An author in contemplation

November 30, 2010 at 11:46 pm (Love on the Run) (, , , )

From afar in a cold climate an author contemplates his love away in "Second Rome".

ACTM no longer on the run nor in a hot climate thinks about his beloved in faraway Istanbul.

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They’re worth every penny of it. What do you think?

November 27, 2010 at 12:29 am (Papua New Guinea) (, , )

Rowan Callick, Asia-Pacific editor From: The Australian November 27, 2010 

 PAPUA New Guinea’s MPs have voted themselves a 52 per cent pay rise, immediately before adjourning parliament for six months. They will earn $32,000 a year, compared with the average income per head of $1400. Prime Minister Michael Somare will earn $105,000 a year after Thursday’s vote. Opposition MPs walked out when the new Public Services Minister Moses Maladina proposed the pay hike, as urged by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission. The commission comprises the Prime Minister, parliamentary Speaker, Opposition Leader, Chief Justice, and heads of the departments of personnel management and of labour and employment. The pay hike, based on a review by US-based consultancy the Hay Group, will cost an initial $13 million, including backpay for last year. The MPs’ pay rise came after a report was published by Care Australia this week saying PNG was suffering a “chronic humanitarian emergency”. RELATED COVERAGE PNG awarded ‘Golden Chainsaw’ Adelaide Now, 25 Oct 2010 Power from PNG a distant dream The Australian, 16 Sep 2010 PNG power line sparks Origin’s interest Daily Telegraph, 15 Sep 2010 Somare jets off after cementing rule The Australian, 22 Jul 2010 Grand larceny robs PNG of millions The Australian, 11 Jun 2010 Julia Newton-Howes, the chief executive of Care Australia, said a survey in PNG’s eastern highlands showed that about 191 babies die in every 1000 live births – compared with fewer than five in Australia. In the Yelia region those surveyed earn on average under $40 a year. People in more than half the 260 households surveyed had eaten only one staple food – sweet potato – in the previous day. Ms Newton-Howes said: “What little government-funded services they have access to, seem to make very little difference to their lives.” Australia will this year give PNG $457m in aid.

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Brother George faces the Judgement of his Lord

November 18, 2010 at 2:11 am (Fiction) ()


Brother George had died but he didn’t as many expected go straight to the bosom of  Abraham, but was met at the pearly gates by St Peter who greeted him with the words:“welcome, George, but before I let you in I’ve a bone to pick with you, why did you spend so much time down there denying the rights of my successors occupying the Chair of St Peter?  In answer George put his point very well by explaining to St Peter that he was of a reformed faith and had no time for the popes of Rome. St Peter then sked him directly by what authority he had authorized the re-baptism of Brother John, an Anglican? George said that only total immersion following the custom of the Baptist and the Lord was a legitimate initiation into the Christian community. St Peter said he would give him a chance to put this directly to the Lord later as Our Lord had a lot of questions about George’s Baptist community in suburban Brisbane, one of which was the apostasy of Sister Cheryl to the Arian creed of Islam, and you can imagine how little sympathy Our Lord has with this belief as the Second Person in the Trinity. St Peter then informed George that if he had his way he would give him a good burst in Purgatory before he allowed him into the presence of the Lord, this outraged George, and he said to St Peter that there was no such place as Purgatory, to which St Peter replied: “we’ll see about that.”

 He then informed George that the judicial processes in Heaven had lately become almost impossible with Mary MacKillop speaking up for every Australian that comes this way: heretics, atheists, schismatics, Muslims and various other neo-pagans. According to St Peter, the Godhead in the persons of the Father and the Holy Ghost had about had a gut full with Mary of the Cross’ advocacy on their behalf, but the Son was still ready to listen to her. St Peter himself liked straight decisions – to Heaven or to Hell with maybe a little Purgatory in between. In the old days before St Mary of the Cross the Holy Trinity more or less left things up to his recommendations and proclaimed in a truly Almighty fashion their final judgment which usually accorded with what he had told the Three Persons. She, Peter considered was fully as bad as the Blessed Virgin Mary was in the old days, wanting every Tom Dick and Harry to make it to Heaven. The Holy Ghost was forced to put his foot down, and rein in Our Lord’s Mother so that the Trinity’s unimpeded judicial decisions could go ahead, but now with the Australian MacKillop’s interference things are going back to the bad old days again, at least in the case of justice, being given to her fellow country men and women. 

George made it known to St Peter that he had a number of questions that he wanted to ask the Lord Jesus. Why did he have to wait until he had died on earth to meet Him? George insisted that he had accepted Jesus as his Saviour,  as a true and abiding Baptist in the expectation of the Rapture and the Second Coming, and he had fought the good fight against the forces of evil, and at the very least, he could have expected to be raptured; not,  to be questioned by a pseudo Papist before he even gets to see the Lord. St Peter said to George: “I’ll remind you I have the keys and not too much of that pseudo Papist stuff.”

St Peter escorted George into the presence of the Second Person of the Trinity and introduced him to Our Lord. The experience quite overwhelmed him, and he went down on his knees exclaiming his astonishment that at last after a life of faith he had met his Lord, in as it were, in the flesh. Our Lord lifted him to his feet and embraced him saying:  ”your faith has saved you, but I’ve always been with you not only in the word, but also in  my transubstantiated sacramental presence which unfortunately your theology does not recognize. At my Last Supper you were given the power to have me with you always, George, there is no need of a Second Coming.” George was tempted to argue, but he thought better of it on considering that this, after all, was as it were from the horse’s mouth. He instead uttered a cry begging forgiveness for his past heresy and a willingness to embrace the teaching of the Universal Church and pray for the souls of the departed at a Mass in Rome or even a Eucharist Liturgy in Athens. The Lord then informed him that there was no need for that now as he was one of the departed in the presence of the Heavenly Kingdom and Jesus explained to him why he was saved. 

He told George that he had indeed been true to the word, and with Brother John, a soul still on earth, he had battled against the forces of the New Age, but why had he not used John, an excellent Pidgin speaker, in his mission to the New Hebrides? He told George about the problems that arose in his Baptist community – the loss of Sister Cheryl to Islam and the entrusting of the mission to the inland to a Christadelphian. Our Lord commended George’s mission to the Jews but he had some concerns. The old Covenant has passed and the new Covenant is with the Church – the body of believers is the body, and this is the Church. There are now no Jews and Gentiles, but only believers, who accept the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Lord told George that the Church was his body. The new Jerusalem, is just that. Israel is not the Church, be it spiritual or Covenant inspired. Jesus said, “George, your theology of Israel was just a muddle.” George expressed his sorrow and told the Lord that he now saw the error of his ways. The Lord went on to explain to George that his good wife had made it, and now sat the feet of the Father. She was quite right in her concerns about the hours that Brother John and Sister Cheryl spent together, especially in the caravan at the back of the manse, but of course, we now know that there was no hint of Eros in their relationship and Brother John was correct in saying that they were only working on the New Age for you. The Lord went on to say, to George: “as you know,  John  is of the Anglican persuasion as you yourself were once, a church in schism but still with valid baptism. You had no right to re-baptize him,  but I do know as an elder and a shepherd of your flock your guidance was well intended and you are now forgiven. Anyhow, throughout the years Brother John has been directed by his reading of  Cranmer’s  Prayerbook, a man who incidentally is still in Purgatory for his part with that rogue Henry in depriving my mother of her dowry. I won’t tell you where Henry is,  but he is with his daughter, Elizabeth, the one born out of wedlock among others, in a place fitting to their state. The Holy Ghost tells me that Cranmer’s Prayerbook is basically free of heresy and this is why he’s in Purgatory and not the other place. Your Sunday luncheons with the family and inner-circle of the congregation were, I’m pleased to say, more than just a meal. As the shepherd you carved the fatted lamb and shared the fruits of the earth with a group who saw me as their Lord, and because of this, the Father, Holy Ghost and I am inclined to reward you. There are still some doubts in our minds, but at least we’ll get Mary MacKillop off our backs by letting you in, and as you know we are three persons but one spiritual being, and your devotion to the Trinity has saved you, but there is one condition,  you are commanded to continue your prayers for Brother John. The Father and the Holy Ghost have insisted that John is to be tested. Mary of the Cross is upset about this. It is known that John’s Christian love of others has been noble, in the qualities of Philia and Agape he displayed. But is he able to resist the attractions of Eros? With this question in mind, he is to be placed in situations where he comes into contact with beautiful pagan Asian women, and his faith will be tested, as steel is strengthened in the blast furnace so John’s faith will also be tested and improved. St Peter approves of this, he wrote as much in 1: 6-7 in the New Testament. He will not be tried beyond his limits but we all have to pray for him.”

Brother George assured Our Lord that he would pray for John and he was then ushered into the presence of the Father and the Holy Ghost.

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PNG Painting

November 11, 2010 at 11:15 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )


Translation of Pidgin caption... "Asaro mudmen weighing their coffee & getting money".

“Painting,  Kas bilong didiman – you can post it on your blog if you think it is of interest. A coffee shop here in Frankston has a few paintings by this artist. They are associated with some talatala mission & use the proceeds from paintings, coffee, & other artefacts to support their missionary endeavours.”     Alan Pretty
An imaginative and interesting work by a talented artist. The painting is signed but the exact name eludes me. I would be interested to get comments about this work.
Alan, thanks for supplying this.

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Pasin bilong kain kain manmeri

November 8, 2010 at 11:47 pm (Papua New Guinea) (, , , )

The title of this piece is roughtly translated, there are many different people with distinct life styles and customs. Pasin bilong em, is a pidgin expression that conveys a remarkable degree of  tolerance and a rather nice quality, so often found among the Sepik River people, particularly Grass Country villagers. These people display an understanding of human behaviour that goes beyond the ordinary. Gutpela pasin or good manners and custom on the part of foreigners and expats are long remembered and cherished in the Melanesian of the Sepik, but nogut pasin, while known and not forgotten tends to be forgiven and does not form the basis for eternal grudges and antagonism. The great sense of indulgence for others by the Sepiks is good and bad for them. Good because it makes them such a likeable and charming people, but bad because it allows foreigners and some of their own politicans to literally get away with outrageous and spivvy practices.

In some ways the Grass Country people turn the Shakespearean expression on its head: “The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones”.

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Scenes from 19th century China

November 5, 2010 at 3:57 am (Charles de Berigny, expatriates) (, , , )

Piece of furniture from 19th century China


19th century China

Scenes from 19th century China

Europeans in China

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Inspirational Volumes for the Jungles of PNG

November 2, 2010 at 11:33 pm (David Wall, expatriates, Love on the Run, Papua New Guinea, Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk) (, , , , , , , , , )

I was recently asked by a friend that if I were marooned in the bush of Papua New Guinea for three months and was allowed to take four works of literature with me, what would they be? Without a moments hesitation I named them:

Love on the Run and  Love in a Hot Climate by A.C.T. Marke

Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk by David Wall

The Confessions of St Augustine

I would be interested to hear from anyone who can come with a better selection.

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