Vale December 2008

ALLEN, Rose |  BUNTING, Gwendolyn Ethel |  BEATON, William Watson |  GOAD, John ‘Jack’ |  HEAD, Philip William (Phil) |  HERBORN, Donald Southwell |  JONES, Arthur Kenneth (Ken) |  McKAY, James William |  MANNING, Michael |  PARER, Terrence Gerrard |  PARSONS, Dorothy Elizabeth (Beth) |  PEARCE, Alan David |  VINCENT, Leonore |  WATTS, Edith Mabel |  WELBOURNE, Pam |  YORK, Barry Edward |  YOUNG-WHITFORDE, Audrey | 

 

Gwendolyn Ethel BUNTING (2 April 2008, aged 94)

Many people knew Gwen as an elegant, reserved lady with strong, clear views and able to deal with whatever life threw at her.  She was extremely dynamic, energetic, incredibly generous, and warm hearted.  In the1930s Gwen was nursing at St Luke’s Hospital, Potts Point. There she met Bob Bunting who came down from Papua every so often to visit his sick father, a Samarai businessman with interests in stores, stevedoring and plantations (his father died in 1939). In late 1940 Gwen and Bob were married, but their time together was brief as Bob, a private in the Army, was sent to Singapore. With the fall of Singapore, Bob was captured by the Japanese and sent to Changi and on to the infamous Burma railroad.

In January 1946 he arrived back in Sydney to his wife and a four year old daughter, Bev, whom he had never seen. Not long afterwards he returned to Samarai, followed later by a pregnant Gwen and their daughter Bev. Samarai had been devastated by the war: Gwen had to contend with inadequate housing, irregular food supplies, and malaria and other tropical diseases. In July 1946 their son, Peter, was born six weeks premature after Gwen had suffered many bouts of malaria. Their daughter Bettyann was born in 1947.

Bob continued to expand his father’s trading interests. Eventually there were Buntings stores in Samarai, Lae, Goroka, Kainantu, Popondetta and Sogeri, as well as copra plantations in the Milne Bay area. Working for Buntings in those days in various capacities were Blue Wynn, Dusty Miller, Bobby Rich, Bill Tilley and Ken Lee, then later on Russ Webster, Jerry O’Callaghan and Jack Skurrah. In 1955 the family moved to Goroka. In 1959 Bob and Gwen suffered a massive blow when their daughter, Bev, was killed in a car accident, aged just 18. Ten years later Bob died suddenly, leaving Gwen a widow at 55.   She gradually made a new life for herself in Sydney, spending time with family and friends, playing bridge and travelling. At the age of 90 she moved to Cairns to be near her daughter Bettyann. Bettyann Hughes

 

William Watson BEATON (30 May 2008, aged 77)

Watson Beaton died after a long illness in Darwin. He was born in the USA but grew up in north-east Scotland. He joined RPNGC as a contract officer on 23 January 1967 and separated on 31 December 1981 as a Chief Superintendent/Acting Assistant Commissioner. He served in Moresby, Rabaul, Hagen, Kavieng, Lae and PHQ at Konedobu. After service with the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in the early part of the Korean War (1950-53). He was a menber of the City of Glasgow Police between 1951 and 1955, returning to this police force after service with the Kenya Police 1955-1964, to remain for a further year. On migration to Australia, in 1965 he served with the Tasmania Police from 12 January 1966 until 20 January 1967, joining RPNGC three days later. For his lengthy police service he was awarded the Queen’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal in 1974.

On returning to Australia, he worked for Burns Philp, investigation services, ran a driving school, bred Rottweilers and travelled extensively. In 2006, he published his memoirs ‘Khaki & Blue’ under the pseudonym of Angus John MacDonald. He is survived by his wife Ronnie, daughter Shelley, son Richard and their families. Ronnie Beaton and MR Hayes

 

Rose ALLEN (16 August 2008, aged 91)

Rose spent many years in PNG with her kiap husband Bill. She passed away following a stroke in late July. Rose was predeceased by both Bill and their daughter Lynne. Among stations where they were posted were Kokoda and Mount Hagen, where Bill was Acting District Commissioner in the late 1950s. Some years ago, following Lynne’s death, Rose retired to Pottsville Beach, NSW where she was active in the Catholic Parish. She was a well-known and much loved personality, affectionately called Auntie Rose by many friends. Peter Skinner

 

John ‘Jack’ GOAD (4 August 2008, aged 90)

In 1924 Jack’s father, John C Goad, was an Assistant Medical Officer to the late Raphael Cilento (later Sir Raphael and father of actress Diane Cilento) in Kieta, Bougainville. Young Jack and his two younger brothers, Bruce and Malcolm, were given a mission education by a Sister from a nearby mission station outside Kieta, along with six other expatriate children. Young Jack’s fascination with the country that would be his lifetime home started when he comforted his wantoks of the same age whilst they were receiving tribal markings – Jack often spoke of this cherished memory and honour.

In 1934 the Goad family transferred to Kavieng where father and sons planted the infamous Kaut Plantation. Jack’s apprenticeship as a mechanic, at the age of 12, came to a sudden end when the workshop (opposite the now Mendana Hotel) burnt to the ground. He then became an office boy for Burns Philp, and learnt the ropes whilst making his way up to the Shipping Department. He was mainly self-educated.

In 1939, whilst the remainder of the Goad Family stayed at Kaut, Jack was transferred to Lae to take up the position of Shipping Manager. This transfer was the beginning of many in the position of Collector of Customs, which took him to the major ports in PNG. Prior to Jack leaving for Lae, on Anzac Day 1939, his brother Bruce was murdered outside Mendana Plantation. Jack revisited the site in 2000. Bruce is buried at Baigal Cemetary, Kavieng.

The family remained in New Ireland whilst, in Lae, Jack joined the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles. At the time of his death, Jack was one of only a few remaining originals of the NGVR: ‘a group of  fine men I was proud to be involved with’. John C Goad Snr was taken prisoner by the Japanese in Kavieng, and on 1 July 1942 lost his life along with over 1053 Allied personnel, members of the NGVR and civilians aboard the Japanese prison ship, Montevideo Maru, which had departed Rabaul for Japan. Jack’s ongoing and final wish was that the Australian Government bring closure to this sad incident by locating the wreck.

Later in 1942, Jack married the daughter of planter, the late Carl Jacobsen of Suambu Plantation. Jack was a founding Treasurer of the Lae Bowling Club, and founding member of the Lae Masonic Lodge, which was also built by Carl Jacobsen, various friends and himself. In the book Rabaul 1942, Douglas Aplin described Jack as a “New Guinea indestructible.” Jack and Emily Goad retired to Brisbane late 1973. Jack survived Emily by 24 years. During retirement, he recorded with son John, many hours of memories relating to his life in PNG. In his last week, Jack was with his son John Crayston and daughter Helen Maree. John C Goad

 

Philip William (Phil) HEAD (30 July 2008, aged 81)

Phil trained as a wood machinist and in 1949 joined the Commonwealth Department of Works in Port Moresby. While on a working holiday in England he met his future wife. He returned to Port Moresby and joined the Public Works Department. Marjorie followed him and they married in 1954. Phil transferred from the workshop to the administration section of Public Works, obtaining his adult matriculation on the way. Throughout his life Phil was very active in sporting, church and community affairs. He helped with the Port Moresby YMCA swimming program for 10 years, was manager of the PNG swimming team at the South Pacific Games in 1971, and the chief swimming judge at the 1975 South Pacific Games.

He was a life member of the Port Moresby Apex Club and the PNG Swimming Association. He was chairman of the Gemo Council (Gemo Island was a leprosarium). He helped build the Cheshire Homes for handicapped children and the Hohola Uniting Church. As chairman of the Boroko East School P & C he was influential in the establishment of an international school in Port Moresby. Phil spent two years with the Department of Agriculture and six months on secondment to the Police Department. The rest of his time in PNG was with Public Works where he finished as Assistant Secretary, Finance in 1976. The family then settled in Queensland and Phil continued his involvement in community affairs. In 2000 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Phil is survived by Marjorie, sons Philip and Christopher, daughter Meredith, and four grandchildren. Christopher Head

 

Audrey YOUNG-WHITFORDE (29 August 2008, aged 80)

Further details to come

 

Alan David PEARCE (8 August 2008, aged 73)

Alan was born in New Zealand and did his apprenticeship (motor mechanic) in his home town of Pukekhoe. He also did his National Service in New Zealand in the 1950s. In 1960 he came to Australia for a couple of years before going to Lae, where he worked for Ansett-MAL until 1963, when he left to work for Kokopo Garage. In 1964 he returned to Auckland for a year then back to Australia and on to Mount Hagen in 1967 where he worked for Kala Motors until 1974 and Plant and Transport (Public Works Department) until ‘go pinis’ in December 1979. After living in Coffs Harbour for a couple of years he moved to Brisbane. Those who remember Alan will recall he was a very keen clay target shooter. In the 1970s most weekends were spent at the Hagen Gun Club. Unfortunately in later years he had to give away shooting due to his health. In March this year Alan was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away at home. Bonita Anderson

 

Dorothy Elizabeth (Beth) PARSONS (31 August 2008, aged 89)

Beth, widow of Ian, passed away at Wagga Wagga. The family spent many years in the Wahgi Valley and Mt Hagen before returning to Australia. Beth is survived by Cameron who lives in Western Australia, Philippa who is on the NSW Central Coast and Duncan who cared for her for a number of years. Barbara Bell

 

Lenore VINCENT (29 August 2008, aged 81)

Lenore passed away suddenly in Canberra. Lenore and her husband John (deceased), spent time on Manus Island. Later they moved to the Wahgi Valley with Lenore’s brother, Peter Harbeck, followed by time at Wabag and Mt Hagen. Lenore is survived by Robyne, John, Kit and Jane and their families. Barbara Bell

 

James William McKAY, MBBS, DTM&H, DPH, Dip Ed, FRACGP (26 July 2008, aged 85)

Jim went to PNG in May 1954. His early postings were to Talasea, Minj and Port Moresby. After study leave in the UK in 1957 he was appointed District Medical Officer (DMO) Bougainville District. The following year he married Sister Ellen Murray whom he had met at Talasea. After study leave in Sydney in 1961, he was appointed DMO Western District, and in 1964 moved to Lae where he was Medical Superintendent, ANGAU Memorial Hospital. Jim found working in PNG immensely satisfying.

In 1965 Jim and Ellen, now with four daughters, settled at Crafers in South Australia, and over the next couple of years had two more daughters. They lived at Crafers for 42 years. Initially Jim worked for the SA Health Department, then in general medical practice. His last position was as medical officer and senior lecturer in educational psychology at the Adelaide College of Advanced Education. During this time Jim took special leave to work for the Australian Red Cross relief teams firstly in Nigeria/Biafra (in appreciation of his work he was made an honorary Chief of the Ibo Tribe), then in Ethiopia in 1974, when he was awarded the Red Cross Meritorious Service Medal. Further service was in East Timor in 1975 and on the Thai/Kampuchean border in 1979.

In retirement Jim returned to PNG in 1984 as Medical Officer at Kimbe for six months. In the early 1990s he lectured at Flinders University on ‘Famine in War’ for several years. He was awarded life membership of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 2003. The couple moved to Mt Barker, SA, in 2007. Jim is survived by his wife and six daughters, and grandchildren. Ellen McKay

 

Michael MANNING (22 August 2008, aged 65)

Recruited by the Government of a newly independent PNG, Mike initially worked in minerals and energy, then finance. From 1980 to 1993, he lived in Rabaul on East New Britain. Having married Relly, he was fully initiated into the Tolai community after renouncing his Australian citizenship and taking on PNG citizenship. He ran the New Guinea Islands Produce Company, which managed or advised on cocoa plantations, and traded crops. With the 1994 eruption in Rabaul disrupting the cocoa industry, Mike returned to Port Moresby where, in 1997, he became director of the PNG Institute of National Affairs, the country’s leading agency of independent economic expertise. For the eight years he ran the institute Mike was a hard-hitting critic of the declining standards of governance and a supporter of reforms started by Sir Mekere Morauta, now Opposition Leader, and Bart Philemon.

In 2006 Manning entered part retirement in East New Britain but worked with the anti-corruption organisation Transparency International PNG, whose leadership he assumed in 2003 after the death of its founder, Anthony Siaguru. Just prior to his death he was coordinating a revival of the PNG Growers’ Association, an agricultural pressure group.

PNG’s deputy Opposition Leader, Bart Philemon, said Manning was proud of his adopted country, enthusiastic about agriculture and development, and had spoken fearlessly about good governance and accountability.

He was buried in Relly’s home village of Baai, near Rabaul. She survives him with their children, David, Alan, and Belinda, the children of his first marriage in Australia, James, Kate, and Samuel, and his grandchildren, whom he visited often, and his brothers Chris and Ned. Hamish McDonald, excerpted with permission from Sydney Morning Herald, 9 September 2008

 

Pam WELBOURNE (7 September 2008, aged 65)

Pam was just 19 when she married Bill, who was attending the Australian School of Pacific Administration’s training course for Education Officers to serve in PNG. Their first posting was to Nodup near Rabaul. Bill and Pam had four children: two boys, followed by two girls. Sadly their elder daughter, Julie-anne, did not survive to adulthood. Bill said in his eulogy, ‘Pam and I have enjoyed a courageous and wonderful life together’: a touching tribute to his wife of 46 years. Pam is survived by her husband Bill, sons Tony and Andrew Noel, and daughter Angelique. Bill Welbourne

 

Arthur Kenneth (Ken) JONES MBE (27 August 2008, aged 85)

Ken Jones went to Lae in the early 1950s to establish the artificial limb centre which was finally set up as part of the ANGAU Memorial Hospital. He worked tirelessly, not only making limbs for hundreds of PNG amputees, but also training local Papua New Guineans to make limbs. Ken was an amputee himself (since 1941) and this gave him a greater understanding and empathy for his patients. The amputees were overwhelmed when they were finally fitted with their limbs and able to live more normal lives. Ken was highly respected in PNG and worldwide: many Australian and American medicos came to Lae to learn his skills and techniques. He was awarded an MBE and received the award in Port Moresby from the then Governor-General of Australia, Lord Casey. He retired in 1972, initially to Cairns and then to his home, Kingsley, WA. Ken had a very fulfilling life and a long and happy retirement. He is survived by his wife Elva, their daughter Glenda, and grandson Ryan. Glenda Clapp

 

Barry Edward YORK (14 May 2008, aged 73)

Barry had been ill for some time with diabetes, and had had a leg amputated in 2006. Barry was born in Burwood NSW. He was appointed as a Sub Inspector in the RPNGC on 9 March 1964 and served in Port Moresby, Lae, Wewak and Kainantu, attaining the rank of Inspector 3/c. He left PNG on 28 August 1974, settling in Logan City, Qld, and was employed by the Council there until his retirement on health grounds. He is survived by a daughter and a son. Max Hayes and Derek Bell

 

Edith Mabel WATTS, MBE (2008, aged 87)

Edith completed her nursing training in WA during WWII. Then she met and married John Watts. John became interested in the NG Highlands and he and Edith, with children, Robyn and Grant, settled at Mt Hagen where their third child, David, was born. John and Edith secured a lease to Ulya Plantation where they lived for over 25 years. They planted over 300 acres with coffee and created a beautiful home and garden.

Edith loved working with the local women and helping them to understand the changes taking place in their lives; she encouraged cash cropping and provided health care. She was instrumental in developing the lovely gardens in the township of Mt Hagen. Edith was very interested in politics and gave immense support to John when he was Member for Western Highlands in the PNG Legislative Assembly. For much of this time Edith managed the plantation, while pursuing her other community activities. She served various terms on each of the Western Highlands District Advisory Council, the Children’s Court and the Child Welfare Council.

She received the MBE for her work with women and children. She was made a Paul Harris Fellow – Rotary International’s highest award – for her work in the community. Edith’s love for PNG led to her taking out PNG citizenship. She left PNG very sadly in 1984 following the premature death of John and the sale of Ulya Plantation to the local people. She moved to Mooloolaba where she found a new life and took a very active interest in local affairs. She is survived by her three children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Robyn Watts

 

Donald Southwell HERBORN, OAM (31 August 2008, aged 89)

After spending his early life in Melbourne and attending Camberwell Grammar School, Don became an Australian Army Lieutenant in Malaria control in Rabaul in 1947.  In that year he resigned from the Army and joined the PNG administration as Health Inspector at Lae. He retired from the Administration about 1973 and then returned to work for the Lae City Council in the capacity of Senior Health Inspector until around 1980. He was active in the Lae community taking a keen personal interest in the indigenous employees he supervised. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his contribution as an Australian to Papua New Guinea. He was Patron of the Lae Football Association during the late 1960s. In Sydney after retirement he gave considerable help to Exchange Students mainly from Thailand. Robert Swift

 

Terrence Gerrard PARER (20 September 2008, aged 72)

Terry was the son of Cyril and Marie Parer, part of an extended family which pioneered the development of plantations and aviation in PNG. Terry ran a pharmacy in St George for 42 years. He was an active member of St Vincent de Paul for more than 40 years, an inaugural member of the Rotary Club of St George as well as a volunteer for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). After retiring in 1999 he moved to Brisbane in 2001 to be nearer family.

As a volunteer for MSF he and wife, Jennifer, went to Aitape for three months after the tsunami of 1998. In 2001 he went to Bougainville for similar volunteer work, setting up a pharmacy near the end of the civil war. In 2004 he walked the Kokoda Track with relatives and friends and on that trip installed a plaque in memory of photographer Damien Parer, his uncle, who filmed Kokoda during WWII winning Australia’s first Academy Award. Mr Parer’s compassion for the sick was an inspiration to all who knew him. Terry’s dedication as a country pharmacist was recognised in 2007 when he was made a life member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. He is survived by his wife and five children. Courier Mail, 18 October 2008

 

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