Vale June 2002

ANDERSON, Robin |  (8 March 2002) CLELAND, Dame Rachel |  (18 April 2002) GAUCI, John Anthony |  (5 April 2002) GEGEYO, Benson |  (18 April 2002) HAY, Lady (Alison) |  (11 April 2002) LAWRENCE, Fancy |  (March 2002) McBRIDE, Brian |  (1 April 2002) MAGUIRE, Aileen |  (January 2002) MUNDEN, Jocelyn D (Jock) May |  (24 February 2002) REDEI, Andrew |  (October 2001)

 

Andrew REDEI (October 2001, aged 81)

Born in Nagykanizsa, Hungary, Andrew with his wife Judith entered Australia as refugees in 1950, after spending four years in Brazil. Andrew was a civil engineer, and the Project Officer for the development and construction of the Lae Technical College, 1965-1969.  Andrew and his late wife Judith embraced PNG, where Judith also taught at Lae High School. After his time in PNG Andrew was affectionately known to his family as ‘namba wan’, as whenever anyone asked him how he was, he responded ‘namba wan’!  Testament to Andrew’s links with PNG is his ‘adopted’ daughter, Mary To-Robert, with whom he maintained a constant contact.  Andrew died unexpectedly at his home in October 2001. He is survived by his children, Cath and Gabe, and three grandchildren. Lois Logan

 

Aileen MAGUIRE (January 2002, aged 77)

Former Rabaul travel agent, Aileen Maguire was the wife of popular manager of the ABC’s 9RB Rabaul and one-time 9PA Port Moresby breakfast show host, Phil Maguire. Aileen ran New Guinea Travel Service in Rabaul with another ‘ABC wife’,  Gwenda Ellis, whose husband David was the ABC’s New Guinea Islands correspondent for nearly ten years in the 1960s. After leaving Rabaul in 1973 Aileen and Phil moved to Cairns where he was manager of the local ABC station and Aileen went back into the travel industry. When they retired in 1983, they opened a successful ‘cat motel’ at Kuranda on the Tablelands outside Cairns, boarding cats—which they both loved—when locals took their holidays. They sold the business several years ago to Peter and Julie Cohen and moved to Atherton where Aileen developed a spectacular garden, while Phil continued to embrace another of his great loves, a model railway. Although now 77, Phil recently re-started his radio career, doing a two-hour program on Friday mornings called ‘AM with PM on FM’ on a local radio station, putting to use his encyclopaedic knowledge of the music of the 1940s and ’50s and allowing others to share his extraordinary collection of discs, cassettes and CDs covering the music and comedy of the era. Phil would love to hear from any old Territory friends: he can be contacted at 40 Logan Street, Atherton 4883; his phone number is (07) 4091 7665. David Ellis

 

Jocelyn D (Jock) May MUNDEN (24 February 2002, aged 66)

Jock Munden, the sister-in-law of Harry Laurens, was the first female clerk to work in PNG employed by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. She later transferred to the Liquor Licensing section. She was well known in the Golf Club and had won several gold medals in the South Pacific Games at Port Moresby and in Tahiti. She passed away after a long illness. Her funeral was at Tweed Heads on the Gold Coast. Jock is survived by her brother John, and her sister Lola and husband Harry Laurens and family. Harry Laurens

 

Robin ANDERSON (8 March 2002, aged 51)

Perhaps the first post-Independence visitor to PNG to merit inclusion in our Vale pages. She didn’t go there until 1980 but then, with her husband Bob Connolly, created a cinematic treasure trove. Three documentary films which are a delight for wantoks and invaluable to students of PNG affairs. First Contact covered the 1933 expedition into the Highlands and incorporated some absolutely unique 16mm film taken by Mick Leahy. It wa a great success and, rewarded with Australian Film Commission fellowships, the pair elected to go back and spend 18 months in the Nebilyer Valley (Western Highlands) making Joe Leahy’s Neighbours. They returned in 1990 to live with those neighbours—the Ganiga clan—for a year to produce Black Harvest, starring the unforgettable Popina Mai. A victim of cancer, the talented film-maker leaves a husband and two daughters. Jim Toner

 

Fancy LAWRENCE (March 2002)

Fancy was the wife of anthropologist Peter Lawrence (deceased). No further details available.

 

Dame Rachel CLELAND (18 April 2002, aged 96)

Dame Rachel died peacefully in her sleep at Goondiwindi, Queensland. At the age of 96 she had just moved there from Perth to be close to her son Evan, with Bob in nearby Brisbane and their families mainly in Southern Queensland.

Born Rachel Evans in Perth in 1906, she spent much of her youth in rural Western Australia with her aunt, Bessie Rischbieth, the noted feminist, who profoundly influenced her, and with whom she travelled widely overseas.  She became a kindergarten teacher and in 1928 married Donald MacKinnon Cleland. Donald was with the AIF from 1939 to 1945 and Rachel remained in Perth with their two sons, much involved in volunteer activities, and her lifelong outstanding quality of caring already evident. In 1946 the family moved to Sydney when Donald was appointed inaugural Federal Director of the newly emerged Liberal Party. Rachel’s interest and involvement in the Liberal Party was now well under way, and some 56 years down the track her contribution to its success, and indeed to public and political life in both Australia and Papua New Guinea is widely acknowledged.

In September 1951 the Clelands moved to Port Moresby, when Donald was appointed Assistant Administrator and, within two years, Administrator of Papua New Guinea. One of Rachel’s earliest enterprises, and an indication of the concern, enthusiasm and determination to be expected of her, was her successful gaining of public support to clean up Moresby’s wartime rubbish and plant trees and gardens. She soon immersed herself in widespread community causes and enthusiastically brought to them many organisational skills. She became personally involved down to the grass roots level in Red Cross, Girl Guides, YWCA, netball, other sports, youth and social clubs—almost everything—and especially the development of pre-schools throughout PNG.

She was well aware of the role indigenous women should and could play in nation building, and inspired the involvement of expatriate women as well. Her part in the establishment of the Port Moresby Cultural Centre in 1969 reflected her keen interest in and support for PNG culture and the arts.

To many Dame Rachel will be best remembered for her understanding and appreciation of the ‘outside people’: the field officers of the various Administration departments, the missionaries, the planters and private enterprise people in remote areas and of course the national village people amongst whom they lived and worked. They admired this friendly and understanding woman of initiative, enthusiasm, firm ideas and common sense. She moved extensively throughout the country with Sir Donald on his official tours -and contributed greatly to their success.

Dame Rachel was the author of two books: Pathways to Independence and Grass Roots to Independence and Beyond: the contribution by women in Papua New Guinea, 1951-1991. She was awarded an MBE in 1959, and a CBE in 1966 by the Australian Government, and a OBE in 1980 by the PNG Government.

When the Clelands left Government House in 1967 they remained in Moresby and Sir Donald died there in 1975. Three years later, although she ‘loved the country and adored the people’ Rachel decided it was time to rejoin her natal family in Perth, after an absence of 33 years. So, back in WA at the age of 72 in 1979 there was no suggestion of a quiet retirement, rather a very active and productive life for the next 24 years. She remained closely involved with PNG and its affairs and made eight meaningful return trips, the last two years ago. She kept in touch with hundreds of old friends and people she could involve in the causes she supported. She lobbied for years to save WA’s old-growth forests from logging and featured, particularly on this issue in the ABC’s Australian Story Nothing like a Dame in 1999. She was active in aboriginal issues, notably the Kimberley Land case. She remained a force in the Liberal Party to the end and although she criticised them in recent years for being too conservative, she was finally described by the WA State Liberal Leader, Colin Barnet as ‘the conscience of the party’.

She is survived by her sons Robert and Evan and their families.  Farewell dear Dame Rachel, PNG patriot. Harry West

 

John Anthony GAUCI (5 April 2002, aged 73)

John was born in Malta and spent his early years there. In 1945 the family moved to Manchester, England. In 1948 he enlisted in the British army as a National Service recruit: he was one of only three of the 500 recruits to gain officer rank. After a two-year posting to Gibraltar, John came to Australia to be with his family who had already migrated. He went to PNG as a Cadet Patrol Officer in September 1951 and was to spend the next 25 years there. He served in the Sepik, Central, West New Britain and Eastern Highlands Districts. In 1959 he went to Brisbane to commence an economics degree at Queensland University. It was then that he met and married Joan Stephens. In 1964 he completed his Degree and a Diploma in Public Administration in Brisbane. Shortly after his return to PNG he joined the Treasury Dept as Coordinator of Works and remained there until leaving in April 1976. He then settled in Brisbane and began buying and selling shopping centres and hotels. During his later years he indulged his passion for poetry and days before he died he completed an anthology of approximately 100 poems which he had hoped to self-publish.

John is survived by his wife Joan, his sister Kay Masters in Redcliffe, his sister Bea Drury in Malta and his brother Manuel in Vancouver. Joan Gauci

 

Lady (Alison) HAY (11 April 2002, aged 81)

Lady Hay, the wife of a former Administrator of Papua New Guinea, has died in Melbourne following a long illness. In her youth she helped her father run a Victorian pastoral property and was an outstanding tennis player (she was taught by David Cup player, Pat O’Hara Wood). As the wife of a diplomat she lived many years overseas and in 1964, when Sir David was Australian High Commissioner in Canada, she launched HMAS Hobart at Bay City, Michigan.  Later her brother, Captain Harry Adams, commanded the ship. The Hays were in Port Moresby from 1967 to 1970 and Lady Hay accompanied her husband on many District visits. Back in Canberra she became president of the ACT branch of the National Trust.

She is survived by her husband, and sons Andrew and David. Harry West

 

Benson GEGEYO (8 February 2002)

Benson Gegeyo, from Tufi, Northern Province, was one of the first local District Commissioners. He was an excellent choice even though he did not come through the normal cadet training and ASOPA. His first position with the Dept of Native Affairs was in 1960 as a council clerk at Tufi. In 1972 he was appointed DC Western Province. His pleasant personality endeared him to the Papua New Guineans and expatriates alike. He was popular with his Indonesian opposite at Merauke and established good relations with the staff thereon his regular liaison visits. In 1974 he was appointed DC Madang, then in late 1975 he was appointed DC and caretaker administrator in troubled Bougainville. Further appointments were as DC West Sepik, then as Secretary to the Department of Urban Development. In 1980 he was appointed PNG Ambassador to Indonesia. In 1984 he began a series of senior appointments in which he was required to solve major administrative problems (eg. suspended provincial governments).

Benson is survived by his wife Gladys, three daughters and a son. Ken Brown

 

Brian McBRIDE (1 April 2002, aged 72)

Brian was born in Korumburra, Victoria, and educated at Melbourne Boys’ High School. In 1948 at the age of 19 he went to PNG as a cadet patrol officer. During the early days of his long career as a field officer he did much initial contact work in remote areas. He served in the Milne Bay, Eastern Highlands, Madang, Western, New Britain and Central Districts. He was an outstanding tennis player and at Kundiawa in 1950, between dealing with tribal warfare and establishing elementary law and order, he built one of the first tennis courts in the Central Highlands. In 1962 he married Ursula Lundin at Vunapope, New Britain.

Brian returned to Australia in 1975 to a second career as owner/manager of holiday units at Ettalong Beach, north of Sydney. He is survived by his wife Ursula and his children, Brian, Kimara and John, and John’s wife Jodie. Harry West

 

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