Vale March 2011
BEDBROOK, Fred (22 October 2010) | BRADLEY, Roy William (21 November 2010) | DAVEY, Patrick (Pat) | (17 October 2010) | GRIFFITHS, Billie (23 September 2010) | HARGESHEIMER, Fred (23 December 2010) | HARRY, C.O. (Bill) (4 January 2011) | LONGMORE, Jean (5 June 2010) | MACLEAN, Kathleen May (15 November 2010) | MALCOLM, Laurence Allan (22 June 2010) | McKENZIE, Kenneth Stuart, DSM, OAM (21 November 2010) | McPHERSON, Ian Cluny (13 October 2010) | METZLER, Paul George (17 October 2010) | RISSEN, Geks (16 January 2011) | RUDD, John Henry (30 October 2010) | SMITH, Mick (2 January 2011) | STREET, Helen Mary (25 December 2010) | THOMSON, Neville John (5 April 2010) | TOOHEY, John (22 October 2010) | VINCIN, Donald Ross (24 October 2010)
C.O. (Bill) HARRY (4 January 2011, aged 94)
Please see the detailed article in the Library | .
Paul George METZLER (17 October 2010, aged 96)
Group Captain, Retired Ex 11 Squadron RAAF (Catalina) Ex Prisoner-of-War Japan
Paul played a significant role in the defence of the first Australian territory attacked by the Japanese. On 20 January 1942, Rabaul, New Britain, was attacked by Japanese bombers escorted by a fighter cover. Paul was the captain of Catalina flying boat A24-8 which, having flown off the small island on Gizo in the Solomon group, located the Japanese invasion fleet steaming to attack and capture Rabaul. Paul wrote of his mission in 1963:
It appeared that Rabaul, the object of recent raids by Japanese bombers, had the day before received its first fighter-escorted bomber raid. This could only mean that aircraft carriers were in the vicinity and our task was to search for this Japanese force. Writing this now I shudder far more when I think of it than I did twenty-one years ago. Tropical skies often offer little or no cloud cover, a Catalina’s top speed never was much over 150 knots, its defensive armament consisted of a few World War I Lewis guns and it carried no less than 1460 Imperial gallons or 1500 U.S. gallons of fuel contained in non-self sealing and highly exposed wing tanks. All this amounts to a high degree of vulnerability.
After reporting the fleet’s position he was ordered to shadow the fleet which despite the danger to himself and his crew he did, until he was finally shot down by Zero fighters which were launched from the carriers below. Paul and the surviving members of his crew were picked up by a Japanese cruiser and taken to Rabaul. He was then transported to Zentsuji POW camp in Japan for the duration of the war. There he met the officers of the 2/22nd Battalion and 1st Independent Company who had been captured in the New Guinea Islands and shipped from Rabaul in the Narita Maru. The servicemen, NCOs and the civilians were shipped on the Montevideo Maru. All died when the ship was torpedoed in what is still Australia’s greatest disaster at sea. Paul’s survival was very much against the odds in 1942; shot down in flames without a parachute and then rescued by the invasion fleet.
After the war Paul stayed in the air force rising to the rank of Group Captain until his retirement in 1975. He is also an accomplished tennis player and author having written seven books on tennis. Rod Miller
Laurence Allan MALCOLM (22 June 2010, aged 79)
Laurence Allan Malcolm, born 8 November 1929, grew up in a Brethren family near Nelson. He studied medicine at Otago University, married Irene Hodge in 1953 and worked for two years at Christchurch Hospital then came to PNG in 1956.
His first posting in PNG was DMO Mendi in 1957. After 2 years he moved to DMO Madang and patrolled through Bundi villages where he and his family were the first white people that many highlanders had seen. The stunted growth of the protein-poor highlanders in comparison to his children led Malcolm to initiate the growing of peanuts and to his seminal study of growth and development in the Bundi people for which he was awarded an MD of Otago in 1968. He survived a plane crash in which the pilot and another passenger were killed. In 1967, he became RMO, Lae and in 1973 national health planner and epidemiologist in Port Moresby.
He returned to New Zealand in 1974 and persuaded the Director-General of Health to set up a Health Planning and Research Unit in Christchurch. He became Professor of Community Health at the Otago University Wellington School in 1984. In New Zealand he was a pioneer and leader in planning for general practice with horizontal integration of groups and services. His publications were both protean and many. On the world scene he was consultant and chairman of many Pacific and WHO committees on planning, management and research.
He was a significant leader in the epidemiological culture that pervaded the health department during the 60s and 70s. He was unconventional, with a sense of missionary fervour and set a new course, away from bureaucracies, towards empowering people to do things for themselves. He was a model for academics, as the critic and conscience of society. His thinking was always ahead of its time and he was a difficult man to budge, regardless of what opposition was ranged against him. Malcolm’s endeavours made PNG and the world a healthier place. He left the religious faith that had been important to him but retained its values of justice and compassion until his death in Christchurch on 22 June 2010. Laurence is survived by wife Lyn who he married in 1982, daughter Anne, sons Chris, David and Geoff, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Information from the New Zealand Medical Journal, 13 August 2010, Vol 123 No 1320
Neville John THOMSON (5 April 2010, aged 83)
Neville played a key role for Papua New Guinea in gaining access to world trade markets. He worked tirelessly to ensure that PNG producers of coffee and cocoa had reasonable access to the world market, manipulated by the larger producers. In 1973, an agreement was signed in Geneva which provided PNG with a fair access to quotas for cocoa. As well, the International Coffee Agreement provided fair quotas. He was also successful in gaining special concessional access to the Australian market for coffee.
In 1971, Neville was intimately involved with the consequences for PNG of Britain’s entry into the European Common Market. In January 1972, the House of Commons passed a bill relating to Britain’s entry to the EEC which included a clause to accommodate PNG. A real victory for PNG exporters! On leaving Papua New Guinea the then Minister for Trade & Industry, John Poe made the following remarks:
As Director of the Dept of Trade and Industry, I believe that you (Neville) have made an invaluable contribution to the development of our international trade relations. You gained for PNG a far greater say, and a much more advantageous position than we could really have expected.
Neville returned to Canberra as the last ‘unattached officer’ and found a job in the Department of Primary Industry. He retired from public service in 1982. Neville died after a short illness and is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jean, children Michael, Wendy, Roger and Marion together with their spouses and seven grandchildren. Michael Thomson
Donald Ross VINCIN (24 October 2010 aged 82)
Medical Assistant, Specialist Health Extension Officer
Don was born in Sydney, NSW, and married Esma in Tamworth, NSW, in 1949. After stints as a farm labourer and ambulance driver, Don arrived in the then TPNG in 1957. His first posting was to Wabag Hospital, Enga, where he was instrumental in the eradication of the disease Yaws in the Maramuni Area. His next assignment was Kainantu (1959), from where he patrolled and set up Aid Posts in the previously undeveloped Kukukuku Region.
Don transferred to Minj (1961) and then Mt Hagen (1963). In 1963 Don (who had represented Western Division in NSW as an eighteen year old), played a major role in the formation of the Western Highlands Rugby League, and was the Captain-Coach of the first Mt Hagen representative team in the then ‘Kearin Sheargold Competition’. In 1966, after 6 months of intensive training in India, Don transferred to set up the first Leprosy Control Unit in Mt Hagen, a challenge which inspired him greatly. For the next eight years he gave dedicated service to the fight against leprosy in the Highlands. Don’s last few years in PNG were almost totally spent on patrol, much of it in Karamui, a relatively isolated area, where he helped introduce and trial a new vaccine in the fight against this horrific disease. Don left the ‘Bush’ and settled on the Gold Coast at Labrador in 1974.
Although a proud Australian, a substantial part of his heart always stayed with PNG and its people. We, Don’s family, appreciate this opportunity to let his many friends from the ‘Territory’, both nationals and expats know of his passing, and to thank you all for the richness, satisfaction, friendship and good times you gave him in his life. Robyn, Ken and Geoff Vincin, Dirk Kubina and Cathy Ku
Kenneth Stuart McKENZIE, DSM, OAM (21 November 2010, aged 85)
Ken McKenzie was born on 28 September 1925 into a military family. His father, Colonel Kenneth Alan McKenzie, DSO, was constantly on the move as reflected in Ken’s schooling: Sydney Grammar, Canberra Grammar and Melbourne’s Scotch College.
Ken graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in December 1944 and was posted to the 6th Division, taking part in the Wewak-Aitape campaign. He then served with BCOF: the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan. He was commanding officer of the Pacific Islands Regiment (PIR) with headquarters at Taurama Barracks near Port Moresby from 1962 to 1965. From there, he was posted to the USA as assistant military attaché at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. In 1969-70, he served in Vietnam as deputy commander of the First Australian Task Force based at Nui Dat.
Headhunted out of the army, Ken McKenzie returned to PNG as manager of employee and community relations at the Bougainville Copper Mine between 1971 and 1976. He was twice married. First to Lynette Ariel Lee in 1948 and then to Judith Ann Forsyth in 1979.
Ken was an advocate for the RSL’s Queensland branch and a member of the RSL National Executive. He died at Greenslopes Hospital, Brisbane. Don Hook
John TOOHEY (22 October 2010, aged 74)
As a surgeon and working with the Dept External Affairs, John went to PNG in 1968 for three years. He carried out research with Professor Peter Pharaohon into iodine deficiency in the Highlands, working in Goroka, Kundiawa, Jimi Valley, Lae and Wewak. John is survived by his wife Judith and their children. Judith Toohey
Roy William BRADLEY (21 November 2010, aged 80)
Affectionately known as “Bubbles”, Roy served in Moresby, Wewak, Lae, Kavieng, Daru, Kieta and Popondetta, with his last posting being to Kimbe pre-Independence. Roy went to PNG in 1952 and worked as a blacksmith/welder at Steamships Trading Company slipway in Port Moresby. Without any prior police experience, he was a direct entry to Royal Papua & New Guinea Constabulary on 1 March 1955 and separated with the rank of Inspector (First Class) on 19 August 1975. When in Moresby, he met and married Patricia, his wife of 52 years, who was then working as a typist in the Dept of Agriculture. On returning to Australia they settled in Sydney and Roy spent the remainder of his time pre-retirement with the NSW Attorney General’s Department as a protective service officer and parliamentary driver. He is survived by Patricia. M.R. Hayes
Reverend Canon Fred BEDBROOK (22 October 2010)
Canon Fred Bedbrook served in Papua New Guinea from 1972 to 1976, as General Secretary of the Anglican Church, and was later made a Canon of the Provincial Cathedral of PNG. Fred was one the founding members of the PNG-Melanesia Group (Melbourne), and also treasurer for many years. Peter Milburn
Ian Cluny McPHERSON (13 October 2010, aged 80)
After 5 years’ service in Victoria Police, Ian joined RPNGC on 22 June 1965. After a period in Port Moresby he, and another officer, formed the police public relations office at Konedobu where he served for a couple of years. Service at various outstations followed. He was security officer for several Royal visits and served as chief instructor at the Joint Services College at Lae. Post PNG Independence in 1975, he served as police commander for the Morobe District before later being appointed as Commandant of the Police College, Bomana, at the rank of Chief Superintendent. His last posting was as Provincial Police Commander for the Central Province and his contract with the National Government expired on 31 December 1981. After PNG he spent many years as an investigator for Ansett Airlines. He is survived by Myra and three adult children. M.R. Hayes
John Henry RUDD (30 October 2010, aged 81)
In 1928 the Rudd family constituted a not insignificant portion of the population of The Rock, a country township in NSW near Wagga. There were eleven children of which John was the youngest. Sadly when he was only eighteen months old, his father died and the family endured hard times in the Depression of the early 1930s. This may have encouraged John to always look towards the bright side of life but I suspect his engaging cheerfulness was a natal gift.
John started working life in a Melbourne office but when invited to assist on a brother’s pineapple farm in Queensland he decided that the land and open air was his ‘go’. In 1955 he took a job with BPs and gained experience on several of its PNG plantations before joining DASF as a Produce Inspector at Rabaul. Those of us too young for war service invariably felt privileged to exchange remarks with a Coastwatcher but in John’s case, working with and for “Snowy” Rhoades, he was able to keep that somewhat dour hero of Guadalcanal, holder of the US Distinguished Service Cross, chuckling.
Neighbours in Mango Avenue, John and I relocated to Moresby at the same time where he was lucky enough to meet and charm Elaine Edwards, secretary to Dave Fenbury at Konedobu. This resulted in 45 years of happy married life. In 1970 the couple went south for John to run his own pineapple farm near Nambour and start a family.
John was an accomplished cricketer to be seen opening the innings at Queen Elizabeth Park, Rabaul and the Colts ground, Boroko. His other relaxation was the theatre where in Moresby he could enjoy playing a romantic lead (in Somerset Maugham’s The Constant Wife) or just joining the Navy chorus line in South Pacific to sing “What ain’t we got? We ain’t got dames!” His elocution attracted the ABC to have him do the narration for a series of broadcasts on 9PA’s schools programme called Let’s Speak English which was repeated for many years post-Independence.
John’s wonderful sense of humour kept him young at heart but the time came when he had to leave Elaine, his son Caleb, daughter Justine and grandson Luca behind. RIP Ruddles. Jim Toner
Patrick DAVEY (Pat) (17 October 2010, aged 90)
Pat was a highly regarded builder in the Port Moresby area and had construction contracts at Kwikila High School, Sogeri and within the Port Moresby area. He married Sheila (neé Bourke), a woman of high esteem from Port Moresby and moved to Cairns 34 years ago where they lived a peaceful yet fruitful retirement. Pat passed away on 17 October 2010 and was buried on the 20th. He is survived by his beloved Sheila. Tom Rosser
Jean LONGMORE (5 June 2010, aged 87)
Jean and her husband Hec (deceased 18 January 2004) were longtime residents of Madang. Jean made many life long and treasured friends from her TPNG days and always referred to “my beautiful Madang” where she spent the best years of her life. Jean is survived by her daughter Janice, son-in-law Ric, 2 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren and is sadly missed. Janice McCluskey
Billie GRIFFITHS (23 September 2010, aged 88)
During the 1950s Billie lived in the Bulolo area at various locations before moving to the Snowy Mountains and finally North Haven in NSW. Billie was the loving wife of Ian, mother of Chris, Tim and Scott, and Nan to their partners and children. Ian R Griffiths
Geks RISSEN (16 January 2011)
Geks lived and worked in Rabaul and Lae as a solicitor, then moved to Eumundi Qld. He passed away after a long illness. Maria Chan
Kathleen May MACLEAN (15 November 2010, aged 91)
Kathleen was born in Kogarah, Sydney, the youngest of five children. She had a carefree childhood but because of the Depression left school at 13 to work in a Sydney department store. Over the next 14 years she worked throughout the Sydney CBD and spent many weekends on the northern beaches where she met Ken Maclean, then a beach inspector at Dee Why Beach. Their courtship was interrupted by the war when Ken served as a commando in the 1st Independent Company in New Guinea: this prompted his return to New Guinea after the war.
Ken and Kath were married in Sydney in 1946. Ken returned to New Guinea working for New Guinea Gold in Wau, recruiting labour for the goldfields. Kathleen joined Ken as soon as it was practical to travel from Sydney by boat with their newly born daughter, Diane. After a short time they started their own company, Briggs Maclean Pty Ltd with Tom Briggs, a pilot then flying for Gibbes Sepik Airways. They moved to Angoram on the Sepik River to start a timber mill and Tom started the company’s sawmill operations in Madang. The early post-war years were a challenge, particularly in places such as the Sepik, especially for those rearing a family; and Kathleen’s family grew with the birth of Karen some two years later. Kathleen made lasting friendships at Angoram and had many interesting trips on small aircraft piloted by the likes of Bishop Arkfeld, known as “The Flying Bishop” and Bobby Gibbes, including one hair-raising trip flying into Angoram with headgear and goggles in a Tiger Moth holding her very young daughter, Diane, on her lap.
In 1955 Ken and Kath and family moved to Madang where their business grew and they became pillars of the Madang community, with many friends and a busy social life. Kath and Ken left PNG in 1973 and returned to the northern beaches area, settling in Manly. Ken passed away in 1993 and Kathleen remained in Manly among her friends. Kathleen is survived by her daughters Diane and Karen, sons-in-law Michael and Richard, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Karen Caskie
Fred HARGESHEIMER (23 December 2010, aged 94)
News of the death of Fred in Nebraska just two days before Christmas, came immediately to hundreds of his friends around the world by email from his eldest son Richard. Richard’s message:
Greetings Friends of Fred. Fred Suara Aura Hargesheimer, Masta Preddi, passed on to another dimension this morning. He did so peacefully, without pain, surrounded in his heart by his family and all of you, his friends, compatriots, and comrades of a lifetime. What would Fred, Suara Aura, want to say to all of us? We don’t know. We can only surmise. We believe it would go something like this:
“Thank you for being in my life. It is because of your presence, and the presence of so many unnamed others, that my life was one of immense privilege. My soul overflows with gratitude. More than 60 years ago, in the depths of the jungles of Papua New Guinea, I learned that a simple meal could become a feast, that a thatched hut could become a home, and that a stranger could become a life-long friend. Gratitude has made sense of my past, brings peace to me on this day, and hope for a better world tomorrow. Let us all remain steadfast in the challenges ahead in achieving a more just, more loving, more caring world community.”
We would add that Fred loved well and was loved well in return. At Fred’s request, there will be no memorial service. Fred said the Valentine’s Day celebration of his life in Grass Valley, California, in 2007 at age 92 was his big party and that he would remember that day “even when I’m dead”. The family feels his life is his enduring memorial.
Among those who got this news of his death were the people of Ewasse and Natambu, via New Britain’s Hargy Oil Palm Ltd, and they immediately made plans for a memorial service. “He is our hero. He did much”, said Pastor Misiel Zairere. “Without him we would not be what we are today.” This was a reference to “The School that Fell from the Sky”, the Airmen’s Memorial School established by Fred, who chaired and directed the school foundation for 40 years. Because Hargy “had to go back”, the lives of hundreds of PNG children in a remote part of PNG were changed for ever.
Hargy’s introduction to New Guinea was as a wartime pilot of a US photo reconnaissance P-38 shot down by a Japanese fighter over West New Britain in June 1943. He parachuted out and, although injured, survived alone in the jungle for the first month before being taken under the protection of the Meramera people of Natambu village, who hid him from Japanese patrols and nursed him back to health. His squadron had long given him up for dead. In February 1944, eight months later, he was taken off the island by submarine. But in the 1960s, with a secure executive job back in US ‘civvy street’, Fred decided he “just had to go back” to Natambu to thank the people who had saved his life.
After that visit, he decided that the most practical help he could give them was a school, and thus in the following years he became a New Guinea old hand, spending several years at Ewasse with his wife Dorothy, and with help from their then young son Richard, getting the school built and running, doing their share of teaching. A second school followed. In its 47 years the Airmen’s Memorial Foundation’s schools have produced hundreds of graduates, making their mark in all walks of life: lawyers, leading academics, sociologists, business people. On a special ceremony while he was visiting the school at Ewasse in May 2000, the Meramera people crowned Fred Suara Aura (“chief warrior”). Fred was a PNGAA member, and would meet up with old PNG friends during his many visits to the school from California via Sydney. A prominent old friend in Sydney was Freddy Kaad, one of the association’s Patrons, but also a long-time Trustee of the Foundation.
Fred Hargesheimer’s entry in Wikipedia can be read HERE
In addition, his entry in the US Library of Congress containing both photographs and audio files about his experiences in WWII can be viewed HERE
Mick SMITH (2 January 2011 aged 93)
Former kiap, no further details available
Helen Mary STREET (25 December 2010)
No further details available