|International Training Institute|
A few words from the editor
The Mail is early this month as I get organised for a return to Papua New Guinea after a 30-year absence. In a few days Ingrid (who has spent time in the Solomon Islands but has never visited PNG) and I will depart Cairns aboard the motor yacht MY Orion. The 100-passenger vessel is equipped for expedition cruising with Zodiac embarkation platforms for wet landings and a tight manoeuvring capability, which allows her to get close inshore.
Orion cruises Milne Bay (Alotau, D’Entrecasteux, Trobriands), the Solomons, Rabaul, the Sepik, Madang returning via Tufi and Samarai. In Rabaul we’ll catch up with my old PNG Broadcasting Commission mate, Sam Piniau (he was chairman when I was cutting my teeth as a broadcasting exec), and visit the post-eruption studios of Radio East New Britain, now based at Kokopo.
Here I’ll present manager Terry Lombut and his staff with a rare original program guide for the former Radio Rabaul, which commenced broadcasting in 1961.
Satellite communications permitting, I’ll be diarising the voyage on the Internet through regular posts to ASOPA PEOPLE at http://asopa.typepad.com.
isles are alive with the sound of music
The question has been asked: Was a member of the famous von Trapp Sound of Music family on the E-Course teacher training program in Rabaul, New Guinea. The answer is ‘yes’ and here’s the story.
Ingrid Jackson: Maria von Trapp, who completed the fourth E-Course, was the stepdaughter of the Maria of Sound of Music fame. Her autobiography ‘Maria’, which I bought in 1973 and still possess, includes two Papua New Guinea chapters - ‘A New Mission’ and ‘The Native Chant’.
In 1956 the Trapp Family Singers had toured Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. Their Sydney host was Archbishop Carboni, the Vatican’s representative in this part of the world. The archbishop was reportedly “very much concerned about the great success Communist agents were having all over that vast territory” and the von Trapps promised him they would go to the islands and start lay missionary work.
In 1957 Maria von Trapp (the one depicted by Julie Andrews) toured PNG with her friend, Franz Wasner, to scope the project. Father Wasner and Maria had jointly started the Trapp Family Singers in 1936. Maria visited Budoya, or Bwaioia, on Fergusson Island, Rabaul, Wewak, the Sepik and the Highlands.
Stepdaughter Maria (b 1914) and children Rosmarie (b 1929) and Johannes (b 1939) had just arrived in PNG. Maria and Rosmarie taught "the little ones" and tended the sick in villages while, among other chores, Johannes built a church and two schoolhouses. He remained in PNG for four years, Rosmarie for five and Maria for a dedicated 30.
Maria now lives in Stowe, Vermont, in the USA. Rosmarie continues to travel extensively as a missionary. And Johannes runs the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.
Noel Ryan: Maria, a Catholic missionary, was on our 4th E-Course. A book, ‘The Trapp Family on Wheels’, tells briefly of Maria, Rosmarie and Johannes joining the mission at Budoya (Bwaioia) on Fergusson Island.
Maria is now 92 and living at the Trapp family lodge in Vermont. I didn't know her background when I was on the E-Course, where she was a nice unassuming lady of 47. She kept mainly with the older folk; our interest was in getting down to the Cosmo and the Xavier dances. It wasn't until about 1966 when I saw The Sound of Music that I realised who she was.
I wrote to Maria a few months ago and she replied saying she was thrilled to receive the first letter she'd ever got from a fellow E-Courser.
Dave does a turn with turtles
1962-63 reunion news
12-14 October 2007
Bookings at Tuesday 3 October:
NOVOTEL: Barry and Janine Paterson, Peter and Margaret Lewis, Dave and Elissa Kesby, Howard and Glenda Ralph, Richard and Judyth Jones.
SOFITEL: Colin Huggins, Bill Welbourne, Val Rivers, Sonia Grainger, Bob Davis, Rod Hard, Keith and Ingrid Jackson, Colin and Wendy Booth, Henry and Janelle Bodman, Bill and Diane Bohlen, Les and Margaret Lyons, Roger Philpott, Paul and Margaret Brigg (1960-61).
OTHER: Jeff and Robyn Chapman.
For people arranging alternative accommodation, as in the case of Jeff and Robyn who I believe are making an extended campervan holiday, it would be useful to advise us of where they’ll be so we can recommend the easiest way to get to and from the Sofitel. It would be best for Jeff to book into a park near the CBD and in close proximity to a railway station.
A letter of agreement will be signed with the Sofitel on 22 November covering our booking for the official reunion dinner. Included in the room set up will be registration desk, stage, polished parquetry dance floor and lectern and microphone. The tables will be adorned with white linen, a silver candlestick and white candle and personalised menus.
The meet and greet function on Friday 12 October will kick off at 6 pm and continue till you drop. The Class of 1962-63 will gather at the Sofitel’s Chez Bar. People will be responsible for their own food and drink.
The cost of the official dinner on Saturday 13 October will be $95 a person made up of a three course set menu ($54.50), a deluxe beverage package ($33.50) and a cash bar service for flash drinks ($7). Procedures for the collection of this money will be advised at a later date.
The grand finale function on Sunday 14 October will start at 6 pm at the Bow Thai Restaurant. This is a banquet style function with the menu will be decided by Joe Crainean and Dennis Burrell. Probable cost is $35-$40 per person with an open bar for personal purchases.
I realise that this plea is becoming somewhat repetitive, but please make your intentions clear with accommodation bookings ASAP. The highly discounted room rate will not last for long and the ‘rack rate’ is presently $585 per night!
Henry Bodman has a few other ASOPA groups ready to organise a table. We are giving our groups preferential treatment so again please get in quickly.
SOFITEL HOTEL [booking code ASO1007]. Room rates from $195 - $270 per night for single, double or twin. Accommodation at the higher rate includes free breakfast in the Sofitel Club and afternoon canapes and cocktails. Bookings: Jade Thompson at email H5992-SB06@accor.com or phone on 07 3835 3535 or 07 3835 4959. Quote the booking code.
NOVOTEL HOTEL [booking code ASOPA 2007]. The room rate is $150 per night for single, double or twin. Bookings: Laura Ousby at email H1749-RE01@accor.com or phone on 07 3309 3309. Quote the booking code.
Ian McLean writes from Okinawa in Japan: I just sent off an email to Howie Ralph saying I would definitely be pulling out the stops to make it to La Grande Affaire Troisieme (third times a charm). I figured if I miss 2007, the next time our bunch gets together the attrition rate will have climbed exponentially. Belinda has something on in Singapore with her family, so she won't be accompanying me to the reunion, so I'll be stag. I guess I'll have to bunk with Bob ‘Moose’ Davis. Does Brissie have an equivalent to the Big Bear hamburger joint in case he gets an attack of the munchies around midnight?
I contacted Bob to see if he wanted a roomie at the Sofitel. He responded that he and Rod Hard had already decided to share, but Sofitel had offered to put a third bed in the room if I didn't mind ‘bunkhouse’ conditions. I replied I was happy to accept the offer of a bed with the guys, despite disturbing thoughts of ‘Brokeback Mountain’. From the busy schedule the guys on the organising committee have devised, I figure we probably won't spend too much time in the room anyway.
1961-62 reunion news
Lake Country Club, 24-26 August 2007
1961-62 Asopians need to make a deposit of $100 per person when confirming attendance and advising preferred accommodation. If you have arranged share accommodation this should also be advised when you forward your deposit. Cheques payable to 61/62 ASOPA REUNION and sent to 61/62 ASOPA REUNION, PO Box 73, New Farm, QLD 4005.
1960-61 reunion news
12-14 October 2007
to eat with greyhounds
gather again in Brisbane