“Schooldays, the happiest days of your life ?”

April 11, 2013 at 11:32 pm (Commentary, Riverview, St Ignatius' College Riverview)



Going through some old papers I came across the above. Considering I had two sons at the school at this time, I would have been inclined to be very positive when writing about my experiences.

(A couple of corrections needed: Paddy Meagher instead of Pat Meagher and Jannali Boys’ High School instead of Janelli Boys High School)

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“a government of dreams”

April 11, 2013 at 9:17 am (Angoram, Angoram Club, Commentary, Deborah Ruiz Wall, Don Bosgard, Jim McKinnon, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River, Uncategorized)

Man of nature

              PAPUA  NEW GUINEA, tomorrow a government of dreams! The man of nature sits in his hut undisturbed while the urban elitist quarrel over how to set him free from his rustic, tranquil life.                                                          Deborah Ruiz Wall                            


Angoram serenity 2 - Copy

The serenity of Angoram (?)

Deborah Ruiz Wall, 1973

Deborah Ruiz Wall, 1973

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What is your opinion of Chairman Mao?

April 10, 2013 at 5:24 am (Commentary, Mao Zedong)

“What’s the Truth about Mao?

While the party does not criticize Mao, they must walk the tight-rope of disrespecting his legacy while undergoing new policies.

In China, the cult of Mao is still going strong. But what is the reality?

Setting aside what we see in China, one has to consider the reality of Chairman Mao and his life. Was he really the unkempt, dirty man who according to his doctor did not like to bathe, refused to brush his teeth, and spread STD’s to women seemingly without care? (45)Are the tales of a lecherous (46) Mao, manipulated by his wife – a “B” film actress with a chip on her shoulder – true?

Did she play a role in manipulating the great leader into taking part in the cultural revolution, or was he too busy, as Halliday and others have inferred, with his bevy of concubines?

Is this the same Chairman Mao who allegedly slept with over 1000 women, and the one who supposedly liked to deflower young virgins in order to maintain his youthful vigor?

In many accounts, Mao was described as an unstoppable sex maniac, and in 1953 even ordered the People’s Liberation Army to provide a stream of young, attractive “recruits” for our purposes.

Mao did indeed have these “imperial concubines”, who lived in the Forbidden City, had a certain status, and were well cared for. However, most of Mao’s victims were warned by his bodyguards never to speak of what had happened — and sent packing. (47)”

Source: http://www.topsecretwriters.com/2011/11/china-and-the-cult-of-mao/

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There is something about Julia Gillard that many in the electorate don’t like!

April 10, 2013 at 12:00 am (Australian Politics, Commentary)

See the link below and ask yourself is it this?


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Sepik/Yangtze swim by two red-blooded revolutionaries!

April 9, 2013 at 3:42 am (Adrian Bird, Angoram, Commentary, East Sepik District, Mao Zedong, Sepik River, Yangtze River)


Yangtze Sepik Swim

October 29, 2009 at 5:02 am (expatriates) (, , , , , , , , ) · Edit

“At the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, the Chinese press reported that Chairman Mao Zedong (then age 73) swam across the Yangtze River at Wuhan. The story was intended to quash rumors that Mao was either gravely ill or dead.”        WuhanTravel Guide

When did the Birdman swim across the Sepik?

“Now the Birdman, it was when Trueman was building the club toilets etc.   I can’t recall the year, but I distinctly remember that it was between smokes!”

Peter Johnson (Former Secretary of the Angoram Club):

“I would say from memory that Adrian Bird swam the Sepik River in 1969.

The Chairman’s swim, in a sense, ushered in the Cultural Revolution and the Birdman’s swim coincided with revolutionary changes in the social and political life in Angoram.

Adrian Bird, the Birdman, was a master builder who was initially employed by Geoff King, the Manager of the Angoram Hotel, to carry out hotel renovations. When these were finished, Kevin Trueman, entrepreneur and builder, decided to retain the Birdman to start and complete a contract he had with the Angoram Club.

The swim was a perilous achievement as the current of the mighty river almost carried him away. On reaching the bank he was heard to say: ‘I need a smoke.’

I think the dangers that Adrian faced were greater than those faced by the Chairman. Whether, of course, the enormous political implications were as great for the Birdman as for Mao is a matter for debate.

Both were significant revolutionary figures.”


  1. Dan Claasen said,

    October 29, 2009 at 7:18 am · Edit

    Where did he swim from and, more to the point, why? Can we have a map of the crossing point?

  2. David Wall said,

    October 29, 2009 at 10:17 pm · Edit


    To exactly answer your questions I shall have to consult an eyewitness first.


    • deberigny said,

      November 1, 2009 at 6:00 am · Edit

      “Birdman was pretty broke; he did it for money! There was a huge purse on offer if he could do it, rules were set – which took hours!

      He was pretty smart and started from the top end of the Service Camp, even so he misjudged the current, his strength, or both. He was allowed under the set rules to briefly come ashore on the far bank. When he did he gasped “anybody got a fag?” He completed the return swim, landing in the pitpit between Laskompani and Taway! Sorry my cartographer’s on strike! ”

      Peter Johnson

  3. deberigny said,

    April 9, 2013 at 2:29 am · Edit

    A comment from Sandra King:



    CRAZY…………….BUT FUN !!

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An interesting look back!

April 8, 2013 at 12:29 pm (Commentary, Sepik Ironman, Wewak)


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The famous did really visit Angoram!

April 8, 2013 at 7:28 am (Angoram, Commentary, Sepik River)


( I hope you are able to access the above link.)

This photo has a bit of history about it. In 1969 a group of Japanese academics from Kyoto City University visited the Sepik, and stayed for a number of weeks in Angoram, collecting artefacts, and even some human skulls – a Sepik art form. They did linguistic and anthropological studies in the area.

The leader of the group was a professor of English, and a veteran of the Japanese campaign in China during WW II – a charming and distinguished gentleman. There were two other young men who were associate professors, and a beautiful young woman – an anthropologist.

They all had an extraordinary capacity for Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky, which we all consumed in a convivial atmosphere of discussions with no language problems. I have the names of each member of the visiting party in a trunk somewhere or other in my attic.

Back to the subject of the photo. This was taken by one of the Japanese from a river boat that they were travelling on – on their way to Pagwai and hence to Maprik. I was also on my way upriver on a patrol in a canoe – from memory, to the Middle Sepik. The photographer called out to me after taking the picture –  ”Come to Kyoto, David,  it’s your city!”

So much for the international flavour of the old Angoram.

Oh, yes, this is the first photo my wife, Deborah, saw of me, so it must have something about it!!

Margaret Olley visited Angoram.  See:  http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2011/07/margaret-olley-artist-had-a-png-connection.html

Others include:

AND WHOLE LOTS MORE… ( This information was provided by a past resident of Angoram, and respected reader of this blog.)

I did see Bill Hayden in Angoram.

Administrators from 1945 – 1973 all visited, I’m sure: Murray, Cleland, Hay and Johnson.

In truth, we may not have seen Chairman Mao, and those illustrious North Korean leaders, but without a doubt, the great, talented, and noble, did indeed come to Angoram.

This is to say nothing of those who lived there!!

See: https://deberigny.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/an-autobiography/

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Wewak property for sale

April 7, 2013 at 1:50 am (Commentary, Wewak)


Ralf's house

Ralf’s house

Ralf'sView from Ralf'sFrom Ralf'sView from Ralf's


Outstanding views from Ralf’s block

Ralf discusses Sepik carvings with US Ambassador, Leslie Rowe

Ralf discusses Sepik carvings with US Ambassador, Leslie Rowe, in his house.

Ralf Stüttgen‘s property is unique in the beautiful position it occupies – the views from it are spectacular.

The site overlooks Wewak Town, the islands and the sea and in the other direction, Mt Wilhelm can be seen.

As the land is situated 450 metres above sea level, year-round the climate is pleasant.

The title to the land is held by Ralf Stüttgen: Portion 103, Milinch Mushu, Four-mil Wewak, Area 1 acre 0.7 perches, situated in the East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea – suitable for a residence, flats, or hotel development.

Road access (40 metres from the Sepik Highway), surfaced drive-in, town electricity connected.

Known as Ralf ‘s House or Tower Guest House

With the Frieda River mine coming, accommodation requirements in Wewak are rising.

Presently four new hotels are being built in Wewak.

For information about this property contact:

Ralf Stüttgen, PO Box 154, Wewak, E.S.P. Papua New Guinea  Mobile: 71325285, 71734911, 76820051

David Wall, 152 Wilson St, Newtown 2042 NSW Australia Phone: 02 95505053  Email: tokples32@gmail.com

Peter Johnson, PO Box 651, Wewak, E.S.P. Papua New Guinea Phone: 8562303  Email: origin.wewak@global.net.pg

(Ringing PNG numbers from Australia dial first: 0011 675)

The asking price for this outstanding piece of land is K400,000 + negotiable.

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Angoram controversies

April 6, 2013 at 5:09 am (Angoram, Angoram Club, Commentary, Donald Gordon Bosgard, Jim McKinnon, Sepik River)

“Angoram is not dead. Its serenity is a facade. Like a dormant volcano it quivers passionately underneath.”  Deborah Ruiz Wall

The old Angoram in the news!

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This article has been republished by popular request!

April 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm (Commentary, Kim Jung-un, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

Now that it is almost an established fact that the Dear Leader visited the Sepik, may we await with joy his illustrious son, Kim Jung-un, the Supreme Leader, doing the same?

The Sepik people I’ve spoken to are most impressed with his haircut. The women of the Grass Country are just mad about it!

The “Dear leader” visited the Sepik (?)

December 22, 2011 at 2:30 am (Commentary, Kim Jong-il, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

Source: Wikipedia photo

It’s almost an established fact that Chairman Mao visited the Sepik in the 1960s, and when I was in the area in 2009, I heard of a remarkable story of another famous visitor. None other than Kim Jong-il was said to have made a brief stopover some years previously. I must say that the details of this supposed visit were somewhat vague, and I was only given hints of the Dear Leader’s stay. Apparently, all those who entertained the great man were more or less sworn to secrecy.

It seemed to be that he arrived by submarine, and was landed at Kopar at the mouth of the Sepik River, and was collected by an out-board motor canoe, and taken upriver, and hence to Korogopa Village on the Keram River to meet the Honourable William Eichhorn MBE, a former member of the House of Assembly, and speaker of the East Sepik Provincial Government. When I met up with Bill, as he was known, there were intimations in the vaguest of terms of an illustrious visitor to the area. Unfortunately clarification of the visit is now difficult as Bill has since died, and of course, as the world knows the Dear Leader has passed on. Perhaps we might be able to learn more from his successor, Kim Jong-un, the Brilliant Comrade.

My readers may well ask, what was the purpose of Kim’s visit to the Sepik? As far as I can ascertain it was to discuss with the Bill the possibility of supplying North Korea with Sago from the Sepik to feed the starving North Koreans.

William Batak, from Kekten Village, an old out-board canoe driver of mine when I worked for Malaria Service, told me this year when I was in Wewak, that years previously he had bringim pinis bikpela Kongkong man long Korogopa, mi kisim long maus bilong wara Sepik.  In essence what he said was that he collected an important Chinese man (To William, Kim would have appeared to be Chinese.) at the mouth of the Sepik River and took him to Korogopa Village.

It would have been very interesting to have been a fly on the wall during the discussions between Bill and Kim.

As far as I can work out the Dear Leader only stayed one night at Korogopa, and also he was unaccompanied by any other Koreans.

In my 2009 visit to Korogopa Bill told me he had many photos that he would show me at some future date. Did he have snaps of Kim Jong-il?

I’m tempted to write to the Brilliant Comrade for any information he may have about his father’s visit.


Anonymous said,

December 22, 2011 at 7:51 am

Yeah – Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable spent a night with me at Karawari Lodge and chewed buai with my brilliant manki masta and raconteur Patoman!


deberigny said,

December 22, 2011 at 9:52 am

Anonymous, yes, I remember the visit well, but they didn’t go to the Karawari Lodge, as from memory, it wasn’t built at the time of their visit. It was at the Angoram Hotel. I also remember that Patoman was trying to line Clark Gable up with a lady from Kambaramba, and this big bloke with a Northern Italian appearance was trying to whiz Marilyn off.

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