Vale March and June 2003

ABRAHAM, Eric (Abe) |  (1898-2003) * BAGLEY, Emese |  (? – 2003) BRIGGS, Donald Harrison |  (1927-2002) BRIGHTWELL, Merton W |  (1920-2002) BROMAN, Peter A |  (1923-2003) BULL, Jean K |  (1910-2003) BURNET, Ian D |  (1931-2003) BYRNE, Peter N |  (1923-2002) De DERKA, Clarissa |  (1919-2002) De MORIER, Roy S |  (1916-2003) DIGBY, R B (Bruce) |  (1916-2003) DONALDSON, Pierre |  (1922-2002) FALLON, Justin M |  (1940-2003) FARRELL, Emilia H |  (1917-2002) FITZGERALD, Edward F |  (1928-2002) FLEAY, Campbell |  (1923-2003) FORSYTH, Gladys M |  (1897-2003) * GRAY, Bernard O (Bernie) |  (1929-2002) GRENVILLE, Richard D |  (1941-2002)

GRIMSHAW, Peter J |  (1922-2003) HARDY, Gordon P (Phill) |  (1924-2003) JAMES, Sue |  (1931-2003) JANSEN, Harry |  (1923-2002) KELLY, William J (Bill) |  (1922-2003) LAMROCK, Jack C |  (1927-2003) LANGE, Edith M |  (? – 2003) LUTTON, Shirley (Sister) |  1925-2002) MALONEY, Cecile M |  (1922-2002) MIDDLETON, Percy V (Sno) |  (1913-2002) PARRISH, Douglas J |  (1921-2003) PIKE, James R |  (1933-2003) RALPH, Judith M |  (1920-2002) ROLFE, Francis N |  (1925-2002) ROSS, Jessie |  (1905-2003) SCHAMSCHULA, Katalin |  (1926-2002) STANMORE, Ivy |  (1934-2003) TICEHURST, William T |  (1927-2002)

* Unique is the fact that the lives of both Abe Abraham and Gladys Forsyth spanned three centuries – the 19th, 20th and 21st.  They both lived in Rabaul at the same time and both passed away within weeks of each other at the same Aged Care facility.

Eric (Abe) ABRAHAM (20 April 1898 – 20 March 2003, aged 104)

A well-known figure in recent years, leading ANZAC Day marches in Brisbane, Abe was one of the ‘Dungaree Diggers’ who volunteered for service in World War I. Among notable battles he participated in were the Somme, Villers-Bretonneux and Le Hamel. In 1998 he returned to France and was invested with the Legion of Honour. He was given the honour of a State funeral in Brisbane.

Abe had a successful career in the public service in Australia. Newspaper accounts of his life almost completely ignored his New Guinea connection. Arriving in Rabaul in 1922, he was Postmaster there until leaving in 1934 due to the ill health of his wife. Roma Bates, our co-Patron, knew him well and recalls the Post Office shared a bungalow with AWA and Abe lived there as well. In those days Morse Code was the main method of communicating with outstations. Abe taught Roma how to use the Morse code key so that she could send messages to her husband Charlie. He was a guest at Roma and Charlie’s wedding. Abe was a keen tennis player and always a popular figure at parties. Roma attended his 100th birthday bash in Brisbane.

Two daughters, seven grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren survive him. Pat Johnson

EmeseBAGLEY (11 March 2003)

Emese Bagley was the wife of Ian Bagley, headmaster of Lumi High School in the ’70s and later inspector of high schools. Ian died some years ago but Emese stayed on in PNG with various projects. She was born in Hungary, spent her youth in the United States, and lived in PNG for many years. She died at her home in London which is where her children lived. Emese had friends all round the world; she had a very full and active life, working, travelling and enjoying living. A memorial service for her was held at the Boroko Catholic Church on 23 March 2003. One of those unable to attend wrote, ‘We will all remember Emese for her commitment to her work in PNG, her love of life, her wacky hats and her friendliness to everyone. She was an inaugural and integral member of our Moresby Bookclub. We will miss her.’ Robert Parer

Donald HarrisonBRIGGS (13 December 2002, aged 75)

Don’s early years were spent on his parents’ plantation at Londip, New Britain, apart from some time at boarding school. He was evacuated in late 1941 with his mother. In 1945, aged 18, Don joined the AIF and served in Australia and the South West Pacific Area (Rabaul) until his discharge in 1947.

In 1949 he and his childhood sweetheart, Margot, were married and returned to Rabaul. Don started work with the Commonwealth Dept of Works and in 1959 joined Rabaul Metal Industries (RMI) as manager where over time he learned all aspects of the business. In 1976 when BHP formed a partnership with Don, Don was given free reign with running the company. He set about stamping his mark on the business and during the ’70s and ’80s RMI became a benchmark for other businesses in Rabaul. He could be seen quite often in the workshop working shoulder to shoulder with the Papua New Guinean factory workers, helping to meet urgent orders. This approach won him great respect from his national workers some of whom gave 30-35 years of service to the company. Don also found time to excel at golf and become President of Rabaul Golf Club, to participate in community activities and become President of Rotary and to participate in many Rabaul to Kavieng yacht races. He was awarded an MBE in 1986.

Don retired in 1989 but kept returning to Rabaul (RMI) until 1994 on business matters. Don and Margot spent about six years at Tallai in the hinterland of the Gold Coast and a further six years in Brisbane. Don is survived by his wife Margot and their four children. Editor

Merton Walter BRIGHTWELL (18 March 2003, aged 81)

Mert was born at Bondi Junction, NSW, joined the RAAF early in WWII and was a radio officer stationed at Calgary in Canada, involved in ferrying aircraft from their point of manufacture in Canada to England, via Miami, North Africa and Gibraltar.

He joined the PNG Administration as a patrol officer in June 1947. His service was mainly in the Highlands, New Britain and New Ireland Districts, and he was District Commissioner at Kavieng in the period leading up to independence.

He spent his retirement at Springwood, in the Blue Mountains of NSW. He had a reputation for being good company and a good communicator, cook and host. He had an avid interest in art, classical music and literature, and in retirement built up an extensive art collection and took an active and very successful interest in the Stock Exchange. He was a very generous man and provided the funding for many young Papua New Guineans to acquire a university education. He had a close affinity with the National people of PNG and kept in touch with many in retirement. Harry West

Peter Alfred BROMAN (23 March 2003, aged 79)

After several years’ war service in PNG, Peter became a cadet patrol officer in 1946 (later patrol officer) serving mainly on the New Guinea side. On his first leave he went to the UK to follow up work he was doing on his family tree. While doing research in Sweden, he found a cousin named Anne Marie Broman, a descendant of the original Bromans, but about 40 times removed. After a whirlwind courtship he and Anne were married and Peter returned to New Guinea after settling Anne temporarily in Australia. However the Administration was not very cooperative because he had overstayed his leave without permission and, in the aftermath of war, married accommodation was not readily available. The outcome was that Peter was transferred to the police force in November 1949 as Assistant Sub Inspector and Anne was able to join him.

When the PNG Volunteer Rifles was raised in 1950, Peter was amongst the first to enlist and in 1952 he was commissioned as lieutenant. During this period he was appointed ADC to the Administrator in addition to his normal police duties. In March 1956 as Sub Inspector, he left the force to take up the position of acting Official Secretary to the Administrator where he performed his duties with elan, skill, initiative and thoroughness. He was later confirmed in this position which he held until 1967 when he joined the Special Branch in PNG. Later he was retired on medical grounds and he and Anne settled in Brisbane.

His health improved to some degree and he helped Anne with the macadamia plantation she and their son John had established. While there Anne died from a heart condition and Peter was devastated. Over time his children and their families became more a focal point in his life.

Peter is survived by his son John, and daughters Christina and Sonja and their families. Peter Harbeck and Max Hayes

Jean Katharine BULL (28 February 2003, aged 93)

Jean was the wife of bank manager Ken Bull. The couple arrived in Port Moresby in 1958. Ken had spent time in Bougainville during the war and had a great affinity with Papua New Guinea. For Jean the move was a great contrast to her life as a bank officer’s wife in Sydney but she made the change graciously and became very adept at entertaining bank customers and friends and adapting to her new life. For the first time since her marriage she took a job and became a proof reader at the Government Gazette in Port Moresby under the guidance of Mr H Nicholls – a very happy time. When both her daughters married and settled in PNG, she and Ken returned to open the bank in Lae where they spent some years and Jean worked again, this time in the Post Office. After another stint in Port Moresby, Ken’s ill health necessitated them returning to Australia. Jean moved to Cairns in 1988 to be near to family after Ken’s death and then to Atherton in 2001.

Jean is survived by daughters Jennifer Collins and Christine King, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Jennifer Collins

Ian Druce BURNET (26 February 2003, aged 71)

Ian’s first posting as a cadet patrol officer was to Lorengau on Manus Island in 1955. He completed his year at ASOPA in 1958. His happiest memories were of Gumine patrol post. He patrolled the Bomai, and was posted to Lufa and various other posts in the Highlands. Ian transferred from the then Dept of Native Affairs to the Dept of Trade and Industry where he was an instigator for the setting up of the wool project in the Highlands. Subsequently he joined the Directorate of Transport which later became the Dept of Transport. He was instrumental in gaining funding from the World Bank and the United Nations Development Project for the Highlands Highway. He was appointed Secretary of that Department prior to leaving Port Moresby in 1974.

Ian was a pidgin interpreter for the first House of Assembly. He was also vice president of the Public Service Association. He represented permanent officers with actuarial negotiations in the early ’70s. He was a member of the PNG Tariff Board and Passenger Motor Vehicle Board.

He is survived by his wife Gwen, and sons Michael and Campbell. (His sons will enjoy reading his well crafted patrol reports.) Gwen Burnet

Peter Noel BYRNE (21 June 2002, aged 79)

Peter joined the army at the end of 1940. Later he trained in water transport and in 1944-1946 saw duty in Port Moresby, Wewak and New Britain After the war, he completed his matriculation and studied Agricultural Science at the University of Adelaide, graduating in 1952. Peter married Jean Petersen in early 1951.

Peter went back to PNG in 1956 to work for the Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries, being based at Bisianumu, Popondetta and Keravat. In 1960, Peter and two others began a consulting company, Plantation Advisory Service, based near Kokopo. In 1963, he took a position as assistant manager on Inus Plantation on Bougainville. He rejoined DASF at the end of 1964 as agronomist-in-charge at the Lowlands Agricultural Experiment Station (LAES) at Keravat, East New Britain. Peter was based at LAES until 1975, when he worked for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation in Malaysia. He returned to PNG again in 1977, this time as chief horticulturalist with Dept of Primary Industry and was based in Moresby for two years. Then Peter and Jean moved to Espiritu Santo Island in the then New Hebrides where Peter worked for FAO. They returned to Australia in 1982, living in Warwick. Peter undertook further consultancies for the PNG Department of Primary Industry, FAO and UNDP until 1988.

Peter is survived by his wife Jean, their five children (Jenny, Meg, Peter Michael, Patrick and Veronica) and 11 grandchildren. Mike Bourke

Clarissa De DERKA (13 September 2002, aged 83)

Clarissa gained her PhD in literature and philology at the University of Budapest, Hungary. She was also an outstanding horse rider. Near the end of WWII she managed to leave just ahead of the invading Russian armies. She and her husband, Dr Lajos Huzella, migrated to Australia where initially Clarissa worked on pastoral properties to be close to horses and riding. Her husband was among the group of continental doctors recruited to the Territory’s postwar health service. He was posted to Kainantu which gave Clarissa the opportunity to ride at the nearby Highlands Agricultural Experiment Station at Aiyura. After service at Kainantu, Dr Huzella returned to Sydney to do further study.

Clarissa went to Port Moresby in 1952 as librarian of the Dept of Public Health. Under her leadership the library rapidly became a well recognised research library containing worldwide reference material for local and visiting medical specialists and scientists. Her marriage ended in divorce and she reverted to her maiden name. In Moresby her home was a venue for entertaining many well-known specialists visiting from overseas. When the University of PNG was established, Clarissa was invited, on secondment, to be accession librarian to help assemble the basic collections required by the new institution. On retirement Clarissa lived mainly in Rome, Nice and Oxford, but also travelled widely. She returned to Australia every few years to maintain contact with her friends. She is survived by her cousin in Canberra and his family. Gabriel Keleny

Roy Samuel De MORIER (1 April 2003, aged 86)

Roy took up an appointment with the PNG Administration in 1946 and retired in 1972 to live on the Gold Coast, Queensland. During his time in PNG he was a labour inspector and for a few years in Rabaul a customs officer. Roy and Betty married in Rabaul in 1951 and the family lived in Rabaul, Madang and Port Moresby. Roy travelled to most areas of PNG and made many friends in that time. In retirement he became a keen golfer: his work for the Veteran Golfers’ Association led to a Life Membership for his efforts.

He is survived by his wife Betty, and children Ann, Tony and Helen. Betty De Morier


Robert Bruce McKay >DIGBY (26 March 2003, aged 87)

Bruce attended high school in the Newcastle area, then joined Rylands Wiremills (a subsidiary of BHP) where he trained as a metallurgist and furthered his studies in engineering. He married Gladys in 1938 and their two children wore born in Newcastle. After serving in the army in New Guinea and in Celebes, he returned to Rylands, then in 1949 joined Public Works Dept in Port Moresby as a mechanical engineer.

In the mid 1960s he joined the Dept of Labour as a safety engineer and in 1969 went to Lae as Regional Labour Officer for the Morobe District. During this time he became involved with Civil Defence as a regional coordinator. During his term as safety engineer he was heavily involved in setting up National Weights and Measures in PNG in preparation for independence. In 1971 he retired from the PNG Public Service to take up the position of executive officer of the PNG Metric Conversion Board. He retired from this position on independence and spent 12 months in Canberra. He and his wife then went to Honiara in the Solomon Islands where he set up National Weights and Measures. The couple remained there until 1981 when they returned to Canberra.

From the early 1950s Bruce was active in church affairs, involving himself in the construction of the new St. Johns church in Port Moresby and later becoming a lay reader. In Canberra he continued his involvement with the church. For more than 20 years he was actively involved with TADACT (Technical Aid for the Disabled ACT). For most of his adult life he was actively involved with the Masonic Lodge.

Bruce is survived by his son and daughter, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Brian Digby

Pierre DONALDSON (13 August 2002, aged 80)

Pierre was born in Tahiti and moved to New Zealand and then Australia with his parents Reg and Odette. In 1938 Pierre went to PNG as a Cadet Patrol Officer and was in Port Moresby when the Japanese dropped the first bombs. He joined the RAAF and was sent to the UK where he completed two tours of operations flying over Europe as a gunnery officer in Halifax bombers. Whilst based in the UK Pierre met his wife Thelma whom he married before being repatriated to Australia.

After the war Pierre resumed his career in New Guinea and served in such places as Port Moresby, Samarai, Ehu, Madang and Saidor. Over the years he was promoted to ADO and ADC in places such as Bogia, Wewak, Angoram, Okapa and Goroka. His final appointment was as Senior Project Officer in Port Moresby from where he retired in 1974. Pierre and Thelma then settled into their home at North Narrabeen NSW. During this time Pierre was active in the Lions Club and was an avid bowler. In June 2001 they moved to Brisbane to be closer to their two daughters.

Pierre is survived by his wife Thelma, children Annette, Laraine, Michael and Grant, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Pierre’s daughter Laraine

Justin Mark FALLON (21 March 2003, aged 62)

Mark was a didiman, farmer, businessman and sportsman. Born on a dairy farm in Western Victoria he died and was buried on his 11,000 acre property, ‘Wonga’, in the Riverina. Soon after graduating from Ag. College, Mark joined Dept of Agriculture, Stock & Fisheries in Mt Hagen in 1963. He proved to be an outstanding extension officer. Before he left the government, with the blessing of Tom Ellis and Bill Conroy, and using hundreds of labourers, Mark drained 7,000 acres of Wahgi Valley peat swamps for resettlement.

Mark’s agricultural ventures continued despite his deep involvement in heavy earthmoving machinery and construction work. On leaving the government in 1969 he produced some 5,000 tonnes of sweet potato and bred and sold 4,500 head of cattle. In 1980 he bought a 2,400 acre sheep and wheat property in NSW. This was sold in 1985. ‘Wonga’ was bought in 2001.

In the early 1970s Mark and Jim Wellwood formed Pangia Constructions which, apart from hiring plant to government and construction companies, was involved in civil engineering work in PNG and further afield, e.g. Fiji. In 1976 Mark and Jim chose nine of their local employees and Pangia became a wholly owned National Company – Mark maintained involvement in its management. It was estimated that Pangia had an annual turnover of $50 million. Mark was also General Manager in 1986-87 for joint ventures with Ipilil-Porgera and Dillingham Corp. In 1995 Mark helped his four sons set up Dekenai Constructions in PNG which they now maintain.

Mark excelled in football. His love of horse racing started in PNG and culminated in his part ownership of the winner of the Brisbane Cup in 1995 and 1997. He became involved in blue water sailing as part of the PNG team in the Sydney-Hobart and Southern Cross Cup in the early ’80s. Later he purchased a 50 ft catamaran and with his sons as crew sailed in the Hamilton Island Series as well as cruising to Vanuatu and Fiji.

Over the last four years, despite being weakened with cancer, Mark continued upgrading Wonga station. As his wife Sherri said, ‘Mark believed there was nothing he could not achieve if he put his mind to it’.

Mark is survived by his wife Sherri, and sons Luke, Matthew, James and Timothy. Mick Belfield

Emelia Hedewig FARRELL (née Rundnagel) (25 December 2002, aged 85)

Emelia or ‘Hede’ was the youngest daughter of Wilhelm and Florence Rundnagel. She was born in 1917 at Herbertshohe (Kokopo) and along with her two siblings (both deceased) experienced a happy and carefree childhood on the family plantation, Rivien, on the Gazelle Peninsula, until being sent to boarding school in Australia.

While doing her nursing at Crown Street Children’s Hospital, she was introduced by Flo Gilmore to Daniel (Denis) Farrell whom she later married. She made her home in Sydney but her parents and brother were interned in Rabaul by the Japanese and the plantation was subjected to much devastation.

Her love of homeland never left her, and she later returned to Rabaul along with Denis to run Rivien and Bitikua plantations. This she continued to do even after the death of her husband in 1974. In 1983 she reluctantly severed her ties with plantation life and settled once again in Sydney. Until plagued with ill health she travelled extensively and enjoyed the arts. Emelia’s niece, Jillian von Leixner

Edward Francis FITZGERALD (6 August 2002, aged 74)

Ed began work in PNG as a lay missionary with the SVD Mission in Wewak and some time later he volunteered to help set up the Mission’s logging venture on the Sepik River. This led to a career in logging and sawmilling. Ed later set up Sepik Timbers at Wewak, followed by Wewak Timbers in Madang. Ed had married Joy in Brisbane in 1956. Ed was active in civic life: he was President of the PNG Timber Industries Association and, during his time in Wewak and Madang, President of Rotary. All in all, he spent 48 years in PNG. He and Joy retired in 1999 and settled on the Redcliffe Peninsula, Qld.

Ed is survived by his wife Joy and seven children. Garamut

Campbell FLEAY (28 March 2003, aged 79)

Campbell first went to PNG as a 19-year-old in January 1943 as a member of the Allied Intelligence Organisation. He served with distinction until the end of WWII and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for, as he put it, ‘doing a couple of minor jobs’. He then spent a short time in Australia and in August 1946 returned to New Guinea as a patrol officer. He served in Port Moresby, Rabaul and Kandrian.

In 1963 he transferred to the newly formed Dept of Labour as a research and project officer. He never actually worked in that capacity as he immediately took over as the senior industrial organisations officer which entailed creating and developing trade unions in PNG (a government policy which at the time did not endear itself to many people). In 1964 together with John Herbert he visited every police station and office throughout the country and established the first Police Union which eventually was second in strength to the Public Service Association. During the next two years further unions were formed and the basis of collective worker representation throughout the country was well established.

Following success in this area he switched to industrial relations and for some years headed up the division. It was during this era that the whole structure of Industrial Relations took shape. His political nous and perceptive approach to solving industrial problems stemming from the emerging turbulence of the changing labour relations scene ensured that when independence arrived, practical, well-established negotiating and arbitration procedures were in place.

In 1972 he took over as Secretary for Labour from Doug Parrish and ran the Department until 1975 when he handed over to Kipling Uiari, the first Papua New Guinean Secretary. For some years following independence he remained as a senior adviser in the labour field to the new government and was awarded the PNG Independence Medal. He then returned to Perth where he remained until he succumbed to illness. In looking back over his years of service as a kiap he felt that his greatest achievement was, with the help of the local people, in building a DC3 airstrip at Kandrian for £10,000.

Campbell is survived by his wife Christina, daughter Helen and son Alan. John Herbert

Gladys Mary Jessie Beatrice FORSYTH (née Field) (1897 – 12 April 2003)

Born at home in London, Gladys lived an amazing life of adventure and achievement. Her first job at age 16 was ‘nannying’ in India and then Mesopotamia (Iraq) where she experienced the first of three evacuations. Arriving in Australia in 1920 she subsequently became a triple certificated nurse and this led to her arriving in Rabaul in December 1928. Nursing at Namanula hospital she met and married Dick Forsyth in 1933. The second evacuation took place as a result of the 1937 volcanic eruption when Rabaul residents were evacuated to Kokopo. The third evacuation was on the Macdhui in December 1941 just prior to the Japanese invasion of Rabaul. Sadly her husband Dick went down on the Montevideo Maru.

Nursing and bringing up her daughter Beatrice involved her for the next 60 years until she turned 78 years of age. Nursing also allowed her to travel widely to England, Switzerland, France, Africa, New Zealand and around Australia. Gladys became a qualified wool-classer and achieved A+ results in Advanced French when 70 years of age. She was always optimistic and positive in outlook, and this helped her cope with many hardships throughout her life. Gladys was also one of the very special friends of Roma Bates with both sharing many interests of motherhood and travel and always keeping in touch. Roma recalls that Gladys was a very good cook – she made and sold cakes daily in the Burns Philp store in the 1930s. These were very popular among the ‘singles’ fraternity. Another anecdote Roma recalls was during the 1937 eruption – the population was waiting to be evacuated at Nordup beach with their few, but precious, possessions and Gladys had the family cat in a pillowslip.

Gladys is survived by one daughter, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Pat Johnson

Bernard Oliver (Bernie) GRAY (5 January 2003, aged 73)

Bernie was appointed a permanent clerical officer of the TPNG Administration in late 1956 and took up duties as a Customs Officer with the Dept Of Customs and Marine. After a short stint at head office he was posted to Madang for two years. He returned to Moresby in 1959 working principally in the Immigration Section of the Department. In the late ’60s he transferred to Public Works where he remained until taking up a promotion to the Public Service Commissioner’s Office in 1974. In 1976 his employment in PNG ceased and he worked in the private sector in Perth until retirement in 1994.

Bernie married Pat Gosson from Crown Law Dept. in 1962. Both he and Pat were a prominent and popular couple on the Moresby and PNG golf scene over many years, and maintained their interest in golf after settling in Perth. Bernie was competent in various other sports, particularly Rugby League, and also squash and cricket. He is survived by his wife Pat. Derek Baldwin

Richard David GRENVILLE (18 November 2002, aged 61)

Rick was born in Melbourne and, after completing his Leaving Certificate, he worked in outback NSW and Queensland as a station hand and jackaroo. In 1963 he went to Bougainville with Choiseul Plantations Ltd (Burns Philp) as a plantation overseer. He worked on various plantations on Bougainville as a manager, including Kunua and Soraken. In 1969 he resigned from Burns Philp and commenced his own business at Buin as a trade store proprietor and produce buyer, and operated the Ansett Agency. In 1975 he returned to Australia for health reasons. He worked in various occupations before retiring to Cairns in 1988 with his wife Tina who predeceased him. Rick is survived by his mother Phyllis and sister Dale. K.J. Hanrahan

Peter John GRIMSHAW, OBE, OAM (2 March 2003, aged 71)

Peter grew up in Adelaide and in 1947 went to Port Moresby as a schoolboy when his father was appointed Superintendent of (what was then) the Royal Papuan Constabulary and New Guinea Police Force (a position later reclassified as that of Commissioner.) Peter joined the Department of Civil Aviation and about this time became involved with the PNGVR. During this time Peter designed the original brass badge of the Constabulary which was worn by officers attending the Coronation in 1953. In 1954 Peter married Diane, also from Adelaide, and the couple moved to Cooma where Peter worked for the Snowy Mountains Authority. In 1964 the family moved to Canberra where Peter became business manager responsible for two of the four Research Schools at the ANU. He retired in 1997.

Peter never forgot PNG and made numerous visits there from 1964-97. He was indispensable with support at Canberra for the New Guinea Research Unit at Moresby until its hand-over by ANU to the new government on independence. He enjoyed his inspection visits and once walked up to the lakeside laboratory on Mt Wilhelm (at 11,500 ft) to the surprise of resident scientists. Peter took up a similar ‘godfather’ role with the North Australia Research Unit. He fostered a credit union and held a director’s position until recently. His work in this area was recognised with an Order of Australia in 2001. He was made MBE for services to his university, later elevated to OBE by the PNG Government. Up until his death, he was also involved with Aboriginal history. In his spare time he successfully studied for a BA and MEd (Admin.), and completed a history of the PNG Police titled Policing in Paradise: A history of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, 1890-1975 before his fatal heart attack.

Peter is survived by his wife Diane, and sons Phillip and Geoffrey and their families. Jim Toner, Max Hayes and the Grimshaw family

Gordon Phillip (Phill) HARDY (21 February 2003, aged 79)

Phill was born in Port Moresby to Lillian and Herbert Hardy. After a happy childhood in Moresby and Samarai and boarding school in Sydney, he returned to PNG at age 16 and worked for Customs in Port Moresby. In WWII, he joined the ANGAU Army Unit, where his local knowledge and his fluency in Motu and Tok Pisin were much valued. He attained the rank of Captain, one of the youngest in the Australian Army.

Following WWII Phill joined the PNG Administration as a kiap and progressed through the ranks to acting District Commissioner serving in the Central, Western, Milne Bay, New Ireland, Bougainville, Western Highlands and Morobe Districts. He transferred to full-time legal duties in Lae as a District Court Magistrate before returning to Australia in 1977. Retiring for a few years, Phill later returned to the workforce in Australia as a legal searcher for a Sydney law firm, working to the age of 77.
Shortly before his death from cancer, Phill asked us to send his love and thanks to all his friends from the ANGAU Unit, Papua New Guinean friends living in PNG/Australia and many others who had worked in or were associated with PNG from Australia. Phill is survived by his wife Ann, children Bruce, Andrew, Cassandra, Chris and Dale, and nine great grandchildren. Phill’s sons Bruce and Chris

Sue JAMES (26 March 2003, aged 71)

As a talented tennis player, golfer, singer and artist, Sue participated fully in the life of the Coonamble community for more than 20 years. She was a foundation member of the Coonamble Arts Society. She passed on her love of painting to other students of art, teaching in Coonamble, Wollongong and, more recently, Dubbo. Sue married Clarrie James in 1986 and the couple moved to Koorawatha, then to Woonona and finally Dubbo, her place of birth. Sue’s works have been successfully exhibited. Ten of her paintings with a Light Horse theme are on permanent exhibition in the Commercial Hotel, Murrumburrah, the birthplace of the 1st Australian Horse which was formed there in 1897. Sue was well loved and respected, particularly in the Studio Eight Group.

She is survived by her husband Clarrie, four children from her first marriage, 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. She was also mother and grandmother to the extended James family of three daughters, two sons and 16 grandchildren. Clarrie James

Harry JANSEN (17 December 2002, aged 79)

Harry Jansen was in Bulolo from 1952 to 1959. He was personal secretary to the General Manager of Bulolo Gold Dredging Ltd and Commonwealth-New Guinea Timbers Ltd. No further details available. Editor

William John Charles (Bill) KELLY (8 March 2003, aged 79)

After schooling at Waverley Christian Brothers College, Bill joined the RAAF as a pilot, ending his war career as a Flying Officer with a Mention In Despatches. After a year studying dentistry, he went to New Guinea as a cadet patrol officer. However, he first married Margaret Eldershaw which he later said was the best thing he ever did.

His postings were first to Bougainville: Wakanai and Buin; then Kainantu and later across to Kundiawa as ADO, where he did a long patrol from Chimbu to the Purari and Papuan border. Like most Highland stations there were numerous but decidedly unruly clans nearby and it was to Bill’s credit that Ian Downs, DO at Goroka (who was not usually lavish with his praise), said, ‘Well I’m glad I’ve got Kelly at Chimbu.’

After two terms in the cool air, the Kellys found themselves at Esa’ala where, with the help of the local people (and possibly a little manipulation of funds?), Bill built wharves and other much needed infrastructure. When warned that Treasury might look askance at this, his reply was, ‘They’ve got to find out first and, in any case, the improvements have already been made.’ Things went well until Bill was ordered into Samarai, where he found a Treasury officer waiting on the wharf for him – but in his usual resourceful fashion Bill fielded all the officer’s questions and managed to talk his way out of the situation.

The next postings were to New Britain (1958-69): Talasea, Kokopo and then Rabaul as DO, a very interesting period as those who remember their history will know. As if there weren’t enough rumbles in the earth in Rabaul, Bill crossed to Madang as DO for a term but even there, in November 1970, an earthquake caught up with him (see Margaret’s story in Una Voce December 2002 issue). Then came Moresby where Bill was Senior Land Titles Commissioner, a subject in which he had first become interested in the Highlands due to the endless fights over land there.

Finally Bill and Margaret retired in 1978 to live in Mosman and in 1995, moved to Brisbane where most of their family were living. Bill was a genial, generous, happy man with a twinkle in his eyes, and a master of understatement. Efficient but open minded, he was liked and respected by his fellow officers. He leaves Margaret, four sons, five daughters-in-law and nine grandchildren. Freddie Kaad

Jack Colin LAMROCK (21 April 2003, aged 75)

Jack Lamrock joined the DASF in PNG in 1949 after graduating in Agricultural Science at Sydney University. His first posting was as an extension officer to the Mekeo Rice Scheme and, by the time he left in 1975 to commence a new career at the University of Queensland, he had long been a divisional chief in the Department and had made a significant contribution to the development and expansion of agriculture in PNG.

In 1952-53 he attended the Imperial College of Agriculture in Trinidad and on his return to PNG was posted to Madang and then Lae. He next went to Rabaul as New Guinea Islands Regional Agricultural Officer and fostered the rapid expansion of cocoa as a cash crop amongst the indigenous people, particularly the Tolais and in Bougainville. He played a prominent part in the establishment and growth of Vudal Agricultural College. Jack was a physically imposing man and his size and strength were matched by his intellect, energy and integrity. He is survived by his wife Shirley and family. Syd Saville

Ethel May LANGE (early March 2003)

Ethel was the widow of Geoffrey Rudolph Lange, a health inspector. She lived in Rabaul from 1948 to 1956. No further details available. Editor

Sister Shirley LUTTON (née Grey) (25 June 2002, aged 85)

Already a senior nursing sister at a Uniting Church hospital, Shirley offered her services to overseas missions and undertook further training at the George Brown Missionary Training School in Haberfield, Sydney, studying linguistics and anthropology. There she met Rev. Wesley Lutton: they trained together and were named to work in the same district in New Britain. Shirley was to take charge of the hospital at Nakanai some 150 miles west of Rabaul as the crow flies, and Wesley was posted to the Baining station in the mountains behind Rabaul. The night Shirley sailed for Nakanai she and Wesley became engaged.

Living conditions at Nakanai were primitive, and the hospital could not take in patients until construction was completed. In spite of the difficulties Shirley began work with enthusiasm, and coerced patients back to health with a mixture of commonsense and inventiveness. Rev. Jack Flentje who was at Nakanai at the same time wrote, ‘Shirley loved and cared for all of us in the area, black, white, whether we belonged to the Methodist church, the Catholic church or no church at all.’

Shirley is survived by her husband Wesley and children Peter, Linley, Ian and Jennifer. Rev. Jack Flentje

Cecile May MALONEY (8 November 2002, aged 80)

Cecile was the wife of the late Noel Maloney. She is survived by her daughter Sue, son Robert, and grandchildren. No further details available. Editor

Percy Vince ‘Snow’ MIDDLETON, OAM (24 October 2002, aged 89)

Snow Middleton grew up on his parents’ wheat farm in Victoria. Due to sickness at home, he left school at 15 to help run the farm . He enlisted in the AIF in late ’39 and was sent to Tobruk, where he soon found himself leading a bayonet charge. This was followed by action in Greece, Egypt and Syria. His Division then returned to Australia because of the Japanese threat. After a period instructing, he was invited to join Z Special Unit which he did. After a stint in PNG he was told to report to Z Special headquarters for further training, after which he served out of Darwin doing raids over to Timor, followed by work on Celebes and in British North Borneo. After the war Snow became involved in Commonwealth Disposals, and went to PNG doing Disposals work in Lae, Wewak and Finschhafen. By mid 1948 he was in charge of Commonwealth Disposals in New Guinea. Later he transferred to Port Moresby working for Treasury, which is where he met his future wife Val.

Snow’s services to the RSL and to the community began in the late 1940s and continued for the rest of his life.He took on a variety of positions in numerous voluntary organisations. He retired to Nambour Qld in 1970 and commenced a hobby farm. He then did voluntary work for the Maroochy Swimming Club (timekeeper), St Joseph’s Convent, Nambour (as supervisor/instructor for swimming classes), Coes Creek Progress Association (office-bearer), the RSL (various positions, too many to mention) and Sundale Nursing Home (fund-raiser).

Snow is survived by his wife Val and daughters Mary and Helen. Editor

Douglas John PARRISH (26 February 2003, aged 81)

Doug enlisted in the AIF in 1940, and the middle of 1943 found him behind enemy lines in the Sepik as a sergeant with a guerilla force known as Mosstroops. The official war history relates how in one engagement Sgt Parrish and a companion were attacked by – but put to flight – six Japanese and a dozen armed natives. In early 1945 he was commissioned with the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit, and served as a field officer while the islands were still being cleared of the enemy.

In May 1946 he took his army discharge in Lae, and immediately joined the New Guinea Administration in Rabaul as a patrol officer. For the next 15 years he operated in widely scattered districts of what became the Territory of Papua New Guinea. The PNG Administrator, Sir Donald Cleland, considered him an ‘outstanding’ field officer.

He declined a posting as a district commissioner to take up the lesser, newly created position of industrial organisations officer, charged with developing a framework for industrial relations, embracing both unions and employers, and the development of workers’ associations in PNG’s main centres.

His success there led to his appointment as PNG’s Secretary for Labour, where he energetically dealt with the myriad of industrial matters, including occupational health and safety, that were emerging because of major industrial development such as the giant Bougainville copper mine. There was no supporting legislation in place even for the operation of heavy equipment such as cranes, or for inspectors to enforce safety conditions. Among many other initiatives, Doug established a research and planning division, and a standards office to control weights and measures.

His dedication to his tasks was all the more considerable in view of a period of personal tragedy. On leave in Australia, he, Candy and their 10-year-old twin sons were attacked by a man while they were parked at midnight beside the highway near Taree. Having first shot and seriously wounded Doug, the attacker sexually assaulted Candy. Despite her own horrors, she saved Doug’s life by driving him to the Taree hospital, where his blood loss was stemmed. When the bullet was removed in Sydney, he was told he needed to remain there for three months to recuperate. While there, Christopher, one of the twins, was killed by a car on his way to school.

In 1971, with PNG self-government and independence on the way, Doug and Candy reluctantly left PNG for Sydney. Doug then embarked on a second career as an executive with the Bechtel Corporation, which sent him to Indonesia for twelve months to oversee new projects. He later became administration manager for the NSW Employers Federation for eight years, and for another five he was consultant to them and the Confederation of Australian Industry.

Doug was energetically active in our Association for 30 years. He was elected president in 1986 while Fred Kaad continued in the position of editor of Una Voce. In early 1989 Fred went overseas for an extended period, so Doug did the editor’s job as well, intending simply to ‘fill in’ until Fred returned. Then in 1992 Doug handed over the presidency to Harry West and was able to concentrate on Una Voce. During his seven years as editor, Doug transformed the journal: he introduced the regular sections we have today, and encouraged members to contribute stories of general interest and archival value. He also put in a great deal of behind-the-scenes work towards the publication of our book Tales of Papua New Guinea. He had a fascination for computers and was always ready to help committee members experiencing computer problems.

Doug’s wife Candy predeceased him. He is survived by a son, Craig. Harry West

James Rennie PIKE (28 February 2003, aged 69)

Before joining Royal Papua and New Guinea Constabulary in March 1955 as Sub Inspector, Rennie saw service in the Queensland Police. He served with distinction throughout PNG, and his guiding hand and practical experience, particularly at senior level, made him a valuable asset to the force and PNG generally. His experience, integrity and loyalty to the officers and PNG national police serving under him ensured that he won a considerable degree of respect from all races.

In accordance with the retrenchment program of the Independence era, he was terminated at the rank of Senior Superintendent at a time when his expertise would have been of considerable value to the national government. Returning to Australia, he joined the Commonwealth Police in 1976 and served until 1988 when he retired suffering serious medical problems which later claimed his life. He died at Brisbane.

Rennie always saw himself first and foremost as a ‘Police Officer’ (in the old fashioned meaning of the word) over his 33 years’ service, and he lived up to the standards of true professionalism. He was awarded the RPNGC Centenary Medal and the Australian National Medal, of which he was justly proud . He is survived by his wife Mel (well known in Lae netball circles) and daughters. E J Herbert and M R Hayes

Judith Mary RALPH – MUMMY JUDE (31 December 2002, aged 82)

Judith was the wife of Richard (Dick) Ralph of the Education Dept (1948-1966). Dick died in 1978. Judith and Dick lived in Port Moresby, Rabaul and Dregerhafen before returning to Port Moresby in 1951. Judith was an early enthusiastic supporter of CWA, Red Cross, and the early Konedobu Housewives Association, as well as a stalwart of St John Anglican Church. For many years (1952-1966) she ran a child minding centre at her home in Kaevaga offering a range of care from preschool to after school for up to 20 children at a time. To children and parents she was ‘Mummy Jude’, as Judith was too informal and Aunty Judith inappropriate as ‘she was not their aunt’. Many years later, at a PNG function in Canberra, a woman came to her and said ‘I should know your name, but please forgive me, I can only remember you as Mummy Jude’. Inevitably she became Mummy Jude to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Judith is survived by her 5 children (most of whom worked in PNG at some time), 13 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. Richard (Rik) Ralph

Francis Norman Wellford ROLFE (1 November 2002, aged 77)

Norm grew up in the Southern Highlands of NSW and began work with an accountancy firm in Cooma. At 18 he enlisted in the RAAF and served in the Philippines undertaking intelligence activities. In 1947 he joined the Provisional Administration of TPNG as a clerk in the office of the Government Secretary. On his first leave in 1949 he returned to Cooma and married Bette, his loved and loving wife of 53 years. Norm moved to the office of the Public Service Commissioner upon its formation and continued in public service administration until his retirement and for a period afterwards as a consultant. His final appointment was that of Member of the Public Service Board. He was awarded the Imperial Service Order in 1976. After his successful career in PNG extending over 30 years, Norm and Bette settled at Pomona in Queensland where for many years they operated the newsagency. Norm is survived by his wife Bette, their four children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Bruce Leslie

Jessie ROSS (12 March 2003, aged 98)

Jessie was born on Thursday Island. She was educated in Sydney and trained at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. She went to Rabaul in 1927 and in 1932 married Guinea Airways pilot Les Ross. The couple lived in Lae until the war. Her parents were the Duncans of Rabaul. For about 20 years she lived at Sir Roden Cutler Lodge at Gordon NSW until she broke her hip last October. Deirdre Ireland, Jessie’s niece

Katalin SCHAMSCHULA (5 June 2002, aged 76)

Kata, as she was known to her friends, was the widow of Dr Rudi Schamschula who was for some years the principal of the Dental College at Port Moresby. While there, her husband became associated with the project initiated by Dr David Barmes, the dental officer at Madang. David had found a village in the Sepik District where the inhabitants were apparently free of dental caries, which was most unusual for the region. The discovery created considerable interest and prompted a variety of research projects. Dr Barmes obtained an appointment at the World Health Organisation in Geneva to direct dental research and Dr Schamschula returned to the Dental Hospital in Sydney where he continued his interest in this unusual dental condition in the Sepik. Kata was a generous hostess and a devoted wife and mother of her two children. She is survived by son Robert, daughter Susan and grandchildren. Gabriel Keleny

Ivy STANMORE (5 January 2003, aged 68)

Ivy was born in Manchester UK. She arrived in PNG in 1960. There she met her future husband Peter in 1962 and the couple married in 1964. Ivy first worked for the Dept of Customs and Marine, then was associate to the Chief Justice, Sir Alan Mann, for eight years. She was very involved with the Ryder Cheshire Foundation. Back in Sydney she spent eleven years as associate to Justice Nagle at the Supreme Court. Ivy loved animals and spent her last years writing for ‘Wolf Song’ of Alaska on the perception of the wolf in mediaeval times; this was used for education purposes.

Ivy is survived by her husband Peter. Peter Stanmore

William Thomas TICEHURST (20 November 2002, aged 75)

Bill Ticehurst went to PNG in 1957 to fly for Gibbes Sepik Airways, thence to MAL and Ansett-MAL where he was Check and Training Captain in the Light Aircraft Division, then Command on DC3 aircraft. Bill and family returned to Victoria in 1967 where he flew the Bristol Freighter for Air Express and later owned and operated a taxi. Bill and family returned to PNG in 1972 to Air Niugini, then back to Victoria in 1974, finally settling at Ningi, Queensland. He is survived by his wife Mavis, daughter Deborah and Grandson William. Frank Smith


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.