Picturesque Waterfront Cottage available for permanent rental - click here

The Die Was Cast - My Journey to New Guinea

The Bougainville Aftermath

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Sohano Ocean View Apartments in Buka Passage

70 years of PIM are now available on the internet - click here

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May 23, 2017

A message from the webmaster:


It is perhaps not surprising that this blog and the Bougainville website are dying a slow death. However, as the numbers of ex-Bougainville employees are diminishing, it puts an even greater responsibility on those who are left to keep recording those times which were important to us as well as to the island of Bougainville.

An old Bougainville friend from those early days, who stayed until the very end of the construction phase, wrote, "I remember clearing up old files after Bechtel left. There were a couple of box files filled with letters from women, solicitors, lawyers etc., all much of the same theme, so-and-so was believed to be working on the project and was wanted for child support payments, etc. The standard reply clipped under the lid was to the effect that there were over fifty companies working on the project with a total of 10,000 workers, and if the writer would please care to contact the respective company. Of course, they knew that if they dobbed in one guy, they would instantly lose a big percentage of the workforce."


Camp 6 Loloho
Click on image to enter Bougainville Copper Project website

Back then, 'home' was a 9x9ft donga tastefully decorated with PLAYBOY centrefolds of girls waxed to the point of martyrdom, where one's wordly possessions easily fitted into a 2ft-wide metal locker and one's needs for comfort were satisfied by a red plastic chair on the porch.


Life was so simple then; we were so innocent!

Or, at least, some of us were. The old saying that Papua New Guinea attracted three types of men, namely missionaries, moneymakers, and misfits, had to be rewritten for the Bougainville Copper Project to include those running away from their wives, the police, or themselves.

If you have an anecdote to contribute or some old photos, please email me at riverbendnelligen[AT]mail.com.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Peter Goerman
PO Box 233
Batemans Bay NSW 2536
Australia
Email riverbendnelligen[AT]mail.com
Skype riverbend2

May 22, 2017

Finally: the Calvin Klein of PNG

 

May 19, 2017

AIR NIUGINI In-Flight Magazine

 

"Paradise", the in-flight magazine of Air Niugini, is available in every seat of every Air Niugini international flight, and also on selected domestic services.

The first issue of "Paradise" was published in July 1976, following the founding of Air Niugini itself in 1973, and the year after Papua New Guinea achieved its independence. Early editions are now avidly sought by collectors.

To read its current or a back issue, click here.


 

PNG's most-smoked newspaper


 

May 16, 2017

From the December 1969 issue of the PACIFIC ISLANDS MONTHLY:


 

Seventy years of Pacific Islands Monthlies

Click here, then click on 'Browse this Collection',
then use the drop-down menu to select 'Set 461-480' and click on 'Go' to go straight to 1970

 

The National Library has recently completed the digitisation of the entire run of the Pacific Islands Monthly magazine, from the first issue in 1930 to the last in 2000, and all the issues can be browsed or the text fully searched on Trove.

The Pacific Islands Monthly (PIM) was founded in Sydney by New Zealand born journalist Robert William (Robbie) Robson, who had moved to Australia during World War I. The first issue of PIM was in newspaper format and consisted of 12 pages. The number of pages gradually increased and by the 17th issue (December 1931) PIM had changed to a magazine style format. In later life it evolved into a glossier coloured magazine.

PIM was required reading for anyone interested in not only Papua New Guinea but also islands farther to the east, and after I'd moved to Guinea in the dying days of 1969, I never missed an issue. In fact, I've always thought that I got my first job in New Guinea with a firm of chartered accountants in Rabaul through a classified ad which I had placed in PIM sometime in late 1969, and some ten years ago even made a trip to the National Archives in Canberra with the express purpose of finding the ad and taking a copy of it.

I remember sitting in their cavernous reading room and paging through all twelve issues of their 1969 magazines and not finding anything that looked even close to the Job Wanted ad as I remembered it, "Young accountant (24), still studying, seeks position in the islands."


Now that PIM has been digitised, I've been able to search the same issues on the computer from the comfort of "Riverbend" but with the same result - NOTHING! So how and where did I advertise? One thing I know for certain: I did not reply to a Position Vacant advertisement. Strange how faulty one's memory can become.

Still, it was a treat to read those old issues and through them relive the six or seven years I spent in this wonderful and mysterious country that almost became a second home to me.

Take the opportunity to do your own exploring by either browsing through the issues looking for unexpected gems, or searching for particular people, places or topics. Endless hours of pleasure and edification await you!

Click here (click on 'Browse this Collection', then use the drop-down menu to select 'Set 461-480' and click on 'Go' to go straight to 1970).

 

May 14, 2017

From the November 1989 issue of the "Pacific Islands Monthly":

 

For a more readable copy, click here

 





 

From the January 1989 issue of the "Pacific Islands Monthly":


 

Chris Jefferies from Canada sent in this photo:

 

And he wrote, "The red arrow points to my room in the donga in the first camp up the road from Loloho."

That was called Camp 5 in my days in the early 70s but changed its name to Birempa later on, I believe.

If anyone can add any more information, please email me at riverbendnelligen[AT]mail.com

 

May 12, 2017