Marshall Bennett and Laughlan Islands – Milne Bay Province – 1966 – Photos from Jim van der Kamp

Jim Van Der Kamp commenced employment as a Field Officer with the Public Health Department’s Malaria Control Programme in January 1965 after 18 months in former Dutch or Netherlands New Guinea as a Medico and a break back in Holland. Following a few weeks in Popondetta and Wanigela, Jim’s first posting was at Bolubolu Patrol Post on Goodenough Island where he remained for 5 months. He then spent 14 months at Mapamoiwa on Fergusson Island, patrolling all the D’Entrecasteaux islands including Woodlark and the Trobriand islands. In mid 1966 Jim was transferred to Rabaul for further training at the then Malaria Institute. In January 1967 he was posted to Minj in the Western Highlands as District Malaria Supervisor, moving to Mount Hagen in 1969. September 1973 saw a posting to Kieta, Bougainville, as Provincial Malaria Supervisor. Following six and a half years of extensive patrolling, During 1980 Jim was transferred to Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province as Regional Inspector covering most of the Highlands. Jim went “finish” in February 1985.


The Marshall Bennett group of islands are located in the Solomon Sea region of south-eastern Papua New Guinea and are situated between Woodlark Island (41 km to the east) and the Trobriand Islands (83 km to the west) and comprise Gawa, Dugumenu, Iwa, and Kwaiawata Islands. Gawa, the easternmost and largest island of the Marshall Bennett group, is an oval-shaped island of 5 km by 3 km. The island shows evidence of having been geologically uplifted in the past – probably a former atoll formation – the former reef rim now stands as a steep to vertical escarpment that rises to a flat-topped plateau (the former lagoon floor) within the interior. A narrow fringing reef surrounds the entire island. The Laughlan Islands are further west and lie to the east of Guasapa (Guasopa) on Woodlark Island.


To view a ‘Google’ map of the general locality, click here.


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

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