Vale September 2006

BRAZIER, Bruce Warwick |  BROWN, Kathleen Mabel |  BRUCE, Elaine |  DE GRAAFF, Pat (Ethel) |  FITZER, John Desmond |  MUNRO, Martin |  NIALL, Lady Una |  NOBLET, Pat |  ORME, Ian |  PARKER, Garry Lloyd |  PIKE, Stanley G |  QUINTON, Harold Victor |  WHITE, Brian Peter (BP) | 

 

Bruce Warwick BRAZIER (24 April 2006, aged 64)

Bruce was born in Wau to Bruce (Bill) and Aileen Brazier. In December 1941 the family was evacuated to Brisbane on the Katoomba. After the war Aileen and children returned to Port Moresby to be with Bill, who had been discharged from ANGAU and had an Administration house for the family at Konedobu. Bruce went to the Ela Beach School, and also went to the convent for music lessons. Later, Bruce was a boarder at the Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane where he was a leading chorister. Bruce met his future wife Elizabeth while both were studying at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. He became a lecturer in voice at the Queensland Conservatorium after doing his Bachelor of Music and studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London with the renowned Walter Gruner. After returning to Brisbane Bruce became an ABC soloist and performed frequently in lieder recitals, and was a soloist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and in opera. He was an examiner for the Australian Music Examiners’ Board and a vocal adjudicator on many occasions state-wide. Bruce had many happy memories of his childhood in Pt Moresby and always wanted to return and see PNG. In 1990 Bruce went to Wewak and taught at Passam National High School for a year. After gaining his Bachelor of Education, Bruce taught at St Peters Lutheran College, Indooroopilly, for many years and was a much loved and respected teacher. Bruce leaves his wife, Elizabeth, children Adrienne, Rebecca and Roderick, their spouses and five grandsons, and his sisters, Margaret and Beverley. Margaret Brazier    

Kathleen Mabel BROWN (27 May 2006, aged 91)

Kath was the wife of the late Reverend Rodger Brown of South Australia. After their marriage in 1940 they went to Sydney University to complete training for the overseas mission field. At 24, Kath found herself at Kabakada about eight miles from Rabaul. Several months later Kath found herself at Nakanai, a very remote place down the coast of New Britain. Her new home was at Malalia. There she ‘dressed wounds and horrific sores with almost no medical supplies’. A few weeks after the birth of her first son Graham, in November 1941 at Rabaul, Kath was evacuated with other wives and families on the Macdui. She and her tiny son Graham shared the same cabin with my mother Nellie Simpson and me (I was then seven months old).

It was a wonderful reunion for Kath and Rodger some weeks later, when Rodger had miraculously escaped on the Lakatoi. Two sons were born later; Jeff in Adelaide and Chris in Rabaul. Kath and the family spent many more years in New Guinea assisting with the rebuilding of the then Methodist Church, after World War II. Kath is survived by her three sons and three daughters-in-law, two sisters-in-law; 13 grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Margaret L. Henderson

 

Elaine BRUCE (29 July 2006)

Elaine was long-time Secretary to Doug McGuinnes, head of Lands Department, PNG, and for many years, up to the time of her death, on the Committee of the Gold Coast PNG Club and a member of our association. Harry West  

 

Pat (Ethel) DE GRAAFF ( October 2003)

Pat led a very active social life almost to the end and is much missed by family and friends. She is survived by her husband, Dimmen and daughter, Patricia Campbell. Editor  

 

John Desmond FITZER, OBE (Des) (27 June 2006, aged 73)

Des was born in Darwin and at the age of seven was sent to boarding school in Sydney. During his high school years at King’s, Des was a keen sportsman who played rugby union. One of his passions was the school band, and in his final year he was the Drum Major. After teaching at Tudor House, Moss Vale for a year he started a degree course at Sydney Uni. One day, on a tram, he saw a notice: ‘Are you seeking adventure? Come to the Territory of Papua and New Guinea’, and within six months, aged 21, he was on his way to the now country of PNG as Cadet Patrol Officer, a kiap. His first posting was to the Trobriand Islands.

Whilst on a year’s study course at ASOPA Des met and married my mother, Vivien Leaning. During the next few years he was promoted and posted to different stations including Daru, Kiunga (where he was border relations officer managing affairs along the rather vague border between what was Dutch West Irian, now Indonesian West Papua), Tapini, Bereina and finally Port Moresby when education became an issue. He remained there until 1996 when he was flown out gravely ill. During the early years Des spent much time away on patrol. One memorable patrol was the Star Mountain Patrol in 1963. Rock samples brought back from this patrol were found to have high concentration of gold and copper, and some years later the huge Ok Tedi Mine was established in this area. During all the moves and changes, we five children were born and, on reaching Port Moresby, Des dedicated more time to the family. He was strongly involved with the local community, the Scouts, Red Cross, our school P & C, the Agricultural Show, cultural outlets, the formation of the National Park at Varirata, and the upgrading of Koki Market among many other causes. He was always there for us at sporting events, strongly supporting whatever we wanted to do. In recognition of his community work and his contribution to the country through his job he was awarded a number of medals. These included the Imperial Service Order in 1975, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal, the OBE in 1990, and both the Independence and tenth Anniversary Medal from the Papua New Guinea Government. Des worked his way up through the government ranks, becoming the last European DC in PNG, and in an Independent country achieved the ‘unique position’, as his contract stated, of being the only expatriate Secretary of a Department (Provincial Affairs). Just prior to his departure he became an advisor to the PNG Prime Minister. The past ten years of ill health have been very hard for him but, with Mum by his side, he faced reality head-on and his strength and determination were a credit to him. Peter Fitzer  

Martin MUNRO (9 July 2005, aged 86)

Martin went to Rabaul in 1946 with Public Works. Later, he went to Malaguna Technical College before becoming Headmaster at the Primary A Schools in Madang and Kusbau. Martin left PNG in 1971, returning to live in Victoria. Martin’s wife, Joy, passed away in 2002. He is survived by Steve, Elizabeth and Gerard. Steve Munro  

 

Lady Una NIALL (10 June 2006, aged 89)

Una grew up in the southern tablelands of NSW. She later trained as a nurse receiving her midwifery certificate and Tresillian nursing certificate. After enlisting in 1942, Una joined the Aust military forces as a lieutenant and served in the 2/7 Aust general hospital. She was on continuous full time war service in the Aust army nursing service from November 1942 to January 1947 which included 420 days overseas. Her unit was based in the New Guinea theatre. On 26 September 1965 she married Horrie Niall. They lived in Lae, where Horrie was District Commissioner for Morobe district. Una took on social and charitable duties. In the lead up to Independence for PNG Horrie was elected the first speaker of the PNG House of Assembly and later knighted for services to PNG. When Horrie retired from public life they left PNG and lived in Palm Beach enjoying extensive travelling around Australia and overseas, golf and bridge (Una was a grand master). Horrie passed away in 1994. Robert Ferraris  

Pat NOBLET (11 May 2006, aged 91)

Pat Noblet first arrived in PNG on the MV Bulolo in August 1947 with two small children, Tony and Susan, to join her husband Keith who worked with the BGD Company. This was their first opportunity to be united as a family as Keith had remained in PNG during the war, fighting behind Japanese lines with the NGVR. The family moved to Lae in 1949 where Keith was appointed branch manager for BGD.

In 1951 Keith resigned from the company and purchased Wanaru, a partly developed pre-war cocoa plantation, 8 km from Lae on the Markham Road or number 7 bridge as distances were measured at the time. Wanaru later became a very successful cattle property and Pat’s house on the hill became her palace where she established a beautiful five acre garden with magnificent views over looking the Markham valley with a back drop of emerald green tropical jungle always threatening to take back what she had created. Gardening would be a lifelong passion. Pat loved entertaining at Wanaru. Many overseas visitors stayed at the plantation and enjoyed the welcoming hospitality. Most had an interest in cocoa and tropical agriculture. At one stage they were the principle supplier of cocoa to MacRobertson chocolate in Melbourne. Pat and Nobbie were early members of the Lae Golf Club and Pat was actively involved with the Red Cross and other community organisations. In 1979 they moved to the Gold Coast. In Australia, Pat again continued her love of gardening but also took up the new art of ‘pressed flower pictures’ taking much pleasure in passing on her creative skills to her grand children when they came to stay. Pat moved to Canberra to stay with Susie two years after Keith died in 1991. She enjoyed meeting Susie’s friends, giving gardening advice and following the development of her grand children and of course the daily crosswords. She joined Susie’s yoga classes in the gallery, began collecting and pressing flowers. She participated in art groups, and most of all helped with the acquisition of art and the selection of artists to show in the gallery. She adored spending time with all her family. Pat is survived by two children Tony and Susan, five grand daughters, Chris, Sally, Lindy Kate and Sam and four great grand sons. Tony Noblett

 

Ian ORME(7 April 2006, aged 59)

Ian was on the 1967 kiap course and served in the Madang Province where he spent time at Usino, Bogia (Josephstaal) and Madang and later in Kundiawa, Simbu Province, until he resigned in 1979. Quiet and unassuming, Ian quietly got the work done but was known for a quirky sense of humour. After serving as a kiap he bought the Bogia Hotel in partnership with ex-didiman Bob Wilson and in four years was able to turn the business around. He was married to Rose from Karkar for 29 years and leaves five sons and one daughter aged 12 to 26. For the past seven years he was General Manager of Kerema Trading. He was buried on Karkar. Alan McLay  

 

Garry Lloyd PARKER (5 May 2006, aged 62)

Garry served ten years (1963-72) in PNG as a patrol officer mainly in the Talasea, Kandrian, Pindiu and Alotau districts before returning to Australia to take up small crop and lucerne farming in the Gympie district. After a serious leg injury Garry became involved in the irrigation supply business where his earlier farming knowledge proved invaluable to the many farmers he worked with in the Gympie and South Burnett region.

In retirement Garry and his wife Lois spent many wonderful times on their boat sailing the coast of Queensland. Getting together with his former PNG mates and sorting out the problems of the world over a quiet ale or two was a favourite pastime. A good turn up of former Kiap mates bid farewell to Garry. He is survived by Lois, four daughters and 13 grandchildren. John Brady

 

Stanley G PIKE (2 June 2006, aged 87)

Stan was born in London. At age 16 he left school to help support his parents and worked for a nearby newsagent. Later he was employed as a clerk in the London Midland and Scottish Railway. As an army reservist he was called up at the outbreak of war and served for seven years during the Battle of Britain and in the Middle East. He retrained after the war as a teacher and successfully applied for a senior position in Nigeria but instead ended up with the NSW Education Department, arriving in Sydney in July 1951. Stan and his family moved to Rabaul in 1963 and two years later he was appointed Principal of Malaguna Technical School. It was a school that had been founded in 1923 and had a pretty ordinary history. Stan’s arrival was like a breath of fresh air. He was meticulous in everything he did. The school was always in pristine condition and he made sure that the students understood this was something worth pursuing. He wrote the school motto of ‘work, achievement, pride’ and constantly reminded them that these words should spur them on to better things for themselves, their college and the country. He was innovative in his ideas about school governance. The school council included members from government, the missions and private enterprise. He was very successful in gaining sponsorship from local businesses and the giant CRA copper mine on Bougainville.

Stan Pike left the Territory on the SS Cathay in May 1973 and settled in Canberra. He became Bursar at the Canberra Technical College and later acting Registrar at the renamed Canberra TAFE College. He and Vio also lived for a time in Caloundra before returning to Canberra where they were closer to their three children, Derek, Lesley and Graeme and their families. Not long ago Stan wrote to ex Maltech staff inviting them to a reunion: ‘for those of my friends who may think I might now be an old codger – NOT SO! I am only 86 … For those of you who may not know, my darling wife passed away three and a half years ago at age 80 after having had sixty five years with me.’ John Kleinig  

Harold Victor QUINTON, CMG, AM, OBE, FCA (29 March 2006, aged 93)

Born in Sydney and educated at Sydney Boys High School, Hal started as an office boy but within 12 years had become a chartered accountant. He went on to employ 40 people and had branch offices in Canberra, Moresby and London. He became chairman of eight companies registered on the Sydney Stock Exchange and director of many others including two in California. He was also a Life Governor of The National Parks and Wildlife Foundation and on the Board of the Sydney Police & Citizens Club. Hal’s connection with PNG appears to have started pre-war but post-war he became a director of Dylup Plantations, a member of The Copra Marketing Board, and was also associated with several companies and adviser to the government. His work in PNG earned him the honour of Commander of St Michael and St George, and as the Queen presented him with his award, she said ‘The Papua New Guinea government must think a lot of you. This is the highest honour it gives to a foreigner.’ In 1959 Hal married Colleen who many of you would have met on their frequent visits to PNG and who contributed so much to their happy life together. Hal was very generous to many charities and a thoughtful friend. He leaves his wife and sister and many happy memories. Fred Kaad  

 

Brian Peter (BP) WHITE (28 February 2006)

A member of the 1962-63 Cadet Education Officers’ course at the Australian School of Pacific Administration, Brian was married to Namwekona (Nammie), a Trobriand Islander, and was father of Fiona, Peter, Stephen, Bronwen and Tasminnie.

Arriving in PNG in 1963, Brian taught at Mandi near Wewak and was later posted to Rabe before being promoted as teacher-in-charge at Divinai. Between 1967 and 1973 Brian was headmaster (‘quite an impressive title’ he would say) at Losuia before serving at Alotau and Kerema, from where he left in 1976 to teach in Queensland’s Catholic education system. Brian never returned to PNG ‘although my wife (Nammie) has, on a few occasions. Her family still ask when I’m coming back to collect my yams, the traditional gift to seal a wedding. I hope, when I do collect, the original yams aren’t still waiting for me’. ASOPA colleague Bill Welbourne says: ‘Our buddy was an inspirational teacher who unselfishly gave care and guidance to many students who were the lucky recipients of his stewardship. Keith Jackson, AM

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