Vale June 2009

CUPKA, Ray |  EDWARDS (née HOERLER), Hildegarde (Hilde) Maria |  FERGUSON (née WOOD), Margaret |  FOSTER, Charles |  GARRETT, Anne Carlyle |  HENDREN, Jack |  KRANS, Chris |  LOH, David |  MASON, Kate |  McKENZIE, John |  PARKINSON, Arthur David |  SHANLEY, CG Adelaide |  STUBBS, Laurie | 


Ray CUPKA (21 February 2009, aged 65)

Ray went to PNG in 1967 where he was employed as a Traffic Officer with Ansett Mandated Airlines based in Wewak. Later he was transferred to Madang and then on to Brisbane with Ansett. On his retirement he moved to Cannonvale. Ray passed away in a Brisbane hospital after a battle with melanoma. He is survived by his wife Delia, his son Ben and his brother Des. Norman Janke


Hildegard (Hilde) Maria EDWARDS (née HOERLER) (18 November 2008, aged 75)

A rare beauty of noble descent (Swedish side), German, Polynesian and Tabar Island blood lines, Hilde was the second born of 10 children to Harry and Elsa Hoerler.  The family survived internment by the Japanese at Ramale POW Camp, Kokopo area. Erich Joseph, Hilde’s brother, did not survive. Hilde and Ernie were married for over 52 years and managed several properties: Mala Plantation (New Ireland), Mioko Trading Station Duke of York Islands, Stockholm Plantation in the Bainings area, Tokota Plantation Kokopo area, Langu Plantation in the Witu Islands off Talasea, Arawe Plantation on south coast of New Britain near Kandrian and lastly Manuan Plantation in the Duke of Yorks. We departed Rabaul for Brisbane on the second last trip of the Bulolo in 1967 and have resided in the Redcliffe/Deception Bay area ever since. Hilde was the devoted and beloved wife of Ernie (eldest son of George Edwards), mother of Ernie jnr (deceased), Christopher (deceased), Errol and Lynette.  Grandmother of 14 and Great Grandmother of 8. Ernie Edwards


Margaret FERGUSON (née WOOD) (12 March 2009, aged 104)

Margaret travelled from New Zealand to Rabaul to marry Eric Percy Wood in December 1931. She and Eric lived on the north Bainings coast of New Britain managing coconut plantations owned by W.R.Carpenter’s: firstly at ‘Neinduk’, then ‘Lilinakaia’, before relieving at ‘Nuguria’ (Fead Islands) for Lew Carson.

On returning to Rabaul Margaret and a friend, Jean Doyle, opened up the ‘Coconut Tearooms’ in Mango Avenue which operated until the time of the 1937 eruption.  Margaret’s six years in New Britain have been told in the self published book, Coconuts and Tearooms, written by her daughter Pat Boys who was born in Rabaul in 1933.  Pat Boys


Captain Charles FOSTER (24 December 2008, aged 94)

Charles went to PNG in 1955. For the first year or so he was relieving harbour master in various ports before taking up the position of Harbour Master in Port Moresby in 1957. He was joined there by his wife, Catherine, and children, Gillian and Graeme. He later became the Superintendant of Marine for PNG. He and his wife, Catherine, retired to Hobart in 1969. His son Graeme died in Brisbane in 1993 and his wife, Catherine, died in Hobart in 2003. He is survived by his daughter Gillian Foster (Hobart); granddaughters, Jacqueline Gates, Sian and Brie Foster, and two great granddaughters, Ella and Taylor Gates. Gillian Foster


Anne Carlyle GARRETT (6 February 2009)

loved mother and mother-in-law of Tom and Kirsten, Simon, Jodie and Robert, Katie and Sean, loved grandie of Ben, Sally, Cameron, Jesse, Lucy, Ella, Tilla. Loved great-grandmother of Lachlan and Kai.   Info from SMH


Jack HENDREN (20 March 2009)

No further details available.


Chris KRANS (16 September 2008, aged 61)

Chris was born in Leiden, Holland on 26 January 1947, and came to Australia with his family when he was 3 years old. He grew up in rural Victoria and attended school and university obtaining a degree in Forestry, following in his Father’s interests in horticulture and plant propagation. He also had a talent for music and languages and managed to glean a very useful knowledge of several.

Following his graduation from the Creswick Forestry College, Chris joined the Papua New Guinea Forest Department, and worked at the Bulolo Forestry Station from 1969 to 1974. At the end of 1974, Chris returned to Bulolo employed by Commonwealth New Guinea Timbers, returning to Australia in 1979. He gained a good knowledge of the local customs and practices, which led to his employment with Bunnings Forest Products in 1980, when they acquired the Vanimo sawmill in north-west Papua New Guinea. He moved to Perth to take up the position with Bunnings, and from there managed a number of projects both forestry and mining. In his working life he also acquired a practical legal, finance, engineering and weather knowledge.

Chris became an enthusiastic Hoo-Hoo international forestry and timber industry fellowship member and was president of the Perth club in 1988/89. He was seriously involved in various club schemes making timber toys for handicapped or disadvantaged children. The more recent projects included production of wooden toys and small furniture by club members of Santa’s Workshop, but Chris also worked alone and produced a range and large quantities of small toys, jewellery boxes, and micro furniture for dolls houses. This occupied many hours of Chris’s time when ill health forced his early retirement. 

When he was very young he contracted polio, and while in New Guinea he had glandular fever. In the early 1990s he was advised that he had an enlarged heart, thought to be from a virus contracted in the tropics. This in turn caused other major health problems. He remained fiercely independent, surrounded by his art, thousands of books and music. John Godlee


David LOH, OL (29 April 2009, aged 66)

David Loh, long time didiman who died suddenly in Rabaul, had lived in PNG for a total of 46 years, almost 39 of these in the Keravat and Rabaul areas of East New Britain. He graduated from Gatton Agricultural College in 1962 and went to PNG in 1963. He worked in the Eastern and Southern Highlands, and in Popondetta, and in June 1970 he transferred to the Lowlands Agricultural Experiment Station (LAES) at Keravat. He was Officer-in-Charge of LAES for some years and organised the LAES 50th anniversary celebration.

In 1989, he became a naturalised citizen and moved to Rabaul. He worked for the PNG Growers’ Association at Kokopo for many years. In 1992 he purchased the New Britain Lodge and had it operating just in time for the Lodge to be badly damaged in the 1994 volcanic eruption. David was active in many community organisations including the North Coast Sports Club at Keravat (which he ran), acting as a Councillor on the Rabaul Town Council and as a Board Member of the National Agricultural Research Institute. He was President of the East New Britain Chamber of Commerce and a committee member for the National Mask Festival, the Tourist Board and the Rabaul Market Trust. He was inducted as a Tolai ‘dukduk’ in 2004. He was made a ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ by Rotary International, was a recipient of the 25th PNG Anniversary Independence Medal in 2000 and was awarded the Order of Logohu by the PNG Governor General in 2007. The numerous prominent persons who gave testimonials at his funeral in Rabaul indicate the high regard in which he was held in the Rabaul area and by farmers in the region. Susan Alexander (née McGrade) and Mike Bourke


Kate MASON (20 January 2009, aged 91)

Passed away at Schongau, Germany. Her late husband Frank died 14 years ago and she missed him greatly. Frank worked for the Department of Education and was posted to various locations in PNG. Upon retirement they moved to live in Germany.   Joe Nitsche


John McKENZIE (14 May 2009)

Passed away in Scotland.  Loved husband of Maymie and father of Susannah, David and John.  Florence Cohen


Arthur David PARKINSON (1935-2009)

Always known as David rather than Arthur, his untimely death ends a life of service and dedication. He first came to Papua New Guinea in 1956 as a Medical Assistant or in the terminology of the time an EMA – European Medical Assistant. These young men and some not so young were the front line medical providers in much of PNG in those days. David did extensive medical patrols in the Sepik and the Highlands. He subsequently attended the University of Adelaide qualifying in Medicine and Surgery, and he returned to PNG working as a Medical Officer and eventually Assistant Director, Malaria Control. After leaving PNG in the late 1970s, he did post-graduate studies in the UK and afterwards worked for WHO in the Solomon Islands and Samoa. In Australia, he joined the army and worked in a Malaria Research Unit with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. For the last years of his life, he was in general practice in the Western Suburbs of Sydney. At his funeral service, Michael, his son, spoke of his father’s humanity in a varied career of service to others. Over the years, David’s contribution to the health of others has been immense. The people of PNG have particularly lost a true friend and benefactor.

David’s first wife, Ruth, predeceased him and he is survived by their children, Michael, Fiona and Jamie. His wife, Vaiola, and their children, Nathan, Ricky, Tanya, Corian and two grandchildren, Charley and Georgie survive him. David Wall


CG Adelaide SHANLEY (19 April 2009, aged 86)

Late of Balgowlah. Went to Rabaul in 1949 with her husband, Alexander (deceased), with the Department of Education. From 1964 to 1969, Adelaide was with the Overseas Telecommunications Commission, Port Moresby. The family left PNG in 1969.


Laurie STUBBS (14 April 2009, age 77)

Died at home at Rosebank, NSW. Laurie arrived in Rabaul in 1956 working for Shell until 1963 when he was transferred to Melbourne. A lateral thinker and natural mechanic, he first experimented with oil drying for cocoa and alternative ways to transport fuel. His interest in the islands continued and he eventually returned in 1986 sailing around the Solomans for 3 years. He is survived by his daughters Elizabeth, Felicity and Virginia, seven grandchildren, and his former wife Robin Moorhouse.


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