Sunday, May 1, 2011

Appendix Gallery

To read the whole story, click on the  MY STORY tab above

Here are some pictures I took at a cultural display in Port Moresby in 1969:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I have been let down

I phone Dave Smith on Tuesday and ask him what’s happened to my car. It’s ok he says, I phoned PNG Motors and they towed the car to their workshop with my instructions to them to strip the engine.
My very first car in Australia, now ruined.

A week later when I return to Port Moresby and go to PNG Motors, I find the car at the back in their yard. I ask the manager what they have done to it. Nothing, he says. He saya he was not told to strip the motor to prevent it from rusting… When they finally attempt to do something about the car, it is really too late. They clean the car up as well as they can but it has lost its value. Of course it isn’t insured. Willy’s Ute is the same. Although it is a much older car and not as valuable, he too has lost his transport.

My car is ruined but I am reunited with the love of my Life, My Diane.


Monday, April 25, 2011

I get into trouble

Monday morning I reluctantly take a cab to the airport and leave for Lae. I just hope Dave will do what he promised and have my car towed to PNG Motors with my instructions to strip the engine.

In Lae, I’m being met by Peter Fidder, the sheetmetal worker who has already installed some of the ductwork. It is a self-contained unit already piped up and only needs ductwork connected and the control wiring, so no need for a refrigeration mechanic. Peter has already hired a local native lad to help him install the ductwork and the unit is already positioned on a concrete plinth, about a metre from the external building with the ductwork going up the side and turning into the ceiling space.
OTC Building Lae

I install a steel conduit between the unit and into the wall for the control wiring. There are lots of wires in the conduit and I have to struggle to get them all in and it takes me some time. The conduit is about a half metre above ground. I hope nobody stands on that I think, or it’ll snap off. I grab a large piece of chipboard and write in big letters DO NOT STAND ON THIS CONDUIT.

In the meantime I hear Peter up in the ceiling blowing his top. He later tells me, the ceiling space is very tight and him and his temporary boy are lying on either side of the duct run. Peter joins his side of the duct and drills the screws in his side to fasten the joint. He then says, your turn, Tommy. No response. Your turn, Tommy!, still no response. He looks under the duct and there is Tommy, fast asleep. That’s when I hear Peter blowing his top.

I’m in the building, starting to install the control panel when I hear the snap just outside the wall at the unit. When I get there, I see this pair of black feet climbing up the wall. Of course my conduit has snapped off clearly shearing the wires clean off at the elbow into the wall.

That’s when I blow loose my cool. I call the native a black *!$@^%  so and so, useless git. I have to start all over again, pull out the wires cut and thread new conduit and pull in new wires, all the time stewing, swearing and cursing. I’m still swearing and cursing when the white police inspector accompanied by a couple of native constables with the black git who stood on the conduit in tow, appear next to me.

'Is this the masta who abused you', the inspector asks the black fellow. 'Yes, masta'.  ‘Did you insult this man?’, the inspector turns to me. ‘Yes I did, officer’, I reply. ‘Any reason’, he continues.

‘Yes, of course there is a reason’, I snap. I explain the trouble I had with the conduit, getting all the wires in and point to the large sign that’s still on the wall.

‘Is that true’, the inspector asks of the black fellow. 'Well, yes, I did stand on it. I thought it would be all right’ the boy replies.

The inspector walks away back to the car, with the black constables following. ‘Serves you right’, he says to the black git, ‘I would have done the same’.

Next - I have been let me down.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My lovely car goes for a swim

Over the coming weeks, Diane and I see quite a lot of each other. She is a teacher at the Korobosea Primary School and as Christmas draws near, she informs me she’ll be going home to her parents in Sydney over the Christmas break.

It’s a Saturday when she leaves and we all go to the airport to see her off. After the plane takes off, we head for the bar at the Gateway Hotel and stay well into the afternoon. Willie, Werner and Phil are not in Port Moresby so I have the flat to myself. I get home and have a snooze after the pub visit.

I wake up with an enormous deluge which must have gone on for some time before I finally realise its pouring down rain. I get up and walk to the door of the flat and see the water is about 5 centimeters below the floor of the flat. The flat is about a metre off the ground. I’m instantly sober. My car! Willie’s car! They are both outside the flat. I wade down the stairs and out through the gate just to see Willie’s ute disappearing in the distance and sinking into the creek next door. I wade over to my own car just as it takes off too. I try desperately to hang on but the car is much too heavy and floats away too. It too disappears into the creek.
My Ford Falcon just before it gets washed away in the flood
As fast as the flood came up, it drops down and within an hour, the water has all but disappeared. It’s now dark and I grab a torch and walk over to where our cars are. Willie’s ute is on the bottom, and my Falcon is half on the creek bank and half on top of Willie’s ute (pick-up). Great! I’m still paying my car off. 

It’s Friday. On Monday I’m due to fly to Lae to start working on an OTC building, what can I to do? Nothing, I have to rely on others.

On Sunday, I phone Dave Smith and tell him what happened. I ask him to call PNG Motors first thing Monday Morning to pick up the car and take it to their workshop and strip the engine down to prevent it from rusting. He assures me that’s what he will do. He also promises to send a telegram to Willie who works in Madang, to let him know what happened to his his ute.

Next - Dave lets us down

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I meet Diane

I've been hearing a lot about this Diane. Kerrie's friend whom I haven't met yet.

A few weeks later, I have an opportunity. Ann Tussle, Carrier’s Secretary, and her husband Tim have invited everyone to a party at her house. Naturally all Carrier staff are going as is Kerry, Willie’s girlfriend and Diane Speakman, they are already there when I arrive and I join them. It doesn’t take me long before I sit next to Diane and find her very interesting. She’s well tanned, has great legs but doesn’t smoke and doesn’t drink. I realise I won’t be able to get her drunk so I have to apply my personal charm.
It is a typical Port Moresby party in the back garden of Tom and Ann's government house. There is a keg of beer which is surrounded by the single men. A few tables where the married couples are sitting. On one of those tables are Willie and Kerry and Diane and I. 

Also at the party are Fred and Wendy who have brought Brian and Sandra. Brian is the Public Solicitor working at the Public Trustee’s Office and Sandra his voluptuous wife is the centre of every male’s attention at the party. She’s wearing a low cut dress displaying her feminine assets.

Tom, the host, is very quiet as usual occasionally being bossed around by Ann, his wife, to change the Bert Kaempfert or James Last records.

It is a great party and we have quite a bit to drink. I ask Diane, who came with Kerry, if I can give her a lift home and she says yes.  At the end of the night we leave in my Falcon and I have to concentrate very hard on my driving. It's the 60s and DUI is unheard of. But maybe I should have called a cab anyhow. I drop Diane at the top of her driveway and head home to our flat. I like that young lady, I wonder if she likes me too.

Next - My lovely car goes for a swim

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I nearly end up as minced meat

Dave calls me in the office and wants me to drive to the Rouna Hydro-electric power station in the hills of Port Moresby, and service the underground ventilation system.
The steel plate gets sucked into the fan

Metu and I grab the new filter roll, which has to be replaced at the same time. The roll is fairly heavy and has two large quarter inch wheels, one at each end, holding the filter material into place. We remove the old roll while the fan is running and put two ladders in the conditioner and start lifting the new roll into position. But just as I lift the roll past the one metre diameter tube that supplies the air to the one metre diameter fan that pumps the air underground, the suction of the fan sucks the large quarter inch wheel at the end of the roll into the duct. I hesitate to crawl after it but decide not to. Just as well, by now the plate has reached the fan and there is this almighty mechanical noise as the fan and the plate meet.

I turn the fan off and make my way downstairs to the fan and when I open the access hatch, I find the plate all mangled and chewed up and the fan blades all twisted and bent. Needless to say, that was a very bad mistake.

We return to the office and I put the mangled mess on Dave’s desk. Oh, my God, what happened he asks. I tell him and he orders a new fan and tells me …don’t do that again!

Next - I meet Diane

Thursday, April 14, 2011

At the Goroka Show

           Willie comes home all excited one day and declares, ‘I’m going to the Goroka Show’. ‘What’s a Goroka Show?’ I ask. He tells us that every two years up in the highlands, in Goroka they hold this Eastern Highlands Cultural Show which is simply called the Goroka Show and it is held over a weekend. He tells us that there is a charter fight being organized that will fly from Port Moresby to Goroka early on Sunday morning and return late in the afternoon and they have empty seats.

Werner and I agree to go as well. So, come Sunday morning we go to the airport and are guided to an old DC3, also known as a ‘Gooney Bird’. ‘Is this thing safe?’ I ask the pilot, who is ushering us up the stairs into the bowl of this old flyer. ‘Safe as houses’, he smiles, ‘you’ll be right’. Inside the plane there are canvas seats along both walls, and hanging straps mounted from the ceiling for people to stand. At the back of the cabin, there is an old oil drum full of ice, beer and soft drinks. No flight attendants.  The seats are already taken, so we have to hang on to ceiling straps and stand for the two hour flight to Goroka, helping ourselves to cold beer every now and again.
Tribal  Dancers at the 1968 Goroka Show

        When we land, the ice and water in the drum splashes all over the floor of the plane. We disembark and are pointed in the direction to the show-ground, opposite the Main Market, where we can hear the singing and dancing of the various groups. It’s a short walk and when we get there we are fascinated with the sight awaiting us. There are dozens of tribes, all dressed up in their native costumes, doing their dances to entertain the visitors who have come here from all around the world to see this spectacle. Tribes that are normally warring with each other are gathered here for peaceful festivities. 

I have brought my 16mm movie camera and a supply of films and am in my element shooting the event. Of course whenever I film someone, they then hold out their hands and want to be paid, but it is worth every cent. There are no seats for the visitors, everybody just mingles on the ground, visitors and dancers together. Whenever a group is ready to perform, They just get into formation and start up wherever they are and visitors just give them space to perform. So, me and my camera are right in the middle of the performances.

I get plenty of close-ups in my film
I ask one of the organisers of the event about the origin of the show. He tells me that the show started in 1957 and was introduced and organised by Australian Kiaps from each district. Dancers and singers proudly display the cultures of their districts. These days the Goroka Show is partly a tourist event and brings people from all over the globe to see this event. I spot several television crews speaking various languages.

I am so glad, Willie had heard about this event and that we were able to go on this charter flight We spend a wonderful day up in Goroka before boarding our flight back to Port Moresby, tired and excited. We are lucky, we got seats on the way home.