P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 20 Feb 2001

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 20 Feb 2001. A very special welcome is extended to any new readers. If you have comments or suggestions to make then please e-mail them to giaman[at]pnggossip.com

Articles for this newsletter

To send a message for submission to the PNG Gossip Newsletter -- please e-mail your contribution to pngnews.queue@png-gossip.com

Remember that this mailing list is mainly meant for people who have an interest and already know a little bit about the people and geography of Papua New Guinea. The PNG Kina, which is mentioned from time to time, is currently worth somewhere around 30 - 31 United States cents but varies on a daily basis.

If you are really keen on finding out what the Kina is worth a currency converter for most world currencies can be located at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/moni.html html - another currency converter with a local flavour is located at Papua New Guinea Business Resources Directory http://www.pngbd.com. It has been developed by the people from AAC&L -- http://www.aacl.net. AAC&L also have a good on-line schedule of passenger aircraft in PNG.

For those who are not so familiar with the geography of Papua New Guinea I suggest taking a look http://maps.expedia.com and then click on the find a map option. Go to this link for a quick start to a link to a map of Port Moresby. http://www.michie.net/pnginfo/pom-map.html

Also remember that the accuracy of the information in this newsletter should not be relied upon - it is, after all, a gossip newsletter.

World Bank

The World Bank has delayed a K290 million economic restructuring loan.

Jollibee Rooster

Big Rooster has opened a new restaurant and take-away service where Jollibee used to be which was the old ANZ Bank / Daltron building at Waigani.


Here is a direct quote from The National Newspaper - That mushroom project up Lufa way should soon see the streets of the tiny town paved with gold, if the current price of the commodity in some of the capital's supermarkets is any indication. We spotted some rather tired examples of the species in one store priced at K37.99 per kilo. While we agree that mushrooms weigh very little, that price has to be a wee bit inflated. Wonder what the same store would charge for truffles?

Family Violence

The British High Commissioner, Simon Scadden, has presented a cheque of K48,174 to the Family Violence Action Committee. The money will be used to fund the first phase of the program being initiated by the Committee.

Lae Water

It is hoped that Lae will soon see the end of water problems with the installation of reservoirs capable of holding 14 million litres of water. AusAid is sponsoring the project to the tune of K30 million. The project also includes the construction of new pipelines from the reservoirs to the city.

Miss PNG

The Red Cross have advertised for contestants between the ages of 17 and 26 for the annual Miss PNG Quest.


Jerry Singirok, the Former PNG Defence Force commander, has lost a court challenge against his dismissal. Mr Singirok was sacked for receiving secret payments from a supplier of military equipment, which came to light during the Sandline enquiry.

Kerosene Problems

Several people are injured and one child is dead after several explosions caused by kerosene lights. The supplier of kerosene British Petroleum has been very quite and has not come out with a press release as to what the possible cause could be. Meanwhile their service stations in Madang have stopped selling the product.

Sydney Mardi Gras

PNG singer, Moses Tau, is to attend the Sydney Mardi Gras. Because the event is predominantly for the Gay and Lesbian communities his attendance has caused a stir in PNG.

Rugby Engan Style

Here is an article written by Reinier Jessuran who is based in Porgera teaching children at the international school.

Wild Times at the Footy!

Rugby league resembles a tribal fight in these parts of PNG. Today I had the pleasure of playing my first match on the hollow turf (most precisely shin deep mud) of the Payam Rocks' home ground. The visiting time were The Station Eagles, players from a collection of villages some 5 KM from Payam. One would assume that the players and spectators from both teams would be good friends since they live in close proximity of each other. This proved not to be the case!

Just how I came to playing a game of rugby league eventuated after I met the husband of Kaspina, one of the teachers at Porgera International School. His name is Jonathan and he just so happened to be coach of the mighty Payam Rocks. This team is named after the huge cliff (perhaps it really is a large rock) that towers over the town of Payam. Often the mascot name of a team personifies their personality. Certainly the players of The Rocks are a tough and sturdy collection of muscular individuals. Anyway, I mentioned to Jonathan that I enjoy rugby and have coached at various levels back in Australia. The next moment I found myself accepting an invitation to play in a semi-final match against The Eagles.

Pre-match preparations involve lighting a smoke fire. This signifies to the other team a "declaration of hostilities". The Rocks consisted of a squad of about 20 players, some of whom wore rugby boots, whilst other ran around in old shoes and the brave ran out in bare feet. All players wore a collection of old shorts and jerseys in various states of decay. The only exception was myself who just so happened to be wearing brand new boots, much to the admiration of the observing crowd. Stretching is not a big part of the warm up routine, rather energy is spent giving and listening to long speeches. This by all accounts is deemed a more appropriate means of preparing for a rugby match. I lost count after about the 15th speech was given, although several of them notably mentioned "the white fella from down-under".

As The Rocks ran out onto the ground (wrong term - pig pen), I became the first outsider to play for the team. After match reports indicate that when spectators observed a white man playing rugby, they notified many of their friends to come out of their nearby abodes. In all about 3000 spectators turned out to observe the match. By the time I had reached the centre of the ground I was already covered in mud up to my shins. The Eagle players were somewhat surprised to discover that their opposition had resorted to importing players, although I suspect my small frame did not strike fear into these warriors!

Play did not start for another 15 minutes because it was time for the referee to give a long speech about the rules of the game and the spirit he expected it to be played. Much of his dialogue stressed that he did not want any spectators questioning his decisions. I particularly admired his head wear, being a dirty footy sock!

So The Eagles eventually got around to kicking off the ball to formally start the game. The ground was surrounded by spectators from both sides, most dressed in the usual rags and old apparel worn by most locals. A small number of spectators had painted their faces with various tribal markings. The next 40 minutes were a personal struggle of heaving my feet out of the mud. I made a couple of tackles bringing shrieks of laughter and cheers from the spectators. Overall my contribution was minimal. By half-time the score was 0-0, although both teams continually threw the ball around as if playing a game of sevens. The handling skills and particularly the hard running of most players was most impressive.

Half-time signified the end of my contribution and the start of another 15 minutes of speeches.

Events started to warm up after The Eagles scored an excellent try after 5 minutes of the commencement of the second half. To this point of play the game had been played in excellent spirit and without any nasty violent play.

At about the 10 minute interval one of The Eagle players tackled a Rock player around the sternum. To the referee's naked eye it was a fair tackle, but not to several of The Rocks' spectators who demanded a penalty be given. The referee refused to award a penalty and this firstly led to several flying mounds of mud being lobbed at the unfortunate referee. Some of these mud balls hit Eagle players who ran towards the offending spectators. Within a few seconds literally most of the viewing spectators for both teams had left their perches and charged like a light horse brigade towards to spot where the referee had stood just a few seconds ago. At this point I charged in the opposite direction taking two escorts with me to offer protection if required. What happened next were numerous fights breaking out, before The Eagle players and many of their spectators reminded themselves that they were in the heartland of enemy territory. Within a blink of my eye I observed The Eagle delegation sprinting up a big hill and down a long road chased by about a thousand local Payam residents including many students at my school. The police fired several rounds from their guns, not to scare anyone I suspect, but to signify that the real action of the afternoon had commenced!

By all accounts The Eagles were chased and fought for approximately 4 KM along the road leading to the gold mine before the Payam crew decided to call it a day. The good news is that there will be a replay of the match next week, so everybody will have a chance to have some more fun!

So this was my introduction of rugby league, Engan style.

Tapa Cloth

The Post Courier has shown a novel way of wearing the traditional tapa cloth. This time it is around the neck as a tie. Tapa is made from the bark of a tree (sometimes mulberry). The bark is peeled off and beaten flat and stretched. The tapa is then sun dried and then painted in traditional designs. It is hoped that using tapa cloth in a modern way will help to preserve the tradition of making it.

Online Business Directory

The directory located at http://www.pngbd.com offers company listings, product and services, daily exchange rates, News Headlines and a tax calculator.

Interest Rates

FinCorp http://www.fincorp.com.pg have offered the following interest rates for deposits of K5,000 to K49,999

Tourist / Dive Boats

PNG newspaper sites

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Created 20 Feb 2001
Updated 21 May 2001
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