The Administrator visits Angoram

Invitation (2)

“It’s just amazing what turns up from time to time.   Here’s another one
for your history lessons!   It’s the invitation for “cocktails”, or whatever,
with the Administrator, which we all declined, and to which Bob Mackie sent
his Africa Star…I can’t even remember what the incident was all about, but I
do remember all on the booze, and up-tight at the Club.”

The above invitation and comments would, from my memory, refer to David Hay’s  official visit to Angoram in 1967.

I’m indebted to an old-time former resident of Angoram for the copy of the invitation, and his comments above.

I did attend the function, and I seem to recall that David Hay’s son was with him, and a school friend of his from Geelong Grammar by the name of Baillieu. I remember mentioning to young Baillieu that an aunt of mine was married to Keith Allard. This was some sort of a vague reference to the real estate firm of Baillieu Allard Pty Ltd.

Not all the expats at Angoram got an invitation. I don’t think Bob Mackie did. Hay, I’m sure, had he known that Bob had served in the Middle East during the War, and had earned the Africa Star, would have been disappointed that he had not been invited.

The ADC at Angoram at the time was not too popular with a number of the expats on the station. So, even some who were invited refused to attend in support of those who were not invited, and in a way show their disdain for the ADC. Bob’s Africa Star, would I guess, have been sent to the Sub-District Office with a note or the implication that David Hay, a fellow veteran, of the 2/6 Infantry Battalion would more than welcome him to any celebration in his honour.

Such were the social intrigues and collusions of out-station life in the old PNG!

Bob Mackie was indeed a colourful character, and he dearly loved a drink – unpredictable, yes! Maybe Paul, the ADC, was not prepared to risk him at an official gathering.

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