Yangtze Sepik Swim

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

“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 Birb 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.

“Both were significant revolutionary figures.”

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Visual Memories

July 12, 2009 at 8:36 am (Angoram, Papua New Guinea, Wewak) (, , , , , , )

Dave Wall at Kekten Village

Dave Wall at Kekten Village

Bill Eichhorn at home on the banks of the Keram River

Bill Eichhorn at home on the banks of the Keram River

Michael Somare at the start of the Sepik Ironman Events

Michael Somare at the start of the Sepik Ironman Events

Peter Johnson at Ralf's Place

Peter Johnson at Ralf's Place

Eva Waramapi, formerly Ipa, Angoram, 2009

Eva Waramapi, formerly Ipa, Angoram, 2009

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Wewak Yacht Club, Sepik Ironman Dinner, 7 June,2009

June 18, 2009 at 2:50 am (expatriates, Wewak) (, , , , , , )

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Sepik Iron Man Competition in Wewak, E.S.P., June 7, 2009, Mainly Focused on the Lapun Team

June 18, 2009 at 12:47 am (Wewak) (, , , , , )

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Mr Alwyn Davies Weds Miss Barbara Wilson, Angoram, 1956

May 7, 2009 at 12:59 am (Angoram) (, , , , )

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Barbara’s daughter, Tanya, wrote: “I was talking to my mother… she said the jeep was built by a man in Angoram by salvaging scraps left in the jungle by the war, and then he spray painted it silver. My mom … was a real adventurer for a woman of her day. She has the most fantastic stories about being out on the Sepik for days at a time. One of the ministers who came to Angoram for the service apparently never made it back. He fell overboard and never surfaced.”

Barbara mentioned that it was Sepik Robbie who put the jeep together.

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Dr A.D. Parkinson

May 2, 2009 at 1:37 am (malaria control, Papua New Guinea) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


Photos  from David Parkinson’s Collection

Arthur David Parkinson 1935-2009

Always known as David rather than Arthur, his untimely death ends a life of service and dedication. He first came to Papua New Guinea in 1956 as a Medical Assistant or in the terminology of the time an EMA – European Medical Assistant. These young men and some not so young were the frontline medical providers in much of PNG in those days.
   David did extensive medical patrols in the Sepik and the Highlands. He subsequently attended the University of Adelaide qualifying in Medicine and Surgery, and he returned to PNG working as a Medical Officer and eventually Assistant Director, Malaria Control.
   After leaving PNG in the late 1970s, he did post-graduate studies in the UK and afterwards worked for WHO in the Solomon Islands and Samoa. In Australia, he joined the army and worked in a Malaria Research Unit with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. For the last years of his life, he was in general practice in the Western Suburbs of Sydney.
   At his funeral service, Michael, his son, spoke of his father’s humanity in a varied career of service to others. Over the years, David’s contribution to the health of others has been immense. The people of PNG have particularly lost a true friend and benefactor.
   David’s first wife, Ruth, predeceased him and he is survived by their children, Michael, Fiona and Jamie. His wife, Vaiola and their children, Nathan, Ricky, Tanya, Corian and two grandchildren, Charley and Georgie survive him.

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Murik Plate

April 26, 2009 at 8:18 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )


Murik Plate

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Pax Australis: the return of the Raj!

April 1, 2009 at 2:24 am (Angoram) (, , , , , )

d-d.Photograph: courtesy Mrs Johnson

Sir Donald Bosgard and David Wall Esquire, Angoram,1969


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Tidal flooding destruction around Peter Johnson’s house in Wewak

February 28, 2009 at 8:21 am (Papua New Guinea, Wewak floods) (, , , )


These photos were taken by Peter after the first tidal flooding and they show his endeavours to clean up and  protect his property against further flooding. 


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Kapiak Tree by Anna Chu

November 19, 2008 at 2:03 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Kapiak Tree by Anna Chu MaskiMedia PO Box 757, Ravenshoe, QLD 4888 Phone:    07 40…   Email: publisher@maskimedia.com.au  Cost: AU$24.50 plus p&p AU$3.50 within Australia

Anna Chu’s little book: Kapiak tree: memories of Papua New Guinea is just that, a capably conjured up story of how life was actually lived in the towns and outstations in pre-independence and early post-independence Papua New Guinea, from the perspective of a mixed race woman. Her account impelled me to read the book from cover to cover without putting it down.

    At first I could not explain why I liked it so much. Objectively some might say it is not particularly well written with thoughts meandering in and out throughout and facts and events seasoning the storytelling unexceptionally. But this is the very essence that makes the book so charming: the respect Anna has for her father, Chu Leong, and her love for her mother are interspersed with honest accounts of relationships with men, and interesting descriptions about food and life in general in PNG.

    I know that Anna’s book is a true and honest account of PNG life as I also lived in some of the places she describes, and for anyone wanting to know how things really were in, say, the Sepik, this captivating little tale is highly recommended.

    Included in the book are a number of interesting and historical photographs.





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