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New Guinea recollections. (Part 1 of 8)

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A few people have convinced me that there might be some historical value in posting and preserving some of my old faded and fungus ravaged transparencies taken in Papua New Guinea from 1968 onwards, before they, like me, end up as nothing more than landfill.

I am especially mindful of young Papua Niuginians who, with 21st century Google magic might one day discover and appreciate these pictures of their villages and ancestors.

The pictures are accompanied by my probably biased recollection of events, along with unedited extracts from my Agricultural Officers Field Journal written at the time, which will reflect colonial attitudes and policies no longer either socially or politically acceptable.

I make no apology for this, as both my own behaviour and that of the Australian PNG Administration was at the time full of good intent.

Considerable debate exists as to the value of colonial occupation of developing countries in the 20th century.

History should prove that Australia was a benevolent and generous administrator in PNG.  We literally brought many of the people from stone age, often barbaric, cultural practices into the jet age during the few decades prior to PNG's Independence in 1975. 
Australia continues to pour several hundred million dollars worth of aid funds into PNG each year.

As a nation we did not deliberately set out to pillage it's economic resources, or to an unnecessary extent impose our culture upon theirs. 

Those critical of Australia's performance need only compare it to the Dutch and Indonesian colonial record in neighbouring West Irian (now Irian Jaya) to understand just how fortunate Papua New Guinea was.

I appreciate that my ancient history will probably be of little interest to most of my regular readers, but as I have built up a small head of steam for this project I will post all 8 stories in a series which will occupy the next 2 weeks. (weather and solar power permitting).

Normal blogging will resume in 3 weeks time.

(For access to all stories in this series click the "view my tags" link on the right of screen then click "png history")

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

18 responses »

  1. I'll look forward to them, GOF

  2. *settles down to await the next exciting installment*

  3. Yeah! Bring it on… 🙂

  4. Bewdy.Australia has an impressive track record at the end of WW2. We worked diligently to help many asian nations out from under colonial rule. I think the feeling was there had been enough pillaging of the region by Europeans which is fundamentally destabilising for the locals. I can't recall the details of which country was involved but Oz even undermined some US attempts to follow Europe's lead and stay in control. We were much sharper about foriegn affairs in those days. Now we just blindly accept America's lead.

  5. I forgot to add. I'm praying for sunshine.But of course you already know this now that I have signed up to the Church of GOF.

  6. Aw, I thought you were going to follow the introduction with the first installment and you didn't. Tease!

  7. You are a testament to Well-Meant Hippie-dom! As I was on the receiving end of well-meaning hippies, that's a compliment.

  8. Thanks Snowy. I hope you will find something of interest.

  9. *settles down to await the next exciting installment* Yep…..take it easy LOM…'s hardly worth getting excited about. 🙂

  10. Yeah! Bring it on… :)Thanks k9…..I'll get right on to it 🙂

  11. Bewdy.Thanks Bishop Pete.:-)I also appreciate your reminding me of Australia's WW2 policies.

  12. Tease! Sorry about that Vicola. It was unintentional….I just thought nobody would be interested in the subject. I'll post the first story later today.

  13. You are a testament to Well-Meant Hippie-dom!No finer compliment could be received …..thank you m-t.

  14. Really, really looking forward to this series…

  15. This is right up my alley. Count me in as among the interested. I should warn you, I have an obsession with old maps (if there are any) and old cultures. Fortunately you won't be present when I jump for joy and spill coffee on my pets. 😉
    I think your AOFJ would sell for a small fortune where I am, you'd be surprised how many people appreciate that stuff.

  16. I'll be the judge of what gets me excited, thank you very much. 😛

  17. Really, really looking forward to this series… Thanks Emjay……….I hope you find something of interest.

  18. Count me in as among the interested.Thanks for your interest Emmi and I hope you too will find something of value.My old journal was handwritten in triplicate using carbon paper….the original and first copy having been sent off to my bosses at the time as evidence that I was alive and thus still needed my salary to be paid…..I am left with all the third pages, the writing on which is so faded and indistinct that a magnifying glass is needed to decipher some of it.


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