The ‘Territorian’ Newspaper – Port Moresby 1950: Ray Kelly

Popular sportsman and Magani Rugby Team wingman, Jim Jeffreys, son of Mrs Prue Frank of Rouna Road, 4 Mile, was Publisher-Editor of a newspaper titled the Territorian.
It was of foolscap format, produced on a hand operated ‘Gestetner’ Roneo duplicator, and the number of pages varied according to the amount of news copy the editorial staff had gathered during the week. The leading page had an ornamental pre-printed mast-head Territorian and from memory there were from 6 to 8 pages per issue.

Printing was always on a Friday night, following a nice evening meal prepared by Prue. The staff comprised Jim, editor-reporter-typist, plus one of his mates from the Yacht Club as sports reporter and myself, a reporter-cum-illustrator.

Jim was fairly proficient at typing, although when the typing of each wax sheet was finished, there were usually a range of red solution repairs visible after correcting the identified errors.

The content comprised social events, notes on visiting personalities, sporting results, public interest features such as court cases and constructive criticism of various matters including ABC radio station 9PA, the state of Ela Beach, the shortage of essential supplies in Department Stores and Governmental Departmental matters especially the Public Works Department.

I recall one feature article which required an illustration. It depicted a man walking along a street carrying a long stepladder, with a bystander asking why he carried it. The reply was “This is just in case I fall into one of the potholes on Ela Beach Road”. Cutting neat illustrations depicting clearly defined human features was a rather difficult task on to the wax roneo sheets.

These very pleasant Friday nights drew to a close after several months through mid-1950 when, in late September, the South Pacific Post made its appearance.

Ian Stuart, in his fine work Port Moresby Yesterday and Today p155 refers: “The town’s post-war newspaper, the South Pacific Post, began publication on Tuesday September 20th 1950.

“At the opening ceremony, His Honour, The Administrator, paid tribute to those who had filled the gap since the end of the war with various duplicated news-sheets. The titles of these news-sheets were not recorded and little is known of their existence although no doubt there are copies available in the Port Moresby Public Library on Ela Beach.”


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