P.N.G. Gossip Newsletter - 6 Sep 2004

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PNG Gossip Newsletter Meri Milne Bay

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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 in this newsletter, is currently worth around 29.75 - 30.25 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

Want to find out more about Papua New Guinea? Try searching at http://www.michie.net/pnginfo and http://www.michie.net/png_faqs. The PNG Business and Tourism Directory located at http://www.pngbd.com is also an excellent place to look for PNG information.

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.


Wartime Links

Shaggy Ridge; a famous fight, high in the mountains -- http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/shaggy-ridge.htm

Australian War Diary, WW2, The Pacific, New Guinea, Shaggy Ridge -- http://www.minerva.com.au/austwardiary/warriors/army/ww2/pacific/shaggy%20ridge.htm and in general -- http://www.minerva.com.au/austwardiary/warriors/warriors.htm

The Buna, Gona & Sanananda Campaigns -- http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/gona-buna-san.htm

Dog Platoon at Driniumor River, Aitape -- http://www.kilroywashere.org/003-Pages/BillGarbo/BillGarbo.html
Bougainville - The Forgotten War in the South Pacific -- http://www.gn.apc.org/inquirer/boug.html

The story of the PNG Coastwatchers is one of extreme bravery and sacrifice. This is one man's story about the events that contributed so much to the ultimate Allied success in the Pacific campaign. -- http://www.janeresture.com/png_coastwatchers/index.htm

Wrecks and Reefs

"Wrecks and Reefs around Port Moresby" is a book that documents the history of early shipwrecks and World War II wrecks that lie in the waters around the capital of Papua New Guinea. This book is primarily intended to be a guide for scuba divers and it includes tales of cannibals, retribution for a ruthless Japanese submarine that took the lives of innocent citizens and the mystery of a lost airliner that disappeared along with thirteen unfortunate souls.

The books includes information on the history of diving in the Port Moresby area from the days of the early hard-helmet pearl divers to the modern self contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba). For overseas scuba diving visitors there is a chapter on accommodation available in the area. The website for the book is located at -- http://www.datec.net.pg/~mecba.

World War II wrecks around the Kiriwina part of the Trobriand Islands - Latitude 8° 40' 0S Longitude 150° 55' 0E -- http://www.pacificwrecks.com/provinces/png_kiriwina.html

PNG Diving Sites

The following is sample of some of the web sites dealing with diving in PNG. It is not a complete list and if you would like your organisation mentioned in this newsletter please let me know.

Misc Web Sites



News Items

Kiriwina Police

Policing on Kiriwina Island in Milne Bay has received a boost with the graduation of 22 auxiliary police recently. The Kiriwina community policing pilot program is part of the police forces community policing philosophy, part of its goal in achieving community involvement in police work.

Aussie Football Award

A young boy from PNG, Des Kaumu, has won the best and fairest award in the Under 18 Aussie Football League competition in Cairns Australia. Both his mother and father have tirelessly promoted Aussie Rules in PNG and the award has made all the effort worthwhile.

2005 Arafura Games

The Arafura Games committee held a corporate fund raising night at the Hideaway hotel in Port Moresby on Friday the 27th of August. Other planned events will be the Arafura Golf day and 100's raffle to be held on the 1st of October, a sports challenge on the 20th of November, a pre-Christmas fundraiser on the 18th of December, A disco on the 19th of February 2005 and a farewell dinner on the 30th of April. The Games will be held in Darwin Northern Territory, Australia between the 14th and 21st of May 2005.

PNG plans to send between 350 to 400 athletes to the games at an estimated cost of between K400,000 to K1.3 million.

Arafura Games - Medal Tally

Total Medals
Cancelled (SARS Threat)

Dr Ian Downs


Here is a sad message from a reader -- Dear Friends,

I have some sad news for you.

Dr Ian Downs Author of New Guinea Volunteer Rifles - NGVR - 1939 - 1943. A History; Passed away on Tuesday 24 August 2004 at the Age of 89 Years. He was a Remarkable Wonderful Man who achieved a great deal in his lifetime. He joined the Coastwatchers during World War II. After the war he became a patrol officer and in 1949 was the district officer for New Ireland.

His Funeral was in Southport, Australia on the 30th of August 2004.

His son's Graham and Michael and daughter Amanda survive him.

May He Rest in Peace. Please remember his family in your prayers.

Sincerely, Cynthia

Comment From Another Reader

It is disappointing to hear that apparently the Australia Police being seconded to Port Moresby will be working from a separate office. Probably right adjacent to the PNG counterparts - but still different. I would think that would make it very difficult for a common bond to be established, and for the Aussies to gain a REAL understanding of local policing difficulties. I can imagine the Aussie office will be well set out with email, Internet fax and phones - whilst the local guys are still struggling with the lack of basics, including vehicles and fuel.

I also have been told from a reliable source that children of the Aussies being brought up, who need to go to a Port Moresby primary school - will be going to Murray-Ela as there are a few more white faces there. Not withstanding that Boroko East International is consistently the best rated school in the IEA. School fees at Boroko East are about K6000 per child whilst school fees at Murray-Ela are about K25,000 per child. Is this some sort of overt racism and/or perceived elitism?

Our taxpayer dollars hard at work - being needlessly squandered.

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Statue

A group of boys from a village near Kokoda recently spent time cleaning the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel Statue at Five Mile in Port Moresby. All the graffiti was cleaned thanks the employer of the boys who purchased chemicals to do the job. Unfortunately only a few days later, after the boys had returned to their village, it is seen that the statue once again has been defaced with graffiti.

Enhanced Cooperation Program

The gates have opened and the first wave of Aussies are beginning to arrive to help under the Enhanced Cooperation Program. After a weeklong training course the first 18 have left Port Moresby to be deployed on the island of Bougainville. The main contingent of police will arrive from Australia in November.

Port Moresby Rental Property

As expected with the influx of Australians helping out with the Enhanced Cooperation Package the price of good quality rental properties in Port Moresby has begun to rise. It has been reported that properties that normally get K800 per week are now being offered to the Aussies at K1,500 per week. Some corporations with officers already in this type of accommodation have been put onto a monthly lease and expect to be kicked out to make way for people with more money to spend.

Coming Events

PNG Independence Day -- 16th September
Hiri Moale Festival -- the week leading up to Independence Day
Tufi Cultural Festival -- from the 17th to the 19th of September 2004
Goroka Show -- Independence Weekend 2004
The International School of Lae Craft Show -- Saturday 18th September.
Medical Symposium -- This week in Port Moresby.

Medical Symposium

The annual PNG medical symposium is set to get underway in Port Moresby. Organisers have raised close to K200,000 towards the staging of the event. The latest donation has been K12,000 from the Porgera Joint Venture. It is expected that 500 to 600 medical personnel will attend the symposium being held from the 6th to the 10th of September. The first three days will be held at the main Waigani Campus of the University of PNG and the last three days will be held at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences campus located at the back of the Port Moresby General Hospital. The theme for this year is "Medical and Health Issues". It is expected that apart from people in PNG medical people will come from Australia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and the United States of America.

Red Shield Appeal

The Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal has received K10,000 from Telikom PNG. The Appeal hopes to raise K250,000 this year. All members of the community have been urged to help the appeal reach this target.

Niugini Fruit Company

The Niugini Fruit Company, operating for more than ten years from Goroka, has suffered double disasters. The company had its Lae branch burnt down recently closely followed by a fire at its Goroka plant that destroyed half of its operation there. The company is the sole supplier of Liva Lave wines and has offered a reward for any information about either of the two fires.

Stanley Esplanade

After many years of neglect Stanley Esplanade in downtown Port Moresby is receiving much needed attention. The road is the main road to the Port Moresby wharf and regularly sees heavily loaded trucks carrying container loads full of cargo to and from shops and factories in Port Moresby. The road was originally made from bitumen but due to the constant pounding from heavy trucks the road is now being rebuilt using 300 mm concrete aimed at lasting for forty years.

PNG Residency

PNG is trying to lure foreign investors to the country. Foreign investors who have invested more than K1 million in the country may soon be able to apply for permanent residency. The proposal has been prepared and is before cabinet for discussion. Once the head of a household has been successful then the visa would be extended to include his/her family dependants.

Radiotherapy Appeal

An appeal for a radiotherapy unit for PNG has been launched at the Women Doctors' Association corporate dinner held recently in Port Moresby. Many people are dying annually because there is no radiotherapy unit to help fight cervical cancer the most common gynaecological cancer in PNG. As many as eighty percent of women with cervical cancer die because the caner cannot be operated on and there is nothing else that can be done.

Airport Roads

Some of the roads around Jackson's airport at seven-mile in Port Moresby are finally receiving a facelift after many years of neglect. The first to receive some attention is the road outside Air Niugini catering and Airlines of PNG offices. This road is the main thoroughfare for the Airways, Gateway and several other smaller hotels in the area. It is also the road that Air Niugini has to transport passenger meals across to get to the tarmac and the planes.

Olympic Games

Weightlifter Dika Toua, just back from Athens, is aiming for a medal at the Olympic games in Beijing, China. 20-year-old Dika has now experienced two Olympic games. She finished six in the 53 Kg division in Athens and believes a medal is not an impossible dream. At 24 she should be near the peak of her career in Beijing. A reception for the four PNG Olympic athletes is planned for today at the Lamana Hotel in Port Moresby.

Hobie 16 Championships

The Royal Papua Yacht Club based in Port Moresby is getting ready to welcome sailors competing in the eight-race PNG Hobie 16 national championship to be held from the 16th to the 20th of September.

Out of the twenty overseas competitors taking part there will be three world ranked sailors. They are world number 3 Andrew Keag, world number 5 Tim Schwallow and world number nine Rob Branch. Last year's World youth champion, Rod Lovich will also be competing in the event.


It has been claimed that as many as 71 percent of children in the Western Highlands province do not get a chance to be vaccinated against various diseases. Provincial health officers are attempting to reduce this figure by accelerating attempts to expand their immunisation program. The province aims to cover 95 percent of the child population and wants to be the leader in PNG for immunisation.

Daru Hospital

The hospital at Daru has been closed because of a lack of water. Disgruntled landowners disrupted the water supply.

Mount Hagen Hospital

The Aussie Government through AusAID has signed a K7.5 million Health Services Support Program agreement with the Mt. Hagen General Hospital to help fund the hospital. The Hagen Hospital has been recognised as one of the best hospitals in the country. The support is focused on improving the performance of the hospital in management, planning, financial, service delivery and collaboration with the rural health services.

Malaria Drugs

An international team of scientists working at Monash University in Australia have developed a synthetic drug that is set to become a major weapon in the fight against multi-drug resistant malaria. This could mean the drug would be available in three years in PNG to fight against the second biggest killer of children. Pneumonia is the biggest killer.

El Nino

The National Weather Office has warned that PNG could face another El Nino of the same magnitude as the one felt in 1997 if the developing weather conditions over he Pacific basin holds the same course as it currently is over the next couple of months. The National Disaster and Emergency Office has also confirmed that they are concerned and will monitor developments over the next months.

Juvenile Detention

Despite having a juvenile justice system juveniles are still be treated like adults through the legal system. Juveniles are being forced to follow police procedures set up for adults who are charged and arrested for various offences. 33 policemen ion Lae have recently undertaken training on how to deal with young offenders who have been arrested.

Military Museum

At the invitation of the Alotau International Hotel five veterans from World War II have flown into Alotau and opened a military museum in Milne Bay province. The men also visited the Bomana War cemetery just outside Port Moresby where one of the men sighted the wartime grave of his brother for the first time.

Refined Gold

Melanesian Metals Corporation (MMC) Limited shipped out its first 50Kg of refined gold valued at approximately K640,000. MMC, formerly known as Metal Refining Holdings Limited, hopes to be able to ship the same amount on a regular basis. Under previous arrangements with Australian Gold Refinery gold was shipped to Australia, refined and then sold as Australian gold. This is the first time that gold has been shipped as PNG gold bars refined to 99.99 percent.

Heart Operations

It has not been confirmed but it was rumoured that the recent heart operations performed by the visiting medical team from Australia and ably backed up by PNG doctors and nurses may have created a world record for heart operations. It has been reported that medical journals list cases of about 20 operations per week at the Boston General hospital in USA as being the highest. For the last three years the medical team have been able to perform 40 operations each one-week visit at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

PNG Media

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-- THE END --

Some of the ways of saying "that's all" are courtesy of Liz and her friends at the University of Technology in Lae. http://www.unitech.ac.pg

If you can add to this list then please send email to PNG-News@pnggossip.com


Created 6 Sep 2004
Updated 6 Sep 2004

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