A contestant Sepik Ironman swimmer is back in the pool!

May 24, 2011 at 5:03 am (Commentary, Papua New Guinea, Sepik Ironman, Wewak)

The good news is that our swimmer is back into training. Ironman officials Messrs Johnson and Rose in Wewak are delighted as they were finding it very difficult to find a suitable replacement for him.

He has been given a clear bill of health from his doctor after a severe bout of flu, and his trainer, Sir Ernest Spender, now has him on a build up programme in the pool. To see him now in the pool is an inspiration. His speed is remarkable! Ernest now has him back on Sepik water and kango.

What with the example, he has of Chairman Mao and Adrian Bird, commonly known as the Birdman, in their great swims of rivers, the Ironman competition will be a piece of cake. Incidentally, it was not 1969 that Adrian swam the Sepik, but 1970. I have this on very good authority from a witness and a past prominent Angoram resident, Sandra King.

It has been said that the swimmer has been in communication with the PNG PM Sir Michael Somare who from his sickbed in Singapore has sent him words of encouragement. This cannot be officially verified, but if true imagine what a boost this would be to our swimmer.

Once again we can say: move over Thorpey your measure has been taken!

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Poems by John Bowers

May 13, 2011 at 9:41 am (John Bowers, Poems)




Click onto the above and read the poems, comments are welcome!

See: https://deberigny.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/a-few-words-at-jbs-70th-birthday-party/#respond


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Something of the schedule of an aspiring Sepik Ironman

May 5, 2011 at 8:30 am (Commentary, Papua New Guinea, Sepik Ironman, Sir Ernest Spender, Wewak)

I was asked to check out the progress of a competitor in the Sepik Ironman swim to be held in Wewak early next month, by a member of the Ironman Committee. This was to be a discreet enquiry, and even though I was given his name, I was not to publicly reveal his identity.

He is training at a university aquatic centre under the direct supervision of Sir Ernest Spender, formerly of the British Army, PNG Public Service, New Age guru, and now a Herbalife distributor. Sir Ernest’s training methods owe a lot to the late Professor Frank Cotton, a man in whom Ernest himself received much of his knowledge of physiology.

The swimmer, whose name I’m not at liberty to reveal, is a tall, lean man, in the peak of physicial condition, and watching him going through his paces I can only say: move over Thorpey! His 500 m freestyle is breathtaking.

After his training spin,  I discussed and interviewed Ernest and the swimmer. Apparently he’s on a daily training schedule, and on a strict diet, which, from what I can gather, consists mainly of wara Sepik or Sepik River water, and kango or water cress from the Sepik River. He drinks 8 pints of Sepik water and eats masses of  kango. Ernest sees that he gets ample amounts of Herbalife.

It’s amazing to watch him in the pool. He shows a unique ability to accelerate, and his mental strength and general techniques are extraordinary. He puts these mainly down to the example of Mao Zedong and Adrian Bird, two great and noble swimmers from the past, and conquerors of two mighty rivers: the Yangtze and the Sepik.

What a treat the people of Wewak and visitors to the town will have when they see this swimmer compete in the Ironman Swim. I, myself, can hardly wait as I’ll be in Wewak to see the event. It’s very unfortunate, but it seems that Sir Ernest won’t be able to make it.

The only sad thing that I can see coming from the Ironman Swim is that all other swimmers, apart from the swimmer, will be shown to be completely out of his league, but excellence is not to be frowned on!

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Sepik Ironman

May 3, 2011 at 2:52 am (PNG, Wewak) (, , , , , , )

There is a lot of speculation in Wewak about the identity of the Australian swimmer who has been invited by the Lapun Team to represent them in the Sepik Ironman swim on the Queen’s Birthday weekend this year.

Reuters news reports that two prominent Wewak residents: Messrs. Johnson and Rose were interviewed, but they were playing their cards pretty close to the chest.

All that can be ascertained is that the swimmer is a man in peak physical condition. And it’s said that in his approach to water, he is inspired by Mao Zedong’s swim across the Yangtze River in 1966 and Adrian Bird’s swim across the Sepik River in 1969.

It is also known that he is now in intensive training at a university aquatic centre under the tutelage of a protege of the late Professor Frank Cotton.

Who is this elusive swimmer? Even the date of his expected arrival in Wewak is shrouded in mystery.

All that can be said is that the Lapun Team members in Wewak give the impression that they have some sort of secret weapon in the person of this swimmer.

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Hon William Eichhorn MBE died, in Angoram Hospital.

May 1, 2011 at 1:56 am (Angoram, Wewak) (, , , , , , , )

Bill Eichhorn

Bill at Korogopa, on the banks of the Keram River, 2009

Email from Peter Johnson CBE:

“Whilst I was in Australia 15-28 April our former MHA, MP and Provincial Government Speaker, Hon William Eichhorn, MBE died in Angoram Hospital.   There was a service in Wewak and Bill was then taken to Korogopa for burial amongst his ancestors.   There will be many with memories of  Bill, and stories to tell. Please pass on to those of your
acquaintances to whom this sad news may be of interest.   Age?  Dunno, but I was
26 on arrival at Angoram in 1964, Bill had already broken with Fred and left his
position as teacher.   I guess he was about 75.   I was only told in passing

A tribute to Bill will be published later.

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