Vale June 2011

BARNES, Neville Ernest (19 March 2011) | BEIER, Ulli (3 April 2011) | BUCH, Bill  (11 December 2010) | EASTICK, Gladys Barbara (Nancy) (20 February 2011) | EVENETT, Ernie (23 March 2011) | HERBERT, Edward John (4 May 2011) | HURRELL, John  (15 February 2011)  | IDZIKOWSKI, Dieter Erich Paul  (22 January 2011) | JONES, Elva Rose (24 October 2010) | KIRBY, Maurice James (9 February 2011) | McCOOK, Bryan Norman (20 August 2010) | MORRISON, Rod  | PENDERS, LC  (September 2010) | REARDON, Helen  (27 October 2010) | ROSS, Gregor Valentine  (11 November 2010) | SEXTON, TD (Ted)  (22 July 2010) 


Neville Ernest BARNES (19 March 2011, aged 81)

Neville first arrived in Rabaul in 1954 as the local representative for Brown and Dureau Ltd. In 1955, after his marriage to Jan in Brisbane, he returned to the islands and in 1957 opened up NE Barnes Trading Company, importing goods from various countries and covering a range of commodities from trade store supplies to luxury items such as Wedgewood china, Daum crystal and Parker pens. The business was successful and branches were established in Lae, Madang, Goroka and Mt Hagen with head office in Port Moresby.

When China opened up its doors to trade with the western world in the early sixties Neville was first in and secured agencies covering a wide range from textiles, clothing, light machinery and foodstuffs at the same time importing prefab bridges from Japan on behalf of the PNG government and many other commodities from Australian and international sources. The company was also involved in the marketing of Rothman cigarettes and in the Rabaul area with the South Pacific Brewery.

In the 60s he was approached by Pearls Pty Ltd in conjunction with Brown and Dureau Ltd to oversee the establishment of a culture pearl farm at Idumava Point in Fairfax Harbour. This was a massive task and involved taking electricity and town water across the harbour underwater to the farm. The quarters and operation rooms were designed by Higgins and Lloyd and were models of comfort and efficiency by any standards. The Maxima Pinctada oysters were transported from Broome in specially designed ships and kept in the hulls with sea water constantly flowing over them until they were suspended in baskets off rafts at the pearl farm.

Japanese technicians were employed to operate and seed the oysters and local people were employed and taught the technique. The venture was very successful for many years but eventually closed because of harbour pollution and the devastating effects of the polychaete worm.

From there Neville became involved in the marketing of South Sea pearls and established offices in Sydney and Singapore. This business is now carried on by elder son Bruce. He retired to Pelican Waters and enjoyed this time travelling and golfing and seeing his nine grandchildren thrive. He was gregarious and good company and an excellent cook. He dressed every evening in casual Yukata – Japanese leisure kimono and in the voluminous sleeves many kittens and puppies were carried around until they got too big. He was also an excellent long distance swimmer and would be in the pool most mornings by 5.30.

He treasured his family life with Jan and his two boys Bruce and Dominic and took great pride in seeing them develop in the pearl business and in medicine. He passed away after a long battle with Alzheimers. He is sadly missed.
Jan Barnes

Ulli BEIER (3 April 2011, aged 88)

Ulli was an influential contributor to the cultural life of PNG through his work at the University (1967-1971) and as the founding director of the Institute of PNG Studies (1974-1978). Born in Glowitz, Germany, Ulli spent his childhood in Berlin where his father was a medical doctor. The family emigrated to Tel Aviv where Ulli went to school. Ulli excelled at languages and worked as a translator. Taking up an appointment in Phonetics at the university college Ibadan, Nigeria, Ulli developed a fascination for Yoruba cultures.

He then successfully applied for the position as a senior lecturer at the then new University of PNG. With great energy Ulli devised the University’s first courses in literature and creative writing. Because no suitable PNG writing was available to teach, he assigned students to collect, record and translate into English their Tok Ples legends and songs. Many of these translations formed the basis of the Papua Pocket Poets series that Ulli later published. He founded and published Kovave, the first magazaine devoted to PNG culture and writing, and together with his artist wife Georgina, arranged exhibitions and promoted contemporary PNG artists such as Akis and Kauage in Port Moresby and overseas.

The first Papuan that the Beiers met at Brisbane airport on their initial journey was Albert Maori Kiki who became a close friend. Ulli encouraged Kiki to tell his life story onto tape which Ulli transcribed. This project resulted in the first publication of an autobiography by a Papua New Guinean: Kiki: 10,000 Years in a Lifetime. This was a great success and was translated into many languages including Japanese, Russian and Swahili. Vincent Eri, then a student of Ulli, was persuaded to expand his story, set in Moveave, called The Crocodile. This became the first published novel by a Papua New Guinean and was a best seller.

The Beiers returned to Nigeria in 1971, fortunately returning to PNG in 1974 where Ulli was invited to establish an Institute of PNG Studies. At the Institute Ulli set up a film unit under the direction of Chris Owen. Both saw the need to document the aspects of tradition before change transformed their societies. The film unit’s first productions included Tighten the Drums (Enga), The Red Bowman (West Sepik) and Gogodala – A Cultural Revival? (Western Papua). A music department and archive was also formed. Frederick Duvelle, Les McLaren, Kakah Kais and Don niles were soon recortding and preserving traditional and contemporary music from all areas of the country. Don Niles is still continuing this very important work. Over 100 publications were published by the Institute under Ulli‘s direction. These include oral history, poetry, art history, plays, novels (including Russell Soabas’ Wanpis) and translations of traditional languages. A journal of Papua New Guinea culture, Gigibori, was also produced. Jack Lahui and John Kolia organised a National Literature competition of poetry and prose. For the NBC, where I was then producer of drama and features, Ulli presented a series of radio programmes broadcast nationally. With his passing the world and Papua New Guinea has lost a great friend and teacher. Ulli is survived by his wife Georgina, his sons Sebastian and Tunji and Ulli‘s three grandchildren. Peter Trist

[Peter worked at the University of PNG from 1966 to 1972, and as Senior Producer Drama and Features at the National Broadcasting Commission from 1974 to 1984.]


Bill BUCH (11 December 2010, aged 89)

Bill‘s early sea training was on the Priwall, one of the last legendary “P” liners, square riggers, running from Hamburg to Chile, taking coal to Chile and returning with guano. He made five roundings of Cape Horn–East to West–including a world record. This sail training provided the young cadets with strength and lasting self-confidence. However Bill was on a steamer, SS Erlangen when captured in the Atlantic in August 1941 by the British cruiser HMS Newcastle, under the command of someone he would later know as Fearless Freddie Feint of the Bank Line.

As time went on Bill’s thoughts turned to the Pacific Islands. As a POW in Canada he improved his English-speaking skills and on return to Germany after the war he was employed as interpreter for the British Military Police in his home town Cuxhaven at the mouth of the Elbe. An opportunity presented itself in the form of a ship bound for Japan. Bill signed on as a Steward and jumped ship in Brisbane.

An amnesty provided the chance to hand himself in and ultimately he achieved his goal: running a small ship, the Chinampa for Perrson & Ericson in Samarai. Later Bill worked for Steamships Trading Co as skipper of the Muniara, followed by his appointment as Government Trawler Master Lorengau (MV Tami) and Kavieng (MV Theresa May). He was a happy man. Bill was known for his seamanship and dependability, also for his hospitality. Many people speak of memorable meals on the trawlers. It was a credit to him as a skipper and a person that he kept the same indigenous crew for ten years. The crew greatly respected and trusted their captain.

Leaving New Guinea and finding work in Australia was a challenge for Bill. Several years in Gladstone on barges and line boats, another stint as a security guard for ANZ and then once again a great opportunity to return to the sea. Bill signed on as an Able Seaman on the Commonwealth Dept of Transport Cape ships, supplying and maintaining lighthouses around the Australian coast with several interesting survey trips in the South Pacific. By then Bill had his Certificate in Basic Radar. He reluctantly retired in 1986 at the age of 65. When Bill became vision impaired he adapted and never complalined about it. He would wear his Vision Impaired Person (VIP) Badge with pride and had a wicked sense of humour to go with it.

Bill was always an active and interesting presence in our lives and he is truly missed by friends and by his family, Margaret, sons and daughters-in-law, Will and Shelly, Bruce and Julia and two grandsons, Tyler and Christian.
Margaret Buch


Gladys Barbara (Nancy) EASTWICK (20 February 2011, aged 90)

Nancy dedicated her life to working with the Girl Guides. It took her to England where she was trained by founders the Baden-Powells; to Germany during the war to work with refugees and to Papua New Guinea; where she worked as a leader and a trainer. The Guides International Service was established in Britain and Commonwealth countries in 1942 to participate in relief work in Europe at the end of the war. From October 1955 to July 1956 she was seconded to New Guinea as a travelling trainer, returning in 1958 as a full-time trainer, living in Port Moresby.

Initially she taught eight indigenous women who were to become Guides and Brownie trainers, returning to their villages where they set up units. They were the first educated women in these villages. From February 1960 to October 1961 she repeated this process in Rabaul before returning to Sydney. In 1965 Nancy returned to New Guinea where she found rapidly improving education levels had changed her training role. Leaders from Queensland, NSW and Victoria joined Nancy: they paid their own fares and gave up their holidays to teach in PNG. She wrote training manuals and an unpublished history of guiding in PNG. In 1967 she married Frank Eastick and worked out of the Guides’ head office in Port Moresby.
Information from SMH

Ernie EVENETT (23 March 2011)

Please see the detailed article in the Journal HERE 


Edward John HERBERT (4 May 2011, aged 85)

A former rear gunner in a RAF Lancaster bomber flying sorties over Europe in WW2, John was appointed to the RPC&NGPF in Port Moresby as an assistant sub-inspector of police in 1949. Transferred to Rabaul as sub-inspector and later inspector he undertook sensitive special duties. After serving briefly in Lae, Wau and Kundiawa he studied at The University of Queensland and earned a BA degree and a DipPubAdmin.

He returned to Port Moresby as Licensing Inspector with the Liquor Licensing Commission before joining the Department of Labour as an Industrial Relations Officer. He represented PNG, and also mentored trainee local officers, at an ILO conference in Switzerland in 1970. After training his local successor he retired as Chief of Division (Industrial Relations) in 1976 and left PNG.

In Australia he was appointed Industrial Officer for the West Australian Colleges of Advanced Education, and later to a similar position in Brisbane where he became Industrial Advocate for Queensland CAEs. Retiring again, he joined a writers’ group in Brisbane and entertained members with thinly-disguised tales of his life in pre-WW2 London and postwar Rabaul.

He is survived by his wife, Kath, daughters Carla and Cherry and their families, son Tony and his family, and son Kieran. He had six grandchildren and one great-grand-child.

John was unique: a one-off respected and trusted by friends, colleagues and villains, always willing to help and advise. “Novice coppers could not have had a truer friend”, a colleague wrote; nor could the Papua New Guineans he guided into their pre-and post-Independence careers.
Max Hayes/Peter Cahill


John HURRELL (15 February 2011, aged 82)

John was born in England but spent his early childhood in India where his father was with a Gurkha regiment. In 1940 John and his mother, on passage to India, were torpedoed by a U-boat, and spent some time in an open lifeboat awaiting rescue: very dramatic for a small boy.

John was a Sandhurst graduate and saw active service during the Malaya emergency flying spotter aircraft. In 1960 John, then captain, took early retirement from the army and commenced a long and adventurous career as a helicopter pilot. His flying took him to many parts of the world including PNG. His first contract commenced in January 1964, flying out of Madang. On only his third day there, he was called up by DCA for an emergency rescue. A company helicopter had crashed while working on Mt Otto near Goroka. John and his engineer, who had to jump down with an axe and clear a landing pad, successfully rescued the pilot and passenger, and all this at an altitude of 12,000 feet!

John sometimes spoke of the difficulties encountered in flying in the high mountains, once trying for nine days before being able to land at the work site and then sitting precariously on a narrow landing pad but with spectacular views on all sides. A significant project in which he was involved was the joint Indonesian Australian border survey. Based at Wutung and commencing in August 1966, John did a large part of the helicopter supply work over the following year.

His last job in PNG was for Phillips Exploration in 1988. In a flying career spanning some 35 years, he had flown 1528 hours on fixed wing and 12,436 hours on rotary wing. John passed away after a long illness at home on the Central Coast. I think it can be safely said that John Hurrell had experienced a most adventurous life.
Grahame Morgan


Dieter Erich Paul IDZIKOWSKI (22 January 2011, aged 72)

Dieter was born in East Germany shortly before the outbreak of WWII. After leaving school he became a toolmaker and motor mechanic. In 1956 he moved to West Germany and in 1963, together with his younger brothers Klaus and Peter, he emigrated to Australia. In 1970 Dieter went to PNG to help Klaus, who had established Pedford Constructions Limited, a civil engineering company engaged in road building and maintenance in the Lumi/Nuku area of the Sepik District.

Following the sale of the business, Dieter worked for the Sepik Coffee Producers Association, managing the large workshop at Maprik, and then for Sepik Coffee/Sepik Construction in Wewak. It was Dieter’s great desire to become a PNG citizen: to this end he held a glowing reference from Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare (a friend and golfing partner!) Unfortunately no citizenship committee meetings took place for some years, so Dieter decided most reluctantly that he must leave PNG to meet the residency requirements for Australian citizenship. Dieter married his long-time partner, Priscilla, in Cairns in 2003.

Immediately following his naturalisation as an Australian citizen, Dieter volunteered for work as manager of the Bishop of Wewak’s mechanical workshop which he brought from chaos to good order. Dieter in his day was a fine sportsman. He not only took part in events, but also took major responsibility for organising and promoting them. He was a founder member and life member of the golf and yacht clubs, vice-president of the former and commodore of the latter for eleven years. He died suddenly and unexpectedly, on the golf course – teeing off number 9.
Peter Johnson


Elva Rose JONES (24 October 2010, aged 85)

My Mother was a dedicated wife and mother, and she always supported Dad unconditionally even during difficult times in Lae (way back when the living was not so good). However our family’s time in Lae was wonderful: we enjoyed a lovely life there and made a lot of long standing friends, many of whom we are still in touch with.

Our father, Arthur Kenneth (Ken) Jones, MBE, was the Manager of the Artifical Limb Clinic in Lae from 1952 to 1972 (the Clinic was part of the Lae and Angau Hospitals when he retired). Dad received the MBE for his dedicated work in Lae, providing artificial limbs to hundreds and hundreds of amputees all over PNG. When they returned to Australia (Perth) they enjoyed 35 years of wonderful retirement which included lots of travel overseas and extensive travel within Australia including visiting many ‘ex PNG people’.

In 2006 and in 2008 I attended the PNG Reunions and my parents were very interested when I returned to hear about many folk they knew.

Elva is survived by daughter Glenda and grandson Ryan.
Glenda Clapp


Maurice James KIRBY (9 February 2011, aged 73)

Jim Kirby died at Coffs Harbour on 9 February 2011, after a long illness of Azheimers complicated by a stroke. Jim joined the Administration on 22 October 1962 as a motor mechanic, and was at Kundiawa when he joined RPNGC as a local appointment on 10 October 1965.

He served at Moresby, Boroko, Rabaul, Kokopo, Kavieng, Kieta, Kundiawa, Mt Hagen, Bulolo and Lae before resigning as Inspector 2/c on 1 June 1974. On returning to Australia, he became NSW state manager for Avis for 2 years and then served for 22 years in the NSW Dept of Corrective Services retiring at the rank of Deputy Superintendent in January 1998. He is survived by Marie, three children and grandchildren. MR Hayes


Bryan Norman McCOOK (20 August 2010, aged 83)

Bryan grew up in a small country town in New Zealand where his parents owned a dairy farm. His interest in aeroplanes began early in life and remained with him always. Being too young to join the NZ Air Force, he spent many happy hours/days at the Wellington Aero Club and then at 17 years he joined the Air Training Corps.

After the end of WW2, the NZ Air Force opened the door to his dream of becoming an aviator. He was one of 21 young men selected from 340 applicants to undertake training at Christchurch. His first posting, in 1949, was to the No. 5 Catalina Squadron based at Suva, Fiji. Just before the Fiji posting, Brian married Betty, a union that was to last 60 years. The Fiji posting was followed by stints with other airlines, then in 1959 the family moved to Victoria where Bryan worked for Aerial Missions.

Then at 36 he took up a position as mission pilot with the Lutheran Mission based in Madang, where the family enjoyed a new life experience in the company of Australians, Germans and Americans. The next move was to the Eastern Highlands where Bryan flew with Territory Airlines. Bryan spent many years in PNG and became very well known for his services. In 1978 he went to the US Virgin Islands to fly seaplanes but the Company got into difficulties so Bryan took up a position with Continental Oil of Indonesia, based in Singapore where the family spent eight happy years.

He “retired” at 60 and returned to Brisbane, but flew in PNG again for different companies when asked, until he turned 70. In all he accrued over 26,000 flying hours, flew 40 different types of aircraft, lived in seven different countries, and enjoyed meeting many interesting people from all walks of life. One of his fellow pilots wrote, “His flying career always seemed to have that pioneering adventure and romanticism about it.”

Bryan was always ready to share his knowledge and exceptional skills with the aviation community especially the younger pilots. He is survived by his wife Betty, children Kathryn, Dianne, Roger, Jack and Scott, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Betty McCook



Rod and I were friends in PNG. I was quite sad to hear of his passing. Rod was a kiap and I had a farm, or plantation, depending on what definition you use. Despite this, we got on well, we both liked to bet on the horses and have a few quiet ones at the local watering hole. One thing he was always very rude about was rugby union and rugby league which he referred to as “sniff bums”. He was an AFL fan.

Rod had a dog called Eccles who followed Rod everywhere, even to the watering hole. One afternoon a group of us were discussing a certain club member and I said he should be kicked out. Another member who would argue about two flies on the wall burst out and declared that the gentleman in question had more rights in the club than Morrison’s bloody dog! I said Eccles caused no trouble, minded his own business, never got drunk and caused fights and behaved like a gentleman. That ended the conversation. Eccles became a temporary member and the member I wanted kicked out remained in the club and Rod was pleased.

There were quite a lot of interesting people in Wau at that time. One was an Englishman who worked as the chief storeman for the local mining company. He joined the British forces as a boy soldier and served in all parts of the world. He was in Malaya when the Emergency was on and one afternoon at the watering hole he was telling us a tale about what he witnessed. In the middle of his story he was interrupted by another patron who thought he was an important person in town asking him what he was rabbiting on about. I said he was telling us about the Emergency and asked Ted to continue his story. After a while the important person rudely interrupted again, saying “That’s not right: I was there!” At this point Rod Morrison, diplomat extraordinaire, said, “Yeah, and whose side were you on?” which rather finished the conversation.

When I went to South Australia to see Rod I was quite shocked to see how his health had deteriorated. He and I spent long hours talking about PNG and people we had met there and we both felt like fish out of water back in our native land.
Ian Fraser


L C PENDERS (September 2010)

No further details available.


Helen REARDON (27 October 2010, aged 71)

Helen first travelled to what was then TPNG in 1965 with Dianne and Mark. Ian had gone ahead to Popondetta. Always willing to give things a go, Helen adapted to life and made the best of everything. They spent three years in Popondetta, a year in Kokoda, four years in Alotau where Helen worked in Education, a year in Daru where Helen, known as the “Vice-Admiral”, ran the fleet of Government trawlers. Eighteen months in Wau followed this before their final PNG move to Lae where Helen worked for New Guinea Motors. In some remote outstations the highlight of the week may have been going to the airstrip to receive the latest fresh meat and other items from Port Moresby coming in on the Piagio and Skyvan.

Helen was a keen gardener enjoying adventures through the Wau Valley to locate new plants. Helen spent 18 years in PNG leaving in 1983. She is survived by Ian and their two children Dianne and Mark.
Mark Reardon

Note: With Ian on the PNGAA committee for many years, Helen spent many Thursdays packing Una Voce for our members and doing a variety of other tasks as the need arose.

Gregor Valentine ROSS (11 November 2010)

Greg died after 4 years and 3 months on twenty-four hours a-day oxygen, due to emphysema and heart issues.

Greg went to TPNG in 1953 for Comworks and worked at Wewak, Lae Hospital, Shed-20 4-mile and Gemo Island. In 1958, he joined Dept of Public Works and worked at Newtone, Daru, Balino, and Rouku.

A set of six-point deer-antlers, the souvenir of a combined PWD/District Services work-trip up the Fly River under District Commissioner Dave Marsh, still graces the wall of his computer room/den. Greg transferred to Corrective Institutions Branch, Dept of Civil Affairs in 1962, working at Bomana under George Gough and at Mt Hagen where District Commissioner Tom Ellis provided much construction work for internees.

Greg “went finish” after leave in early 1965, due to in-law pressure; raising a family of three sons and three daughters on 8½ acres at Moss Rd, Manly (Brisbane) and working as a Plumbing Supervisor for industrial-plumbing firms on high-rise building in Brisbane and Surfair marcoola.

In August 1978, a music shop at Annerley was opened in partnership, and expanded to a second shop in Beenleigh, but responsibilities in the extended family in late 1989 required that he work from home. Retirement was a gradual process as health concerns increased, but his growing interest in the resources of his computer filled many gaps. He died peacefully at home on the morning of 11 November after a cup of tea, a read of the newspaper, a growl at the Phantom (comic strip) “still not found Diana” with family present or on the way.

Greg is survived by wife Beth, children: Janet (Mrs Wayne Munro), Robert, Mark, Gregor, Elizabeth Ruth (Mrs Yosef Pe’er) and grandchildren: Scott and Robert Munro, Thomas and Ella Ross, Reuven Pe’er. Beth Ross (Roscoe)

T D (Ted) Sexton 22 July 2010)

No further details available.

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