“A novel and a biography: Two new books by David Wall”

December 15, 2013 at 6:43 am (Angoram Club, artifacts, Book review, Commentary, David Wall, expatriates, Fiction, Jim Wall, Jim Wall An Australian Life, Papua New Guinea, Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk)

See:   http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2013/08/a-novel-and-a-biography-two-new-books-by-david-wall.html

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A tribute to the late Kevin Trueman by Peter Johnson

June 27, 2013 at 9:19 am (Angoram, Angoram Club, East Sepik District, East Sepik Province, expatriates, Kevin Trueman, Maprik, Papua New Guinea, Peter Johnson, Sepik River, Vanuatu, Wewak)


Long-time Pacific Islands Identity

(b. Winchester, England 20 September, 1944   d. Port Vila, Vanuatu 7 June, 2013)


Kevin Trueman whose sudden death at Port Vila, Vanuatu, the former New Hebrides Condominium, on the night of 7 June, 2013 surprised and shocked his family and multitude of friends around the South Pacific islands.

Kevin, of English and Irish parentage, was born in the ancient cathedral city of Winchester, Hampshire, England.   His family migrated to Australia whilst Kevin was still in his teens.   After several ordinary jobs he teemed up with Sava Maksic in kangaroo and crocodile hunting ventures.   They sold their crocodile skins to an Armenian reptile skin tanner, Arshak Catchatoor Galstaun, and in 1967 they came, as two young married couples to Angoram, where Galstaun was the new proprietor of England’s Hotel; the ladies managed the hotel and Kevin and Sava shot the Sepik crocodiles. Neither the job not the partnership lasted long, for Kevin was not by nature an employee…he was soon trading, shooting and artefact dealing on his own account travelling the Sepik River in the Heron, a small trawler he bought from  Nils Madsen.

Two lovely daughters, Laena and Justine were born in Wewak, and Kevin’s restless enthusiasm saw him move to Wewak in about 1971 to take advantage of the booming coffee industry around the Maprik area.   Kevin put in 10 and 12 hour working days, and still had time for a hectic social life. He took virtual charge of building the Wewak Yacht Club, was for several years the Commodore, and  subsequently made a life member.

In 1976 he built a steel work-boat Elenjay and sailed her to Honiara and Port Vila, I was privileged to be a crew member on that adventurous voyage – the only other crew was a pot smouldering Kiwi hippy yachtie who neither of us knew! On arrival Kevin was jailed for a day for the illegal landing of an unnamed vessel flying no national flag. The prosecuting Harbour Master later became a good friend and helped Kevin to secure a coastal coxen’s ticket. Kevin succeeded in selling his boat, eventually coming back to New Guinea to buy and sell another after trading around the islands for a while.

An entrepreneur who saw the “big picture”, Kevin, around 1980 invested in an ocean-going freighter, the Bismarck Sea, later expanding with a second. He tramped between Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines and Vietnam, but a serious accident at Palau and difficulties with the waterside workers of evil memory, and “big line” competition caused the closure of this enterprise…he turned his thoughts and attention to the land; in 1983 he bought “Wetlands Station” near Augathella in western Queensland – my sons and I enjoyed a week of the Truemans’ wonderful hospitality there, shooting, eating and with my sons joining the girls at School of the Air lessons.

Around 1990 Kevin was asked to return to Wewak to manage a recovery of the troubled Sepik Producers Coffee Association, a native owned, but now badly run cooperative. He accepted this almost thankless task with the full backing of the then prime minister, Sir Michael Somare. He established a most capable  management team of Evelyn, Herman Baumann; Geoff Payne and Dieter Idzikowsky.  Kevin had an inclusive style which made his efforts popular with his New Guinean shareholders and customers, and after a campaign against the “rice and tin fish” Asian competition (as Kevin called it), the business started to boom. He expanded into wholesale and retail sales of hardware and whitegoods and commercial vehicle repair. Again wanting to be completely his own boss he eventually resigned and returned to Australia…but not for long!

Kevin and Evelyn accepted jobs in Honiara, BSIP with Kevin managing a large hardware business and Evelyn a soap factory…goodness! They settled down just in time to experience the horror of the unrest in the Solomons which eventually resulted in the establishment of the RAMSI peacekeeping force.

In 2006 Kevin made what was to be his last island relocation as he moved from the troubled Solomons back to Vanuatu and established himself as a respected businessman, restaurateur, and political commentator. A true Island Entrepreneur of the “old school,” Kevin will lie in Pango cemetery, Port Vila, a fitting last resting place to be fondly remembered as a generous, vital outgoing personality of warmth and almost boyish enthusiasm for the numerous projects and ventures he pursued.

Kevin, a loving husband and father leaves a widow, Evelyn Avis, daughters Laena, Justine, and Alexandra, four grand-children and an army of friends across much of Oceania.

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The sudden death of Kevin Trueman in Port Vila

June 9, 2013 at 6:03 am (Angoram Club, artifacts, East Sepik District, expatriates, Funerals, Kevin Trueman, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

Kevin Trueman on the left, late 1960s in the Angoram Club

Kevin Trueman on the left, late 1960s, in the Angoram Club

See: http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2013/09/tribute-to-kevin-trueman-a-real-islands-entrepreneur.html#comments

For those who knew Kevin or knew of him, the news of his sudden death on the night of 7th June, would be received with much sadness.

We all extend to Evelyn, his wife, and family, the deepest condolences!

Readers of this blog are invited to write of their recollections of Kevin.

Some have sent me emails which I’ve taken the liberity of reproducing here in part.

Kevin in anyone’s book was an extraordinary character – once known never forgotten!

Vale Kevin Trueman

Robin Hodgson
12:08 PM (1 hour ago)
to me

Hello Dave and Debbie,

Richard just rang to say that Kevin died suddenly in Port Vila last night after feeling unwell at dinner.  Evelyn is apparently in Australia. Eunice Hanson advised.

Rob & Meg
Jun 8 (1 day ago)
to me, origin.wewak

Thanks for that David.He certainly lived life to the full.

I remember when he was in charge of Sepik Coffee.

Another Sepik character that is for sure.

Kind regards,Rob.

Alan Pretty
11:29 PM (15 hours ago)
to me

Quite a shock & sad to hear. I always had a good relationship with him & remember him fondly.

I remember the last time I saw him. Remy & I had a meal with him & Evelyn in his house in Cremorne (I think – one of those North shore suburbs). It was a splendid evening, some 30 years ago…

He led an amazing life – Vale Kev indeed…

6:29 AM (8 hours ago)
to Don, me

Damn, another man down. Kevin was always larger than his life. A big man with a big heart. He had a good eye for artifacts, too.

Do you have an email address or mailing address for Evelyn?

Maybe in a way he was lucky, like Dieter, dying at the end of a day in a place and time that suited him.

Thanks so much for keeping all of us in touch, even for sad news. Carolyn

Carolyn Leigh Studios

via iPhone


To Evelyn








12:37 PM (2 hours ago)
to me




Jun 8 (1 day ago)
to me


At this stage we do not have an email address for Evelyn.

I encourage those who knew Kevin to make comments.

See: http://www.dailypost.vu/content/kevin-trueman-loveable-larrikin-who-lived-life-fullest

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Photos of Angoram & Maprik

April 25, 2013 at 7:34 am (Angoram, Angoram Club, Bryan Martin, Dan Rolfe, Don Bosgard, Don Coffey, Don Westley, Donald Gordon Bosgard, East Sepik District, expatriates, Fr Mike Clerkin, Jim McKinnon, John Pasquarelli, Maprik, Nan Bunting, Papua New Guinea, Peter England, Photos, Sepik River, Steven Westley, Vanessa Westley)


See page: https://deberigny.wordpress.com/anaz-day-at-angoram-maprik/

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Donald Gordon Bosgard, esteemed President of the Angoram Club, makes a point in the photo below!

April 16, 2013 at 1:38 am (Angoram, Angoram Club, Commentary, Don Bosgard, Donald Gordon Bosgard, East Sepik District, expatriates, Pacific war, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

Bosgard,the Lucases,Wall -Ang 60s - Copy

Donald Bosgard, Walter Lex, Ella Lucas, David Wall, Glen Lucas, Angoram in the late 1960s                                       ( Photo provided by Ella Lucas and refined by Paul Dennett)

Donald Gordon BOSGARD (27 June 1990, aged 70)

Don joined the PNG Administration immediately he was discharged from the Army after World War II and, besides serving elsewhere, spent many years in the Sepik District, firstly at Wewak and then at Angoram as Senior Clerk with the Department of Native Affairs. It is believed he was at Angoram for some twenty years and remained there assisting with the transition to Independence until his position was localised, retiring in March 1975. Don made many friends during his service in PNG and will be sadly missed by them.

After his retirement Don lived at Rose Bay, NSW, where he was a member of the RSL Club. His funeral was attended by numerous family and friends and a contingent from the Rose Bay RSL Club with its President giving the eulogy. Our Association was represented by Meg England and Pierre Donaldson.

Source: PNGAA, Vale, September 1990

According to Cardinal Newman: “It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who never inflicts pain.” If this is so, Donald Gordon Bosgard more than fitted the bill.

It was my privilege to have known Don over a number of years in the Sepik District, and after he retired to Sydney.

To say that Don was of the old school would be an understatement. A dignified and refined man, always impeccably dressed and softly spoken in a clipped Anglo-Australian accent, and to me, he embedded all that was fine and good in a colonial gentleman. Some may have felt that Don was a bit snobbish and they would be slightly correct, but like Warburton, the Somerset Maugham, character, Don may have been a snob, but he was also a gentleman. He never harped on any of his own misfortunes to the discomfort of others.

Don’s father was a Dane who migrated to Australia before the First World War, and he served as a dentist with the Military Expeditionary Force that occupied German New Guinea at the start of the war. His mother came from Anglo-Australian stock with a fine history of officer naval service in the family. Don and his two brothers all served with distinction in WW II. One brother was killed in action in the Territory, and I heard he was even recommended for a VC. Don was at Shaggy Ridge. Peter, his other brother, was also prominent in the RSL in Moresby after the War.

For most of the time Don was in Angoram, he was president of the club, and what a monument to decorum and good manners he was, but more than a monument in his organizational abilities in running and directing club activities. He was an example to young government officers who came to the town.

On a recent visit to Angoram, I was impressed with what one of the local leaders said to me about Don. Eva, who we knew in the old days as Ipa, compared the treasury activities in the town today with their own building, and the number of staff most unfavourably with the excellent work Don did as just one person in a small office.

Don’s abilities were obvious for all to see, but he was content to remain in the clerical side of things. Some might say he lacked ambition, perhaps he did. I do know that a member of the House of Assembly had a mind to recommend him for a civil decoration.

Every afternoon after work, he would adjourn to his residence for a cup of tea, served by his faithful mankimasta, Rastus, and a shower. After which he would go to the club, but prior to leaving, Rastus would be instructed about the evening meal that he was to prepare. Before he actually left he might glance at the Observer. He refused to subscribe to the Post-Courier.

At the club, drinks and conversation would go on until about 8 or 9 o’clock. He was never the worst for liquor, and a lot of common sense was talked about the affairs of the station, and the world in general, while all the time smoking cigarettes. After which he would return to his donga, eat his evening meal, and in due course retire to his virtuous couch.

If he ever availed himself of the pleasures of the night that were on offer in Angoram, no one knew of it. I suspect, that he didn’t, as it was hardly the thing one would do considering what his sister, the old hag (As Don affectionately called her.) would have thought of such behaviour when on his leaves he returned to Rose Bay to stay with her in Sydney.

Don, I don’t know if you realize how much your friends from the old PNG days miss you. I guess by now a lot of them are with you already, but there are quite a few of us still down here.

I can’t say I look forward to joining you up there, but at least knowing you’re there will be some compensation.

Among the expats in Angoram over the years there were many fine and dedicated people, but there was only one aristocrat who I can think of, and he was  Donald Gordon Bosgard.

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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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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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For $4.75 the complete works of D.A.de B. Wall on Kindle!

March 10, 2013 at 11:22 pm (Angoram, Angoram Club, Book review, Commentary, East Sepik District, expatriates, Jim Wall, Medical practice in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk, Sepik River, Short Story, Wewak)


Sepik Blu Longpela Muruk    $2.00 Kindle Purchase

Short Stories by David Wal$1.75  Kindle Edition

Jim Wall – An Australian Life 1893 – 1965  $1.00 Kindle Purchase

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The recent death of Frank Faulkner

February 26, 2013 at 12:44 am (Angoram Club, Frank Faulkner, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

Kevin Trueman, Mary Shirley, Wayne Heathcote, Robyn and Frank Faulkner, Angoram Club, late 1960s

Kevin Trueman, Mary Shirley, Wayne Heathcote, Robyn and Frank Faulkner, Angoram Club, late 1960s

(Photo provided by Ella Lucas)


It is sad, Frank was a really nice bloke, very unruffled, very easy going, very modest.   Also kind to younger  kiaps !        Peter Johnson

Frank, was a congenial, good-natured man and an excellent kiap! It is indeed sad to hear about his death.      David Wall



Frank FAULKNER (22nd December 2012 aged 75 years)

Frank first went to Papuan New Guinea in 1957 as a cadet patrol officer. He
was initially assigned to the Milne Bay District with later postings to the

Madang Sepik, and Central Districts. He finally left the service in 1975 with
the rank of District Officer.
In subsequent years Frank returned to Papua New Guinea and worked in
community liaison roles for mining companies at Lihir and Porgera. He was
also latterly employed as a camp manager by Oilmin Field Services Pty Ltd
which serviced international petroleum exploration companies operating in
the Southern Highlands and Gulf Provinces.

In betwixt field assignments Frank liked to frequent the ski resorts in Colorado
and Europe, or scuba dive in the Mediterranean and the Bahamas.

In retirement Frank resided in Angeles City in the Philippines.

Frank Faulkner was a genial, well informed and interesting person. He will be
missed by his many friends.

Harry Redmond

Source: Una Voce 2013,No 1 – March



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Norm Liddle, an engaging and likeable character!

February 23, 2013 at 5:31 am (Angoram, Angoram Club, Biography, East Sepik District, East Sepik Province, Kainantu, Mining, Norm Liddle, PNG, Sepik River)

The remains of Norm Liddle's saw mill in Angoram

The remains of Norm Liddle’s saw mill in Angoram

In the course of our lives we all meet a number of people – some readily forgettable and others we might just remember. But there are a select few we can never forget. In this category I would put Norm Liddle!

Norm was that type of Australian, particularly a Queenslander, who I’m afraid to say are now pretty thin on the ground – a man with a wide and varied experience of life and readily adaptable to whatever circumstances he found himself in – whether it was the Australian outback, cutting timber, fixing machinery, serving in the RAAF and the AIF, and living along the Sepik River and the Highlands of PNG; he took it all in his stride. Truly a character!

I first met Norm in 1966 in Angoram. At this time he was living in what was known as the Ex-Service Camp in the far extremities of the town boundaries on the banks of the river. It was there that he had the beginnings of a saw mill.

He arrived in Angoram in 1963. His first interest was to ascertain the timber potential in areas near the Keram River. His junior partner in business at the time was Jeff Liversidge – a man who is still living in Wewak, and is well-known as a sculptor.

A friend of mine once described Norm: ‘as an accomplished musician, skilled taxidermist, reptile hunter, ex-serviceman in both the army and the air force, and pioneer forestry surveyor.’

I well remember Norm in the Angoram Club giving us a rendition on his accordion of Rolf Harris’s The Court of King Caractacus. I must also admit, that on some rare occasions the members hoped that Norm would be like the ladies of the harem of the Court of King Caractacus and just pass by! But seriously we all enjoyed his playing.

Norm was a man that could and would speak with authority on most subjects. In many ways he had an encyclopaedic mind – his facts were not always correct, but in discussions he had few equals. On one occasion he engaged a Spanish speaker in the correct pronunciation of the word, President – Norm insisted that it was El Presidento, the Spanish speaker said it was, El Presidente – I’m afraid the Spanish speaker was correct!

Norm fitted in with the prevailing atmosphere, and the life of Angoram. Some who were less than friendly towards him may have described him as bone lazy. But all credit to Norm, he did survive, even if at times he may have appeared to be only subsisting!

He would make himself available to the odd tourist around the town, and this brought in the odd dollar. One young American woman whom Norm had helped with arranging transport and hiring canoes, showed her gratitude by sending him a packet of marijuana seeds from the States. This was at a time when New Guinea was blissfully ignorant about the drug. Norm planted the seeds near his setup on the river bank and they grew like wildfire. Some said that for a year or so Norm kept himself pretty well stoned! I was told that he was careful not to let the locals know anything about the plant and what it was doing for him.

Norm was a great advocate for a number of local people in the courts, and was instrumental in getting many off after representing and giving legal advice to them – indeed a man of many parts!

His interesting and varied life came to an end in Kainantu in 1986. It was there that, I believe, he thought he was onto a sure thing having found a gold mine that he figured would yield great returns.

Sometime prior to this his personal life took a very happy turn for the better. He met Monika, a woman from Kambaramba, and they became partners. Monika subsequently gave birth to Vivian, their daughter. Norm by all reports was so proud of Vivian.

What else can I say about Norm, he was a character, but a very likeable one, a human man with more virtues than vices!

See: https://deberigny.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/komuniti-monthly-newsletter-angoram-community-centre/

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