Yangtze Sepik Swim

October 29, 2009 at 5:02 am (expatriates) (, , , , , , , , )

“At the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, the Chinese press reported that Chairman Mao Zedong (then age 73) swam across the Yangtze River at Wuhan. The story was intended to quash rumors that Mao was either gravely ill or dead.”        WuhanTravel Guide

When did the Birdman swim across the Sepik? 

“Now the Birdman, it was when Trueman was building the club toilets etc.   I can’t recall the year, but I distinctly remember that it was between smokes!”

Peter Johnson (Former Secretary of the Angoram Club):

“I would say from memory that Adrian Birb swam the Sepik River in 1969.

“The Chairman’s swim, in a sense, ushered in the Cultural Revolution and the Birdman’s swim coincided with revolutionary changes in the social and political life in Angoram.

“Both were significant revolutionary figures.”

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5 Comments

  1. Dan Claasen said,

    Where did he swim from and, more to the point, why? Can we have a map of the crossing point?

  2. David Wall said,

    Dan

    To exactly answer your questions I shall have to consult an eyewitness first.

    David

    • deberigny said,

      “Birdman was pretty broke; he did it for money! There was a huge purse on offer if he could do it, rules were set – which took hours!
      He was pretty smart and started from the top end of the Service Camp, even so he misjudged the current, his strength, or both. He was allowed under the set rules to briefly come ashore on the far bank. When he did he gasped “anybody got a fag?” He completed the return swim, landing in the pitpit between Laskompani and Taway! Sorry my cartographer’s on strike! ”

      Peter Johnson

  3. deberigny said,

    A comment from Sandra King:

    REMEMBER THE GREAT SEPIK RIVER SWIM ?
    NOT ONLY DID ADRIAN REACH THE OTHER SIDE……………..AFTER MANY BETS WERE PLACED IN THE CLUB.
    I REMEMBER A PARASOL, DUG OUT CANOE………..AND BEING PADDLED AFTER HIM

    AND…………………………..AFTER A CIGARETTE…………….HE HOPPED BACK IN AND SWAM BACK !!!

    CRAZY…………….BUT FUN !!
    CHEERS
    A BLACK VELVET TO CELEBRATE.
    REMEMBER HOW THE HOTEL CELLAR WAS STOCKED WITH MUMM CHAMPAGNE??

  4. Sepik/Yangtze swim by two red-blooded revolutionaries! | Stories by David Wall said,

    […] Yangtze Sepik Swim […]

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