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PEOPLE OF FAME AND NOTORIETY

Bert Pikett stood for the 1964 House of Assembly election in the Gulf under the slogan ‘Vote Pikett and like it’. Ernie Sharp, nambawan kiap at Rigo remarked to Allan Jones, “It’s lucky his name isn’t Puckett”.

Dubbo’ Dave Kesby began a uni degree after leaving PNG and decided late Prime Minister John Gorton was the bloke with the necessaries to enable a scholar to score a High Distinction. Dave organised an appointment in Canberra, turning up on the appointed day to be confronted with a long wait. Eventually he traipsed into Gorton’s suite, conducted a brief interview and emerged to find the national press gathered at the door. Dubbo blinded by flashbulbs and with TV cameras up his nose was given the sad information that he had been the ex-PM’s last official guest.

Like Col and Wendy Booth, Allan Jones well remembers Father Dowde from his time at KarKar High (1979-86). “He was a very old man by then but still had ports of call for free drinks well mapped out. He’d visit my place each week, having put the bite on both families of Middletons, and refused to leave until he’d downed three whiskies. From me he’d drive to Marangis plantation for another trio and then go home.”

Pat Dwyer advises me that despite Highlands trade store entrepreneur, Brian ‘Braun’ Heagney, having passed on to that Great Kariim Leg In The Sky a few years ago, his Perth answering machine is still operating. “Sorry I can’t speak to you now - leave a message and I will get back to you shortly”. “A bit of a worry,” says Pat.

Margaret (McKenna) Dwyer, Janet Holmes a Court and the WA Opposition Leader spoke at the recent memorial service for Dame Rachel Cleland. “During Margaret’s talk the ladies cried but thanked her profusely later on”, my old Chimbu mate, Pat Dwyer, reports.