Dieter Erich Paul Idzikowsky 23 February, 1938 – 22 January, 2011

January 29, 2011 at 8:17 am (expatriates, PNG, Wewak) (, , , , , , , )

Dieter with Peter Johnson, Sepik Ironman Competition, 07/06/2009

Dieter with Chris Rose, Wewak Yacht Club, 07/06/2009

I was shocked to receive an email from Chris Rose informing me that Dieter had died on 22/01/2011:

“Dieter passed away Saturday, 5pm teeing off number 9, it was very quick and painless. We took him to the hospital and they tried resuscitation but to no avail. As you know, he was a good mate to lots of people here and will be sorely missed.”

A Requiem Mass was said for him at Christ the King Cathedral, Wewak.

 Peter Johnson CBE gave the eulogy:


To many of you he was just “Dieter” perhaps most did not know his surname, but some loved, most were fond of, and all respected him and acknowledged his helpful ways and engineering skills… we are the richer for having known him; the poorer for his passing. 

Dieter was my very good friend for over thirty years.   His sudden and totally unexpected death has been devastating. 

None of us know the time or place when and from where we shall be called to meet our maker.   It is certain that last Saturday Dieter had no intimation that his time was running out.   He died mercifully quickly and painlessly after collapsing whilst playing on the Wewak golf course… as his friend Steve Taylor said, “He was where he liked to be, and doing what he liked best to do!”

Dieter Erich Paul Idzikowsky was born on 23 February, 1938 at Grunberg-Schlesien, near Dessau, East Germany shortly before the outbreak of WWII.   After leaving school he served an apprenticeship  as a toolmaker and motor mechanic with  a company associated with the famous Mercedes motor company.   He then served for a brief period in the army. 

Life was not easy for the Idzikowsky family in Russian occupied East Germany, and in 1956 Dieter, moved to West Germany where he worked as a motor mechanic for AG Pollux.

In 1963 Dieter, together with his younger brothers, Klaus and Peter emigrated to find a new and more rewarding life in Australia.   Peter later moved to South Africa where he married, prospered, and died several years ago… it was a disappointment to both Dieter and Klaus that the three brothers did not meet again. 

Dieter worked mainly in Tasmania and Western Australia.   It was in Perth, Western Australia that he met with, the Rosper family who informally adopted him.   Mr.  Rosper passed away some time ago at an elderly age.   Mr. Rosper and his son Werner visited Dieter in Wewak some years ago… Werner remained a very close friend of Dieter’s and will no doubt be grieving as we do today. 

In 1970 Dieter came to Papua New Guinea to help his brother Klaus, who had established Pedford Constructions Limited, a civil engineering company engaged in road building and maintenance in the Lumi/Nuku area of the Sepik District.

Following the sale of Pedford Construction and departure of Klaus from PNG, Dieter worked firstly for the Sepik Coffee Producers Association, managing the large workshop at Maprik, then for Sepik Coffee/Sepik Construction in Wewak. 

It was Dieter Idzikowsky’s great desire to become a Papua New Guinea citizen, to this end he held a glowing reference and recommendation from Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare (a friend and golfing partner!).   Unfortunately the timing was wrong and no citizenship committee meetings took place for some years.   Dieter decided most reluctantly that he must leave New Guinea to meet the residency requirements for Australian citizenship.   Awaiting naturalisation, he worked in Cairns  for English Engineering Limited between 2004 and 2006 as their tradesman training manager – Mr. English has constantly tried to lure Dieter back to his job in Cairns! 

Dieter married his bride and long-time partner,  Pricilla,  in Cairns in 2003.

Immediately following his naturalisation as an Australian citizen, Dieter volunteered for work as manager of the Bishop of Wewak’s mechanical workshop which he has brought from chaos to good order. 

Dieter in his day was a fine sportsman, playing top grade soccer with Perth United and boxing to Commonwealth Games standard.   He showed his sporting endurance by twice appearing  at the Sepik Ironman Challenge as a swimmer and its oldest competitor. 

He took part in Wewak social and sporting events from darts at the Yacht Club to weekly golfing competitions and Hash House Harrier runs and private chess matches… he usually won the darts and chess games! 

Dieter not only took part in events, but also took major responsibility for organising and promoting them.   He was a founder member and life member of the golf and yacht clubs, vice-president of the former and commodore of the latter for eleven years… he was deeply distressed at the alien and deceitful manner in which this position was usurped – the long term result of which is only too obvious today!

Dieter Idzikowsky was a genuinely honourable man who spoke his mind, and spoke the truth.   (He also spoke four languages!)   He disliked falsehood and sophistry.   To declare a false golf score or engage in shonky business deals would be complete anathema to him.   He deplored such traits in others.   He was a loyal friend to many, and did not forget them just because their paths diverged, as condolences received from many overseas countries testify. 

The Christian Church preaches that “we bring nothing into this world, and it is certain that we shall take nothing out.”   Whilst this is undoubtedly true, it is also true that we leave something;  reputation, example and something in the hearts of those we leave behind.

Dieter was a humble, decent, hard-working and life-loving man, a good friend to many; a wonderful friend to me for which I give thanks and offer sincere condolences to his young widow, Priscilla, to all his relatives and friends and to the people of the East & West Sepik Provinces whose lives he touched in some greater or lesser way! 

(Dieter Erich Paul Idzikowsky 23 February, 1938 – 22 January, 2011)

Peter Johnson


Farewell Dieter, you deserve the best the afterlife can offer.

 David Wall

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Family and friends gather for a matriarch’s 80th birthday celebration

January 20, 2011 at 2:58 am (Fiction, Short Story) (, )

The feast was set and the guests and relations had met to celebrate Claire de Witt’s 80th birthday.

On a sunny first of January in suburban Sydney this occasion got off to a lively start in the house of Claire’s daughter and son-in-law, Margaret and Konrad, they were known for the lavishness of their hospitality, and the spread they provided on this occasion rendered most of the adults inebriated shortly after their arrival.

A friend of Margaret’s, a divorcee in her forties, arrived with a partner, and was well under the weather on French Champagne shortly after. In her inebriated state she began flirting with the male guests. Her partner created a bit of a stir by announcing after each visit he made to the lavatory that he had been pointing Percy at the porcelain. The host and Claire’s eldest son were seen at various times in the company of the divorcee. Towards the end of the evening ‘Percy’ became intensely jealous of the divorcee’s behaviour and wanted to fight a number of the males, he even threatened Margaret.

The food and drink were going at a great rate with numerous grandchildren running about, and largely unsupervised. Music, dancing and swimming all created an atmosphere more akin to a splurge in Ancient Rome than to middle class suburban Sydney.

A fly on the wall would wonder what Claire de Witt thought of it all – the near adulterous liaisons and even worst still, the sexual and physical abuse of a little five-year-old by a teenage boy.

There were a few poor and inarticulate speeches given supposedly in praise of Claire’s eighty years of life and achievement. Margaret had to leave the proceedings early to drive a Melbourne guest to the airport and upon returning she was threatened by ‘Percy’.

You couldn’t really say that a good time was had by all, not at least in the moral sense, but perhaps there were some who attended felt that the event honoured Claire.

Claire’s long deceased husband, an admirable man and a devout Catholic in life would have been outraged by the whole event and absolutely appalled by the abuse of his grandchild.

As the Bard said: “ Men’s evil manners live in brass…”


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The waters of the Sepik River are an elixir of political life!

January 7, 2011 at 1:06 am (Angoram, Michael Somare, Papua New Guinea) (, , , , , , )

It wasn’t Sogeri Secondary School that launched the political life of Sir Michael Somare or Cambridge University, Michael Johnson’s political endeavours, nor was it the London School of Economics, that propelled Ben Sana Wyatt into State politics but the waters of the Sepik River.

Sir Michael Somare, PM of PNG and his parents Ludwig Somare Sana and Painari all drank deeply of the Sepik River waters.

Michael Johnson, former member of the Federal Electorate of Ryan in Queensland and the son of Peter and Julie Johnson who brought Michael up on the banks of the Sepik River all drank of the waters.

 Ben Sana Wyatt, MLA, State member of Victoria Park in Western Australia whose parents, Cedric and Janine Wyatt, lived for years on and near the Sepik River are all familiar with the waters of the Sepik.

 All the parents of these political figures consumed vast quantities of Sepik River water and it is this that gave their offspring the fortitude to pursue their political lives.

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2010 in review

January 2, 2011 at 6:27 am (David Wall) (, , )

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 4 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 68 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 262 posts. There were 191 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 243mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was January 5th with 243 views. The most popular post that day was Images from the past.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for kina, koza, chairman mao, order of service, and harry brown.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Images from the past January 2010


The Swinging Sixties in Angoram January 2008


Dr A.D. Parkinson May 2009


Did Chairman Mao Visit Angoram in 1966? October 2009

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