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



  1. Carolyn Leigh and Ron Perry said,

    Dearest Dieter – you kept our vehicles running for so many years, gracious lodging in Maprik, evening rounds at the Yacht Club, the charming cynic – our good friend. The refugee, who like many other expats, found an unexpected home in New Guinea. Priscilla, the lady with the great game of golf, finish that round for him. Lucky man to pass on easy in the company of friends. May your travels be easy now, Carolyn Leigh and Ron Perry

    • deberigny said,

      I was an old-time resident of the Sepik many years ago. About five years ago I started to make occasional visits to Wewak and Angoram. It was on these visits that I became acquainted with Dieter and from my first meeting with him, I was impressed with his quiet and dignified manner. I was to learn that he was highly respected as a skilled motor engineer and mechanic and also for his readiness to be of help to others. He was active in community and social projects in Wewak. No one had a bad word to say about Dieter. He was a gentleman and a good and trusted friend to many.

      Visits to Wewak will not be the same without the opportunity to see Dieter again.To his wife and to his nearest and dearest I offer my sincere condolences.

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

      David Wall

  2. Peter Howard said,

    Very sad that Dieter has gone!! Excellent eulogy by Peter Johnson

  3. Wayne Cross said,

    Met him a few times. Knew his stuff better than any around. God rest his soul. He touched me too as he was good at his trade. A fitting eulogy well done Peter.

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