Category Archives: Bougainville2

My second Bougainville project: electrical survey (induced polarization)

Telephoning my wife at Christmas

I made a Christmas telephone call from Bougainville to  my wife in Melbourne.  I had to make the call from the Kieta post office.  The call was by radiotelephone.  The Australian telephone system, government run, could feed the radio signal … Continue reading

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Christmas at Panguna, 1967

Since Don Carruthers had agreed to let me stay in Melbourne for the birth of our first child, I remained in Panguna over Christmas. The Bougainville workers’ foreman, an Australian, planned for the camp Christmas party for weeks in advance. … Continue reading

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The Kieta mission church

Most Bougainvilleans I met were Catholic, and quite religious.  Kieta had a beautiful little church, and seemed well attended on most Sundays.  I took the opportunity to attend Mass on occasion.  The homily for the mass was in Pidgin, of … Continue reading

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Gurya!

I was lying in my bunk one evening at Panguna.  As I tried to fall asleep, I felt a tiny movement, as though someone was walking through the hut, but I heard no sound, no footsteps. At first I was … Continue reading

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Going ‘native’

Occasionally an imported worker would become fascinated with the local culture and people, and gradually adopt a native lifestyle.  It usually started with their making friends with someone from a nearby village and making occasional visits to their home, which … Continue reading

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Going ‘troppo’

The personnel manager approached me late one afternoon. “Tom, we need you over at the barracks.” “What’s going on?” “One of the workers tried to set fire to his room. I think he’s gone troppo.” The manager wanted me along … Continue reading

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Trader Joe

I only remember him as ‘Trader Joe.”  Joe was a chubby, happy, smiling, active man that everybody liked.  His natural charm was really infectious. Everybody at Panguna camp had money to spend and nowhere to spend it, except in the … Continue reading

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What was that thing?

As I returned to my bunk from the toilet block one evening, I felt something crawling on me. At first it was just a little annoying.  I hoped it would just go away. But it didn’t. Then it BIT me. … Continue reading

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Tropical fun on Sundays

John Haley was a good-natured guy from New Zealand who joined CRAE as one of my geophysical field hands.  He was everybody’s friend.  Very athletic, he was a great asset in the rough jungle terrain.  His congeniality was great for … Continue reading

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Cyril Gatana

Bougainvilleans are a gentle, soft-spoken people.  The average (young) Bougainvillean of 1967 could typically speak and understand several of the village languages near his home, as well as Pidgin and his native tongue.  A few were fluent in English. Bougainvilleans … Continue reading

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