Westley family photo collection

January 25, 2012 at 4:45 am (Bainyik, Bob Cole, Don Coffey, Don Westley, East Sepik District, Fr Mike Clerkin, Jeanette Westley, Maprik, Nan Bunting, Papua New Guinea, Steven Westley, Vanessa Westley, Wewak)

Email/Comment, from Vanessa Westley:

Hi David,
My parents, Don and Jeanette Westley, were in the Sepik from 1957-1963. I was the 1st white child born, unexpectantly in the tiny village called Bainyik. My father was a school teacher there.
Roy and Toose Peters ran the Maprik Hotel when we were there. Don Coffey and Bruce Laws ran the trading store and the hiring of locals for the plantations and Father Mike Clerkin became a very dear friend. Other names were Bob Bunting and Stan Pegg and Don (Didiman)and Peggy Sheppard..
The people we knew at the Malaria Control Centre (where we went to often) were Dr Syzmiczeck(who delivered me), Dr John Hancock and wife Judy, Dr Becker (T.B Specialist) and his wife Sue, Dr Schofield and his wife Lorna, Dr Peter Mooney (who delivered my brother in Wewak) and Ian Lightfoot. John Neitz and Tas Hammerlsey were other teachers in the area. Elizabeth Burchill was a nurse there at the time and there were 3 local nurses named Betty 1, 2, and 3.
I was wondering if any of those names ring a bell to you? Love to know if they do.

Vanessa Westley


  1. Anonymous said,

    This is history! Why not put together a photo/essay book?

    • David Wall said,

      A good suggestion!

  2. David Wall said,

    ‘Don, at Hayfield on top of wreakage…’ Perhaps this was a DC2 or 3 (?)

  3. Vanessa Westley said,

    The photo/essay book has already been done. My Mum asked me to ‘ghost write’ her experience in PNG and at this stage, the family are the only ones who have seen it. I am quite proud of the effort I put into it, trying to record it all in ‘her voice’ and very proud of my parents for all they went through in that pioneer stage.

    Yes, David my uncle thought the same as you about the plane wreckage but I recorded the facts as my Mum told me…..and who was I to argue with her! Thanks though it confirms what my Uncle Wally thought. I will have to tell him!

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