I had been living in Port Moresby for a few months back in 1964 when I realised I desperately needed my own transport. The local buses were not very reliable, clean or safe so I used to get lifts to work from colleagues. However, if I was to have a social life, I needed my own wheels. I didn't have enough money to buy a car as I had only been working a few months. However, I saw an ad for Honda motor scooters and fell in love with them staraight away. After, writing to my parents and discussing it with them via snail mail, I bought one and had a ton of fun with it. At last I was independent.
Photo from Vanessa Simmons' collection
Swimming in the tropical sea at Ela Beach was lovely. Occasionally we would see pretty striped sea snakes which spooked me as they are poisonous.
I also joined the 303 rifle club. I entered competitions for women and did quite well for our club. I didn't stay long as it was too hot lying in the sun and often wet with millions of mosquitoes buzzing in my ears and eyes. It made it a bit hard to concentrate and hold the rifle steady. We were advised to take malaria tablets before we arrived in the Territory of Papua/New Guinea and to keep on taking them every day for as long as we lived there. I did take them religiously and I was lucky never to suffer from malaria.
My friend Del throwing a male opponent-photo Charles Betteridge
With my new friends, I travelled to different beaches along the coast. The roads were rough dirt tracks.
Having fun in the sun. One soon had a dark suntan in the days before we knew about sun bathing and skin cancer.
With wheels, friends and a job that I enjoyed I was having a great adventure.