrying into a family with money. Angelica’s father bought her off with a payment of £1,500 which left a sour taste in his mouth.

After this, the couple settled down and Angelica gave birth to three daughters. Angelica’s father helped Klas buy into a small clothes and blanket manufacturing factory in the inner city. The business was virtually run by his partner and Klas did general labouring and driving tasks for the firm. His involvement in the business did a lot for his self-image and he liked to describe himself as a small businessman. He became more and more conservative in his political views and was a great supporter of the Liberal Party.

Over the years, Angelica and Klas’s house became a meeting place for Angelica’s brothers and sisters and their families. Klas was a wonderful host and on weekends food and drink were always on offer for visiting relatives. Angelica was a woman with an engaging personality and she became a significant person within family circles. Her status within the family increased when her mother, Rebecca, moved in with Angelica and Klas after the death of her husband, George. Rebecca contributed a lot financially to the household.

At family gatherings, Klas was the life of the party, holding forth, while consuming copious amounts of alcohol and chain smoking, on a variety of topics from religion to small business. Some of his more notable remarks included: “The woman is made for the man.” “Life is like this box of matches, the product is only produced after much effort and work.” “The big clothing manufacturers would offer hundreds of thousands of dollars for our firm.” A folksy red-blooded approach to life exemplified the philosophical drift of his conversation.

From time to time, Angelica’s nieces would stay with her. They all loved her and looked up to her. Some talk surfaced among the fathers and mothers of these girls that Klas’s approach to their daughters was perhaps a little inappropriate but it was generally felt not to be too serious. So for a long time nothing much was said.

Early in the marriage Angelica realised that Klas would never be able to provide her with an upper-middle-class life style and if she was to send her daughters to private schools, she would have to do something about it herself. Her mother was a great help but Angelica knew she needed more help than her mother could afford to give her. This she partly solved by striking up a friendship with a wealthy Melbourne businessman. At first their friendship had to be conducted discreetly as Klas was intensely jealous, but in time Steve, Angelica’s admirer, became part of the family and regularly visited from Melbourne. Steve discreetly supported the family by giving cheques to Rebecca, Angelica’s mother, for school fees and mortgage repayments.

Perhaps this happy family circle with the matriarch, Rebecca, installed and Angelica obtaining financial help through her friend was more complicated than it first appeared. What did Klas think about Angelica’s association with Steve? Why was he willing to accept it? Perhaps he liked the material benefits that indirectly flowed to him. He may have felt put down by Rebecca and Angelica’s class values. Maybe he considered that he could not live up to their expectations and the help that Steve gave to the family in some way compensated for this and figuratively speaking got him off the hook in relation to their expectations.

Mary Collins had given birth to a beautiful daughter, Helen. By the time she was 16 years old and attending boarding school in Sydney, she had ripened into a beautiful young woman though still emotionally very young. Angelica was only too happy to have her niece, Helen, stay on weekends and holidays from school.

Helen’s proximity to Klas proved too much for him to maintain appropriate behaviour in an uncle- niece relationship. Helen told her parents that she was uncomfortable in Uncle Klas’s presence. There were reports of French kissing and of visits to Helen’s bedroom at inappropriate times. At first, Geoff, her father and Mary, her mother, didn’t think things were too serious, though Mary was more concerned than Geoff. Helen went on telling them how ill at ease she felt and Mary said to Geoff: “Something should be done. You must talk to Angelica.” However, nothing was said. There seemed to be a general feeling among some family members that any revelations would do more harm than good. Maybe there was the expectation that with the truth coming out their relationship with Angelica would be finished. Subsequent events proved this assumption to be correct. In exasperation because no one had said anything, one Sunday morning Mary said to Klas: “Keep your hands off my daughter.”

When Angelica heard what Mary had said to Klas, she proposed a family meeting. Angelica told another of her brothers, Kevin, that Mary was saying terrible things about Klas. When Kevin indicated to Angelica that he was not inclined to support Klas, Angelica cancelled the proposed family meeting.

With no admission of guilt by Klas, numerous other incidents of his inappropriate behaviour came to the surface. Older female family members told of how Klas had put the hard word on them. One recalled that when she was sixteen years old, Klas had placed her hand on his erect penis.

The extraordinary thing in the whole affair was how wholeheartedly Klas’s immediate family supported him. His daughters abused Helen for supposedly lying about their father. Rebecca, the matriarch of the family, seemed to forget that she was a mother and grandmother to others and not just to Angelica’s immediate family. Whatever she really felt, she gave every appearance of fully supporting Klas. However, this may have been support primarily for Angelica, her favourite daughter. Angelica said:”I believe Klas.”

Geoff and Mary Collins and other relatives felt that the evidence against Klas was just too strong to be ignored.

Angelica rallied her supporters and virtually established a fortified unit against those in the family who did not support Klas.

The family was broken apart because of pride, self-respect, class values and whatever else motivates and drives the human condition. Perhaps Angelica could not face the terrible truth within her family. She made a great point of saying; “Klas has brought up three daughters and nothing untoward has been said of his relationship to them.”

Family secrets have to be lived with and for Angelica and Rebecca the prospect of the truth setting them free seemed to offer few attractions.

The advice of Jennifer Frances in Secrets may be relevant to this family drama:
“If only we could have spoken the unspeakable. If only we had understood that our darkest secrets can never be laid to rest until they have been extracted from their emotional wrapping and shared.”

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