KOHNKE, Glenys
d. 8 May 2024, aged 75 years

d. 16 April 2024

NEEDHAM, Terence
d. 2 May 2024

TROY, Clive
d. 15 April 2024

Andersson, Lars OAM
17 January 2024

Lars with the Governor, 2001

Lars Andersson, who with his wife Ann, worked in PNG for two stints during the early 1960s and the 1980s, has passed away.

Lars was born in Malmo, Sweden on 28 February 1938, and lived there until emigrating to Australia in 1957. He moved directly to Bundaberg in Queensland, and began cane-cutting and doing odd jobs in the Alloway district.

Over the next two years Lars worked in Bundaberg, and also for a time in Muttaburra, Western Queensland, where he was a gardener. When he returned to Bundaberg in 1958, he commenced share farming tobacco in Alloway. It was during this time that Lars did some casual work on Ted and Olive Wolfenden’s farm where he met their daughter, Ann, to whom he quickly became engaged.

Lars then decided that he wanted to go the Territory of Papua New Guinea (TPNG) and prospect for gold. Prospecting didn’t eventuate because he soon accepted a proposal to manage a rice and coconut farm called Angabanga, near Bereina. During this time, Lars and Ann were married and their son, David, was born in 1960.

In 1961, Lars was made an officer in the Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries and accepted a post at the Epo Agricultural Experimental Station supervising the labour line.

Their time in the Bereina district was filled with many wonderful experiences. Not only was Lars and Ann’s second child, Christina, born in 1962, but in his unpublished autobiography, Lars recounts the great social lives they had, particularly at the Bereina Country Club. Life in pre-Independence PNG was quite special according to Lars and he recounted quite a few amusing anecdotes like the one below.

Ann liked to set a nice table with a white tablecloth and nice cutlery and crockery and most of the time we ate by candle light or by the gentle hum of Tilley lamps.

We tried to teach Mopio (the house servant) to serve at the table and to serve the right way at that. One day he brought in the leg of lamb and, as usual, began to serve from the wrong side. I kept chiding him about doing the right thing and he kept getting sourer. Eventually, I said to him: ‘I thought you’d told me you were a trained waiter. Where were you trained?’ He replied: ‘In jail.’

Taken aback, I asked him how long he’d been in jail and what he’d been in for. ‘Twelve years, because I murdered my wife,’ he told me. Taken back again, I enquired why had he killed his wife and he said: ‘Because she talked too much.’ I decided it did not really matter from which side he served after all!

One night after we had finished eating and the dinner had gone very well and everything looked great, we could hear a muted clapping of hands from the outside darkness. I got my powerful torch and shone outside, and on a grassy ledge outside our house sat a dozen or so village people watching the night’s procedure.

After a good dinner and a fine spectacle, they gave a discreet clap in appreciation. This had apparently been going on for weeks. However, they were getting bolder in as much as they now wanted to clap after each course. Mopio started to play up to the audience and took longer and longer to serve, so I had to bring the curtain down on our audience.

Many opportunities existed in TPNG at the time, but Lars was also assessing options in Queensland and, in 1964, he heard that he had been granted a sugar cane assignment which he could farm on a 140-acre block of land that he and Ann had bought on Coonarr Road, Alloway, outside of Bundaberg. Thus, their first stint in PNG came to an end.

While they farmed in the Alloway district Lars began a second career as a production supervisor with Sou’West Frozen Foods, liaising with visiting farmers whose output had been contracted to the company and giving them advice on fertilisers, pesticides, etc. This sideline eventually became Lars’s career. Through the ’70s Lars worked for Wattie-Pict, then General Jones, in crop production roles and gained tremendous managerial experience.

By the end of the 1970s, with both children away from home, Lars and Ann decided to return to PNG and he accepted a position as manager of the Bonis plantation on the northern tip of Bougainville Island. They had three eventful years there and made many friends before Lars decided to accept the position of manager at the nearby Tinputz plantation. From Tinputz, Lars moved on in 1987, becoming the General Manager of the Bali Corporation, stationed in Rabaul.

It was in Rabaul that Lars developed a love of golf, eventually whittling his handicap down to 13. But as he said himself, he was a better official than player. During his time there, Lars would serve as secretary of the Rabaul Golf Club as well as caretaker.

With various ownership changes afoot, Lars and Ann suspected their time in PNG was coming to an end so they elected to return to Australia. They had purchased 150 acres of land at Baffle Creek near Rosedale, and set about making it into a hobby farm growing lemons and limes. While developing their farm Lars joined a local, privately-owned golf club.

After a year, a group of dissident members from the club decided to form a community golf club which became the Mount Mariah Golf Club. Lars was, of course, a driving member behind the establishment of the club and worked tirelessly, securing a location for the course, negotiating the gift of land, organising working bees, and submitting applications for grants. Before long, the golf club had a decent nine-hole course, and a club house, which became a social centre for all in the district.

The hard work Lars put into this community club was rewarded in 2001 with the news that he had been awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to local community. The investiture was carried out by the Queensland Governor and was a proud day for the entire family.

By the late ’90s, Lars and Ann’s children and grandchildren were all living on the Sunshine Coast, so they made the decision to relocate to Nambour. They both lived happily there for another 10 years until Ann entered aged care having been diagnosed with early-onset dementia. She passed away in 2015, her loss deeply felt by all the family.

Lars spent his final years enjoying a punt on the horses and visits from family, a few old PNG friends, and especially, relatives from Sweden.

Lars is survived by his two children and four grandchildren.
David Andersson

5 January 2024 aged 90


Bryan was born in Newtown, New South Wales, on 15 Sept-ember 1933. After joining the New South Wales Police he was posted to serve with the Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary where he remained from 1955 to 1975. During that time, he was stationed in Lae, Mumeng, Goroka, Wewak and later Port Moresby, where from 1972 to 1975 he was Superintendent-in-Charge of training at Bomana Police College.

Prior to his marriage to Jacqueline, Bryan ran the prison at Oomsis in the Morobe Province. He met Jacqueline in Lae in 1957, to whom he was married for 67 years, and was father to three sons, Bruce, Kerrod and John. He was a grandfather to Brook, Kathryn, Sam, Jack and Olivia.

In 1975 Bryan was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM), and in 1977 the Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

Bryan’s recollection of his time in PNG was sometimes shocking, often humorous, but always with immense respectful fondness for the people and the country.
Lisa Bleijie (née Turner)

BECKHAUS, Ian Bennett
16 October 2023

Ian Beckhaus in New Ireland with a police constable and his driver

Ian passed away in Auckland on 16 October 2023, aged 78, following a determined two-year fight against cancer.

He was the third and youngest of three children of Grace and Laurie Beckhaus. Born 2 July 1945, at Hornsby NSW, Ian matriculated in 1962 from the selective Homebush High.

After a disappointment in failing selection for RAAF pilot training due to partial colour blindness, Ian was appointed a Cadet Patrol Officer (CPO) in early 1964. His initial kiap posting was to New Ireland District.

He worked in the Kavieng Sub-District with postings to Taskul and Konos Patrol Posts. On his second tour of duty, Ian served in the Namatanai Sub-District with extensive patrolling and road building along the remote New Ireland southern coast.

In October 1964, Ian, along with ADC John Frawley, and PO Laurie Meinjies, gained a measure of public attention when the Australian press reported on how their Lokono tax patrol on behalf of the Lavongai Local Government Council suffered an armed attack. The Lokono villagers were followers of the nascent and so-called Johnson Cargo Cult. While there were cuts and bruises, including to CPO Beckhaus, who suffered a thigh wound when a small bridge collapsed, fortunately, there were no serious injuries.

The incident defined the start of long-running tensions between Lavongai Council taxpayers and the central government—a tension that eventually resolved itself when the Johnson Cult morphed into a useful business cooperative that fostered social and economic development.

Returning from his second recreation leave in 1968, Ian was posted as a patrol officer and Local Court Magistrate to Kikori in the Gulf District. It was here that he conducted extensive patrolling into the little-known areas of the hinterland and the headwaters of the Kikori and Purari River systems.

It was in Kikori in 1969 that Ian met his wife-to-be, and lifelong partner, Christine. Chris hailed from Auckland and at the time was living in Kikori managing the local tavern, guest house, and business interests of a local trader. Ian and Chris were married in Auckland in 1970. After taking leave they returned to Kerema where Ian served as District Officer, Local Government Officer, and as District Court Magistrate.

Ian’s particular contribution during his time in the Gulf District was to develop several council-managed business ventures including the very popular Kikori Council local marketplace. During their time in Kerema, Chris worked as secretary to the Deputy District Commissioner and was very active in the social life of Kerema.

Ian became involved in the running of the Kerema Club and it was here too that his entrepreneurial skills were evident, as the club boomed under his stewardship and became the social focal point of Kerema.

Ian and Chris left PNG in 1972, and settled in Auckland where in December their first child, Leigh, was born, followed by son Michael, several years later.

Working initially in business with service stations, then in motorcycles, Ian went it alone and after several false starts, his innate business acumen led to his successfully building a motorcycle import business.

In dealing initially with the British manufacturers of Triumph and later with his German, Japanese, and Italian suppliers, Ian built an international reputation for business integrity. His reliable support over many years to his domestic retail network brought him a well-earned reputation for honesty and sound business practice, and he became known in New Zealand as ‘Mr Motorcycles’.

Ian came to be regarded as a mentor not only to his two children as they took over the family business, but also to many young people seeking to start as entrepreneurs in the tough and unforgiving small business sectors.

As Michael and Leigh took more responsibility for the family business, Ian and Chris enjoyed overseas travel, not to mention his love of Australian deserts where he and Christine managed to cross every major and many smaller deserts in the country.

Ian returned to his life’s passion of flying, where he had advanced licences for both fixed and rotary wing aircraft and owned a helicopter with which he and Chris would fly from Auckland to their special place at their cliff-top second home at Wyuna Bay on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Ian’s passing is much felt by Chris, Michael and Leigh, their grandchildren, Ethan and Lucy, and by the family of his surviving brother, Paul. Ian is missed also by his many friends gained over years in business and more recently in the Auckland flying community.

He will be fondly remembered by many from his PNG years, and not the least by Tony Beard, who served with Ian in New Ireland, and Allan Johnson, who later was with Ian and Chris in the Gulf.

Rest easy Ian. You lived a worthwhile life and will be remembered by many with respect and affection for your dry wit, intelligent comments, and support. On this last patrol, we wish you dry feet, an ample supply of mantles 

for your Coleman lamp, a mosquito net with few holes, and unlimited onions and Tabasco Sauce to flavour the tinned bully beef.
Tribute by Christine Beckhaus, Allan Johnson & Tony Beard

25 August 2022

Some errors in the June 2023 issue of PNG Kundu’s Vale for Prue, who was born on 21 September 1939, need correcting. The vale noted Prue’s mother as Eileen Clarke, and her father as Patrick Harold Clarke, who at one time was District Finance Officer Samarai.

Prue’s mother was Agnes Prudence Alexandra Frank, neé Jeffrey, and her father was Kendall (Ken) Thomas Frank, who is mentioned in The Coast Watchers by Eric Feldt, as a ‘wizard’ during WWII. Ken Frank had a workshop in Port Moresby where he repaired all the coastwatchers’ communication radios.
A longer article on Prue’s family will be included in a future issue.


POTTS, Guy St Clair
13 February 2024, aged 82

Guy was born in 1941 at Broken Hill and spent his early years in Junee, NSW. Much-loved son of Lloyd and Mona (both deceased) and much-loved brother of David, Ernestine, Hugh and Tony.

Guy was an enthusiastic student at Yanco Agricultural High, where his lifelong interest in and love of plants was developed. Guy was a horticulturist, botanist, philatelist, yachtsman, lifesaver, musician, fisherman par excellence, and a marvellous cook.

A kind and generous man, with a great sense of fun and a wonderful quirky sense of humour, Guy began his lifelong love affair with Papua New Guinea in the early sixties, taking up duty as a plantation assistant at Sangara Rubber Plantation in the Northern District of Papua. After a spell there he became interested in education and gained a place in the 5th E-Course in Rabaul in 1963. After graduating, he worked in Anglican schools in the Northern District, at both Popondetta and Gona.

Guy then returned to the agricultural sector and managed plantations of coffee, rubber, cocoa and copra, as well as running a cocoa fermentary, and buying coffee and cocoa from growers. He also worked as a shipping agent and manager for NAMASU in Lae, and later was involved in the developing barramundi fishing industry on the Fly River. Guy worked for over 30 years in Papua New Guinea, in agriculture, education and commerce.

As a friend and helper of the people of PNG, many benefited greatly from Guy’s knowledge and expertise in cash crops and marketing. He constantly supported local enterprise, assisting schools with equipment and labour, and was instrumental in bringing the Orokaiva Coffee Growers Cooperative into productivity and profit for its members. His involvement in agricultural, commercial, sporting, and community life was recognised by the PNG Government with the award of the Independence Medal in 1985.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Ingram Jung for his care of and for Guy during his decline, and to the ladies at Bolton Clark Nursing Home in Cairns, who said that during his tenure Guy had greatly embellished their cooking skills! Such was the man.
Rest in peace, old mate, you are sorely missed.

Note: The ‘E’ as in E-Course was, I think for ‘Emergency’. The Australian Government initiated a scheme in the 1960s to provide a great number of teachers very quickly for work in Primary T-Schools – ‘T’ being for Papua New Guinean students. Training ran for five days a week over eight-hour days for six months. It was very successful. The retention rate was higher than the ASOPA graduates. There were eight intakes with around 60 per course. Guy and I were in the fifth round. The missions sent people as well.
Mike Lean

TATE, Robert (Bob) Edward
19 March 2024

Bob Tate speaking at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, London 2011

This tribute comes from an obituary published in the PNG Australian Foresters Magazine of April 2024. It was written by Kanawi Pouru, President of the PNG Forest Industry Association (PNGFIA) and Dick McCarthy of McCarthy & Associates (Forestry) Pty Ltd, and reproduced in an edited form in PNG Kundu with their permission.

PNG Lost an Icon of Its Forestry Industry with the Passing of Bob Tate, PNGFIA Executive Officer

Robert (Bob) Edward Tate, who was born in 1954, passed away at around 5 am on Tuesday, 19 March 2024, at his home, Le Hunte Road, Koki, NCD, after suffering a short illness. A memorial mass was celebrated at the Koki United Church in Pt Moresby on 28 March 2024. He is survived by his family—partner Betty Oauke-Tate, the Tate brothers, Allan and David, their sister Christen, and their extended families in Australia and PNG.

Since 1996, as Executive Officer of the PNGFIA, Bob has represented the Papua New Guinea Forest Industries nationally and internationally on all issues affecting a profitable and sustainable PNG national forest industry, (with his signature cigarettes, and rum and coke drinks).

The PNGFIA is a non-profit organisation of many interest groups participating in the Papua New Guinea forest sector including major foreign investors, small local companies, landowner groups, manufacturers, and service and associated entities sharing the common interest of a sustained forest industry for the country.

Bob Tate

Bob was born on 1 February 1954, to Alf and Flora Tate of Gymea NSW. After completing his secondary education at Gymea, he attended Sydney University and graduated in 1973 in Economics, majoring in accounting.

He moved to PNG in 1976 and worked for Coopers and Lybrand in Port Moresby and Rabaul until 1981. From 1981 to 1990, he was the Financial Controller and then General Manager of Ulabo Timber Company Pty Ltd.

In December 1990, Bob became Financial Controller of Pacific Alliance Pty Ltd with branches in Lae and Rabaul.

From July 1994 to October 1995, he was the Manager of PNG Market Strategies Pty Ltd.

From November 1995 to July 1996, he was an accountant and administrator of L & A Construction Pty Ltd. In July 1996 Bob was appointed Executive Officer of the PNGFIA until his passing in 2024.

In 2004, in conjunction with the curator of the National Botanical Gardens and the head of the Office of Environment and Conservation, Bob was instrumental in establishing the National School Tree Nursery Project ‘Trees For Survival’. Under the sponsorship of the PNG Forest Industry Association, Galley Reach Holdings, Port Moresby Rotary Club, Bulolo Rotary Club, the Office of Environment & Conservation, and the National Capital Botanical Gardens, a major revegetation project was undertaken involving Port Moresby schools based on the Rotary model of trees for survival.

The benefit of the project ‘Trees For Survival’ was to allow school children and school communities the benefit of studying environmental concerns and, particularly, the vital role that trees play in the PNG eco-system.

The project involved the development of a plant nursery at each school, with the provision of seedling tubes, seeds, and information both written and pictorial on how to raise seedlings and plant them out and support visits from nurserymen (Dept of Environment extension staff) visiting schools. Plants raised included trees for all purposes, from food production to medicinal purposes to firewood to timber production.
Dick McCarthy


Kieran Nelson

The PNGAA is sad to advise that Kieran passed away at Greenslopes Hospital in Bris-bane on 7 February 2024.

He was a wonderful wantok/friend to many of us, to our association – PNGAA, and to PNG and our Australian – PNG community generally. He proudly wore his PNGVR uniform on Anzac Day and contributed greatly to that association, closely affiliated with PNGAA, as its recent treasurer. He was also active within the PNG Federation QLD Inc as its treasurer and involved with its major event for PNG Independence Day each year.

Always kind and willing to help, Kieran arranged the annual PNGAA gathering in Brisbane at the Ship Inn, ensuring it was the easy, friendly gathering that we all enjoy.

Kieran was also the administrator on PNGAA’s Facebook site as well as other PNG reunion sites. He always ensured timely news of any PNG events and had a library of items of interest such as those legendary recordings of ‘Tripela Liklik Pik’ and ‘Liklik Retpela Hat’ along with his tok pisin translations of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’ and ‘The Ode’ in Pidgin, along with occasional others, which he enjoyed reminding us about each year, and we thoroughly enjoyed hearing and seeing.

Kieran was born on 1st November 1950 and grew up in Maprik and Lumi, then spent some years in Kavieng, Sohano and Wewak, later moving to the PNG Highlands and back to Wewak after joining the PNGBC and CBA.

He was, like many, an Australian whose early years and experiences influenced a great love of the people and his homes in PNG.

His strong Christian values shone through. Reunions organised by Kieran – whether they were related to his secondary schooling in Lismore, the bank, or with PNG friends he’d made over the years, ensured happy, friendly gatherings.

Despite being diagnosed with cancer five years ago, Kieran continued to give generously to the PNG/Australian community.

Kieran will be greatly missed by all of us who have known him either personally or through social media.

Our condolences go to Kieran’s supportive wife, Margot, and to his family.
Andrea Williams


Worked for Burns Philp in Popondetta and Port Moresby from 1980 through 1987

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