The ougainville Copper Project

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Reflections of our yesterdays
Are mirrored in our lives today.

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If you're looking for a particular contact in your own State or area, go to our new Location Listing.

Comments received and Names mentioned:

Jim Adamoli # Denise Arnold # Mike Asgill # Mal Baker # Ray Banning # Terri Barambi # Brian Barnabas # John Barnham # Kim Barnsley # Peter Bazelt # Alun Beck # Ivan Bell # Brian Bennett # Colin Bishop # John Black # John Boland # Ian Bond # Kevin Bowman # Peter Bowman # Peter Broderick # Bob Bruce # Bill Burrell # Ralph Byles # Lyle Cantwell # Gray Chandler # Jim Chaplin # Urs Christen # Judy & Roger Christensen # Colin Clarke # Gerry Clark # John Clark # Gary Coleman # Maurie Collis # Colin Cowell # John Craigie # Mike Crowe # Bob Cruickshank # Anja Crute # Keith Culley # Dave Cunningham # Dennis Curren # John Davidson # Bob Dean # Maxine Dean # Ed Denari # Peter Doolan # John Dutton # John Edgar # Mike Edwards # Leon Evers # David Feeney # Norm Fielding # Joe Fragnito # Jason Garland # Warrick Garland # Henry Gatana # Danny Gekesun # Pat Gibson # Kevin Gill # Russ Gill # Jim Gillin # Peter Goerman # Roy Goldsworthy # Erwin Goodfruit # Gary Gomersall # Barry Green # John Gretton # Kev Groom # Rod Gunn # Don Hadden # Ricky Hall # Barry Hamilton # Bob Hamilton # Stuart Harris # Dave Hatch # Gerhard Heinemann # Willy Herold # John Hildebrandt # Jim Hocking # Graeme Hore # Don Hotaling # Don Houston # Bob Hutton # Bob Jackson # Rosanna Jaureguiberry # Clyde Jensen # Ian Johnson # Warren Johnson # Leo Jones # Wally Kaka # Al Kauslick # Tony Kearsley # Erwin Kornberger # Joe Lahita # Rudy Laister # Wayne Ledwidge # Peter Leonard # Sydney Lhotka # Mark Lintern # Peter Lovell # Dick Lukoszek # Lloyd McChesney # Patrick McEvoy # Graeme McKenzie # Bruce Machen # Pete Maleckas # Mike Martin # John Mason # Paul Mason # Evan Mawdsley # Bob Methkie # Eric Mier # Dwayne Miller # Jim "Hamish" Miller # John Moller # Peter Morris" # Bruce Muffet" # Eric Mulder # Stan Neal # Ken Nelson # Cliff Newman # Chris O'Brien # Warren Parsons # Graham Pascoe # Mal Paterson # Roger Pawson # Henry Pearson # Russ Peterson # Steve Plater # Roger Porteous # Rod Powell # Peter Robinson # Sue Robinson # Graham Rodwell # Graham Rodwell ... another one # Kevin Ryan # Brian Schou # Werner Seifert # Len Selwood # Jamie Shaw # Stuart Sherrat # Col Smith # Des Smith # Leslie G. Smith # Grant Smith # Mike Smith # Murray Smith # Russell Somerville # Diane Soul # Diane Soul # Bob Staines # Joe Stevens # Brian Stone # Stephen Swan # Lindsay Swanson # Al Sweetman # Louis Tagovono # Alex Takahashi # Lansell Taudevin # John Torres # Peter Tuckerman # Basil Turner # Perry Utanis # Theo van der Meulen # Jan Amor a.k.a. Jan Vanner # Don Vernon # Bob Walker # Jerome Wallace # John Wallace # Jim Watts # Ernie Wayland # Graeme Wellington # Don Ware # Bill Welsh # Les Whitcombe # David White # Shane Wiese # Mal Woolhouse # Ian Worth # Theo Zachos

Many more comments on on the next page
and also at BCL Comments Blog
or search for a particular name here! (click the appropriate button)

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Bougainville Website

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Brian Schou send this email:

Well today I thought I would check out the net, as I did about a year ago and was amazed to find your site . I am pleased to have the chance to email you. In late 1969, I arrived in Bougainville, after arriving in Port Moresby by DC3. That in itself was an experience for me but the trip to Panguna was indeed something else. That road , the land slides, the mud, the bulldozers, the rain, the stuck trucks of Kennelly's waiting for a push it was like a dream I never will forget. I loved the experience. Of course for a twenty one year old recently qualified Diesel Mechanic from N.Z. who had always wanted to try his hand on big equipment , Bougainville really was right up my alley, and I worked at the site for 18 months before deciding it was time open the page of a new chapter in the great life I have had, in wild places, cosmopolitan places and the good luck I have had with my family. Do you remember the removal of Mount Tangye (I think) behind the camp? Pioneer Concrete used it for aggregate. I do have some photos however I do wish I had taken more. Well,I would like to hear from you too!.

Catherine Sherrat emailed from the U.K.:

Hi there, I'm so glad to have found your website... My name is Catherine Sherratt and was born in Arawa hospital on a lovely tropical summer morning at the end of 1980. My father Stuart Sherratt (who may just be remembered as one of the "POMs"! ) worked in the Electrical division of BCL. My mum, Marie, was the "froggy" woman who trekked halfway accross the world to marry him..

I am still in contact with some of the families that lived in Panguna and Arawa (who are now living in Australia) and we have taken to calling eachother "whenwe's" seeing as we never get a sentence out that doesnt start with "when we were on Bougainville" !!

finding your website has made me emotional again about the lovely life I had as a child in Panguna...and I certainly can't escape that fact, seeing as it says Arawa on my passport, no-one has a clue where it is ! However I can't not tell anyone because when I'm asked where I'm from, I can't leave out the fact that I was born in paradise... a paradise that was being destroyed by the mine, and the nationals wanted the land back. I often think about going back to the island to meet the people. I saw the "Coconut War" documentary and am facinated at how people on the island have used technology from the mine with the knowledge of their ancestors, with incredible results...

Anyway, perhaps there is someone out there on the website that remembers our family,

Love and Peace,
The Sherratt Family, UK

Joe Stevens emailed from Western Australia:

My name is Joe Stevens, I first went to Bougainville in 1969 and remained until Feb 1990 I worked for Pioneer Concrete for two years, then BCL Civil Works, Laurie Mentze, Ross Wilson, Ian Garside and Win Spurr. Running the civil crushers and concrete batch plant. In the late part of my time on Bougainville I was superintendent of Civil Operations, which included a small crew at Loloho water supply and sewage section. Many may remember me as part owner of MV Spark and then MV Angler. On leaving Bougainville, we decided to settle in Perth, but I got itchy feet and headed off to Indonesia, two years in the islands and 12 months in Jakarta. Then I was onto Burma and Bangkok for short stints. Maureen and I had three children whilst on Bougainville. Rosslyn,Wayne and Andrew. At the present time we are living in Kununurra Western Australia. Andrew and Rosslyn and their families are also working here at the Argyle Diamond Mine. Wayne is living in Perth, and has his own Personal Training business. The baramundi fishing is great here and keeps us enjoying the lifestyle. Cheers to all our past friends, would like to hear from anyone venturing up this way.

Col Smith emailed from New Zealand:

Hi’ I’m Col Smith.
I came up from Sydney to Bougainville with my family in 1974 to help set up the computer system in the “pink palace”. These were UK designed ICL computers, a company I’d previously worked for in Australia. My wife Iris, was a teacher at the Bovo school through this period and, among other foolish things, we both participated in the ARAWA Hash House Harriers, John Barr the Grand Master at the time. Characters in the hash at the time were Peter Searle, Dave Duggan, Pat McCormack, John Craig, Geoff Trebilco and many more stout fellows. We left in 1977 as our boys, Luke and Jake, came closer to requiring an Australian education which was free of the influences of bording schools. The only ex-Bougainvillians we are now in contact with are Pete and Sue Hobday, Pete was with and later managed the computer section, and Garth and Margaret Hennessy of Hastings Deering fame.. These were three of the most interesting and enjoyable years of our lives. We are now retired to the Bay of Islands in New Zealand with our memories of a fantastic experience.
Rgds to all

Leon Evers emailed from Victoria:

Greetings Peter,
Just visited your Bougainville (BCL) website. Great stuff!! Spent approximately 2 months of every year from 1980 to 1986, servicing the hopper scales at Anewa Bay and around the island. Worked for Toledo scales then on contract to BCL. Enjoyed the work immensely and have fond memories of the place (especially the sports and fishing club) I reported to a Mr Kirt Chuck - Not sure of the spelling, but believe he was of German extraction. Do you know of his whereabouts. He was based at Loloho at the mine offices there , not far from the bulk store shed of copper concentrate. I'd be interested to know his whereabouts. I see you're based at Nelligen. That was a holiday destination for my family and 2 mates for many years (Lyons reserve used to maintain the camping ground there and meals were supplied at the Steam Packet motel across the road (We all like fishing) Enjoy the lifestyle !
Leon Evers
Defence Materiel Organisation
RAAF Williams
Laverton VIC 3028
( Tel (03) 9256-1926
( Fax (03) 9256-3344

Brian Barnabas sent this email from Venus Bay in Victoria:

Hi Peter, My name is Brian Barnabas. I was the Chief Fire Officer on the project working for Bechtel.

I arrived on site late 69 and was there until 72. I can remember a lot of the people on your website by name but find it hard to put a face to many. The only two members of my crew who are mentioned are Wally Kaka and Pat McEvoy. I have not had contact with these guys for many years and it would be nice to contact them again. After leaving the Island and returning to Australia I spent most of my working life in Fire Engineering with a few visits back to Bougainville. I did a lot of work on offshore platforms such as Bass Strait Vic.- North West Shelf W.A.- Barrow Island W.A.- Timor Sea. Also spent a lot of time doing consulting and testing for the petroleum industry. My last job before retirement was as National Projects Manager for Chubb Fire. I now live at the seaside resort of Venus Bay Gippsland Victoria. I often think of my times on the Island and the people I met there. My wife and kids still remember the project although the youngest one who was born at Panguna doesn't remember it. My daughter came across your web site whilst surfing the net and passed it on to me.

It would be nice to keep in touch. Regards Brian Barnabas.

Steve Plater emailed from Melbourne:

Hi Peter, my name is Steve Plater and I landed on Bougainville on April Fools day 1968 as a graduate Civil Engineer and left approximately two years later soon after the decision to mine was made. I was transferred to Parrabadoo in WA. Some of the names from that period include Col Bishop, Norm Brice, Charles Stover, Graeme McKenzie (who were my bosses at various times), Peter Symons, Bill Guthrie (who lives in Rockhampton), Ken McDonald.

There were certainly many characters in the camp in those days. The American Resident Engineer (name excapes me) who reportedly drank a bottle of Gin every night; unfortunately it caught up with him and he had a fatal heart attack. There were the tree clearing head honcho with a silver hard hat and a matching silver front tooth.

We had some great times including the construction of a 14-foot plywood boat which we built at Panguna and transported to Kobuan for use on the weekends to ski and fish. The day we loaded it on to an Isuzu for the coast was a big occasion.

It has been great to read the stories on the site but for me the majority seem to be from those who arrived after my departure. It will be good if more of the pre-1970 pioneers discover this excellent site.
Cheers Steve Plater

Erwin Kornberger sent this email from Guangdong, China:

Mighty pleased to read them words from a long ago time. Yes, it's rather strange how that place took hold of so many for so long. I travelled all my live, but never again did I get involved so deeply.
Anyway, I worked for Hornibrooks, we carved out the Loloho as it is known and set the dongas amongst them beautiful kokonut trees. Actually it was me who set up the 399 genset and brought life to the place.
Before that we lived in the Bechtel camp, best I remember the beer joint. Old Jack from Canada was our leader. Before that we lived in the Hornibrooks Camp, just 100 yards down the dirt track towards the beach.
Yes, they did put things into your tea, in all the camps they did it. Only less in Loloho. Panguna was worse than an army set up. That was no place to live. Yes, I remember that beautiful freezer ship. As well as Urs Christen, say hello to him. The early days were full of fun, hard work as well, but never did I feel like that again and I worked and still work in many places in this world. I just settled down last year, lived in an motorhome. My wife is Shanghainese. Now we just moved in to a place in northern Guangdong, China (see map), right on a lake before the foothills. I just finished acupuncture in Shenzhen (see map), had 1600 needle stuck in to me over 5 weeks and a battery charger hooked up to 4 of them on each ocassion to get rid of my gout. I must say the mind is a very powerful instrument indeed. It will work because I want it to work. Knock wood.
Will talk later if you feel like, Regards Erwin
PS: Ever came across a guy named Peter Trattner? Married to a Buka Lady named Joann. Believe he got a place in Arawa, well before things got out of hands...
[Webmaster's Comments: Peter Trattner still lives on Buka.]

Barry Hamilton sent this mail from Bo'ness (short for Borrowstounness) in Scotland:
(and, being an avid collector, I kept the stamps!)

Hi there to all old Bougainville hands! I worked as an electrician on the shovels from Aug'73 to Oct'74. It's fantastic to come across this site as it brings back a lot of memories. I arrived at Panguna from Scotland after working in the copper mines in Zambia and worked on the shovels with 'Liquid' Les Stobbart and Mick White, I had some drinking sessions there with me mates (I will add pics later). Here are some of the peeps I can remember-- Kevin Ryan, Tommy Johnson, Morrie Dealy, Laurie Fahey, Peter Budda, 'John the Pom' Bartlett, two donga mates Dennis O'Flaherty and Tony Eglin (moanin git he was), Ian McNeil (we worked in Zambia and South Africa together), Trevor Whitten, Billy Tain and loads of others whose names have been eroded by time. If I shut my eyes, I am back there in an instant. Oh, and before I go, one more I just remembered, a guy called 'Nifty' who was a hell of a gambler and another wee sparky called 'Mopsy'. If anybody out there remembers me, you can contact me at I am on top of the world having found this site. Hope I hear from somebody. Barry

Kevin Ryan emailed from Perth:

So glad I typed Bougainville into the search engine, I have spent hours of the boss’s time going thru the site, he would not understand what it is like to be in love with a country for 30 years ! I went to Bougainville in Nov 1971 as an electrician on Shovels and Drill . Lived in Camp 1 and stayed for 2 years. Should have gone back but fast women etc etc took over and I ended up in Qld for a period. Had a great group of friends, and recently caught up with Mike Cuskelly after 27 years. Mike worked in the mine workshop on trucks. Other names Graham Hort, Bra! Tod and Tite from Tasmania. Mally, Franki from Papua. My supervisor was Dave Neville (?) and leading hand was Hans Beck. Hans had been there 2 years in 71 and was there when I left. Travelled to Buka, by plane no road then, and Buin by road, thought Buin was paradise in paradise. Great memories of times at Loloho, Cricket Club , Bank johnnys parties, Kieta, Kieta club… does anyone remember Bushfire? Sad at the present state of things. Would love to heard someone from my period of time Thanks
Kevin Ryan

David White emailed from New Delhi:

Hi, My name is David White. I had the very great privilege to spend nearly two years on Bougainville between 68-71 working for CRA. I was initially located at Panguna in a Sac Sac (?) hut and then ran camp 2 an indigenous integration camp. I initially worked for Charles Stover as a mining clerk doing planimetering for a few weeks and then was given more interesting work drilling down on the coast checking foundation substructures for the new townsites. I wound up my tour by supervising a team of chainsaw boys clearing sites for transmission towers. We were ferried in by chopper and often had to walk out along some very perilous ridges carrying heavy equipment. On my second tour I came back as an accommodations officer working for Nick Quint. Nick , his wife and I started the Casa Manana, a coffee lounge up top and made some decent money supplying an alternative to the very heavy boozing that we all participated in. David White on left; on right Peter, chef of the executive management canteen and formidable tennis player My only claims to fame were the winning of both the table tennis championships and the chess tournaments in one fell swoop. An accomplishment which was greeted with much derision from the drinking crowd in the Panguna canteen. I was on the island during the big strike and was almost witness to a group lynching of a number of scab laborers, not funny. I was also there for the big landslide and was very uncomfortable knowing that the bodies of the victims were being kept on ice alongside of our food supplies. My brother Ian White worked on Bougainville in purchasing for a number of years and married Jenny Collins , daughter of Dave Collins of Bechtels head of security. I am presently Chairman of 2 telecom companies in Madagascar and Director of a mobile operation in India, where I am stationed in New Delhi with my wife and two kids. The years on Bougainville have provided some of the best memories and enduring friendships that a person can wish for. I am happy to have found this site and will be pleased to send on some of my pictures.
David White

Henry Gatana emailed from PNG:

My best working life was at BCL working with super guys like Steve Grant, Rod Fenwich, John Goode, Elias Serono, Bruce Smith, Gary Young, Greg Daniel, Ian Cowie and a whole lot of other good guys that I will forever call my friends. Drop me a mail, you guys.

Roger Pawson emailed from Bribie Island:

I was in Bougainville in 1982 on the flotation expansion and ball mill 13 construction. A lot of work hours but somehow we always had time for some fun. I was working for Comtrade ex New Zealand who were supplying skilled labour to Minenco at the time. A great place and lots of enjoyable memories there. Like to hear from anyone who knew me. Em tasol
Roger Pawson

Patrick McEvoy emailed from Uxbridge, USA:

32 years after leaving the Island, I discovered your site. You do excellent work. From your list,I only recall one name, Wally Kaka,the fearless fireman. I certainly would like to re-establish contact. Thanks for making this chance available. Hopefully, by now, he is able to finish a tune on his guitar. By the way, Uxbridge is between Boston and Worcester in the US. On Bougainville I lived in Camp 3, my boss was Brianm Woomera, leaving when the Blue Streak closed down. The only contact I have had with ex-Bougainville types was Ron Wood(Bechtel), and Jack Farmer from Loloho (he was with the TPNG) and Hilda Meyer (Bechtel office) and Rita Palmari. I probably needed to find your site as I often wondered about Bougainville. Keep up the good work.
Patrick McEvoy
E-Mail: mcevoypr[AT]

Willy Herold emailed from Vienna/Austria:

Hi again,
After browsing this home page for hours I felt I should thank the author. It means much to me to read about my former home and others feel the same it appears. Where can I get a 'management summary' of what happened since 1989 in a fairly unbiased way, the net seems to provide political views so far apart that I cannot follow. As to me: I arrived in Bougainville early 1987 and left mid-1989. I worked for Data Processing (Pink Palace B43). My Boss was a Guy called 'Gunna' at Panguna Hash. Some friends and colleagues were Alan Brims, Myron van der Waerden, Bill Brett, Allan Norton, Jan Hollenberg, Jon Pope, Steve Tull, Con Papamichael, Allan Smith (Bougainville Blues) Lake Arapakis etc. I knew some nurses Agneis FitzGerald and an English Girl, the director of the General Hospital Peter Gibson, the Pharmacist Eeva Nieminen, another Pharmacist Marc. Although I had an SSQ, I continued to run Hash in Panguna with Willy Streeter, Pang Shortarse (Barry Shorthouse) Khunt, Hymen Michael Rickard-Bell and others. The theatre played the Rocky Horror Show then. All fond memories. I liked to hang out at the Cricket Club at the Coastal Club listening to 'Fuzzy Duck' and at the Kieta Sailing and Cruising club. As to the contribution issue: I don't have much in the way of money, but I consider honestly to work as a volunteer on Bougainville. I am prepared to spend a year there if I can help those people I have come to like so much. Any suggestions how to approach this issue? Finally I do have pictures of my time there and some of Mount Bagana, I might be the only solo climber right to the top. It will take a little while to get them together. So long. I will write again.
Willy Herold (Heyu)

Keith Cullery emailed from Adelaide:

Keith Culley
Tooling Detailer
Components Operations, Stamping
Phone: 8282 8568 Mobile:04221102222
Fax: 8282 8568
Phone: 8282 8000
Pager: 104812
E-mail: Keith.Culley[AT]

Terri Barambi emailed from Port Moresby:

Dear Peter,
Fresh from College, I began to work for BCL as a Secretary at the Mining Division, covering the operations and maintenance departments in 1978. Then I moved on to Crystal Palace to serve the department head of Industrial Relations. From there I moved to the Pink Palace, working in the management building for the community relations and Safety departments. In 1984, I moved down to work for the Towns (Arawa Maintenance) Department serving under
Mike Smith. When he left, Barry Green took up the incumbency. In mid-1988, my family left for Port Moresby where I moved on and continued working for BCL in the Port Moresby Office and remained there till I was retrenched in 1991. I am now working for Rio Tinto Minerals (PNG) Limited (formerly CRA Minerals) and in fact am still being part of the team managing the affairs of BCL and still based in the capital of PNG, Port Moresby. I’ve just been introduced to this website by a ‘wantok’ from Bougainville, Judy Kiroha née Masa. I didn’t waste time going through the website and have recognised a lot of names of ex-BCL employees that I knew back at Panguna, in particular, Diane Soul and Bob Hutton; anyone else that knew me then as I didn’t go through all the letters. Hope you will be able to sight this letter as I would love to keep in touch. You can e-mail me on:

Theresita Barambi (Mrs) (née Kusihay)
Rio Tinto Minerals (PNG) Limited
Port Moresby

Mike & Jane Martin emailed from Houston, Texas:

My husband, Mike and myself, Jane, Martin, lived in Arawa, Bougainville from 1972 until 1978. Mike worked at the port, at first as a stevedore, then ship's pilot and assistant harbour master. We lived at 6/66 and then moved into section 15. We loved Bougainville and will never forget the beauty of the place. It is like a dream when we think about it now. We have lived in Houston, Texas, for the last 23 years. Two miles from NASA, we attended the Bougainville Reunion in 1999, and hope to make it to another in the not too distant future. Both of our children were born at Arawa Hospital, Sarah in 1975 and Paul in 1978. They are very American, naturally, even though their parents are English originally. Mike and I were married in Melbourne at the old mint, a hippy wedding according to our kids, I wore sandals, a big straw hat and our reception was a couple of rounds of drinks at the pub across the road, for our six guests.

Would love to hear from someone who knew us. We still keep in touch with some of the old Bougainville types. Jane Martin...... lmartin128[AT]

Grant Smith emailed from Adelaide:

Hello Peter

I have just found your wonderful site, and after reading all the names in the letters and seeing the pictures, so many great memories have come flooding back of my time on Bougainville.

My Dad, Wally Smith, started there with Bechtel-WKE in 1970, in Light Vehicles, both in Panguna and Loloho, and transferred to BCL in 1972 in the Pit Workshop. In October of 1972 my Mum, Kit, and I went there originally for 6 months, and that turned into seven years. Our first house was at Caroona Creek, then Married Hill, and in late '76 we moved down to Arawa. Mum and I left in November '79 and Dad finally said goodbye to the Island in January 1980. After a chance meeting at a local shopping centre with one of his Bougainville bosses, Bill Welsh, he was offered and accepted a job at Mt. Gunson Mine, just south of Woomera. He worked there two and a half years until he decided to go to Ok Tedi with Bechtel-MKI where he stayed until Bechtel handed the keys over to Western Mining. After that, Dad basically retired back home in Adelaide, but still lived life to the fullest. Sadly, Mum passed away in December 1988 and Dad passed away in November 2002

I know that the time we spent on Bougainville were the greatest years of our lives. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers us and would like to drop me a line.

I find it amazing how everybody that spent time there, no matter how long or short their stay was, we all left the Island with the same virus........I think I'll call it "Bougainvilleitis".

Regards and best wishes to all
Grant Smith

Peter Morris emailed from the U.K.:

Hi Peter

I was a "bank johnny" with the Commonwealth Bank in Kieta around 1969 to 1971. We also staffed a sub branch at Loloho several days per week. Our colleagues worked at the Combank in Panguna and we visited sometimes. I recall driving towards the airport in the early morning hours (usually after a night on the South Pacific Lager) and doing some body surfing with Paul Mason, bank teller and Peter Doolan (the cast iron liver) (Panguna Bank Manager) on the beach. We stayed for only a one year "sentence" on Bougainville and I also worked at the Combank in Port Moresby, Popondetta and Rabaul during my time there. I now live in High Wycombe between London and Oxford in the UK.

Steve Craft aka Moondance with a 350cc Honda motorbike, Bernie Roche (175cc Yamaha), Michael Ryan, Keith Bellchambers (a real wild man who took the bank's strong box filled with money to a party after a Friday's banking at Loloho and didn't tell the Kieta manager he was going to be late - he was sent back to Australia for that one!).

We had one young girl on Kieta branch's staff nicknamed Lik Lik who lived at Arawa with her parents. As there was no public transport, us bank johnnies were rostered to get up early and take the bank's Toyota land cruiser to Arawa to pick her up. I remember putting the handbrake on near some roadworks near the top of the hill one day and when the traffic started, I couldn't release the handbrake no matter how hard I tried. As I was holding up traffic, eventually one of the native workmen came up, opened the driver's door, leaned over and released it for me. One embarrassing moment!

I also remember coming back from Loloho to Kieta one afternoon and we had to drive through Arawa and in the river there, drivers were washing their D9 tractors in the river. It looked like modern day elephants washing. A couple of guys took their D9s up the river with their blades down, side by side. They pushed the water back up the river and then in one movement, both reversed on to each side of the river bank, letting the tidal wave of water rush down on the unsuspecting drivers down stream. It could have been dangerous but at the time it all seemed in good humour and I don't think anyone was hurt, apart from their feelings!

The Kieta branch held the occasional party at the bank mess and I remember that we all chipped in to provide the booze. At one party, we went through the Bacardi rum in no time and we were down to our last half a bottle and the party had hardly got started. The guy behind the bar at the time told the accountant and he said he would fix that and took the bottle away and returned with it full. This happened a couple of times and eventually we were let into the secret - he was topping it up with tap water! Even after that, one fellow brought back a glass of Bacardi and coke to ask for more coke "as his girl friend found it too strong!!".

One a more recent note, I have recently been elected as the Deputy Mayor of High Wycombe and you can see more at: The mayoralty goes back to 1275AD so what is an Aussie doing there? I ask myself that question often.

Keep up the good work.
Kind regards
Peter Morris
High Wycombe, UK

Jim "Hamish" Miller emailed from Brisbane:

I landed in Panguna 30/11/71 and found myself unwanted as I was the first mechanic on site for BCL light vehicles so I was shunted around for a week or so until I ended up working with BECHTEL until they started to be phased out. I shared a donga at camp 1 with
Bob Methkie. Ended up leading hand Panguna and Loloho.I left mid 74 joined the 'WESER CARRIER' as deck engineer and was implemental in the delivery of the first of the 210's from L.A.
I am at present semi retired and a volunteer engineer on the 78 yr old steam tug 'FORCEFUL' at the QMMA.
regards, Hamish.

Gary Coleman emailed from Borneo:

Hello Peter,
I was on Bougainville from June '75 through till March '82. Started work with
Bob Bruce at New Guinea Motors and was there for 15 months!! Then worked for Brian Stone of Stones Automotive at Kieta opposite the Kieta RSL club. Ken Nelson gave me your web site address. After Bougainville I went back to Brisbane for a few years and in '84; went up to OK TEDI and then in '94 came to Indonesia and I am still here!! Actually there are a lot of ex-Bougainville people over this way. Will forward your web site address on to them.

Peter Bazelt emailed from Germany:

Have looked at your interesting website. My name is Peter Bazelt; worked at Loloho Powerstation BCL from Jan. 1972 until May 1975. Came from the merchant navy in South Africa to Bougainville Island. At Loloho Powerstation I was Ass. Unitcontroller under
John Dutton (Superintendent). I live now retired in 74219 Möckmühl Gassenäcker 18 Germany. I amthe world. Have got over 2000 books about adventure, discovery and travel.

Mal Paterson emailed from the Gold Coast:

Sensational website, great nostalgia and unbelievable memories. Bougainville, I thank you!

I arrived in 1972 at the Powerstation, working on shift with Peter Bazelt, Bruce Muffet and English contingent, later to transfer to the Concentrator working for Bruce Machen and the gang.

Returned 1984 with my wife Michelle, who worked for Arawa Motors while I worked with the late John Edgar, Graham Pascoe and mad associates.

I feel very fortunate to have shared in that once-in-a-lifetime experience, great country, great people, great company (BCL), great workmates, a great time!

Regards and best wishes to all

Ken Nelson emailed from Balikpapan/Borneo:

Peter, my home base is Balikpapan and I have my own business. I am currently working on a gold project in Sulawesi which is keeping me fairly active. I know Samarinda well as I spent 12 months living there. I worked in the Supply Department for CRA Exploration in 1965 to 1974 when I left to go to Sydney and then joined as the Supply Representative based in Sydney until 1983 and then was transferred to Brisbane. I came to Indonesia in 1989 with KPC and have not left since. I am a young 60 and enjoying myself. I have actually retired twice but an ex Bougainville-ite dragged me back into the workforce (Dave Hatch). There are a lot of ex-Bougainville people here: Jim Chaplin (Bechtel), Shane Wiese (BCL), Brian Bennett (BCL), Gary Gomersall (BCL), Gary Coleman (BCL), and many more. The world of email is a great way to keep in touch.

Marilyn & Eric Mulder emailed from Bundaberg:

How wonderful to be able to make contact with old friends. Bougainville was a big and very happy part of our lives like so many. We were all so lucky to have experienced the friendships and the beauty. We were in Panguna from Jan 77' to Nov.86'. Would love to hear from anyone that remembers us. Email mmulder5[AT]

Judy & Roger Christensen emailed from the USA:

I lived on Bougainville from 1970 to 75 with my husband Roger and our 5 children, Brian, Scott, Bonnie, Karen and Eric. Roger was Mine Maintenance Superintendent for BCL. We lived in Panguna and then moved to Arawa when he moved to Manager of Morgan Equipment. It was a great life and we all have fond memories of the friends we made and the life we shared. Roger lives in Las Vegas now, I'm still in Mt. and miss the beautiful island of Bougainville. If anyone remembers us please send me an e-mail. Your website is great, love the pictures.

John Davidson emailed from Brisbane:

Hello Peter, We have a Personnel Recruitment business. I was with the project from 4/70 until close-down. There are several hundred people with a Bougainville background recorded in our database. You can find out all about us on our website. Several of our staff are ex-Bougainville. My wife worked for Ivan as a teenager. Her maiden name was Christene Heater. I was "the Bookie" for several years and for part of that time was in partnership with Stan Neal from S P Brewery. In 1972 i was running the tavern in Panguna under the management of Ken Graham of Kangaroo Club , Manila fame. Ken is now in Brisbane.

Veronica Clarke writes from Brisbane:

Dear Peter

Thanks for your reply. I was there from 72-82 but Colin was there from the start. He is now working in Borneo and I have included his email for you to get details from him. We are based in Brisbane. I worked for Don Vernon and Col was in one of the vehicle workshops in Panguna. Both our girls were born there and we were great friends of Graeme McKenzie, Seabags, Ken Nelson, Kev Groom and Davo. Email Col and he will fill you in. He will be down shortly and I have told him we must send you some photos. He has some of the famous Pooty League (football team??!!)

Col has since emailed from Sengata in Northern Kalimantan as follows:

I arrived in Bougainville with CRA Exploration on 24th September 1967 & departed early 1981.

The first road into Panguna had just been completed. Prior to this it was chopper only. I worked in the original workshop working on exploration drills and anything else that broke down including the mess oven. I was there for the development of the trial adit, the pilot plant, the change to BCL, construction and later production.

When I departed I was Superintendent at the MEWS.

I met my wife Veronica in Bougainville after she transfered from CRA in Melbourne. We married in Melbourne and now have 2 children Collen (now married and living in France) and Lauren (now married and living in Braken Ridge Qld). Both were born on Bougainville.

I am now Project Manager with Liebherr at the Kaltim Prima Coal mine site East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Some of the early names on site were: Leo Jones, Kevin Groom, Colin Bishop (Project Manager during Exploration), Kevin Bowman, John Barnham, Dennis Curren, Simon Feely, John Craigie, Brian Allen, Ian Williams, Mal Woolhouse, John Lamgman, Ken Nelson, Maurie Collis and so it goes on.

I have a collection of old colour slides that I will sort through when I return and will forward.

Gray Chandler sent this message from Adelaide: Arrived in January 1973 and left in 1985, the time frame included three tours of duty. Just couldn't stay away from the place. Lived in Camp 10, mud valley kupei road and Arawa. Lindsay Swanson stayed with us, convalescing from a bout of malaria or something of that nature!!! My experiences on Bougainville, be they good, bad, or indifferent, will remain forever memorable, especially the race with KIWI Tony McDonald to beat the 15-minute drive from ARAWA to the PINK PALACE. Regards to all. Gray Chandler (PHANTOM)
Bob Hamilton wrote in January 2003 from California:

It appears now that everything can be found on the Internet. On a lark, I decided to search with "google" for "Bougainville Copper" and I found your site. I worked in the Bechtel Electrical Engineering Group for Jim Gillin up at the mine site. I mostly worked in the Concentrator. The group was headed up by John Boland. I recall also working with Chris Sinka. The instrument group included Chuck Laferney and John Moller. I also remember Jim and Wendy Murren. Although it was April through December 1971 that I worked there, it does not seem so long ago. The work was good and fast paced. I recall many Sundays when we went down to the beach and snorkelled around, had a few South Pacific Lagers and then went back up the hill. I usually had a short nap on Sunday afternoons as we were on 60 hour work schedules Mon-Sat. I lived for a short time at Camp 3 then over to the dormitory type housing down from the family housing. There I shared a room with a guy named Bob Nelson and I remember his small refrigerator which he kept filled with good Australian Beer which he always shared. Since leaving and returning to the US, I have come across several of those that were at Bougainville. There were the two Australians, Allan Fitzpatrick and Lindsay Boyd who turned up on a startup team in Northern Minnesota where I was working on a Taconite Plant. That job was headed up by Glen Fuson who also had been at Bougainville. About 20 years later, I was at the Chevron Refinery in Richmond, CA building a Cogeneration Powere Plant. We were looking at subcontracting a short 115 kV transmission line and across the table was a guy named Alex Takahashi. We both thought we had met before and it turned out it was at Bougainville where he had been at the port site. Small world and it is amazing when people turn up after long times. At this time, I am working again at Chevron Richmond in their Electrical Engineering Group. I enjoyed the pictures posted on your site. I may have some slides somewhere, but I do not have an easy way to convert to digital. I have not viewed the slides in many years and wonder if they are still OK. I am considering a scanner so perhaps if I get to it and you are still wanting input, I may send some contributions.

I recalled some more names. There was Lyle Cantwell with Bechtel at the mine and I recall a fellow name Kevin Torpy with FMIC-ODG (Fischbach Moore -- O'Donnell Griffin) the Electrical Contractor. Two Electrical Superintendents with Bechtel were Artie Lookingbill and Carl Poglagen. There was also Tom Robles. I also remember a New Zealander, Peter ? his surname still escapes me. I recall Bob Vernon and a Russian named Alex Shasnev (SP?) at the port site. It is interesting how the brain starts to link these memories once it gets going.

Don and Llane Hadden emailed from Christchurch in New Zealand: We lived in Panguna from 1976-1980. Don taught at Panguna International School when it was located opposite the police station. We returned to Bougainville in 1999 as volunteers, Don teaching at Arawa High School and Llane as nurse educator at Arawa Health Centre. We lived in Arawa in Section 15 until June 2002.

Update received in August 2008: We are now living in the Northern Territory at Finke (Aputula). Haven't lived in NZ for 9 years. Finke is 200 odd kms as the crow flies, south of Alice Springs and is an Aboriginal Community. Llane is a Remote Area Nurse and so we have lived in a number of Aboriginal Communities around Australia. I retired from teaching when we left Bougainville in mid 2002 and I now work full time as a Wildlife Photographer and Writer and from time to time work as a Guest Lecturer on luxury cruise ships that travel the Kimberley coast from Darwin to Broome. I have a couple of cruises coming up at the end of next week. If they want to pay a Kiwi to tell Australians about Australian birds that's OK by me.

Ralph Byles writes from Adelaide:

Thanks for a great web site. We were on Bougainville from start 1980 to end 1986. Six wonderful years. I was in the Mining Division, first as Superintendent of production Control, the Drilling and Blasting Superintendent and finally Project Manager for the "Automatic Truck Dispatch System". Currently I am Business Manager for a private school in Adelaide.

Ivan Bell wrote from Brisbane:

I was in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary on Bougainville from 1970 to November 1975. I met my wife (Anne Manning) on Bougainville. She was working as a Statistical typist for MKF at camp 5. We came to Aus and got married in January 1972. Both our kids were born on Bougainville. We returned to Bundaberg, my wife's home town, and lived there until 1994 when we moved to our present address at Jindalee one of Brisbane's Western suburbs.

I was at camp 5 for a start. We called it Nairovi back then, Later was known as Birempa. I then went down to Loloho for a while and then after we got married I was stationed at Arawa.

I have stacks of stuff on Bougainville, but half of it is on slides. Will have to put on a show one night and get the daughter to use their new fangled digital camera and capture them for the web site. Meanwhile I will dig out the other stuff and scan some of it and send it to you to put what you want on the web site.

John Gretton sent this email from Townsville:

I was with BCL started at Loloho Maintenance under Norm Fielding and Bob Staines also a Phil Baker who died a few years ago in Bowen Qld, I reached Superintendent level at Loloho Maintenace and finished up the last 18 months as the Rectification Superintendent at Panguna Maintenance also did a stint at Arawa Maintenace. We keep in touch with many ex Bougainville people had Joe and Maureen Stevens stay with us over Xmas they are travelling around Ausie with a caravan was great to see them. After Bougainville I spent 5 years at Parraburdoo WA initially working for Spike Milligan at Hamersley iron Spike is an ex Bougainvillian as well. Yvonne and myself are recently grand parents for the first time with a baby granddaughter from my son Glenn and wife Fiona they live in Emerald Qld, we have just recently moved to Townsville and am working for Wmc Resources at Phosphate Hill Fly in Fly out something different.

John Mason emailed from Western Australia:

A great site Peter.
Gives us all chance to ponder on how lucky we were to have been there, plus it should bring back a plethora of many very happy memories. I was with BCL at Loloho Maintenance from 1978. From memory John (Geo) Gretton was in charge at Loloho, also working there were Joe Gogot (carpentry), Dick Lukosec,
Peter Maleckas (electrical), Steve Waller, Brian Smith (refrigeration)....... I went out fishing down by Cottesloe Beach on Smithy's boat just last week........... I got transferred to Coastal Operations for a while working under Joe Stevens still down at Loloho. (saw Joe at a Bougainville reunion albeit many years ago at Kings Park here in Perth........... not sure if they still have them?)
One of the plumbing apprentices at Loloho was Bernard Waketsi who had a huge future ahead of him as a pro rugby player, don't know if he made it or not ? Other locals who come to mind were Valentine, Camilus, Andrew Supin, Mathew Karabus, Paulus Iwokuko ............. hope they are all well and they made it through the troubles that were to follow. I left Bougainville in 1987 when I was fortunate enough to score a job with the nearby Solomon Islands Government based in Honiara, but with frequent travel to the outer islands.
I consider myself very lucky indeed to have spent 9-1/2 magic years on Bougainville followed by an equally fantastic 3-1/2 year spell in the Solomons. Unfortunately those good old days are seemingly long gone by now, the expatriate work-force is becoming a thing of the past. Don't hear too much re what is happening these days to our neighbours in the pacific region, hope everything works out for the best for them long-term.
We relocated back to Perth in 1990,
Les Whitcombe from the Panguna tunnel project got me a job on a seismic vessel the MV Mag Creek based out of Darwen. From there I got a fly-in fly-out posting up in Singapore on the oil rigs which was great. I did a year at Edith Cowen Uni, I had a regular sports column in a couple of local newspapers, I wrote for British Football Weekly for several seasons, then I decided to give Real Estate a go. Best move I ever made. I've been with Prime Realty at Joondalup in Perth's northern suburbs for six years now.
Vilma and I have been married almost 20 years, Scotty is 18 (going on 30!), Sean is 17 and awaiting TEE results, Glen at 15 is still at school.
If any ex-Bougainville people in WA need any help re their Real Estate/Investment needs.............. sing out, I'll look after your best interests.
All the best to everyone, regards to all who remember us.
Maso & family

Gerhard Heinemann emailed from New Zealand:

Hallo Peter,

Ich dachte mir da ist etwas deutsch im Namen Goerman, kein doppell n? Mit meinen deutsch hapert es etwas, ich bin in November 2003 genau 50 Jahre von Deutschland weg. Ich gebe Dir also etwas ueber Comtrade.

The firm does not exist anymore as the proprietor Dick France died quite a few years ago. We supplied tradesmen to BCL and quite a few other firms throughout PNG , Northern Australia and the South Pacific. I spent 3 years on Bougainville , had my family there for a while , two of my boys went to Bovo School. We did some house sitting , lived for quite some time at the hotel in Toniva and eventually rented a house on top of Kobuan Hill. From there we could watch the arrival of the supply ships , one was the Globe Trader, the other name escapes me, whose captains Hermann and Erich were great friends of ours.

This is just a short note for you by way of intro. I shall write in more detail with names of people I remember for the Bougainville Project.

In a letter under comments written by Denise Arnold mentioning a NZ girl and the great fun they had on the Island together. The girl is my daughter Cathy White nee' Heinemann. If you should have Denise's address could you pass it on please.

So, bis bald Peter, demnaecht kommt der Beitrag fuer die Bougainville Seite.

Gruesse, Kurt H.

Stephen Swan emailed from Wollongong:

Hi. My wife Lee and I arrived in Bougainville from Rabaul in 1983 when I was posted there with Talair. Left in 1987. It has been a real buzz finding this site as, like so many others, we had the greatest time of our lives on the island. So many memories - the Bougainville Island Sub Aqua Club. Dive lessons with Jackie Shaw and Mike Crowe.

Would love to hear from any of our friends from those days. email

Murray Smith emailed from New Zealand:

Hi I'm Murray Smith from NZ.

Have just come across this website and have to confess I have spent half a day and well into the night sifting through a memory-refreshing wealth of history. My thanks must go to the author of this website for a very well researched and presented site – well done! Also my thanks to those who have supplied photos and dialogue, for without them the site would not be as interesting.

I worked for Morgan Equipment from 1971 - 1974. Morgan Equipment were the agents for the Euclid R105 dump trucks, well and truly buried by now I expect although I still have the service manuals amongst my memorabilia. I was based at their workshop down the hill near camp 5, I think the area was known as Itakara Industrial area. I lived at camp 6 and later at Kawerong house Panguna. My job involved the engine overhauls plus other odds and ends. The last 18 months were spent at the pit workshop looking after warranty claims and associated paper work. The personnel I remember at the pit workshop were Peter Robinson, Kiwi Pat, Peter Hayes, a guy with the surname of Welch plus there was an American or Canadian Guy named Sam, unable to recall his surname who I think was in charge of the pit workshop around that time.

Those on the Morgan Equipment staff that I remember were Brandon Deal who was the Manager and Ray Banning was the service manager. Other names I recall are Neil Gregg, Keith Jenner, Jim Brophy, Fred Bins, Bob Cruickshank, Alan Roots, Len Hook, Kevin Gill, Mike Edwards, Evan Berryman, John Balding, Eric Mier and Titus Nasai from Roarovana village. In 1974 I went with Eric Mier and worked for Morgan Equipment in Rabaul for a brief period. Eric Mier along with Bob Cruickshank plus Bob's brother-in-law Don and myself eventually ended up working for Shin Asahigawa who were involved in logging and sawmilling at Bialla (East New Britain) for 2 years. Occasionally some of the crew from Morgan’s at Bougainville would come over and help out when we got busy.

Bialla is another story, which could go on forever if I got started. I will take a brief indulgence and mention some names. Barry and Ellee White and son Michael, the ex-Swiss cook from Bougainville Hans Tatari (I called on Hans in Switzerland on a couple of occasions), Keith Williams, Barry Donohue, Ed & Jenny Spanner, Ian & Margaret McPherson and son Tiger, they ran the trade store, Fred Hargesheimer of Airmen's Memorial School fame.

From Bialla I went to Europe for 18 months to finish of my OE which I originally started out to do but somehow PNG interrupted. I was 21 when I arrived in PNG and learnt more in the first year than I had in the previous 20! A wonderful experience, which set me up for life and will always cherish.

I returned to NZ in 1977 and went into business with my brother in the ready-mix concrete, paving and building industries. I married in 1984 and have 2 Children, Son 18 and Daughter 15. 1991 we sold our ready-mix concrete business and became involved with Dairy Farming and we now live on the Farm which is 20K’s south of Hamilton NZ. When I bought the Farm I discovered my next door neighbour Noel Watson worked for Hornibrook at Loloho.

I have always had an interest in Aviation so when I returned from my OE I obtained my private pilots licence in 1979. I have owned aeroplanes since then (C172 & C206) and have flown extensively in NZ. In April this year we had a flying trip in Australia, Archerfield, Dalby, Roma, Blackall, Longreach, Birdsville, Alice, Ayres Rock, Mt Isa, Great Keppell island and returning to Archerfield. My ultimate aim is to fly up to and around some of my old haunts in and around PNG. We are in the planning stages at the moment, ETD is tentatively 2006 so hope the Bougainville situation improves dramatically by then. I would like to show my family where their inheritance is coming from and to explore the coral reefs and Arovo Island where I used to spend what little spare time I had. Hope I can hack the climate. Any Starters?

I would like to make contact with all those who have worked for Morgan Equipment and those at BCL. The reunion that takes place in Brisbane every year sounds great although I expect there would not be many ex-Morgan employees there. Must try and make it sometime.

Em Tasol.

Warren Johnson emailed from Crib Point in Victoria:

I found this great site while trying to find a detailed map of the Buin area to cross reference some war time photos on the Aust. War Memorial site.

I worked at the power station & filter / dryer plant at Loloho for 2 years from Dec. 71 to Dec. 73 as an instrument tech. My superviser was Don Houston. Others included Arthur Banks, Eric Barnes, Peter ? and our assistants Ricky Essrom, Kokomi Tapio & little Ricky. Henry Pearson was Maintenance boss.

We did a lot of scuba diving in the Buin area & off Kieta. Getting to that area was a real adventure in itself, crossing all those rivers to end up at the Buin Lodge ( got some great photos of the owners ) Our eldest daughter was born at the Arawa hospital in Nov. 72.

Many great evenings involved with the Arawa Hash House Harriers, following that paper trail back to where the hares had set up the hash thrash. Have some good photos of our time on the island..... I will keep checking this site for any updates........ all the best ..

Warren Johnson

Stuart Harris emailed from Tasmania:

Happened across your site and it has bought back some fond memories. I was a teller at the Bank of New South Wales at Kieta from February 1972 until December 1973.

I had some good friends who worked at BCL. but most of their names escape me. I was heavily involved with sailing and in those days the club was known as 'Kieta Sailing and Cruising Club'. I'm sure I still have one of the club pennants. I still remember the initial meeting on a beach at Kieta starting the club and the first race. From memory there were about 5 or 6 boats competing. A Hobie 16' owned by Jim Smith who ran the local Trade store, a Gwen 12 (which I sailed on) and I cannot remember the rest of the fleet. A name and photo I came across on your website was the Commodore, a Ross Henderson (the local kiap). I don't think Ross was the first Commodore, it was a tall blonde pommie bloke with a beard but I cannot remember his name. Ross and his wife Judy are very good friends of ours and we still maintain some contact with them.

I have some slides still but have not looked at them for years. Thanks for your website.

Stuart Harris
Government Casino Inspector
Government Inspectorate
Wrest Point Hotel Casino
410 Sandy Bay Road

Pete Maleckas emailed from Olympic Dam in South Australia:

Just found your site courtesy of Rudy Laister and Steve Mcvilly. Having a great time walking down memory lane. I began work at the primary crusher in 1981 and shortly moved down to the coast at Loloho maintenance working under Dick Lukoszek and John Gretton --great to here from you geo. I left bougainville in 1986 and moved into Barney Roger's house in Brackenridge and worked as an electrician at AMP in Brisbane for a year and then moved down to Olympic Dam in South Australia working u/g for Western Mining--I have 2 kids --Dave who was born at Arawa general hospital is now 21 and living in adelaide and Jess who is now 19 and living in Broken Hill with her partner.17 years later I am still here . Sad to see what has become of Bougainville--I had always hoped that the mine would re-open and we could return but probably too old now---maybe as a tourist.

All the best to anybody that recognises my name.

Louis Tagovono emailed:

Dear Peter

I think your website is wonderful but I am not sure whether many ex-BCL people know about it.

I was there is 1972, as a young lad of 16 straight out of St Josephs High, then went off to uni in 1973. It was an exciting year because it was the start of commercial production and I was part of the team making it happen! I went off to uni in 1973 then rejoined in 1979 after graduation.

As far as I am concerned, the BCL project was the best project ever established anywhere in the world, then and now.

Cheers Louis T

Bob Hamilton wrote in January 2003 from California:

It appears now that everything can be found on the Internet. On a lark, I decided to search with "google" for "Bougainville Copper" and I found your site. I worked in the Bechtel Electrical Engineering Group for Jim Gillin up at the mine site. read the full story

Graeme Wellington emailed from Western Australia:

Hello Peter

What a nostalgic moment to find your site. It brought back so many memories. So many memories of the people and characters from the early days.

I grew up on Sohano and later my parents went to Kieta. So naturally when I needed a job after my first year at Uni I wandered around the bay to Kobuan to see what was on offer for a bright young lad whose only real skill at the time was a fluent grasp of tok pisin.

I started working on the project in late 1966 when it was still CRA Exploration. I was based at Kobuan for a couple of months working on training (then under Don Pearce's area of responsibility) but was soon moved to run Barapinang Camp when Ray Katt (spelling probably wrong) didn't come back from a field break to Rabaul. I then moved to Pan Flat when the main office was established up there. At the end of 67 I went back to Uni in Brisbane for a year, and started back on the project later that year.

In 1970 I married Gillian Mann who was working at the Panguna Haus Sik (met her on Sohano a couple of years earlier). We have two boys, both born at Arawa.

I spent all of my time up there in personnel department, first with Basil Turner and Des Bowlay, later under Chris Normoyle and then Ken Edwards. Towards the end of the time I was working for Paul Quodling , and when he became GM, John Trezise and then Pat Gilles took over the division.

About the same time the country and the social climate were undergoing dramatic changes (for the worse, alas), job satisfaction was dwindling, there was no career path etc. etc. and I reasoned I had to move to Australia. The move was extremely emotional as I was leaving the place that I had always considered "home". I have never since had such an emotional attachment to any place, and it's probably made worse by the fact that you can never turn the clock back to the way it was.

We left in November 78 and settled in Western Australia (Gillian's home state), got employed by a major mineral processor, worked up the corporate ladder to the top level and then had the revelation that there was too much bullshit there. Left that mob in 91 and started my own business which Gill and I still operate.

We don't get to see many ex Bougainville people, as we are 2 hours south of Perth. Davo (John Davidson) dropped in a couple of times on visits from Brisbane, we've had Gerry Clark (Mine Geology) visit a couple of times, once with Mary. Peter and Jenny Searle (Coffey & Hollingworth, then BCL Mine Geology) spent a couple of nights with us on a visit from UK. Richard and Val Rummery (Powerhouse) live up the road a bit in the hills behind here. Ian Worth (Mining Engineering) and family called in a couple of times, we keep in touch with the Jorritsmas (Mine Maintenance) and occasionally run across Les and Margaret Lyons .

I've got quite a lot of early Bougainville photos which might be of interest. I'll scan some over the next few weeks and email them to you.

To check out one of our latest activities, see

Best regards
Graeme Wellington

Peter Goerman's comments from Batemans Bay:

I'd come to the then Territory of Papua New Guinea as an audit clerk with a firm of Chartered Accountants in Rabaul. When the local newspaper, the POST-COURIER, began carrying ads for audit personnel on the Bougainville Copper Project, I applied and was invited to fly across for an interview in October 1970. read the full story

Mark Lintern emailed from Exmouth on the North West Cape of Western Australia:

Just found your website; looking at the photos brought back a lot of memories. My father Howard Lintern worked for BCL for about 9 years from about 1973 to 1982. We lived up at Panguna. I attended Arawa High School from 1973 to 1975. They were the best years of my life! Spent most of my school holidays down at Nukui village in the Siuai (Siwai) area with my mate Tony Kasu or walking through the hills east of the minesite. Have kept my PNG connections through my wife Winifred Gorogo who is from Doura village about 50 kms from Port Moresby. Anyway will pen off for now. A great website!

Lloyd McChesney emailed from Houston, Texas:

Dear Peter:

I have just spent several hours touring your website and revelling in the self indulgence that comes with seeing old friends and associates. There are a lot of good memories; we all put a lot into our efforts there, and most everyone who came away was a more "can do" person for the experience.

Mary and I, and our children, David , Stephen and Mona still look back fondly on our time at Panguna and what a fine experience it was for our family.

Sydney B. Lhotka, (and his wife Jana,) is in Concord, CA where he is still running his Financial and Tax Service business.  Mary and I have been in Houston for over 25 years now, and I retired from Bechtel after several careers within the company, with 42 years of service, in July '99.

I haven't seen Ernie Wayland in many years now (15 or 20). He was in Houston in the early '80's. At that time he was handling the financial affairs of Gary Bechtel the younger of Steve Jrs. boys. At that time Gary headed up the Construction arm of the company, but then decided to leave the business, and go into car racing and as far as I know has had some success there. I believe Ernie followed him to Charlotte NC and continued to handle his affairs. About that time, Ernie lost his middle boy, a promising Accountant in Las Vegas, in a car accident and he took that very hard.

Following Bougainville I worked a job in Greenland out of Montreal and had several old Bougainville hands on that work; Jim Adamoli, Don Hotaling, (a young red-headed New Zealander whose name escapes me, who was the radio telephone technician), and the former Loloho Procurement man, Dwayne Miller. (That last one took some thought, but I believe it's correct.) I heard that he is now deceased.

A story about Dwayne; a number of expats were at Arovo one weekend, and Mary engaged Dwayne in conversation, centered around shortages of foodstuffs, and how she would love to be able to find some Lasagna noodles. Dwayne offered as how he thought he had some under his bunk, and next day a driver delivered some Green Lasagna Noodles to me at the Panguna Office with a note from Dwayne, explaining that they were green noodles, and their colour was natural and not due to the length of time they had been under his bunk !

Peter, I have thought of you fellows often over the years, and it's just "super" that you've put this website together, so that we can catch up on a time in our lives when we were all "just full of it!"

Kindest Personal Regards,
Lloyd McChesney

John Torres emailed from Darwin:

Good to see the interest in our beautiful island still as intense as ever. So many familiar names appear in the website. For those who may be wondering who the hell I am, well I used to work at the Davara Motel in Kieta as Deputy Manager. I am from Nissan Islands and therefore a Bougainvillean. My family and I moved to Darwin in 1999 to live. I do hope to return home at some point but that is looking more like hoping than reality. Well keep up the good work with this wonderful website. Hello to all who remember who I am.

Peter Broderick wrote from Bondi Beach:

I would like to add my name (Peter Burrell, now Broderick) to your list. My father was Bill Burrell, Manager of Arawa Department Store from 1976-79, and Panguna Department Store from 1979-80. My mother, Maureen Broderick, is now living in her home town of Forbes, NSW. I am living in Bondi Beach and work as Manager of Major Works(Architect/Project Manager) for the NSW Attorney General's Department.

I often think of Bougainville, of Bovo Primary, swimming in the Bovo River at Blab-Blab and Martin's Hole. Rumba Mission was a popular destination for expeditions with friends. Where are you all now? I remember lots of strange and interesting people, the kind of people who are attracted to PNG in the first place. This probably included ourselves!

Other not-so-strange people that spring to mind include, Phil Smith( now deceased) who used to take me fishing when I was a youngster, Bill Dyer, David Mitchell, Chris Marshall, and others, the memories of who I hope will be stimulated by your website!

Diane Soul emailed from Melbourne:

Dear Peter,

I spent 7¼ years on Bougainville (mid 1975 - October 1982). I moved into the single girls’ quarters (G Block) in mid ’75 spending the first two years working in B36 for Maurie Pears, Ron Kay and Treasury.

In ’77 I took over Secretarial Training at the Mine Training College where I spent a very happy five years. As well as training I looked after some aspects of the girls’ welfare which I really enjoyed. I was able to leave the island three or four times a year for recruiting trips and meetings- the best of both worlds!

Many of “my girls” were Bougainvillean and I hate to think what may have happened to them. It’s hard to watch footage of the island now -it really is the stuff of my nightmares. I keep in touch with some of my close friends from those days - Colleen and Ian Wood, Phil and Jenny Quigley, Liz Abbott (now McQueen) in Sydney, Bob Hutton in Adelaide, Frances Cohn in Geelong, Russ and Remi Wilson in Brisbane and Geoff and Sylvia Westwood in England. Ian and Jenny White were on Lihir until quite recently - I’m not sure whether they are still there, now that they are grandparents!!

I don’t know the criteria for your “Role of Honour” - Christine Smart (who was at one time the artist at the Mine Training College) died in a car accident involving my car in 1983. Sue Kinman went to Bougainville as a single girl, was married to Shan Rochford for a short time and later found real happiness as Mrs. Sue Wilson. She died of cancer after a long and brave struggle. Now I feel really depressed.

I have lots of photos (more of people than buildings) but don’t have a scanner. I’ll go through them and see what I can find. Bob Hutton is hoping to make the reunion next year and I hope to meet him there.

How long have you had this site? - what a great idea!
Best wishes,
Diane Soul

Des Smith emailed from Melbourne:

Hi there,

I worked for BCL from 1979 - 1981 (three years) as Operations Controller for the Computer Division. Essentially my role was to make sure that the mines two mainframe computers stayed up and running 24 hrs a day - 7 days a week. I had 12 locals reporting directly to me. As onsite personnel I lived in Panguna with my wife and two small boys - the eldest at that time being of school age. I still consider this experience to be one of the most valuable I have had - and like many others who were there loved the place and the challenges that it offered. Over the years I have met people who were on Bougainville (some who were there when we were - but we never actually met) and the conversations that we have had are as though we were old friends.

I am now semi retired although I have never been busier with three part time jobs to keep the wolves from the door. My wife (Jan) and I live in suburban Melbourne but have plans on retiring to Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula within the next two years.

Lindsay Swanson wrote this from Madang:

I arrived in Bougs with long blonde hair on 11/11/74 and was with the Central Electrical Workshop under George King (deceased), Kevin Bowman (deceased), John "Gus" Gotsalks (deceased Xmas'97), and Graham "Blue" Rodwell who is now in Indonesia. read the full story

Joe Fragnito wrote from Freeport Indonesia:

I was in Bougainville from 1969 for 20 years, I recognised some of the people in the pictures you have included, I also seem to remember yourself but not sure, Russ Gill was also there for 20 years, Russ will be able to identify some of the guys and Russ keeps in touch with a lot of people from that era. read the full story

Ivan Bell wrote from Brisbane:

I was in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary on Bougainville from 1970 to November 1975. I met my wife (Anne Manning) on Bougainville. read the full story

Jerome Wallace emailed from the Cayman Islands:

What a great web site, thank you Peter Goerman!!!

Since I already sent a note to 'guestbook' I thought I'd add some comments. For the 73 to 76 gang some more names now come to mind: Alison Colbert (married in the US), John Barnham, John Downie, Peter Hobday, John Craig, Duff Ericson (AGM) and the Mining group, Mike Blackwell, David Swain, Trevor Schultz.

Leaving Boug' in 76 with Island blood in my veins forever, I emigrated to Canada , then back to the Islands of the Caribbean, Trinidad, then Grenada. After there, Mexico, Venezuela and Zaire , where I was Tech Mgr for a Mine in the Northeast of what is now Congo. --- just look up COLTAN (Columbium and Tantalum) on the web to see extreme 'exploitation,pollution and Rival Militias'

I'm now in Grand Cayman and I'm not leaving this Island I now call home. "Everyting is cool here, Mon"!

PS I'll get some photos to you soon.

Wayne Ledwidge sent this email from Shanghai:

Bougainville certainly shaped my life and the lives of my 2 boys who spent their formative years on the beaches and in the jungles of Bougainville. read the full story

Urs Christen wrote from Brisbane:

&*%%# *(&^%#@ read the full story

John Davidson emailed from Brisbane:

I was with the project from 4/70 until close-down. read the full story

Gray Chandler sent this message from Adelaide:

Arrived in January 1973 and left in 1985, the time frame included three tours of duty. Just couldn't stay away from the place. Lived in Camp 10, mud valley kupei road and Arawa. read the full story

Chris O'Brien ("Irish") emailed from Townsville:

G'day bloody great job, will be great to be able to catch up on some old mates "Irish" Chris O'Brien BCL now living in Townsville Qld, will dig out some old photos when time allows and send them on, I have some from 1968 if I can only find the buggers

"Pioneer's wife" Maxine Dean emailed this from Argentina:

My husband, Bob Dean, went to Bougainville in 1970 as Piping Superintendent with Bechtel. read the full story

Denise Arnold sent this email:

My name is Denise and although we were not on the Island during the construction stage we certainly enjoyed the fruits of your labour.

My father spent almost 15 years working in the mine from 1974-1989. After 3 years apart, my mother, younger brother and I joined him early in 1978. This was my final year of school and I had the option of staying in a boarding school in Australia or joining Dad and completing the year by Correspondence. I chose to travel - which turned out to be the start of my affection with world travel !!

I lived in Arawa for just over 10months and I learnt to drive by taking my brother to the International Correspondence School in Loloho - until I was pulled over by the local Police for having a passenger in the car while on "L" plates. It didn't appear to matter that the locals had the whole family with them !! I became proficient at driving in torrential down pours, which panicked my Australian instructor when I finally took lessons back home during winter. He wanted me to stop as it was raining "hard" but that was nothing compared to the windy roads I had to negotiate during "afternoon showers" on Bougainville.

I met many wonderful people from many Countries of the World. One was a young lady from New Zealand who introduced me to many people that my Dad certainly would not have. She introduced me to Squash and sun bathing, and having already obtained her drivers licence in New Zealand, was the source of many interesting day trips. We spent many hours of many days together, but for the life of me I cannot remember her name - which is terrible considering I often think of the fun days we had.

My younger brother got very drunk one night in Panguna as the other guests at a party offered to keep him supplied with cans of beer. It was a very interesting drive down the mountain ! He was lucky enough to spend two years in Arawa as he was still in school - I was unable to stay longer than the first year as my schooling was complete and I was not permitted to work on the Island. We also performed in a couple of Arawa Theatre Performances "The Dracula Spectacular" & "Oklahoma".

We spent many a lazy Sunday on the water at Kieta harbour, sailing. There was that day where the race was unwatchable due to a sudden mist settling into the harbour. When it cleared, there, right in the middle, was a very large container ship ... to this day I do not know how those sailing in the race managed to avoid it, nor how it appeared so quietly.

The peaceful beauty of the Island is one I will never forget, nor the hidden perils. My father contracted a mild case of malaria even after years of taking medication to avoid it. I was shocked to find that a sand fly bite soon became a leg ulcer when left untreated. The geckos, the mosquitos, the wasps and flash floods !!

It certainly was a year to remember !!

Jim Hocking emailed:

The following names are people I have maintained contact with since Bougainville and who I have heard of through those contacts:

Neil Turner - went to Perth some years ago - Died 2002
Dean Bond - lives in Cairns
Ian Bond - lives in Cairns
Mal Baker - lives in Tumby Bay SA
Henry Pearson - lives in Adelaide
Cliff Newman - was living in Queensland - lost contact some years ago
Hal George - was living in Brisbane - lost contact some years ago
Russ Peterson - was living in Townsville - not sure of current status
John Wallace - living in Brisbane (worked in community relations for some time)
Mal Duthie - works for UN - last heard of stationed in Saigon Vietnam
Neil Steward - ?
Paul (not Peter) Quodling?
Maurie Pears?
Ken Edwards?
Don Vernon (of course)
Wal and Min Kaka - Melbourne
Nick Crawley?
John Beagley?
Horst Allman - chopper pilot - loctation?
Jan Blance? -chopper pilot - location?
Les Smith
Ed Denari - Bechtel

More to follow when I can think of them .......... Jim

P.S. Peter - I also have a heap of stuff which will take me a while to dig up - I even have photos from the chopper (which I coordinated the operation of for some time) - also add to the list John Bensemen (I think that is spelt correctly) - he was one of the mechanics at the light vehicle workshop in Panguna and now lives (up to a few years ago at least) in Brisbane.
Laurie Devereaux - died some years ago I think in Brisbane
John Trezise - I think on the Gold Coast although was very ill some time back.
Erwin Goodfruit - again I think in Brisbane (or Queensland anyway).
Jack Dalby - (Port Superintendent during Bechtel days) - whereabouts ?
Bob Hope - I think mine manager - whereabouts ?
Bob Hutton
Bill Dutton

Talk to you soon - lookum yu puk puk .. Jim

Jason Garland emailed from Singelton N.S.W.:

Hi , Found your site just surfing for info on Bougainville , My cousin & a couple of good mate were also there for a while.

Warrick Garland ( Caterpillar)
David Scott & Paul Meynell (Theiss).
I'll be letting them know about this site. Good Job !!

Jamie Shaw wrote:

I stumbled across your site last month and was delighted to view the photos you've got posted. Memories came flooding back. I had the pleasure of growing up in Panguna - our parents Eric & Jacky Shaw moved us to Bougainville in 1971 and remained there until shutdown and evacuation in April 1990.

I have attached some photos that might be of interest. Please feel free to use them as you see fit. There are more where these came from. Details are as follows:

arovo01.jpg - Arovo Island Jetty 1986
arovo02.jpg - Arovo Resort Scuba Hut 1986 (this was owned / managed by John McLeod
arovo03.jpg - Arovo Island Resort approx 1983 (white game fishing cruiser at mooring was owned by Robbie Robson)
arovo04.jpg - Looking towards Loloho & Mt Bagana volcano from Arovo 1986
arovo05.jpg - Arovo Island Resort Ferry High & Dry approx 1987
loloho01.jpg - Loloho Wharf from behind power station 1986 loloho_panorama - Loloho Beach at Sunrise 1986
mine_panorama - Panguna mine 1986
r170.jpg - Euclid R170 Haul truck 1986
goldmine01.jpg - Old Kupei Gold Mine Stamping Mill 1984 (this was on the bush track walk between Panguna & Arawa)

These were taken by me around 1986 when my time in Panguna was coming to a close as I started university and moved to Brisbane. I flew back regularly with the intention of getting more but never got around to doing it

As a long time resident we took Bougainville for granted, and never really made a conscience effort to capture our home in photographs. The end came suddenly and we lost the opportunity. Your site has helps fill the void - thanks. My brother and sisters still consider Panguna "home". I'm now having difficulty explaining to my children were I grew up and what it was like.

Dad has hundreds of slides stashed away somewhere. Next time I go through them I'll look out for ones relevant to your site.

Can I also suggest you get in contact with Don & Llane Hadden. Don is listed in your "Comments" page. Don is an avid birdwatcher and talented photographer - and should have some excellent images of what Bougainville looks like now. He and Llane were teaching in Arawa around 1999 - 2001. Don might have some photos for your "aftermath" page currently under construction.

There used to be an annual get together of ex-BCL people here in Brisbane. I missed last year. I don't suppose you know if it is being held this year by any chance ?

Hope the above is of interest.

Regards & Thanks for the Memories

Lansell Taudevin emailed from Otford NSW:

Most would remember me as Lanse! I lived in Bougainville from 72 to 80, working first as the company psychologist with Mike Asgill, then Superintendent Training under Win Herry as Manager.

Both children were born there, Robin (1977) and Allison (1979). We left Bougainville for Port Moresby in 1981, thence to Indonesia, Bhutan, India, Pakistan, Kiribati, East Timor and a few other places in between. Now living in Otford, NSW, just south of Sydney in the Royal National park. After 35 years overseas, I returned to Australia two years ago and now run a publishing company, Otford Press. We have not yet produced any books on Bougainville, though one of our titles had a chapter on the impact of the mine on the environment and society - that book (Moving Mountains) is now also published overseas. So if anyone has a book in them of exceptional quality (!!!!!!) about Bougainville, get in touch. Email contact is phone number is 02 42948800

Russell Somerville emailed from PNG:

Good Day Peter,

I had the dubious fortune of starting work for BCL the day Francis Ona resigned. I was there until the end, intending to stay for the care and maintenance. I was the Leading Hand Maintenance in the Mills Concentrator, reporting to Graham Talbot.

I sailed out on my Yacht Butterfly after the airport was closed. We spent some time sailing around the Solomons before sailing back to Australia. I then returned and with a friend then sailed John Golden's Yacht Sahaier back to Australia.

I shall check through to see if I have any old photos I can scan and email to you.

Theo Zachos emailed:

I was just on your website, and it brought back a lot of memories, especially Arovo. I was up there from 1980 till 1985 with my parents. I was only 7 years old at the time we went up there but I have fond memories.

The reason I'm e-mailing you is that my dad - Efthimios Zachos aka - Makis, Markus or Mike, was up there during the exploration days and has quite a few photos of the exploration and stories, also as I mention he also did the 1980-1985 stint. He worked at the Loloho Filter Dryer during the 80's. He also used to work at Ok Tedi as well, but I don't know if you would be interested in those photos.

When I get the photos from him and scan them, would you like me to either send them via e-mail or would prefer me to burn them onto CD and send them to you.

I've also got the induction video that was give to families when they first arrived to Bougainville, and also videos about the exploration of Bougainville, if you interested in those as well let me know.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Peter Robinson emailed:

Hello, whoever you are!

I'm Peter Robinson and was on the island for exactly 7 years - 23rd November 1970 to 23rd November 1977. I was employed by BCPL as Parts and Warranty Supervisor at the Pit Workshop. I set up the Pit Warehouse and ran it for the first five years and then transferred to the role of Maintenance Planning Supervisor for the next two. My wife, Colleen, and I brought three children to the island and left with four - Jennifer being being born in the old Haus Sik at Panguna on the 18th February 1972.

We had seven very happy years there and have many nostalgic memories of the place. However, I have no romantic illusions as I had the opportunity of a two day return visit while working for Woodlawn Mines in late-ish 1981. In those four short years the place had gone backwards quite significantly since the time we left. The most obvious outward signs being the drift in municipal cleanliness and maintenance. I shudder to think what the place would be like now more than 30 years later and after the effects of the uprising.

My first four months were spent living in Camp 3 - waiting for the houses at Arawa to be built and made available. Those were really great days - watching the final stages of the hydraulicking and the gradual completion of the project. I remember the old road up from the coast and how impressed we were when we could finally travel on the new one.

There is much more I could add but will leave it there for the time being. I don't have many photos of those days but do have many slides from which photos can be taken off. I also have a copy of "BOUGAINVILLE, The Establishment Of A Copper Mine" a 386 page official record of the show, from whoa to a bit past go. And also the somewhat smaller PR blurb "Progress In Action" both of which have a number of excellent photos.

Peter, the older of the two Robbos

Bob Jackson emailed from the Gold Coast:

Hello Peter

I have looked for years for a web site featuring the "expat workers" view of Bougainville, it was a very pleasant surprise to find yours. I was in Spain at the end of a "too long" holiday, was bored and searching for something familiar, finding it brightened my whole day.

I was a BCL "power house pom" originally hired from Kalgoorlie West Australia (after travelling out overland) . I went there as a single man in 74 to work as an instrument technician in the power house at Loloho, after a couple of years I transferred to Operations as an "assistant unit controller".

I was in Loloho Camp 6 during the first night of the "74 rock festival" and electrified my donga window flyscreen in the hope of "staying alive". We had valiantly emptied our beer fridges to "save the amber fluid". The next night we camped in the power house smoko room after welding up all the doors (but one). We took up guard duty at the front gate armed with 24" stilsons and a length of water pipe, fortunately the riot squad were between us and the rioters so our weapons remained unused.

After a little over three years I left, had a couple of cruises and ended up in Brazil (intending a big S.American trip) but after Bougainville I didn't enjoy it much. I went to UK got married and returned to Bougainville (after a two year absence) to the same job, and living in Arawa Section 6/28. My first child was born in the Arawa hospital in 82 my second child in 85 in Brisbane (after an emergency medivac from Bougainville). I stayed in the power house until Dec 88 ending up as a shift supervisor. I left before the troubles really got started and as such have few bad memories of Bougainville.

Hash house harriers. I first ran with the Loloho Hash House Harriers and on my return joined the Arawa Hash. In the early days Arawa Hash hired a DC3 for a combined run with the Honiara Hash. Later we had 4WD trips to Sohano Island (the old Bougainville District Office) and every one slept in the old District Commissioner's House (or camped on his lawn). I was a shift worker and as such missed many runs but those I did gave me a buzz which kept me going until the next one. The adventure, the running, the beer, it worked for me!

I moved to (and still live) in a house half way between Brisbane and the Gold Coast in a place that I bought on a five day visit from Bougainville. Since leaving Bougainville I've had about thirteen years in local government (working in electrical design).

That's about it (apart from the inevitable divorce and re-marriage) a few years ago.

Keep up the good work with the web site!

Sandra Clark emailed from Kazakhstan:

John and I arrived Bougainville in December, 1980 with our two sons Gavin and Stuart. We left in October 1989 on our yacht Tiare which John had built whilst on Bougainville.

We are currently living in Atyrau in Kazakhstan which is as different from our island as could be. Flat, no trees, biggest landlocked country in Europe/Asia. John was on the Kutubu pipe line project in the Southern Highlands from December 1990 - June 1992, then he started with Chevron Oil during operations. He is now on loan from Chevron/Texaco to Tengizchevroil and is the Training Manager. Gavin works for AI Scientific, Redcliffe Queensland, but is currently working in Italy setting up the robotic machines and training the service engineers in the use and repair of the equiptment. Stuart works for BPH Billiton at the coal mine at Mouranbah and expects to be a Mine Manager within ten years.

We have very fond memories of our time on Bougainville, we call it Paradise, and only last night we were show! ing some dinner guests our photograph albums of our time there.

Regards Sandra Clark

Danny Gekesun emailed from Dunedin in New Zealand:

It's good to see Bougainvillean faces on this site. This shows how we are proud of our people since the war started. Thanks to the webmaster who created this site for the people all around the world who want to know about bougainville and it's history. Thanks once again to the people contributing to the peace on the Island.....:)

Rod Powell emailed from the U.K.:

Hi folks,I have just been fortunate enough to find this great site, regards to all.

I arrived on Bougainville for SHRM in 82 and was there for three years. I have worked in the Middle East, Africa, the Far East, Europe and North America but I have yet to find a place to live and work to better my time on Bougainville.

Me bin pinim wontok tumas,long dis pella ples. Lukim yu. Rod

Ian Johnson emailed from Tauranga in New Zealand:

Well, this certainly brings back plenty of memories. Was there from 1977 to 1987, as a youngster of 9 when we arrived. Will attempt to dig out some old photos and get them scanned. Anyway, well done on the site, will keep an eye on developments.

Cheers Ian

David Feeney emailed from Newcastle N.S.W.:

I cannot get/purge my time on Bougainville out of my system. It's a bit of a problem now as I have a new partner in life (13 years) and she cannot fully understand the bond between ex Bougainvillians (Expats or otherwise).

Tony Kearsley emailed from the U.K. (but now in Kuching, Sarawak):

Greetings from Pommyland
Tony and wife Helena Just found your site and another covering Bougainville. Worked there 71/73 as a Training Officer setting up the first Supervisory/Management courses. Had emigrated to Oz in 69 and worked for Ford Australia and Ciba Geigy in Sydney then got recruited by Maurie Pears (Training Manager with BCL and noted poker player) to develop programs for Supervisory and bottom end management training at Panguna. Returned to UK after PNG and have never forgotten the people or the job. Retired in 1992 to play golf and all that but thanks to a few websites particularly the Australian Institute picture site am able to light up the memory box again. Am saddened by what developed in Bougainville. Will plough my way through your wonderful site.
Kind Regards and Thanks
Tony Kearsley
Cheshire UK

P.S. Thanks for your prompt reply. Sure go ahead and use my email, you will be interested to know that a few minutes after sending to you I clicked into another part of your site and found the name of Lansell Taudevin who was the Company Psychologist and who I knew, I emailed him and astonishingly got a reply within a few hours !! I was Extension Training Officer, worked out of the new training centre after it was built and originally lived in a block in Panguna until my wife and family arrived from Oz then moved into a house in Arawa. I was there for about two years then went back to UK for a leave and my wife would't return. I came back for a few months then terminated and returned to work in the UK, got divorced, went out to work as Personnel Manager for British Aerospace in Saudi Arabia and met and eventually married a nurse who was working out there also. Some years on I did a job assisting with a recruitment for a UK firm who were trying to find a training manager for Burns Hudson - could not. They offered me the job and I thought about it for quite some time before deciding not to take it. Probably wish I had done now. Would love to go back but guess this is highly unlikely now. Thanks again for the response.

Update received February 2009:
Out of contact for so long, now living in Kuching, Sarawak, we have been here since Dec 08 and settling down well. Haven't been on to the BCL website for ages and it was really good to browse around and pick up on the new posts, really enjoyed looking at the pics by Peter Marshall showing some of the old places, the amazing thing was that the picture of him and Nancy really turned me over, Nancy is the absolute image of a local girl who used to work as a typist for us in the Mine Training Centre. Doubt if anyone will ever get in touch with me via the BCL web pages but is there some way I can update my location and contact details ? My new email is redvet8[AT]

Theo van der Meulen emailed:

Just found your website - it's brought back a lot of memories. I arrived in Bougainville on 26 August 1971 and I was part of the orginal crew which commissioned and operated Loloho Power Station. Our group were all recruited from the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and included Alan Wilson , Jim Watts , Ron McInnes, and Tom Griggs . Later, After Units 1 and 2 had been commissioned we were joined by a contingent from the UK including John Black, John Withers , Keith Britton and Robin Agar . The first Power Station Manager was Tom Worth and the first Operations Manager was John Dutton . Henry Pearson was the Maintenance Engineer

We had a great time, parties every few days and lots of SCUBA diving in some of the best waters in the world. I can remember many great days at Arovo (Pub Island) and some wonderful dinners at the Kieta Club.

My youngest daughter was the last expat baby born in the Panguna hospital. It closed immediately after as the Arawa hospital had opened. I can remember our house number in Arawa - it was 11/53. I have lots of 8mm movie film taken over the 3 years we were there. We left in 1974 to take up a position in Gove, NT.

For more anecdotes and stories, go to "Honour Roll" and click on any of the underscored names.

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Take time to write.
For in thinking
you have captured your thoughts,
and in writing
you have written upon the tablets of your heart.

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