Vale September 2014

ASHWORTH, Evelyn Jean (March 2014) | BAMFORD, Geoffrey Newton (17 June 2014) | CORFIELD, Grahame Lester (2014) | CREEDY, Barry John | (25 June 2014) DUNCAN, Robert (Bob) (21 March 2014) | FOPP, David Anton (8 March 2014) | FROST, Roy | JONES, Ken (6 May 2014) | McCRAE, Ann Dolores (8 June 2014) | MULLER (née Gascoigne), Betty (4 August 2014) | OSBORNE, Hugh Frank (21 June 2014) | ROBERTSON-ANGUS, Leonard A (19 June 2014) 

Evelyn Jean ASHWORTH (March 2014)

Reported by Jan Kleinig, no further details available.

Geoffrey Newton BAMFORD (17 June 2014, aged 87)

Geoff Bamford was an educator and agricultural scientist who spent 60 years working in the South Pacific. While based in Fiji for most of that time, he was interested in training for rural life across the region. He first visited PNG in 1967 when he was asked to advise on agricultural training programmes and continued to support rural training programmes there until his retirement.

Geoff was, in the 1970s, in the vanguard of those advocating a move away from institution-based technical training in favour of village and locally based programmes focusing on the range of skills needed for successful village life. His expertise was sought by a wide range of government and non-government bodies including the South Pacific Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, FAO, ILO, UNDP, World Bank and took him across Asia to parts of Africa as well as the remotest parts of the South Pacific.

In his retirement Geoff continued to support rural training with his expertise and financial support. More recently he had focused on programmes in the Solomons and Vanuatu where he continued to travel to visit village based training programmes. He will be missed by the many colleagues and friends he made across the Pacific. David Bamford


Grahame Lester CORFIELD (1934-2014)

Grahame arrived in New Guinea in 1963 as a cadet patrol officer and was posted to Matupit village, New Britain, and subsequently Kukipi in the Papuan Gulf District.

After completing an Economics degree at The University of Queensland, he was appointed Development Officer with the Department of Trade & Industry, Port Moresby, and provided a constant stream of ideas for low-cost profitable businesses for Papuans. He was later promoted to Head of Research & Information in the new House of Assembly. The new political parties were just forming and the Pangu Party with Michael Somare was the most prominent. To be involved with the new parliament at that time was the highlight of Grahame’s career.

After Independence in 1975, he settled on a farm in northern NSW. He was invited back to Port Moresby in 1978 to design and set up a national lottery system based on “scratchies”—then unknown in Australia—for the Provincial Governments. It was an instant success.

As well as growing beef cattle, Grahame set up his own accountancy practice in the Murwillumbah district and with his wife, Susanne, raised their family of two sons there. An avid reader, he was interested in history and languages and had a wide-ranging general knowledge. He enjoyed playing chess and bridge, was a keen golfer and enjoyed skiing on family holidays. Later he took up croquet.

He is truly missed by his family and many friends. Peter Cahill

Robert (Bob) DUNCAN (21 March 2014

No further details available.


Ann Dolores McCRAE (8 June 2014, aged 81)

Ann passed away after being injured in a fall—on the disturbed footpath—outside her Chermside house.

She was born in Sydney, the eldest of eight children, and married Art Teacher Malcolm, in Benalla, Victoria. As brave young adventurers, they left to a distant and unknown PNG. Arriving in Rabaul in 1954, they were posted to Vunamami with baby John and adapted to a Tolai village lifestyle. Malcolm worked as a Vocational Centre instructor.

Three more children were born in the Gazelle: Robert, Helen and Jamie.

Malcolm became Senior Lecturer in Art/Craft, for the “E” Course at Rabaul’s Malaguna Teachers College. Ann worked at the Rabaul Pharmacy, where she was a well-known and trusted member of the community.

They moved to Port Moresby in 1965. Ann and Malcolm worked at the Port Moresby Teachers College. Malcolm became Deputy Principal. Anne and Betty Schubert were the College typing pool. Both were efficient, helpful, and organised. This pre-Independence period was characterised by less than sufficient Government resources. Anne’s happy efficiency made her a valued member of staff.

On return to Brisbane, Anne worked for Coopers and Lybrand, until she retired. Anne and Malcolm were one of many Government officers who gave generously to the creation of a nation. Ann is survived by her three children, Robert, Helen and Jamie. Courier-Mail, 13 June 2014


Barry John CREEDY (25 June 2014, aged 74)

Barry was the PNGAA Treasurer in 2010. He passed away at Royal North Shore Hospital, succumbing to cancer firstly oesophagus and then pancreatic: both deadly forms of the disease; chemotherapy worked for a while but in the end was insufficient.

I first met Barry when he took over from me at Komo Patrol Post in early 1963. Komo was restricted Territory then: now it lands large cargo jets; what fifty years and oil discovery can achieve. We remained friends for over fifty years and were continually in touch.

Barry married Joy who was a nursing sister at the MOM SHD Tari in 1968. They had two children, Basil and Tara, and there are a considerable number of grandchildren; all live in close proximity at Cremorne in Sydney where Barry and Joy had their dwelling.

Before electing to come to PNG on the February 1958 course, Barry applied for pilot training in the Naval Fleet Air arm—they only take the best—passing all exams; in the end he optioned for PNG. On leaving PNG from Kimbe in 1977, Barry and Joy opened a motel on the NSW-Victorian border Ned Kelly country; after this they purchased another motel at Nambour. Eventually Barry settled for buying and selling property and receiving income from rentals. He always seemed to be in front. They eventually settled in Cremorne.

Barry completed the ASOPA course in 1960 with companions such as Mal Lang, Col Sanderson (both have already ‘crossed the Jordan’) plus that great gentleman Bob Fayle, and Jack Mater, who later went to the Sydney bar and was the best man at Mal’s marriage to Kay. I think they all had in 1960 a memorable time!!

Barry and I, and later our families, stayed in touch for more than fifty years; he was highly intelligent; a brilliant raconteur and a good friend. I will miss him. Warren Read


David A FOPP (8 March 2014, aged 85)

David Fopp came to Papua New Guinea in 1966 on secondment from the Commonwealth Department of Territories in Canberra. During many years there he worked in Port Moresby for the Information and Posts and Telegraphs Departments in administrative and training fields. He loved PNG and many local people benefited from his guidance. As a young man he contracted poliomyelitis but this did not stop him from playing basketball in his early years and enjoying a remarkable theatrical career. He not only appeared at the Arts Theatre in a number of plays but he also directed such masterpieces as Chekov’s A Month in the Country. On radio he played many leading roles and will be remembered for his performance in Queen Emma, a long running serial directed by Peter Trist. David was also an astute collector of art and works from his collection are to be hung in the National Gallery in Canberra. Originally from South Australia, he was a long-time resident of Canberra where he made his home and in two separate gatherings his ashes were scattered in both locations. Ray Watson



Reported by David Keating, no further details available.


Ken JONES (6 May 2014, aged 94)

Ken was born in 1920 and grew up in idealic Kavieng, New Ireland, where his father was District Officer. Later, in early post Pacific War years, Bert was PNG’s Director of District Services and Native Affairs.

Ken had a close association with the Coote family of Rabaul and was a classmate of lifelong friend Dion Coote at Shore School, Sydney. As war loomed Ken found his first employment as an assistance purser on the Burns Philp passenger ships servicing the New Guinea ports from Sydney. He served with the AIF in the Middle East before being posted to ANGAU in New Guinea. At war’s end, he joined the Provisional Administration and, while on an ASOPA course in Sydney in 1948, married Joan, daughter of the renowned pioneer planter Vic Pennyfather of the famous Tokua Plantation, Kokopo. Anne (Lees) Garrett, David Marsh and Harry West were members of the bridal party.

In the early 1950s, Ken and Joan took over Takaka Plantation, adjacent to Tokua and after 15 years moved on to Sydney as their three children grew up. Next step was to Kiparing, Redlands Bay, Queensland, for a long retirement.

Ken is survived by Joan, his children, Peter, Bronwyn and Ken, and their families. Harry West


Betty MULLER (nee Gascoigne) (04 August 2014, aged 93)

No further details available.


Hugh Frank OSBORNE (21 June 2014, aged 88)

With his wife Jean, he attended all three of our Islands Memories meetings in the Chermside Library in early 2008. Hugh’s  parents had settled on Rossel Island in Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea and that was where Hugh and his brother Ron grew up, learning those wonderful qualities of being young men of the islands, both on the land and the sea. Subsequently they took their wives to Rossel as well, and many years later they all retired in Brisbane. Jim Burton


Leonard A ROBERTSON-ANGUS (19/06/2014)

Reported by Annette Robertson-Angus, no further details available.

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