First Person

In Pursuit of Cannibals

In March 1969 Arthur Marks and I arrived at the capital of the Western District of New Guinea located on Daru, a small island off the south coast. Both of us had over ten years’ service. The District Commissioner Ian Holmes asked, “Have either of you got your District Court powers through?” Arthur had just had his gazetted. I was still waiting for mine. “Right. You, Arthur Marks, are now Resident Magistrate, Daru; and you, Rob Barclay, will be Assistant District Commissioner, Nomad. Your job will be to stamp out cannibalism, bring the Biami to heel, and contact any groups…

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