Robertson and the Pope

September 29, 2010 at 10:51 am (Catholic Church) (, , , , , , , )

From (“Holding Pope responsible for abuses is not too dangerous”, September 29). It would seem that Geoffrey Robertson would accept that the Pope is immune from prosecution if he, is indeed, a head of state. To deny his state headship is, I think, about as logical as saying he is not a Catholic. Ex officio the Pope is the head of state and government of the Vatican City . However, big or small the territory of the Vatican City is, I would not think, this should legally determine whether it is a state or not. Also there are people with Vatican citizenship, perhaps not many, but they do recognise the Pope as their head of state. In the overall historical picture of the Pope’s claim to be a head of state, while focusing only on the Lateran Pacts of 1929 which created the Vatican City , it is well to remember that the Holy See has been recognised since late antiquity as a sovereign entity with the Pope as its head. The Pope as a head of state or not, I suspect, is just a red herring on Geoffrey’s part disguising a good red-blooded anti-Catholicism. Would he be as eager to question the bona fides of the Queen of England for the way sexual abuse has been handled in Anglican institutions?

 Reference: Wikipedia, “Vatican City”


Permalink Leave a Comment

Advocates of marriage

September 27, 2010 at 8:36 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Julia Gillard moves her partner Tim Mathieson into The Lodge without the benefit of nuptials. Bob Brown supports same-sex marriage. Does this make Bob more an advocate of marriage than Julia?

Permalink Leave a Comment

India and the Commonwealth Games

September 24, 2010 at 4:19 am (Uncategorized) ()

The only advice I can give to the Indian Government and the mess they are in with their preparation for the Commonwealth Games is to return the country to the British Raj.

Permalink Leave a Comment

The call of the river

September 21, 2010 at 7:11 am (Angoram, artifacts, David Wall, Deborah Ruiz Wall, Papua New Guinea) (, , , , , , , , , )

This photo has a bit of history about it. In 1969 a group of Japanese academics from Kyoto City University visited the Sepik, and stayed for a number of weeks in Angoram, collecting artefacts and even some human skulls – a Sepik art form. They did linguistic and anthropological studies in the area.

The leader of the group was a professor of English and a veteran of the Japanese campaign in China during WW II – a charming and distinguished gentleman. There were two other young men who were associate professors and a beautiful young woman – an anthropologist.

They all had an extraordinary capacity for Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky, which we all consumed in a convivial atmosphere of discussions with no language problems. I have the names of each member of the visiting party in a trunk somewhere or other in my attic.

Back to the subject of the photo. This was taken by one of the Japanese from a river boat that they were travelling on – on their way to Pagwai and hence to Maprik. I was also on my way upriver on a patrol in a canoe – from memory, to the Middle Sepik. The photographer called out to me after taking the picture –  “Come to Kyoto, David,  it’s your city!”

So much for the international flavour of the old Angoram.

Oh, yes, this is the first photo my wife, Deborah, saw of me, so it must have something about it!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

C Wyatt, a legend in his own time, makes a visit.

September 10, 2010 at 1:36 am (Angoram, artifacts, expatriates, Papua New Guinea, PNG) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Cedric Wyatt, Rick Wyatt, CWyatt - a legend in his own time!

What a pleasure it was to see Rick after many years – an old expat Sepik hand – Education Officer, Cultural Development Officer and extraordinary character.

We spoke of many things and people – kiap(s), ol didiman, teachers,  missionaries, politicians, medical officers, medical assistants, malaria control officers, doktaboi(s), ol meri na misis, ol  mankimasta, traders, artefact buyers, educators, crocodile shooters, recruiters, the God fearing and the not so God fearing, canoes and the present state of PNG. These are just a glimpse of the depth of our discussions.

We were both intrigued with a rumour going around Angoram that the late Patoman, a mankimasta/butler, who had served many expats in the past, did leave a memoir, dictated to a tourist and written down in the 1980s just before he died. This manuscript, if it exists, would be a priceless document for a social historian researching the Sepik.

In life it’s a wonderful thing to catch up with old friends, especially ones of the calibre of Rick.

(To the locals Rick was mainly known as CWyatt, particularly in Kaup, a coastal village where he spent a considerable time as a teacher.)

Permalink 3 Comments

%d bloggers like this: