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PRIESTS AND OTHER ODDITIES

Paias Wingti (in those days spelt Pius and pronounced Puce) was at Dave Argent’s school at Keltiga. “I never suspected he would become Prime Minister. RC’s prevail around Hagen, thus Pius and they would all tramp off to lotu on Sunday where the incumbent priest would revel in the full attendance at each Mass at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 o’clock. The only thing he wasn’t aware of was that it was the same congregation that came out of 6 o’clock mass that went back in for 7 o’clock and so on.”

Bill Wilson remembers a thirsty Catholic priest on Karkar Island and his dismay upon recovering from a binge when he found he’d drunk the entire supply of altar wine. “The local doctor, a mad Irishman, had great fun attempting to develop a substitute out of fruit cordial and surgical spirit”.

Bill Wilson feels the need to clarify the Karkar altar wine incident. “It wasn't the good father who was on the binge - it was a mob of young plantation assistants and admin field staff with big thirsts who roamed the island on motor bikes each Sunday afternoon. They sought hospitality from anyone silly enough to let them enter their dwellings” I think Bill’s using the word ‘hospitality’ fairly loosely.