Contributions are welcome and may be used in our quarterly journal. Please include date (approximate is fine), names and place. Permission to use photographs should be obtained from the authors or check with PNGAA.
Comprising a collection of nine Galleries containing a total of 471 images covering gold mining activities in the 1930's; an account, with photos, of Queen Emma and family; early photos of Rabaul and environs during the German administration by an early Methodist Missionary; the Ian Skinner Collection of historic pictures of his experiences in the Central Highlands in 1938; as well as the Francis Lasker Collection, together with a series of 'Golden Oldies' by Chris Read; Rabaul, Kokopo and Port Moresby as seen through the eyes of Andrea Williams during 2008; a series of love letters written over a hundred years ago and a selection of paintings by artist Harly Dickinson
Photos taken by E.A. (Ted) Hawnt (1910-1976) during the 1930's of Rabaul and the Morobe Goldfields (including several unrelated photographs). (Permission to reproduce granted by Janet Dykgraaff, Ted Hawnt 's Niece)
PNGAA member, Kevin Lock, through a chance encounter, met Mrs Pat Shea who happens to be the grand-daughter of Master Mariner Soren Nelson who, as you can see from the Remembrance Card (the 1st photo), was lost at sea on or about 14 September 1907.
She kindly lent Kevin a series of letters written by Soren Nelson to his wife, a newspaper cutting from the North Queensland Register (circa 11 November 1907) and a number of photographs showing Samarai and part of the Trobriands, all taken circa 1906.
Mrs Pat Shea has kindly given permission for these to be reproduced on our web site.
The PNG National Gamefishing Titles were held in Rabaul during Easter 2008 making a good excuse us to visit and catch up with old friends - those who still lived there and others who had also returned for the Titles. The National Titles are held in Rabaul once every few years - sharing with Pt Moresby, Lae and Madang, with Alotau proposed to join in in the future.
Matupit was mesmerizing as it continually roared and erupted whilst we were there but we also visited the New Guinea Club which now houses a wonderful collection of historic memorabilia collated by the Rabaul Historical Society. We ventured up to Namanula, then over the Nordup Road to Tavui (Sub Base) where my father’s family home was located before WWII. On to Bitapaka War Cemetery, still a very beautiful and peaceful space to reflect on the tragedies touching Rabaul’s history. Finally Kokopo and the Ralum Club with the golf course and Queen Emma’s steps nearby, Vunapope Mission, the market, and the Kokopo War Museum. A highlight of our visit was a Bainings fire-dance - the fire crackled whilst the dancers responded to the crescendos of the singers and their continual beat.
John Harold Margetts was born at Higham, near Chester, England, on 17 May 1884. He studied for the ministry of the Methodist Church at Queen’s College, and came to Australia as a minister in 1910. In 1913 he went to German New Guinea as a Methodist Missionary and was stationed on Neu Pommern (New Britain). In 1914 he was given the additional role of Chaplain to the ANMEF (Australian Naval & Military Expedionary Force). He served for twenty-two years in German New Guinea and then, following the mandate given to Australia by the League of Nations at the end of WW1, the Mandated Territory of New Guinea, at several centres on New Britain and in the Duke of York Islands. He became fluent in the language of the Tolai, Kuanua or Tinata Tuna, which served as the main language of the Methodist Mission, and wrote a number of hymns in that language.
He was a devoted pastor and a man of gentle nature. In the late 1920s he was appointed Chairman of the District, but this administrative position, in which hard decisions had sometimes to be made or persons disciplined, did not suit his nature, and he was glad to return to pastoral work when another Chairman was available. When Rabaul’s indigenous workers went on strike for higher wages in 1929, they gathered at Catholic and Methodist Mission centres on the outskirts of Rabaul. Margetts listened sympathetically to those who gathered at the Methodist centre, Malakuna, and visited the Administrator’s office to plead for them not to be punished. He then advised the strikers to return to work; when they said they were afraid they would be beaten, he personally shepherded them back to their places of work in the town, again pleading for them to be treated leniently. For this, he was verbally attacked by many Australian residents, and his pleas were generally disregarded. It was said that “He wasn’t a very effective Chairman, but he was so kindhearted he wouldn’t hurt a fly.” Margetts died at Kabakada on 14 July 1935, and was buried in the European Cemetery, Rabaul. He was survived by his wife Adelaide, who returned to Australia.
(Our thanks to Rev. Neville Threlfall for the above information)
Frances Lasker was born Frances Jean Hibberd on 13 July 1923 in Melbourne. She worked as a typist, stenographer and secretary prior to and during her service in the Women's Royal Australian Air Force 1942-46. After her demobilization, she worked for a time for the Public Service in Canberra. She worked for the Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries in Port Moresby in 1947. She returned to Port Moresby in 1949 where she met and married Graham Svensen. This marriage did not endure and in 1961 she married Robert (Bob) Lasker.
Note that copyright of these photographs is vested in Frances' daughter, Anne Webster - all requests for use in publications or for any other commercial purpose should be referred to her through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos depict scenery, expatriate Australians and local inhabitants, predominantly in and around Port Moresby.
Harley Dickinson KCSJ, AAIM, was in PNG from 1958 to 1980.
From PO through to holding a number of responsible Government positions:
PNG Magistrate, Highlands Land Council and Coroner to name a few.
On return to Australia he went into politics and was MLA (Lib.) for South Barwon 1982-92
He paints as a recreational pursuit.