Vale June 2005

BANKS, David |  DOOLAN, Laurie |  ENDERS, Dr Paul Seigfried |  GASCOIGNE, Stanley Clifford |  HASTINGS, Eric Frederick |  JEFFERIES, Alan CharlesMcKINNON, James Connell | PRESS, Elmah Malana |  LEVY, Dawn |  STEWART, Jill Ruth |  THRIFT, Lionel John |  WATKINS, Majorie | 


Dr David BANKS (7 May 2005, aged 55)

Australia’s top quarantine scientist was one of 15 victims of a plane crash in far north Queensland – his final journey to the region before retiring. Dr Banks was the principal scientist for Biosecurity Australia, which sets quarantine restrictions for Australia. Dr Banks, formerly a pilot in the airforce reserve, had qualified as a veterinarian in London and later became chief veterinary officer in Papua New Guinea. He completed a doctorate in epidemiology at James Cook University and undertook a series of research projects in livestock diseases across the Pacific Islands, Indonesia and Timor. Dr Banks leaves a wife and three children. The Australian, 9 May 2005


Laurence DOOLAN (2 March 2005, aged 80)

Laurie was born in Barcaldine, Qld. After serving in the RAAF he transferred to ANGAU in 1946, however this was immediately disbanded to Civil Administration. Laurie attended the first ASOPA three-month course after which he married Robin in 1946. Leaving Robin to follow when housing became available, Laurie being a patrol officer in Madang. At that time this meant being a jack of all trades – clerk, school bus driver, etc. – but also included patrols to Karkar Island and a three-month war damage patrol in the Ramu where he became proficient in giving injections for yaws.

Following Robin’s arrival in December 1947 the Doolans were posted to Bogia. Then followed Dreikikir in the Sepik District, Telefolmin in 1951, Angoram in 1952 before returning to Sydney for the ASOPA two year course in 1954/5. Returning to PNG the family went to Milne Bay and the interesting Trobriand Islands. From 1957-1963 Laurie was ADO and Acting District Officer Samarai. He joined Samarai Lodge and was also church warden.

In 1963 he was posted to Kundiawa, Chimbu, one of two Divisions of Eastern Highlands District. In 1965 Laurie was acting District Commissioner, Goroka, before returning to Chimbu where he was District Officer and later, District Commissioner. Laurie had tremendous rapport with the local people becoming known as ‘Doolan bilong Simbu’. A change of posting during those years sent a delegation to Director Tom Ellis that Doolan had to stay in Chimbu. Tom thumped the table and told them to ‘take him back and plant him’. After ten years in Chimbu, Laurie finished his time in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands District, and six weeks in Michael Somare’s office at ‘Happy Valley’ before ‘going finish’ to Maleny Qld in 1975. Laurie’s door was always open to those needing him. He trained three indigenous officers as District Commissioners.

In Maleny, Laurie developed an avocado orchard and nursery, also growing kiwi fruit and macadamia nuts until 1988 when he retired. During this time Laurie was active in Freemasonry, Rotary and as President of the Local Ambulance Committee. A tree has been planted in his memory at the Maleny and District Ambulance Station. He was always active in local organisations, both in PNG and in Maleny.

Laurie is survived by Robin, their five children, Coralie, Terry, Margret, David and Denise, and 13 grandchildren. Robin Doolan


Dr Paul Seigfried ENDERS (13 February 2005, aged 86)

Paul was the youngest of six children born, in what is now southwest Poland, to a German family. In 1937 he entered Prague University with a scholarship to study medicine. At this time Czechoslovakia was in turmoil and was annexed by Germany in September 1938. Events around his life during the war are indefinite. Paul was conscripted into the German army, served in the medical corps north of Leningrad in the Murmansk salient, and was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery providing medical care in the frontline under enemy fire. He recommenced medical studies at Innsbruck University in Austria while still serving in the army. As the end of war loomed his regiment fled from the advancing Russian forces to ensure capture by the Americans. On his release in 1944, Paul recommenced full time studies at Innsbruck University. In 1946 he met Vilma then graduated in 1947 and they were married soon after. They migrated to Australia in 1949 where Paul was a medical orderly at Bonegilla before being recruited to the PNG Medical Service by Dr John Gunther. He was posted to Namatanai in early 1950, then to Wau and Bulolo from 1953 to 1957. Paul became District Medical Officer Wewak and then Regional Medical Officer Rabaul before being appointed Assistant Director of Medical Services in Moresby in 1969. After ‘retiring’ to Terry Hills in 1974 he took an appointment in the NSW Dept of Public Health in family planning and sexually transmitted disease control, retiring in 1988 with an honorary commendation from Sydney Hospital.

In 1991 Paul and Vilma moved to Neutral Bay. Sadly Vilma passed away in 2004. Paul moved with his son Tony and daughter-in-law Jane to Christchurch in November 2004 and was starting to enjoy his newly adopted country. He is survived by Tony and Jane. Dr Roy Scragg


Stanley Clifford GASCOIGNE (3 November 2004, aged 75)

Stan was born in Rabaul, attending the public school there until evacuated to Melbourne with his mother and sister, Betty, in December 1941. After graduating as a Civil Engineer from Melbourne Technical College in 1951 he joined the State Electricity Commission. Several years later he went overseas working first in Glasgow before moving to Canada where he worked in Toronto and Windsor for eight years. Stan returned to Australia in 1962 and resumed working for the State Electricity Commission. In 1978 he married Esther (Paul) who survives him, as does his sister Betty. Betty Muller    

Eric Frederick HASTINGS (18 July 2004, aged 66)

Eric was born in India and came to Australia at the age of two years. He joined the NSW Police as a Cadet in July 1955, and resigned as a Constable in April 1962. On 18 June 1962 he joined Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, and was stationed at Rabaul and Kokopo. Resigning in January 1966 he joined CDW at Rabaul, later transferring with CDW to Lae and Wewak, leaving PNG in 1972. In 1965, at Rabaul, he married Narelle Lyme, daughter of Reg Lyme who came to Rabaul in 1946. They divorced in 1982. Eric is survived by his partner and four sons from his first marriage. M.R. Hayes


Allan Charles JEFFERIES (December 2004, aged 85)

Allan was born in England and at the end of the Pacific war was serving as an ANGAU Patrol Officer. He joined the Provisional Administration of PNG on 31 January 1947 and served as a District Administration Field Officer until Independence in a number of districts. He retired to Sydney and is survived by his wife Joan. Warren Reid


Dawn LEVY (14 March 2005, aged 77)

Dawn lived and worked in Port Moresby, Goroka and Mt Hagen from 1950 until 1974 when the family moved south and settled in the Port Macquarie area. In the 1950s Dawn worked for Police Headquarters in Konedobu. Later in Mt Hagen she worked for the District Commissioner Tom Ellis, Mick Foley and then the Police superintendent Jim Dutton. She was considered one of the pioneers of the Western Highlands District participating in numerous community organisations such as Red Cross, Hagen Show Committee, Farmers & Settlers Association, Parents & Citizens, Hagen Players, Golf Club, Pioneer Club and Pony Club. Along with her external involvements she was kept busy managing the coffee plantation at Bitam in the Dei Council; running trade stores, a soft drink factory, coffee buying and bringing up six children while supporting Keith when he was elected to the 1st House of Assembly representing the Mt Hagen Open Electorate. Dawn was the beloved wife of the late Keith Levy and is survived by her children Gayle, David, James, Mark, Teresa and Keith, 19 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Colleen Neville


James Connell McKINNON (4 April 2005, aged 83 years)

No further details available


Elmah Malana PRESS (23 March 2005, aged 53)

A little red car whizzed about Darwin bearing the rego plate “Malana” which East New Britain wantoks were pleased to recognise as abbreviated Kuanua for ‘Good Morning’. Sadly the lady driver has lost her battle with kidney problems. Elmah was a Kokopo girl who trained as a teacher at Wards Strip, Moresby and, to her father’s dismay, accepted a posting to the Southern Highlands. She met Mike, then a patrol officer at Erave, they wed at Ialibu, and their first child was born at Kagua. When the family was transferred to the Sepik, Elmah was a relief teacher at Amanab and Vanimo. Post-Independence the Presses spent five years at Wewak and came south in 1984 to the NT. At Katherine Elmah assisted with creches and the women’s crisis group and on moving to Darwin in 1995 she was prominent in after-school activities at three schools.

Jolly and courageous Elmah touched a lot of lives and 140 mourners packed the church for the funeral where several hymns were sung in the Tolai tongue. Mike Press, still in NT Government service, is left with four daughters and one grandchild named Luluai. Jim Toner


Lionel John THRIFT (12 March 2004, aged 89)

Lionel was brought up in the Upper Hunter River area of NSW. Following high school he did his Dip.Ed. at Armidale Teachers’ College followed eventually by a Bachelor of Economics at Sydney University at night. After marrying Joyce Eyles in 1941 Lionel enlisted in the RAAF, doing basic training in Australia and becoming a fully fledged pilot in Canada. He saw service in India before leaving the Air Force in 1945 at the rank of Flight Lieutenant. After a short return to teaching Lionel joined the newly formed Trans Australia Airlines as a foundation member in 1946. Transferring to Melbourne in 1956 from Sydney he became Assistant Senior Route Captain. Nearing a then low pilot retirement age in 1960, Lionel was offered the PNG Area Manager job. The family moved to Port Moresby, then Lae, then back to Moresby over the following nine years which were a highlight of Lionel’s life as the family made many lifelong friends. Returning to Melbourne in 1969 Lionel took on the role of Planning and Development Manager until retiring in 1977. The following year they moved to Buderim where Lionel enjoyed his golf and his friends. Sadly, Joy died in 2000. Lionel is survived by two sons and a granddaughter. Craig and Greg Thrift


Marjorie WATKINS (9 March 2005, aged 79)

Daughter, Margo, hopes to send further details for the next issue.


Jill Ruth STEWART, OBE (12 November 2004, aged 80)

Jill and David were married in St Johns, Port Moresby, in 1948 by Canon HE Palmer. When David was posted to Kavieng in 1952, Jill became the first European to nurse indigene male and female under Dr Roy Scragg. Returning to Port Moresby at the end of 1956, Jill nursed at the General Hospital until the end of 1983 when David retired and the family returned to Australia. In 1985 Jill and David went to Honiara and Jill relieved the doctor who was caring for the American volunteers in the Solomons for a short time. Returning again to Australia in 1987 they settled in Neutral Bay before moving to Bateau Bay on the Central Coast. David Stewart

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