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January 2005

 

 

40 INDICATE PARTICIPATION IN REUNION

The next reunion of the ASOPA Class of 62/63 (and friends) is planned for the Mosman/Cremorne area of Sydney from Friday 30 September to Sunday 2 October this year. At this stage, we’re still collecting expressions of interest. If you haven’t contacted us already, please let us know your intentions.

DAVE ARGENT
KEITH BAIN
BILL & JOAN BERGEN 2
HENRY & JANELLE BODMAN 2
DIANE & BILL BOHLEN 2
COL & WENDY BOOTH 2

MARIE BURNS
DENNIS BURRELL
JEFF & ROBYN CHAPMAN 2
JOE CRAINEAN 1
BOB DAVIS 1

SUSAN DENHELD
MARGARET DWYER
BARRY FIELD
JUSTINE FINTER
BARRY FLANNERY ?
SONIA GRAINGER
ROD HARD 1
COLIN HUGGINS 1
KEITH & INGRID JACKSON 2
ALLAN JONES 1
RICHARD & JUDYTH JONES 2
DAVE & ELISSA KESBY 2
MOLLY KREIDL
PAM & PALLE KRUGER 2
GEOFF LAWSON
PETER & MARGARET LEWIS 2
JEAN LOWE ?
LES & MARGARET LYONS 2
IAN & BELINDA MCLEAN 2

MAXINE MUNDELL
RORY O’BRIEN 1
BARRY& JANINE PATERSON 0
RODGER & SUE PHILPOTT 2
HOWARD & GLENDA RALPH 2

VAL RIVERS,
BRIAN SMITH
ROGER STANLEY & SUE CORE 2
JOHN TOMS
GRAHAME UHLMANN
BARRY VINCENT
BILL WELBOURNE
DAVID & LORRAINE WESTOVER 2
BRIAN WHITE
BILL & ANITA WILSON 2
MICHAEL WILSON
TOTAL 40

The interim program for the weekend includes a return to the old ASOPA campus on Middle Head for a tour and barbecue, lunch at The Oaks hotel at Neutral Bay and a grand reunion dinner at the Mosman Club.

Let us know (1) whether you and your partner intend to be at the reunion;(2) if so, whether you’d like to participate in an accommodation package we’re putting together at the Cremorne Concierge apartments.

BARRY PATERSON (Cairns FNQ) - This year we have been hit by a number of shocks. My mother died. Janine's mother Elsie died. A close friend of mine an Islander priest died suddenly in early middle age. Then, on 22 December, Janine's father Eric died after a short but severe illness. Janine and I have decided to make 2005 a year of new directions/recovery. We wish you well on the reunion; but unfortunately we will not be able to join you.

 

JEAN LOWE (Croydon NSW) – Many thanks for the newsletters that arrive every month. Sorry to learn you’ve not been well – very frustrating. In October, I was in New Zealand’s south island visiting a friend I first met in England in the late 1950s. She was once champion tennis player of NZ but, alas, now has scoliosis and is very crippled.

Also toured around, visiting the few cities, lakes and mountain regions, west coast and glaciers. All very green, full of sheep and, best of all, good weather at the right time. The spring gardens were magnificent and the scenic attractions beautifully managed. Met lots of interesting people (we stayed in youth hostels – very upmarket these days).

Am only just getting on top of the mail, which piles up as we all know. This time of the year is so busy, I hardly ever have a day free. I do a lot of volunteer work and have become more involved with the blind society, helping with translation, checking the original texts against the Braille being read by a blind person.

We have some strange requests – but mainly novels: the last one from some AFL player from Carlton club known as Sos (I think). Eminently boring with minute details of the 350+ games he played.

I am not sure about the get together next year. I am trying to plan a trip to Europe which will include the haunts of my ancestors in Derbyshire and Normandy, looking up an uncle’s grave in WWI cemeteries in France and visiting a friend in northern Italy – while I am still of sound mid and limb. It looks like August/September or even into October could be the time – I am not sure how long. Anyway, I would not be in need of accommodation and could even offer some in Sydney.

I haven’t heard back from Aidan Greenwood about Tarakururu so presume he is no longer interested in information from there.

 

BOB DAVIS (Stirling ACT) - Sorry for not responding earlier to your request but as you probably know I've been flitting back and forth between Canberra and the Tweed and am somewhat disorganised. Yes I will be at the reunion. I will be on my own. I am happy to fit in with a group block booking.

I responded to Jeremy Blue (The Mail 81). I took over from Les Blue at Wau T School in 1967 and, while I did not actually know his dad, he was a man about whom much was said. The stories told portrayed a man with a great zest and exuberance for life. He was a man whom I would have liked to have met.

 

PAM KRUGER (Ulstrup Denmark) - 2004 at ‘Duedal’ started as usual with the lambing season, which actually started already Christmas Day (very early) and didn’t produce the desired number of lambs. However, a couple of the sheep decided to make up for their poor performance and lambed again in September/October - most unusual. It helped the statistics just the same.

Our weather here has been just as abnormal as everyone else’s. The sailing season, which starts at the beginning of May, was very cold, rainy and windy. So much so that we turned around on our 3 week ‘Summer’ holiday and spent the middle week cutting thistles out of the Christmas trees. We did manage to sail quite a lot before taking the boat up and bringing it home in October, but it was rough sailing – resulting at one stage in a broken boom.

Our animal numbers haven been extended by two ‘horses’, so we now have three – two Icelandic ponies and a Dartmoor pony. The Dartmoor pony was purchased to keep the old Icelandic (27 years) company and the other Icelandic to replace the old one eventually. Christine and I have gone halves in the purchase of the second Icelandic, but she gets to ride it as I am kept pretty busy riding the other two.

The best news of this year is that our daughter Christine has finally got a full-time job as a journalist for the local newspaper and is showing that she has flair – great.

The second best news is that Palle and I are retiring in June 2005 and taking a trip to Australia via America in September. We expect to visit friends in Lennox, MA, to attend an ASOPA reunion in Sydney and of course spend time in Brisbane with family.

That’s about it from us. We are both keeping well and fit, though looking forward to having more time to ourselves after retirement. The word is that that is when you really get busy. Let’s see.

 

IAN McLEAN (Okinawa Japan) - I noticed in The Mail that my name didn't feature in the list of hopeful attendees for the Great Reunion of 2005. That's my fault for not responding to your survey. Because I had written informally to you a few weeks earlier, I wrongly assumed you would take out the old HB2 medium pencil and scrawl my name in the logbook. Belinda and I are both intending to attend. We will not need the accommodation package.

By the way, I'll be in Sydney around the end of January '05. I am flying down to Sunshine Coast early January to see my Mum, then on to Melbourne to pick up Belinda and Chris (Belinda is flying down earlier via Singapore), followed by a drive up to Canberra to visit Andrew (and call some of the chasps there). After that it will be back to Melbourne (meet up with Mick Wilson again, and BIG chance of side trip to Bendigo). I'll be leaving for Okinawa from Sydney, so intend to spend a couple of days in the shade of that big coat-hanger-thingy.

Belinda and I will be returning to Oz in late Sept for the reunion, then plan to fly off to Europe for a month or so (YES! I do so bloody have a job!).

 

DAVE KESBY (Berowra Heights NSW) - The last time I was at your place I really enjoyed talking to Alexander Downer's sister and brother-in-law. I never thought I would say that but it was such a good time. At that time they were all scared of Latham. That turned out to be a fizzer. It was good to see in the last newsletter that Col Booth displaying a little bit of triumphalism. Ah well to the victors go the spoils.

I think Bob Carr has to fix up the trains or he is gone. In my job all I see every day are people coming out of railway stations with smoke coming out of their ears after their train had suddenly been cancelled.

Our son works for emirates and we have one really cheap flight a year and he got us a trip to Dubai and New York. We are going out on New Year’s Eve. We will be coming to the reunion and hope to see you up at our joint next year sometime to do a planning session.

Remember last year when I wrote to tell you how the registered clubs were having a bit of trouble convincing us punters that poker machines were good for us and that the NSW government was a pack of evil doers because they wanted to tax them and give the money to the hospitals. Well they were having a bit of trouble convincing us of this until they contacted the best spin doctor in Sydney and we all know who that is? That's right, it’s our old mate Keithy. Now all of the people in NSW love our registered clubs and our pokies.

Well who do you think is having the worst press in Sydney up until recently? That’s right, you guessed it - James Hardie and the asbestos issue. They were copping it from everywhere. So they must have thought: what can we do? And, that’s right, they contacted Keithy. And do you know what happened within a week? They had the leading radio broadcaster, a person that about one in eight listen to, someone that Col Booth and Henry Bodman would love (I can’t stand him) saying James Hardie wasn't that bad after all. A week later, the head of the board of James Hardie got a very supportive article in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Weekend section about all the problems they are having. I reckon in about a year's time we will all be saying James Hardie have been treated poorly. I don't know how our old mate Keithy does it but he does.

 

ROSS GRIDLEY (Melbourne VIC) [ross@gridleys.org] - I came across your ASOPA web site via a link on PNGAA's site. My late father, Philip Hampton Gridley, studied at ASOPA prior to working as a kiap and. I believe. possibly District Officer on Bougainville.

I was born in Rabaul in 1961 while my father was posted at Wakunai. I guess that puts my father at ASOPA around 1959-60. Do you know of any archives going back that far, and perhaps were any of your members also at ASOPA around that time?

I would be interested in obtaining copies of any records of my fathers training that might exist, and of course especially interested in any photographs of his class that may have survived.

 

DIANE BOHLEN (Daisy Hill QLD) - Our main event came in October when we flew to Europe for 4 weeks holiday. We visited Switzerland and met up with an old school friend of Bill’s, whom he hadn’t seen for 40+ years. Bill’s friend had found him on the internet. After a visit to relies and a ferry trip on the Lake of Thun to Interlaken we went to Zurich to meet up with our wine tour friends for a 10th year anniversary special wine tour of the Burgundy area by canal barge.

We had 6 fabulous days on the barge. Gourmet meals were served everyday with different wines and cheeses. A tour guide and bus took us on tour everyday to historical towns and villages including many castles, churches, museums, and of course wineries. We said goodbye to our friends in Paris and continued our holiday with friends Bill and Ruth Carlton. My brother and sister in law met us in Paris from London and they took us for a romp around Paris to places we hadn’t been before. They went back to London and we took a train to Dresden and Prague. Two highly interesting cities. Then we flew to Ireland and drove from Galway around the west and south coasts to Dublin. We enjoyed beautiful countryside and a fun culture. Bill loved Avoca where Ballykissangel was filmed.

 

JOE CRAINEAN (Wishart QLD) - A quick hello from Joe on Christmas Eve to wish you all the best for what some people call "the silly season". I'm spending tomorrow with my son Adam enjoying dinner with my big sister Veronica and her family at Hastings Point near Kingscliff where she lives. Her two daughters and son with their kids will be staying for a few days to enjoy the summer beach weather.

After Adam flies to Fiji with his mum and others next week on 28th I will drive to Sydney to visit sisters Julia and Emily and families and friends for a week or so. Then I will head back home via Canberra early January before setting off for the Country Music Festival at Tamworth on 14 January camping for 10 days. I'm thinking of going to Norfolk Island in May when they have their annual country music festival as I've not visited there before.

Next year I will be teaching adult literacy and numeracy for two mornings a week for two months, February and March, at our ADRAcare welfare centre in Brisbane - should be an interesting challenge.

 

ARTHUR MELLOR (UK) - I first met Perpetua (Tanaku) in January 1970 when I arrived at Asitavi Mission to work at the sawmill. I was there as a volunteer with the UK's Voluntary Service Overseas organisation. She was a student at the Girl's High School on the same station. She immediately stood out from the rest of the girls, as an outgoing person, with a great interest in the world beyond Bougainville as well as being very attractive. She was then in her final year at Asitavi.

As you know, she left Asitavi and took up a job as an announcer at Radio Bougainville - Maus Bilong San Ikamap. On conclusion of my one-year posting at Asitavi, I went to work for Bougainville Copper Pty. Ltd., where I stayed for a further 2½ years.

Perpetua had a small house, provided by the radio station, on the outskirts of Kieta. We met again and subsequently became involved with each other. Soon afterwards, I received information about axes and heads – her family's axes and my head! It turned out that she was marked for marriage to a local man. I didn't think she was too keen on the idea.

After that, we lost touch, although I have often wondered how she was doing, given the situation on Bougainville. It was interesting to read about her later life; it's odd that I could find out virtually nothing about James Ona.

I hope the above is of some use to you. With best wishes for the New Year.

The late Perpetua Tanaku’s story is told as part of the editor’s Bougainville reminiscence in ‘The ASOPA Files’, which mistakenly calls her rebel leader husband ‘James’ instead of ‘Francis’.