Brisbane, QLD

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Another post in the series "My Story". 
By 1968 I had been teaching in Pt Moresby, Papua/New Guinea for four years. I had a great time and made lots of friends. I had a steady boyfriend for three of those years. I was very much in love with him and hoped he would pop the question but alas it wasn't to be. Early in 1968 he had got bored with me and was playing the field behind my back. Rather than face up to me with the truth he got himself transferred to another town in PNG. I stupidly still hoped there was a chance as we hadn't said good bye for good. We wrote to each other and he came back to Pt Moresby for a visit after a few months but I knew when I saw him that there was no more love left in him for me. He flew back and out of my life forever. I was heart broken. I felt pretty depressed as this had happened to me before. It was before I had gone to P/NG. I wondered what was wrong with me why can't I keep a guy interested?
The heartbreaker and me.

 To overcome this disappointment, I threw myself into sport and my job.
 I played hockey, squash and tennis. I made new friends. I met a nice guy at squash and I started seeing him for a while until I found out that he had a wife back in Australia. Another botched romance.

 At least I loved my job at Korobosea School (above) and I did well at it. I had good reports from the District inspector.
 When the position of Senior Assistant, Education Officer Grade 11 became vacant at my school, I was promoted. So things were looking up.

 I was still teaching and teaching two classes together. That was a challenge but I soon got the hang of it. The kids were great to teach.

I met a girl who was happy to share her donga (2 man little house) with me in Boroko a suburb of Pt Moresby. So I had moved out of the hostel and enjoyed living in a house. We were able to employ hausbois to do house work for us at a very cheap rate. At first it felt odd to have servants but I soon got used to it.

 They did the ironing,

 and washing 

 and gardening. They would do the cooking too but we preferred to do that ourselves. They enjoyed posing for the camera.

I had a letter from my best friend, Kerrie, in Australia saying that she was coming to P/NG to work. I was very excited to have her arrive. While she was waiting for her own accommodation to be sorted, she stayed with me and my donga mate. She was impressed with having hausbois to do the work. The bois often had lots of friends visiting them called wantoks (one talks-- one who speaks the same language -- but it means friends)
Kerrie encouraged me to go out with her to the RSL club for dancing, talking and drinks. I wasn't keen as I didn't drink at all in those days but I did like dancing. She had made many friends at her work and at the club and she kept trying to find me a new boyfriend.
One morning she arrived home after an all night ball with a rope over her shoulder and a fellow tied to the other end around his neck. She called out to me, 'Diane look what I brought home for you." Needless to say they were both a bit under the weather. He was in the Australian army and was very charming when he sobered up. We went out a few times but I was a bit reluctant to get involved again and get hurt again. One night he asked if he could borrow my car to drive back to the barracks as he didn't have a car and it would save him getting a taxi. He promised to bring it back the next morning. Silly me did lend him my Triumph Sports car.
The next day he didn't arrive until late and he was on foot. I had a feeling of panic sweep over me. "Where's my car?" I asked
"I'm sorry but I had an accident and its in the army garage. Don't worry the boys will fix it for nothing in their spare time." I was not impressed. Days passed, weeks passed, no car. The excuse was the boys are busy and haven't had time to fix it. The truth was  that he had been speeding-seeing how fast it would go--then hit a culvert and bent the chassis which was near impossible to fix. Then I also found out that had a wife in Australia too. At least I hadn't fallen for him so I wasn't hurt but very angry about my car. Months went by, the promises kept coming but still no car. I had to buy another scooter to get to work.

Next post I'll tell how I got my car back and finally found happiness.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


When we were in Redcliffe on the Bayside a few weeks ago we stopped by 'Bee Gees Way'. It is a lane way leading off The Esplanade and it is a dedication to the famous band The Bee Gees. Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gib were children when they migrated from England with their parents to Australia. They settled in Redcliffe and started singing at the local Speedway Track when they were very young. They were noticed by a leading DJ who played their songs and they started performing on TV's Bandstand and became popular. Barry, the eldest,  wrote their songs. In the 60's they set of for England hoping to make it into the big time. It took quite a few years but by the seventies they became very popular in UK and USA. They had a much younger brother, Andy, who joined them for a short while. Andy, and the twins Robin and Maurice have passed away but Barry is still alive and he wrote the stories and captions for the images displayed on the wall of the lane. He also came back to Australia to dedicate the statue and the Bee Gees Way.

 The photo on the left is how I remember them when I saw them perform at a hotel on the Gold Coast in 1963. Little did we know then how famous they would become like in the photo on the right.

The photos and the stories are very interesting. It follows their development from their early days in the 60's in Australia to their final concerts in the 2000's. I'm not fussed on pop music but I do like the Bee Gees music. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014


We had an overnight stay at Scarborough Beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula jutting into Moreton Bay. I found this neat app for photos and maps called Photo Mapo for iPad. There are many different styles from which to choose.

I'm still not happy with blogger these days as my photos are uploading blurry unless I upload them from Picasa.

In the morning before we left Helen, Mary and I went for a walk to the beach. We came across this carving in a tree. There was no information about it but it had Gollum written on the door. I believe Gollum is a fictitional character from the Hobbit and other stories.

Then we walked along the beach.

We found a lot of jelly fish washed up on the shore.

Upside down makes a pattern.

We drove a little further down the coast of the bay to Redcliffe. We walked out onto the pier and saw hundreds of jelly fish.

Later we saw on the TV news that there are thousands of them all along the south east coast of Queensland. It is called a bloom. "Jellyfish bloom formation is a complex process that depends on ocean currents, nutrients, sunshine, temperature, season, prey availability, reduced predation and oxygen concentrations. Ocean currents tend to congregate jellyfish into large swarms or "blooms", consisting of hundreds or thousands of individuals. They are not dangerous but can give a sting." (Wikipedia.)

Sunday, October 12, 2014


It was our friend, Paul's birthday a few weeks ago but we only celebrated with Birthday Bear recently. Paul chose to go to Morgan's Seafood Buffet at Scarborough. As it is quite a long drive north of Brisbane we all stayed overnight at the Scarborough Beach Resort.

After we checked in we explored the units and had afternoon tea. Here we admired???? the painting on the wall with  ' tongue in cheek.'

 It was a happy occasion because we are so lucky to have Paul still with us to celebrate his 78th birthday. He has been suffering with Mesothelioma Cancer for 4 years. Very few sufferers last longer than 18 months. He is such a champion fighter even though he is in constant pain. Here he is enjoying his seafood buffet.

This was my choice.

 After dinner when we arrived back at the units, Birthday Bear was waiting to help Paul do some jigsaw puzzles. Paul enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles and he can do them very quickly. So Bear brought along quite a few to keep them both busy for a while.

 Paul couldn't wait to get started. Mary was the one who chose Bear's outfit and accessories this time. To find out more about our Birthday Bear Tradition read Birthday Bear's Blog 

We had tea, cake and a happy time chatting before retiring.

The next morning Bear helped George start on the smallest puzzle while some of us went for a walk along the beach.
Photo by Mary.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


A few more birds from the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary visit.

Rainbow Lorikeet


Moor Hen

Magpie Goose


Wedge Tailed Eagle

A ring in...the Macaw isn't Australian
 At this point in the show the rain came down but the bird handler kept on with the show.

The tourists kept on with the tour.

Sunday, October 5, 2014


During the 60's I was teaching in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. By 1967 I had completed my compulsory three years but I had made many friends and I loved my job so I returned to live there some more. I had a boyfriend too which helped me decide to return.
I taught in Pt Moresby at Korobosea Primary 'A' School. That means a school teaching the Australian Curriculum for expatriate children mostly from Australia but some from Europe and some local children too.
 I taught Grade 3 most of the time and I enjoyed that age group because they were developing independence but were not too old to be cheeky. They wore nice dresses for photo day. There are two children in this old photo who have recently found me on Facebook. Social media can be quite amazing.

The building in the background was the medical college behind the hospital (I think)

Time to return to the classroom for lessons. The buildings were built high off the ground to help keep them cool. No air-conditioning in those days just louvred windows and fans. The children ate their lunch under the buildings in the shade.

 Besides work there was play. My boyfriend at the time J, and his friend, F, spent weekends building a boat. J, on the right was very proud of his effort but on this day it was going to be put in the water for the first time.
  I wondered, "Would the boat float?" I wasn't popular for having doubts. It was early morning so J could get the boat transported by road without traffic hassles. 

 The boys managed to get the boat onto the truck which took the boat to Ela Beach from Boroko.

 The moment of truth, the launching.

All seemed good so now it was time to add the outboard motor.

It did float and we had some fun trips in the boat. We went fishing in it too. I was amazed at how easy it was to catch fish in the tropics. I hung my line over the edge of the boat and you could see through the crystal clear sea and watch the fish come and feed off the hooks. You could see when to give the line a tug and hook the fish. One after the other we landed into the boat. There was hardly any waiting for a bite. We had some great fish dinners on these days. However, I was not mad keen on boating or fishing it is okay now and then but I find it a bit boring.

1967 went fairly quickly. I had a fabulous trip around New Guinea mentioned in earlier posts, and I had enjoyed  going out with friends but it was always exciting at the end of the year when it was time to fly back home to Sydney (at the governments expense) and spend Christmas with my family. The photo above is the road to Jacksons Airstrip with its tiny terminal.

 We only have a small family. Mum, Dad, my brother, David, his wife Ann and children, Liz, David and Michael. David and family were also on leave from TPNG.

 It wasn't often that we were on leave together so this is a rare photo of the four of us. (Now I am the only one left)

David and his family. Ann lives in London. David Jnr lives in Wodonga, Victoria, Liz lives in the Cotswolds in England and Michael lives on St Lucia Island in the West Indies. Ann had her 80th birthday this year. That was a sad story and post.

My mum could cook the best Christmas dinner, English style.