Vale March 2000

BAINBRIGGE, Ken (Birdie)(31 January 2000) |  BIRKIN, John(19 December 1999) |  BLOOD, Olga Christina(10 November 1999) |  BRADY, Leslie John(18 February 2000) |  COLEMAN, Mollie(4 November 1999) |  CORRIGAN, Bernard Raphael (Brian)(25 December 1999) |  DOBBYN, Jocelyn E (5 January 2000 |  FRAME, John(December 1999) |  FULTON, Edward(20 November 1999) |  GLOVER, Edward Phillipson (Ted)(9 November 1999) |  GRAHAM, Peter Robert(30 September 1999) |  GRIEVE, Nathaniel (Niel)(21 December 1999) |  HOLMES, Elma Grace(17 November 1999) |  INKSTER, Cedric P(31 December 1999) |  JOHNSON, Dulcie (Flora)(31 December 1999) |  LEYDIN (née Grahamslaw), Margaret(9 December 1999) |  MacADAM, Dora(27 October 1999) |  MANSFIELD, Lionel(19 December 1999) |  McGHEE, Brother Kevin(4 February 2000) |  NORMOYLE, Anthony (Tony)(26 December 1999) |  SHERRY, Helen(20 February 2000) |  SISARICH, Marjorie Della (26 October 1999) |  STANTON-CROUCH, Rev G(22 October 1999) |  STORM, Eric(24 February 2000) |  STRUTT, Frederick Laurence (16 January 2000) |  TROY (Troyanovcky), Mary Anna(6 January 2000) |  WARD, Betty C(6 February 2000) |  WARWICK SMITH, George Henry(27 December 1999) |  WELDON, J C (Cec), OAM (February 2000) |  WILSON, Eric(4 December 1999)


Ken (Birdie) BAINBRIGGE (31 January 2000, aged 71)

Ken Bainbrigge spent his formative years in Thangool, in SE Queensland. In 1952 he went to PNG to work for Steamships and soon began running their sports goods section. He met his wife Enid and their sons Mark and Nicholas were born. Ken had various jobs, the last one being Promotions Manager with WD&HO Wills. Ken and Enid ‘went finish’ in 1970 and settled first in Toowoomba, Qld, and then in Brisbane where he retired.

Ken was a keen sportsman. He was a first class cricketer, a great hockey player, and he dabbled at rugby league and boxing. Ken became sporting supervisor with ABC Radio in PNG and spent a lot of time behind the microphone for the ABC over the years. Apart from commentary on all the local sport, Ken was privileged to commentate for three South Pacific Games and two Commonwealth Games. In his later years he became a long standing member of Nudgee Golf Club and, later still, of the Aspley Bowls Club. After retirement Ken took up his other passion, painting, in earnest and his output was prodigious. He spent 15 years with the Aspley Art Group and made many friends from all walks of life.

Son Nicholas said in his eulogy, “Kenny could sing and mime perfectly. … Nearly every person here today will be able to recall moments of madness, moments of pure comic genius and moments of side splitting laughter. … Kenny tramped the boards when he was younger, appearing in numerous musical productions, both amateur and professional. He performed … anywhere there was an audience.” Son Mark said, “he treated everyone he found equally, usually making people laugh to kick off the friendship. It was always to laugh with someone and not at them, that was Kenny’s way.” Ken is survived by his wife Enid, and sons Mark and Nicholas. From the eulogies given by Mark and Nicholas


Peter Robert GRAHAM (30 September 1999, aged 73)

Peter Graham, late of Bencubbin, WA, was in the Air Force during the war, then worked as an Administrative Officer in the Department of Public Health, Port Moresby, from late 1948 to 1958. He was not married. Josephine Chandler and Jim Gillman


John BIRKIN (19 December 1999, aged 67)

John Birkin served in the Department of Public Health from 1956 to 1974, mainly in the areas of TB control and with Dr Gajdusek on kuru research. In 1961 he married his first wife Marlene, and the couple had three daughters. On leaving PNG he worked for about eight years as a Medical Attendant at Blackwood, SA. John remarried in 1981. He and Mary retired to Kangarilla, 30km from Adelaide, and grew olives. John is survived by his wife Mary, and daughters Fiona, Amanda and Susan. Mary Birkin


Edward FULTON (20 November 1999, aged 95)

Ted went to PNG in 1926 to work for WR Carpenter in Rabaul and in 1936 he joined Jack Thurston and the Tudors on the goldfields in the Sepik District. In 1939 Kevin Parer flew Ted south to enlist in the AIF. He was on the first troop ship to leave Sydney on 10 January 1940. He served in the Middle East, then from late 1942 onwards in New Guinea. Because of his knowledge of the jungle he remained until late 1945 as part of ANGAU. He was discharged from the Army with the rank of Major.

With his wife Gwen and baby daughter, Ted returned to Rabaul after the war and, with the capital he had made from gold prospecting, he bought Makurapau plantation at Kokopo. He replanted it and eventually established a highly successful cocoa and copra plantation. Ted was involved with the New Britain community and served in the early 50s as president of the Planters Association. He sold the plantation in 1960 and the family moved to Sydney. Gwen died in 1979. She and Ted are survived by their three daughters Mary, Elizabeth and Catherine and six grandchildren. Elizabeth Thurston


Betty C WARD (6 February 2000, aged 79)

Betty was the widow of the late Percival T Ward, who passed away at Bundaberg in 1997. Perc and Betty met in Sydney in 1950 whilst Perc was on leave from New Guinea where he worked in the Public Works Department as an overseer. He is survived by his son, Anthony, and his daughter, Candida. Perc had spent many years in New Guinea serving in the RAAF during the war, and in civilian life afterwards.

Betty joined the Land Army during the war, working around the Sydney area. She followed Perc to Samarai in June 1950 and they married in 1951. Betty worked for TAA and Qantas. Together they travelled the world and enjoyed the company of their many friends. They later moved to Lae, Kavieng and Port Moresby, before retiring to Maroochydore. They lived there for 20 years, enjoying travelling around Australia and of course their golf. Their last move was to Bundaberg. Frank Smith


John (Jack) FRAME (December 1999)

Jack lived in PNG most of his life. His father was EJ Frame, Managing Director of BPs. He was with ANGAU during the war. He and his brother Bob, owned adjacent coffee plantations in Goroka. In the 1970s he was well known in Goroka as the local bookmaker. He is survived by his daughter Rosemary.


Brother Kevin McGHEE (4 February 2000, aged 76)

Kevin worked for many years at the Sacred Heart Mission school at Sideia near Samarai. His brother, Fr John McGhee, predeceased him. He is survived by his sister Barbara.


Edward Phillipson (Ted) GLOVER (9 November 1999, aged 75)

Ted Glover was the chief of the South Pacific Post newspaper group in Port Moresby for eleven years between 1950 and 1961, and continued his close business connection with the papers, and with other PNG companies, for many years after returning to Sydney in 1961.

Ted was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, and before joining the Royal Navy in wartime 1942 worked as a junior reporter on the weekly Blackburn Times. After wide-ranging naval service, which took him to the Dutch East Indies and Sydney among other places, he was demobbed as a lieutenant RANVR in 1946. That year he married Alice, known as Bunty, and became a sub-editor on The Sydney Morning Herald. The two went to Port Moresby in 1950, following Ted’s appointment as managing editor of the South Pacific Post, then a weekly owned by the Yaffa Syndicate of Sydney.

Ted’s editorial responsibilities were soon superseded by the need for his managerial services. He was a competent and respected boss of the group he worked diligently to expand, becoming managing director of the paper and its subsidiaries. He was also chairman of Wrens Estates Ltd, Koitaki Plantations Ltd, Waugh and Josephson NG Ltd, and Highland Hotels Ltd.

When he and Bunty returned to Sydney to raise a family, Ted remained executive director of The South Pacific Post, and had other business interests. Their son is the well-known Sydney journalist and broadcaster Richard Glover. The Post group was acquired by the Herald & Weekly Times and, in turn, by Murdoch’s News Ltd. Ted and Bunty later divorced. Stuart Inder


Dora MacADAM (27 October 1999, aged 99)

Dora MacAdam lived in Rabaul prior to the war. During the war she worked for WR Carpenter’s in Sydney. Many years later she settled in Brisbane. She is survived by a daughter Mrs Di Shephard of Kenmore Qld.  Hazel Savage


Olga Christina BLOOD (10 November 1999, aged 86)

Olga was born in Apia, Western Samoa, in 1913. She spent her early years there and later moved with her family to Sydney. Her ties with Western Samoa were very strong and all through her life she visited there frequently.

Nep and Olga were married in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, in the early 30s and made their home in Rabaul where Nep was a member of the Police Force. Their son Peter was born there in 1939. They were in Rabaul during the eruption of 1937 and Heather Seale remembers with pleasure Nep and Olga arriving by schooner with fresh water and food to evacuate the residents of Wangaramut Plantation. They also lived at Wewak, Kieta and Kavieng before the war. In her youth Olga was a keen sportswoman and spent quite a lot of time on the tennis court and golflinks. Olga and her small son were evacuated to Sydney after the Japanese entered WWII and they remained there until the war ended.

In 1946 Olga returned to the Territory and joined Nep who had transferred to the Department of District Services at Mt Hagen. In 1948 Nep transferred to the Department of Agriculture and together they established the beautiful station of Nondugl under the auspices of Sir Edward Hallstrom. There Olga was hostess to many guests from all over the world and like other women in the Highlands in those days she manned the radio. Their daughter Susan was born whilst Nep and Olga were at Nondugl. Olga went out to the Lutheran Hospital at Finschhafen for the birth as there were no medical facilities in the Highlands in those days. From Nondugl the Bloods moved to Korn Farm, the Government Experimental Station outside Mt Hagen, and from there to Madang. In Madang Olga was very active in the local amateur theatricals.

In 1971 Olga and Nep returned to Australia and made their home on the Gold Coast.  Olga is survived by son Peter, daughter Susan, sister Wyn and seven grandchildren. Nan Bunting


Rev G STANTON-CROUCH (22 October 1999, aged 94)

The Rev Stanton-Crouch retired from the Education Department in April 1960. No further details available.


Bernard Raphael (Brian) CORRIGAN (25 December 1999, aged 76)

Brian was a long time resident of PNG, from 1946 to 1975. He was for quite some years with the Department of Native Affairs mainly in the Western and Southern Highlands where he carried out many early postwar exploratory patrols. He later left the Administration as an Assistant District Officer and went to the private sector before returning to the service in Mt Hagen as OIC of the Highland Labour Scheme. Brian is survived by his wife Jo, son Kerry and daughter Cathy, and grandchildren Sarah and Hannah. Geoffrey Gray, a close friend of Brian.


Eric WILSON (4 December 1999)

Eric Wilson was born in North Queensland. He worked for the Department of Agriculture Stock and Fisheries in the Northern, Bougainville, East New Britain and Morobe Districts. His last position was as Regional Agricultural Officer stationed in Lae. He left PNG in 1972 and returned to North Queensland where he worked in an advisory capacity until his retirement. Eric is survived by his wife and a son. Joe Nitsche


JC (Cec) WELDON, OAM (February 2000)

During WWII, Cec Weldon was a member of the 9th Division and a former Rat of Tobruk. Postwar he was Property Manager for Burns Philp in PNG and travelled all round the islands. He retired to Bribie Island some years ago where he became Patron and founding life member of the Golden Age Senior Citizens Association and a Life Member of the Lions Club. Doug Franklin and Joan Stobo


George Henry WARWICK SMITH (27 December 1999, aged 83)

George Warwick Smith was Secretary of the Department of Territories from 1964 to 1970, at a time when Australia was coming under increasing pressure from the United Nations to move more quickly towards self-government and independence. He was regarded in Canberra as an energetic, loyal and dedicated public servant, but in PNG he was often criticised for his tendency to intervene in day-to-day affairs rather than allow decisions to be made by experienced Administration officers. The Canberra Times, 31 December 1999


Margaret LEYDIN (née Grahamslaw) (9 December 1999, aged 89)

Margaret went to Port Moresby as a baby in 1910 with her mother Annie, her sister Mary and brother Tom, to join their father who had preceded them to establish a plumbing business. She went to the local primary school and joined Burns Philp as a teenager. For a period she worked with BNGD (British New Guinea Development Company).

Margaret married Bill Leydin in 1933. Thereafter they spent about five years at Daru where Bill was the District Clerk. Bill rejoined the Navy in 1939 and Margaret lived in Brisbane with her sisters Mary Baldwin (and children) and May and Ivy Grahamslaw throughout the war. After the war they returned to Port Moresby where Bill took up the position of Registrar of the Supreme Court. Bill retired in 1949 to farm oranges and poultry near Gosford. In 1974 they moved to Peak Hill. Bill passed away in 1981. Derek Baldwin


Marjorie Della SISARICH (26 October 1999, aged 75)

Marjorie went to Mt Hagen with her husband Gerry in May 1969. Gerry worked with Public Works and later Plant and Transport while Marjorie worked with the Commonwealth Bank. When they moved to Mendi, Marjorie ran the Bank’s Agency there for Ron Neville. She later worked with Brian Chape in the Police Department. On returning to Mt Hagen in 1971 Marjorie continued with the Police Department. On subsequent postings, she worked for Mr Warner Shand (Rabaul), the State Solicitor’s Office (Lae) and the Police Department. In early 1978 the couple moved to Moresby where Marjorie worked with Graham and David Frances, solicitors. They returned to Australia in 1983 and settled in Mt Beauty, Vic. Marjorie is survived by her husband Gerry. Gerry Sisarich


Mollie COLEMAN (4 November 1999, aged 85)

Sybil Mollie Denier came to Australia with her family when she was six and grew up in North Queensland. She left there after her marriage to George Bingham. Her two daughters, Pam and Jill, were born. As soon as women were accepted into the armed forces, following the outbreak of WWII, Mollie enlisted in the Women’s Royal Air Force. She rose to commissioned rank following a promotion which made her the first female sergeant in the Queensland branch of the service. In the course of her duties she was sent to Port Moresby.

After the war, and the end of her marriage, Mollie returned to Port Moresby, amongst the first of the postwar clerical staff. There she married Ken Frank, who was killed in a car accident only a year after their marriage. Mollie then managed hotels in WA and Queensland, before returning to PNG in 1959. In 1961 she married Alexander David (Toby) Coleman who was with the Electricity Commission. Mollie worked in the Rabaul office of the Department of Lands. She and Toby had a wide circle of friends. Mollie was a very community-minded person and a strong supporter of Girl Guides and similar organisations. In 1972 the couple returned to Brisbane, firstly to a riverside unit and then to Redcliffe. After Toby’s death in 1979 Mollie moved back to her riverside unit where she made full use of her proximity to the city, only a short ferry ride to shops and restaurants. She also became a supportive parishioner of her local church.

Mollie is survived by her two daughters, her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and her sister Mary. Margaret Kelly


Mary Anna TROY (Troyanovcky) (6 January 2000, aged 79)

Mary Troy arrived in PNG in 1956 as a nursing sister. She served in almost all the government hospitals in the country, retiring in December 1971 when she was matron of Goroka hospital. No further details available.


Helen SHERRY (20 February 2000, aged 85)

Helen von Grabowska was born in London and spent her first six years there. Then she travelled the world with her parents and became proficient in seven languages. But before she was out of her teens she had lost her parents, and her grandparents: her only surviving relative was a cousin in Rabaul so she decided to go there. She found employment with Burns Philp & Co and it was there that she met Jack Sherry and Roma Bates (both also with BPs) and later Linda Evans. Strong friendships were formed and lasted her lifetime. At the age of 20 she married Jack Sherry and in 1941 daughter Marie-Louise was born. With the outbreak of WWII, Helen and baby were evacuated to North Queensland and Jack, like most men in New Guinea, was left to trek across New Guinea to Moresby. Eventually Jack and Helen set up house in Australia where daughter Maureen and son John were born.

After the war Burns Philp sent Jack to Madang where Helen and the children joined him. In the late 50s the family returned to Australia and settled in Ashfield, NSW. In the 80s, husband Jack died, and son John died some four years later. Helen and her daughters, and grandchildren, were very close and the last years of her life were very happily spent. It was in this period that her artistic gifts came to the fore: she did exquisite embroidery, sketching and watercolour painting. For Roma Bates a friendship of 68 years has ended. Roma Bates


Anthony (Tony) NORMOYLE (26 December 1999)

Tony Normoyle was the younger son of the late Chris and Mona Normoyle. He grew up in PNG at Rabaul and Kokopo and completed his secondary schooling in Brisbane where he was outstandingly successful in a wide variety of field games. He subsequently played Rugby League for Papua against New Guinea and for New Guinea against Papua.

After working in private enterprise upon his return to PNG from school, he joined the Public Service and served in Customs and Treasury. When he returned to Australia at the completion of his service he and his family settled in Perth where he maintained contact with former PNG residents and became involved in community affairs. He was a strong family man and a friend to many. Tony passed away in Perth WA after being in poor health for a long time.

Tony is survived by wife Del and children Christopher, Julia and Sandra and six grandchildren. Tony’s brother Chris


Dulcie (Flora) JOHNSON (31 December 1999, aged 78)

The following is an abbreviated version of an obituary written by John Farquharson:

Dulcie Johnson, who died on New Year’s eve, was the wife of L.W. (Les) Johnson, the last Administrator of Papua New Guinea. But during her 12 years in PNG she was much more than that: a person in her own right who played a significant role in developing opportunities for Papua New Guineans as well as facilitating their transition into a newly emerging relationship with Australians, Australia and the rest of the world.

Dulcie grew up on a wheat farm at Dudinin, WA, where her father, Bill Gray, struggled to make a living growing wheat through the hard Great Depression years. She and her two brothers walked or rode a horse for several miles every day to a one-teacher school until she went to high school in Northam. During her years boarding in Northam, a young teacher named Les Johnson boarded with her family. Les and Dulcie married in 1940 when she was 19. They were to have celebrated 60 years of marriage this year.

WWII saw Dulcie serving in the WAAF, while Les served with the 7th Division in the Pacific, Indonesia and Borneo. In the postwar years Les progressed through the WA Education Department. He went to PNG with his family in 1962 to spend six months as a Deputy Director of Education before taking over as Director when G.T. Roscoe retired.

From the outset Dulcie wanted to be involved with the people. But, as she told (Dame) Rachel Cleland, wife of Administrator (Sir) Donald Cleland, “I don’t think committees are my thing. I want to do it in my own way”. And this she certainly did, beginning with a young teacher she met named Vincent Eri and his wife, Margaret. She made dresses with Margaret, a shy village girl of limited education, cooked with her and had the Eri children to play. The open, undemanding friendship which Dulcie extended to the young couple was undoubtedly a factor in what they were later able to achieve. For Vincent Eri became Governor-General and received a knighthood. This was the beginning of Dulcie’s involvement with the local women, whom she got to know quietly in a personal way, through just doing things with them. Many friendships were built in the same way with students from the Teachers’ College. She did eventually get drawn into organisations such as Red Cross, PNG Women’s Association, YWCA and Girl Guides, but her style of doing things remained the same and extended to Members of the House of Assembly and their wives.

Her work with organisations began when she was asked to run a popular-girl competition for the Red Cross. This led to organising fashion parades for which she often made some of the dresses, drawing on her flair for design. Over the years she was also responsible for various debutante balls, cabarets and concerts while her enthusiasm for music found expression through her fundraising efforts on behalf of the Junior Music School.

Her easy, eye-to-eye friendliness was never more evident than at Government House, where she was known as “Missus bilong Namba Wan Gavman”, after Les became Administrator in 1970. Ken Inglis, former PNG University vice-chancellor and noted historian, remembers her “putting people at ease, old and young, black and white: all were treated alike and everyone was family to her. She was a person of grace, good humour and generosity”.

As both Assistant Administrator and Administrator, the Johnsons concentrated on building friendships with up-and-coming Papua New Guineans and their wives. There would be long afternoon teas and dinners, invariably with music and dancing, but above all conversation and discussions which would often go on until the small hours of the morning. And Dulcie’s involvement with PNG, its affairs and people continued after retirement to Canberra. She was patron of the Wantok Association which, through cultural and social events, helped to make any PNG people who came to live or study there feel at home…

Dulcie is survived by husband Les, daughter Fay, son Ian and three grandchildren.

John Farquharson was editor of the South Pacific Post, 1965-66. Our thanks to John for permission to publish this.


Cedric P INKSTER (31 December 1999, aged 86)

Cedric Inkster retired from the Education Department in February 1969. No further details available.


Elma Grace HOLMES (17 November 1999, aged 75)

Following are excerpts from the tribute to Elma delivered by our President, Harry West, at her funeral service in Sydney on 20 November 1999:

Elma was a calm, thoughtful, compassionate person of sound common sense and a degree of determination, with a capacity to adapt to the many different and often unexpected circumstances that presented themselves, particularly where outstation life was concerned, in the early postwar years in Papua New Guinea. Both Ian and Elma were well known for their friendly hospitality, particularly welcoming to their home the younger single expatriates on special occasions such as Christmas and Easter, when families back home in Australia would be most missed. I had a very close association with Elma and Ian in the Eastern Highlands for a few years in the middle 50s and those were wonderful times of rapid and overall development, with everyone full of enthusiasm in that invigorating climate, enjoying work equally as much as leisure.

Back in Australia, in more recent times, Elma has been a very popular, respected and active member of the closely knit former PNG residents community. Up until two years ago she was for a number of years a most competent treasurer of the Retired Officers’ Association of Papua New Guinea which has some 1200 members. Elma will be greatly missed by all of us.

The following is from Alison Marsh, a close friend of Elma’s for 50 years.

Elms died in Sydney after a long brave battle with cancer. Elma and I first met in Port Moresby in 1949 when Elma was Staff Clerk at the Department of Native Affairs and I worked in the same Department. Ian and Elma had been posted to Moresby from Samarai where Ian had been the Assistant District Officer and Elma Postmistress at the Samarai Post Office. Prior to that posting they had been stationed at Kikori in the Delta District and then on to the Long Course at ASOPA in Sydney for two years. They were later stationed in the Highlands at Minj and Goroka, and later back to Moresby. Ian was far from well and was ‘boarded out’ of the service, which saddened them both. Elma became our ROAPNG treasurer and held the post for many years – she was a very efficient person. Ian would often say ‘Elm thinks like a man’, which was a very high compliment from him, but Elms was not impressed!


Leslie John BRADY (18 February 2000, aged 89)

Leslie John Brady grew up in Bundaberg, Qld. He joined his father’s business and set about a career as a real estate agent. At Brisbane in 1934, he married Elizabeth Gertrude Thynne and a wonderful partnership began and continued until the tragic death of Bess in a car accident some 12 years ago. Les joined the AIF in February 1942 and served in Intelligence in New Guinea. He was discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1945 and returned to Bundaberg.

New horizons beckoned in 1952 when Les took up the chance to develop land at Kainantu in the New Guinea Highlands. He established the Aionora coffee plantation and succeeded where many others might well have failed. Les and Bess went to start a new life with no house, no phone, no power, no road and no coffee income for four years. He was innovative and creative in working out better coffee farming practices. He always had a way of communicating with the indigenous people of New Guinea, even down to paying wages to his workers by the phases of the moon. The natives understood and accepted this and not our printed Roman calendar.

Les was able to form a syndicate and purchase Gusap Downs in 1959. This syndicate, with Les as Chairman, developed the largest cattle property in New Guinea, in the Ramu Valley.

Eventual disposal of his New Guinea interests saw Les back as a property developer in Bundaberg. He travelled the world and left behind friends in many countries – he wrote and published the book Happy Times Abroad. He found time to enjoy horse racing, buying yearling in Australia and New Zealand. He enjoyed success at many venues, including the Gusap Picnic Races. In New Guinea he served as Chairman of the New Guinea Graziers Association and the Kainantu Farmers and Settlers Association.

Les died a few weeks short of his 90th birthday, for which he had planned a big party. The above is taken from a eulogy sent to us by Les’s niece, Norma Horton, of Bundaberg, Qld.


Jocelyn E DOBBYN (5 January 2000, aged 81)

Jocelyn Dobbyn was the wife of the late William P Dobbyn who was with the Transport Department. No further details available.


Frederick Laurence STRUTT (16 January 2000, aged 71)

In 1949, aged 21, Fred followed his family to Port Moresby where his father was manager of the hostel on Paga Hill. Fred became a storeman and afterwards Stores Inspector with Comworks. Later he was a clerk with PWD, then moved to Education, and later to the Department of the Administrator. His final job was Works Programming Officer with the Department of Finance. In Samarai, Fred met Audrey, daughter of Bert and Maude Clauscen, and the couple married in 1960. Fred had numerous interests apart from work. He was involved in hockey (he was a member of the hockey team representing Papua in Queensland in 1953) and swimming (he was one of PNG’s swimming team officials at the South Pacific Games in Guam in 1975). The family left PNG in November 1975 to live in Brisbane.

Back in Australia Fred began work with the Brisbane City Council and rose to the position of Finance Inspector with the SE Qld Electricity Board. He renewed his love of Freemasonry and served with distinction in various offices. He retired from the SEQEB in 1993 and was able to devote more time to his work for the Freemasons Homes, Sandgate. One of his highlights of recent times was the PNG Treasury reunion at Maroochydore in September 1999.

Fred is survived by his wife Audrey, children Deborah, Llewellyn, Harald and Richard, Deborah’s son Regan, and his four sisters. Audrey Strutt


Eric STORM (24 February 2000, aged 103)

The death of venerable Sydney investor and share trader Eric Storm in Sydney on 24 February, just nine days short of his 104th birthday, closed the last chapter in the story of Eric and his longtime friend and associate Fred Archer, late of Rabaul. In 1961, Eric and Fred jointly formed an investment company, F.P. Archer Holdings Pty Ltd, with a capital of £401,000, and at the same time the Fred Archer Charitable Trust, which was financed by investment profits. With Fred in Rabaul, Eric handled the investment portfolio from the Sydney end and, without publicity, the trust began donating to various PNG charitable causes. Fred died in 1977, aged 86, after 54 years in PNG, but the trust continued under Eric’s control. In recent years it has been paying out half-a-million a year to charities in PNG and Australia. On Eric’s death the capital was about $25 million, but its munificent support of charitable causes, built on a lifetime’s friendship, will continue, for the assets of F.P. Archer Holdings will be wound up into the trust and managed by the Permanent Trustee Company.

Eric Storm, born in Mosman, was widely known and respected in Sydney business circles for his astute knowledge of the markets and for his unshakeable integrity. He was a modest man, without affectation. He and Fred met in Queensland just before WWI, when they went into a partnership in a small trucking business. With the war, Fred Archer enlisted with the Australian Light Horse, returning at war’s end to become a plantation manager with the NG Expropriation Board, acquiring his own plantation, Jame, near Buka Passage, at the third and last group of Expro sales in 1927.

Eric, rejected for war service, took an accountancy post with Burns Philp in Batavia, becoming a commodity broker there on his own account through the 1920s. He returned to Sydney in 1930 and increased his wealth during a lifetime of investing and trading. Eric’s wife of nearly 50 years, Blanche, died before him, and they had no children.

Eric remained active as a share trader to the last, phoning his brokers from his small Cremorne home usually twice a day. He retained all his faculties, including a remarkably retentive memory for names and faces and an alert mind. His face was unlined and his eyes sparkled. He was a strict vegetarian but he enjoyed a regular glass of wine, and the activities of the Archer Trust enabled him to keep up warm friendships with a number of current and ex-PNG people.

PNG charities which benefited from the Trust last year include St Mary’s High School, The Salvation Army PNG, Rabaul Business College, Morobe Handicapped Children’s Assoc., Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Kokopo, Kindergarten Long Pies, Hutjena Provincial High School. Others were the 6th Division Aitape Relief Fund, the Kokoda Trail pathway (at Concord NSW) and the Rabaul Relief Fund. Acting for the Trust, Pat Hopper received money which supported the ANGAU Memorial Hospital at Lae, tidal wave relief, the PNG Eyecare Project, the sending of surplus hospital equipment from Australia to PNG, and the school set up by the American airman, Fred Hargesheimer. Stuart Inder


Nathaniel (Niel) GRIEVE (21 December 1999, aged 94)

In 1933, Niel joined Bulolo Gold Dredging (BGD) as foreman in their workshops. At the outbreak of war he joined the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles. His engineering skills were of great value to this small force operating in hazardous conditions. After his unit was relieved, Niel, along with others of his unit, all in poor health, walked across the mountains from Wau to the Papuan coast and were evacuated to Australia. He then joined the 1561 Aust. Small Ships Co., was commissioned a Lieutenant, and was in charge of 24 ships in Darwin. After the war Niel returned to BGD, then in 1951 he formed a company to construct a slipway in Madang. This venture was successful and serviced vessels from around the world. He and his wife Ellie retired to the Gold Coast in 1969.


Lionel MANSFIELD (19 December 1999, aged 80)

Lionel spent all his working life in New Britain; for many years he was manager of Tavua plantation, near Kokopo. Lionel and his late wife Marjorie retired to Sydney, and then later to the Gold Coast. He is survived by his sons John, Robert and Chris and their families.

Leave a Reply