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")