P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 11 Dec 2001

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

Welcome to the Papua New Guinea Gossip - 11 Dec 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@png-gossip.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 23 - 24 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

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.

Neo Melanesian

"Pidgin English"
het - head
pen - pain
het i pen - headache
sik - sick, illness
soa - sore
strongpela soa - bad sore, ulcer
ia - ear
ai - eye
gras - hair
kela - bald
lapun - old
maus - mouse
tis - teeth
tis i pen - toothache
wara - water
war bilong ai - tears


Communication related companies TE PNG -- http://www.tepng.com
PACOM -- http://www.prosec.com.pg/pacom. They offer a vehicle tracking device (SigTec MobiTag) which has helped to stop a few thieves in their tracks. A PDF file is available from that website.

PACOM grew from a requirement of its parent company to have good reliable communications. From these first steps PACOM have gone from strength to strength. They can even boast of having a Precision Measurement Equipment Laboratory (PMEL/NATA) Calibration centre.

The weather in PNG has been considerably wetter than usual. For those interested weather details for PNG can be obtained from http://www.wunderground.com/global/NG.html - This site gives a summary of the weather at such places as..

Satellite Image -- http://www.cnn.com/WEATHER/Australia/satellite_image.html

A history of Bougainville's struggle for freedom, from the world history archives -- http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/24/index-w.html

Bougainville - The Forgotten War in the South Pacific -- http://www.gn.apc.org/inquirer/boug.html

For any PNG readers who attended school in Australia there is a website that will help reunite you with your classmates and even enemies. It is located at http://www.schoolfriends.com.au. The site is growing on a daily basis and I was surprised at how many people I knew from the various schools that I attended.

For those who read the item about another reader finding an earwig in their bread and are asking "what is an earwig?" http://phylogeny.arizona.edu/tree/eukaryotes/animals/arthropoda/hexapoda/dermaptera/dermaptera.html will give you some pictures and http://www.inra.fr/Internet/Produits/HYPPZ/RAVAGEUR/6foraur.htm tells you a bit more about the insect. Another photo is located at http://www.inra.fr/Internet/Produits/HYPPZ/IMAGES/7031761.jpg

Signal Hill

Reader Ross Eastgate OAM has the following information in relation to my question about the Christmas Star at Murray Barracks and when it was first put up.

The star was certainly a feature of Signal Hill when I was posted to the then 800 Signals Squadron as a brand new Duntroon graduate in 1972. Ssgt Bob Crawford and his PNG sidekick Sgt Gillie used to put it up. They ran the squadron's Line Troop. The squadron had two name changes in my time in it, first to PNG Signal Squadron, then PNGDF Signal Squadron. They also had a cross which went on the Hill at Easter. Both were stored in the troop store inside Murray Barracks main complex. The Squadron HF transmitters were on the hill immediately behind what is now the engineer compound, and they fed cables to the aerial on Signal Hill. Our receivers were at Taurama Barracks.

Air Niugini

Already struggling Air Niugini is now having problems putting planes into Mendi. It looks as if all flights into Mendi have been curtailed until the Civil Aviation authority does important work on the runway. This is the one time of the year when flights are full and the various airlines in PNG have a chance to make a profit.

As an aside I recently had a business traveler up from Sydney who had come from Fiji. The flight out of Fiji was 2 and a half hours late. The connecting flight from Sydney to Cairns was 2 hours late and the F28 flight from Cairns to Port Moresby was only half an hour late. The return A310 flight from Moresby to Brisbane left on time!

Free Press

A person in Vanuatu has said that the problems in PNG are no worse than Vanautu. The only difference is that the PNG government does not control the press. This lady had a home invasion in Vanutau but was restricted i what the press could report on the matter. You wouldn't want to scare away tourists would you!!? It is interesting to note that PNG has between 5,000 to 8,000 tourists a year all the other visitors are visiting relatives or are business whereas other countries such as Fiji receive 300 - 400,000 per year. In my opinion PNG has more to offer a tourist than Fiji.

National Provident Fund

The NPF has been able to reduce its massive debt by almost 90 percent. This has seen the debt go from K154 million down to K23 million. Interest rate payments have fallen from K19 million per year to K1 million a year.


The Lorengau hospital is feeling the pressure of having to look after extra patients since the arrival of the asylum seekers. The hospital urgently requires an extra doctor to cope. Not only do they need a doctor but they need the air conditioning unit fixed in the operating theatre. To add to the woes of the hospital the water supply to the hospital only flows in the morning so doctors have difficulty in washing their hands after seeing patients etc.

2002 Election

The member for Wapenamanda has said that if anyone looks up the statistics for PNG elections they will find that 90 percent of the MP's have been voted in by 10 percent of the voting population.

The preferential voting system will not come in until the 2007 elections meaning that the 2002 elections will once again see the election of MPs using the first past the post system.

The updating of the common roll for the 2002 elections is not on track. The government is still trying to work out how it can update the rolls with elections only just around the corner. Previous elections have seen the rolls hopelessly out of date and people who have registered unable to find their names whilst deceased names are still on the roll.


Reports of more cases of measles have come in from Alotau over recent weeks.

2002 Budget

Sir Julius Chan has declared the recently tabled 2002 Budget as a social disaster. He went on to mention that the present government is compounding old problems and creating new ones for itself.

Out of the provinces Bougainville has received the largest slice of the provincial pie. Bougainville has been allocated K66 million from the development and recurrent sections of the budget.


PNG has bagged two gold medals at the South Pacific Mini Games being held in Norfolk Island. Both the mens and the women's teams have won gold. The both teams were able to outclass New Caledonia.


Lady Carol Kidu has questioned whether, since the combatants on Bougainville will most likely receive a pardon for their crimes, an amnesty will be given to the soldiers at the centre of the Sandline affair. Three soldiers were convicted and sentenced for their roles in the 1997 crisis.


Some information on the cassowary which is now considered endangered. Cassowaries, smaller than the ostrich and emu, can grow to be up to 2 metres (6 feet) high and weigh as much as 60 kg (130 pounds). There has been a report from here (PNG) of one weighing 86 Kilograms. They defend themselves by kicking with dagger like claws on its toes. A kick from a cassowary can rip open a human's stomach. They are a flightless, swift-running, pugnacious forest bird. Their plumage is dark and glossy and the head and neck unfeathered. The head bears a horny crest. They are fast runners, attaining speeds up to 50 kilometre (30 miles) per hour. The female Cassowary lays a clutch of four to ten eggs . The male Cassowary incubates the eggs

Cassowaries feed on fallen fruit, but will eat almost anything, including birds, dead rats, reptiles, and even fungi that they might find on the ground. Unlike most seed eating birds which swallow grit to help in grinding up the food in the stomach, the cassowary's stomach appears to massage the flesh off the seed. Many of these seeds excreted are still viable and in fact may benefit from the scarifying effect of the bird's stomach. Cassowaries are important disperser's of seed of the larger fruited forest trees which may be deposited many kilometres from where they were picked up. The survival of these plants is apparently intricately bound with the survival of the cassowary.

It is believed that Europeans sighted the first cassowary when one was taken back to Amsterdam, Holland, where it arrived in 1597 and was presented to the Holy Emperor Rudolf II as a gift and was put on public display for some years. One bird at Healsville Sanctuary in Australia has been recorded as living to 61+ years.

Hagen Robbery

The Hagen branch of the Westpac Bank was held up and robbed recently. During the robbery a policeman was shot and the expatriate manager was stabbed by the criminals who were dressed in military fatigues and heavily armed.


The PNG Banking Corporation Staff Association's bid to stop the sale of the bank has been unsuccessful. The National Court refused to grant a court injunction against the sale of the bank to the Bank of South Pacific.

Home Brew

The principal of the Port Moresby National High School has denied that ten of his students were arrested for making home brew. He claims that they are students of another national high school.

That's All

If you can add to the above list then please send email to PNG-News@png-gossip.com

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Created 11 Dec 2001
Updated 11 Dec 2001
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