Brisbane, QLD

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Towards the end of 1964, I had been living in PNG for about 9 months. I had made friends with a bunch of nice people. We belonged to the Pt Moresby Judo Club and we went on outings on the weekends on our motor scooters. However, I became quite ill and ended up in the isolation ward in hospital. (That's another story.) I recovered in time to go on end of year leave back home. When I returned I didn't rejoin the judo club and so these photos are the last of those outings. 
Once again we scootered up the dirt road Sogeri for a picnic at Crystal Rapids. We stopped on the way for a cool drink at the Roana Hotel. Notice we are wearing our club yellow shirts. There follows a story about those shirts.

At Crystal rapids the water skimmed over the slippery rocks and bubbled like crystals in the sun.

 In places there were deep water holes good for swimming if you could brave the cold, cold, mountain stream. It was too cold for me so I took photos while Del contemplated jumping in the cold water but boys being boys didn't give her time to think about getting wet.

 Elwyn preferred to cook the lunch than have a cold swim. 

It was a bit squashy finding room on the steep slope of the river bank to eat our steak sandwiches. I can't say our picnics were very sophisticated but we didn't care.

Elwyn and Pam went for a paddle but found it too slippery and good samaritan Charles went to their rescue. Then it was homeward bound after another fun day.

I have mentioned before, how we decided to form a scooter club and all wear yellow shirts. However, when we went looking to buy a dozen yellow shirts none could be found in any store in Pt Moresby but there were plenty of white ones. So we bought white shirts and dyed them yellow. However, I don't think we followed the instructions too well.

For the first few trips the shirts were fine but on one time we set off up the ranges when suddenly storm clouds rolled over the mountains and the tropical downpour drenched us to the skin on our scooters. We gingerly manoeuvred along the muddy, slippery road until we reached the safety of the Roana Hotel. We looked like a bunch of drowned rats, YELLOW drowned rats. The yellow dye had run out of the shirts all down into our pants, our socks and into our underwear and skin. Luckily we had towels with us for a swim and I always carried a light jacket in my saddlebags which had kept out the rain. 
 So we went to the bathroom and tried to dry ourselves and put on what few dry clothes we had. Not the best attire for a hotel but luckily the hosts were understanding. We stayed there until the storm was over  and the sun came out to dry up the road a bit before we ventured further on.

 Needless to say the yellow shirts ended up in the bin and we returned to everyday wear for our future trips. (Del, Elwyn, me, Pam and Graham.)

Fooling around in the gardens of the Roana Hotel pretending to be kids. It has been fun remembering the great times I had with this crowd during my first year in PNG. (Bob, me and  Graham.)

Thursday, April 24, 2014


ANZAC DAY is the special day when we remember the servicemen and women who fought in wars to protect our country. At dawn on  25 April 1915 Australian and New Zealand forces were landed on the beach at  Gallipoli in Turkey their task was to take the peninsula. Their mission failed and thousands of lives were lost.  Since then our servicemen have fought in other battles and have been more successful.
When I lived in Port Moresby in the 60's the dawn service was held at the Bomana War Cemetery. I was amazed at how young the soldiers were who died there fighting the Japanese in World War 2.
Bomana War cemetery, Pt Moresby.

"THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVER MORE" is written on the wall.

In 1942 the Japanese invaded Australian administered New Guinea and Papua as well as Dutch New Guinea. The Australian forces were supporting Britain in Europe and Nth Africa at the time so new, inexperienced young soldiers were sent to New Guinea to try to repel the Japanese from taking Port Moresby from the north coast of New Guinea via the  Kokoda Track over the Owen Stanley Mts.
Eventually the Australian troops returned from Africa and the Americans arrived to help. After many battles and more deaths the allies managed to repel the Japanese on the Kokoda Track and Pt Moresby was never occupied. The allies retook the whole island of Papua and New Guinea. Many Australian and allied soldiers and airmen died and are buried here. The cemetery is not far from the southern end of the Kokoda Track.
 I remember attending a dawn service at the cenotaph in Bomana War cemetery.

After the service we headed back to town for breakfast and waited for the ANZAC Parade to start.
 These were the Jungle Fighters, both European and Native service men who fought in PNG in WW2. 'European' was the term used to describe white people then.

 The Police regiment.

The Army

 A French Navy ship was in town so they joined the parade.

The Police Band provided the music. They were a very good band.

The streets were lined with spectators dressed in their best.

Friday, April 18, 2014


I am sorry to be missing my blog friends post. I am still on the go, fixing up old posts by replacing photos so that the posts can be printed into a book. It is tedious, boring work. Anyway I had a break last Monday and we went to GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art). We went with our camera club and met hundreds of children there because it is school term break at the moment.
The Asia Pacific Triennial Exhibition is on at the moment and the most popular installation is "Falling Back to Earth" by Chinese artist, Cai Guo-Quang.It is made up of 4 installations ; "Heritage," "Eucalyptus," "Tea Pavillion" and "Head On."
Here is a glimpse of some:
 'Heritage' is 99 animals from around the world gathered to drink from a single waterhole. It symbolises a 'perfect paradise'. It is very quiet and calming in this room. The animals are standing on sand.


'Head On' is made up of 99 wolves hurling themselves into the air, only to hit a glass wall and fall to the ground and then they return to the beginning. It forms a vertical loop of animals as compared to 'Heritage' which is a horizontal ring of animals. It was originally made for Germany's Guggenheim Gallery. This piece represents Berlin's turbulent history. The Glass wall represents the Berlin Wall.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


My time for blogging has been eaten up by other stuff. Sorry I haven't been to visit regular readers lately. I am sorting through hundreds of slides, scanning them and processing them ready to include in my book. I had a trial run at publishing the first chapter, only to find the photos were not at a high enough resolution for printing. Back in 2009 I didn't know things about DPI or pixels. So I have to go through all the old posts and rescan the photos and repost them. So I am blogging but rehashing the pages needed for my book. I'll be back when I've redone the posts and scanned more slides for more stories/posts.
In the meantime come for a walk with us.We went for a walk around the city park, South Bank Parklands. We intended doing a long walk along the river side but the temperature shot up to over 30°C so we opted for a stroll around the park instead. I thought summer was over but not yet. We even have another big cyclone heading for North Queensland again. We don't usually get cyclones as late as April.
We emerged from the underground car park to find the street closed and full of market stalls.

The other side of the street are wall to wall restaurants.

 The market offered a variety of goods.

Next to the market is the park, we walked across the grass and joined the pretty arbor which winds from one end of the park to the other. It is about a mile long. It is covered in bougainvillaea and provides well needed shade even in Autumn.

 It wasn't long before TOH was in search of a coffee. We found a table next to a little canal.

 After coffee we continued our walk and came to the man made beach.

 Nearby is the swimming pool.

 We would walk along the arbor until there was another place to visit like the rainforest walk. There are also lots of picnic and BBQ areas too.

 Occasionally we could see the city peeping through the trees from the other side of the river.

The end of the park opens onto the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Brisbane Wheel. Out of the shot is also the Conservatorium of Music and Queensland Ballet as well as the ABC broadcasting building. Across the road is the museum, the art gallery, the state library and the Gallery of Modern Art. It is a nice area of town

Thursday, April 3, 2014


In my last post some commenters were interested in that the friends I had back in the 60's in PNG had managed to find one another 40+ years later in Australia. Here is the story of how some of us got back together.

Scooter Club outing 1964-Sogeri Markets
Some of us belonged to the Judo Club and the Scooter Club in Port Moresby, PNG in the 60's. We all came back to live in Australia at different times. Charles and his wife Penny stayed in PNG the longest. In 1980, Del and her husband revisited PNG. She made phone contact with Charles and left her address. Del had also kept in contact with Graham, Ray and Martin. When Charles returned to Australia he managed to find Del again even though her husband had died and she had moved towns. Charles decided to have a reunion at his house in Modanville in Northern NSW. Others had to travel quite some distance to get there.

Charles also writes an article in every bi-monthly publication of a local magazine, 'The Dunoon and District Gazette.' He wrote about his special reunion after 41 years. In his article he mentioned how none of them knew the whereabouts of some other members of our group of friends including me. He mentioned our names but our names before we were married.

It just so happened that, Bill Bergen, a guy I went to ASOPA (teacher's college) with, was visiting a relative in Lismore and he read the local magazine. He contacted the magazine publishers who in turn contacted Charles and told him that a reader knew me (we had a college reunion the previous year). Bill couldn't remember my married name. However, when he returned home to Bathurst he managed to find out my name and rang Charles with the information.

Charles punched my name into Google search and hey presto my blog came up. After hunting around my blog for clues to make sure I was the right person he found stories and information that gave him no doubt that he had found me and my email address. So from an article in a magazine, to a chance reader and the magic of blogging I was found. I was invited to the next reunion and every year since. Charles wrote the sequel to his article in the 'Dunoon Gazette' See the two articles below. Charles writes,"we became like a big family to each other as we were all away from our homes in Australia and away from our families too."

First reunion in February, 2007 (before I was found) photo by Diana (Graham's wife)
The second reunion in July 2007, but my first, was held at the Treasury Building Casino in Brisbane. 

People had travelled a long way for this special lunch. Some stayed overnight in Brisbane.

The third reunion in 2008 was held in Tweed Heads on the border of QLD and NSW. We stayed in cabins close to the Tweed River.

Our friendship picked up where it left off 43 years ago. New friendships were made when we met each other's spouses, Penny, Diana and Bill.

Graham took charge of the BBQ like he did 43 years ago. The BBQ was a bit more upmarket though.
Graham 1964 in PNG
"Our family" on a scooter club outing in 1964. I had a broken finger, which had been slammed in a door blown shut by a viscous wind. I grabbed a snooze on a picnic table away from creepy crawlies in the grass, while the others prepared lunch.

Later reunions have already been posted on my blog here