Home Invasions and the Opened Door

gem robIt was between mid and end January in 1980. My first child was three months old. It was in the early hours. I was in bed with my wife; my daughter in her crib. I lived in Tokarara, a suburb of Port Moresby. My street was a cul-de-sac, which ended in dense bush. All of the other houses were occupied by Paua New Guinean families. Probably, the father in each household was a senior public servant, as was I in the Department of Finance.

All of the houses were single-standing, quite large fibro cement structures on stilts, with louvered windows. I awoke to a racket next door. I walked to the living area and peered out of a window.

The lights were all on in the house and I could see plainly the family cowering at one end in a bedroom. Six or seven members (I can’t be sure exactly) of a so-called “rascal gang” were milling around inside the house.

One of their number broke off and ran to my house. He had a large-blade panga knife and began hacking through the wall. He was sweating profusely and shaking. The phone lines which ran under the house had been cut. No mobile phones in those days folks.

My wife was now up and I told her to put water on the stove. Throw boiling water on the bastards, I thought. I kid you not, Quasimodo (played by Charles Laughton in the movie) came to mind.

I was looking down through a louvered window, only three feet or so from his face. “Fuck-off, you black bastard!” I shouted forcefully without the least tremor. Miracles happen. He ran way shouting “White bastards!” Evidently, I surmise, the intimidatory power of being white in PNG was not yet gone. The police eventually arrived, long after the rascals had skedaddled. I am not sure how they were alerted to what had happened. The people next door went back to their village, leaving their house vacant.

My spurt of courage — or adrenalin flow, or whatever it was — had evaporated by the time daylight broke through. I was badly shaken. I was certainly not brave enough to spend another night in the house and moved my family into a hotel. I stayed there until the government found us a safer house in a secure compound. And, by the way, I can say that I was personally supported by Mekere Morauta, then secretary of the Department of Finance, later to become prime minister, when some penny-pinchers in the department balked at paying my hotel bills.

Home invasions are alien to Australians. Being burgled is one thing. This has surely happened to us all – to me on four occasions. The lady I purchased my present apartment from warned me about keeping my bedroom window open, which is not too far from the ground and has a handy thief-friendly ledge just below it. Once, she said, she was sitting in the lounge room in her dressing gown when an intending thief appeared out of the bedroom door. As soon as he saw her he bolted. Quite right, too. He was an incompetent burglar, not a home invader. The difference is huge.

Home invasions are “un-Australian.” And I use the term, John Howard-style, without in the least cringing. Unfortunately, it appears that some migrants and their children are not in tune with these Australian values. There is an option. It is to go back home. We don’t want and should never accept home invasions becoming a feature of the landscape.

In the latest home invasion in Melbourne, in early January, a woman was hit across the face and forced to sit in her front room while a dozen men of “African appearance” ransacked her house. I was badly shaken, as I’ve said, when home invaders failed to get in. Can you imagine just how terrified she must have been and how much this may affect her peace of mind in the future. And also, to some significant extent, the peace of mind of families living in the vicinity of Sudanese migrants. (editor’s note: The victim of that particular assault recounted the outrage to 3AW. The audio can be heard here.)

Quite simply, if people break into you home while you are there you have no idea what they might do. It is a cowardly, disgusting and despicable act.

I am I migrant. I know what a privilege it is to live in Australia. You would think, wouldn’t you, that refugees would be especially grateful.

The political class has conspired, without any popular say-so, to bring in refugees and migrants holding clashing cultural values. This defies understanding even in this politically-correct age. But if politician have failed us abysmally in this, as they most surely have, they should not be given any leeway if they allow gangs of Sudanese, either migrants or their children, to run wild. It should be stopped in its tracks by deporting those involved and, as applicable, their parents and siblings. It would need only a few cases to have a salutary effect.

Will politicians act? Looking at our current crop of weak-kneed Australian politicians it seems highly unlikely. As it stands, they and their forbears over recent decades have utterly failed to put the harmony and safety of our society uppermost. ‘Bollards’ should become a term of abuse directed at them.

Some things we have to handle internally. Home-grown criminals, for example. Why in the world should we put up, for one second, with refugees or their offspring creating mayhem on the streets. Already, I am reading about the need to provide additional taxpayer support to prevent Sudanese youths going feral. This is like the whole loopy business of deradicalization programs for Muslim youths – to try to prevent them beheading us, apparently.

When did our politicians first go mad? When did they begin to think it was their job to solve the problems of other countries. Exactly what problem did Australia have that importing twenty thousand Sudanese refugees could solve? The rot set in after Menzies. Of course, it was a general malady among the political class worldwide. Enoch Powell nailed it in 1968. God knows what he would think now.

Globalism, starring multiculturalism and diversity, is an apt blurb for the malodorous movie in which we as citizens have bit parts. The plot: throw us to the wolves to save the world. And this, disastrously, includes bringing in people from societies which have singularly failed to make progress and yet who wish to bring their own grossly inferior standards, values and cultures with them.

  • brian.doak@bigpond.com

    Reading this scary analysis Peter makes me pleased to be not living on the mean streets of Port Moresby or on any street in Melbourne. Refugees are difficult to integrate because they seem not to be assessed on any level for compatibility.How doltish was the government to increase the humanitarian intake from 12 000 to 20 000 pa.

    The Coalition are on track to lose the next election unless they agree to enter into a broader coalition with One Nation and have a more sensible immigration and refugee policy. Tony Abbott could not lead this broader coalition as he once, in misdirected zeal, was mainly responsible for the jailing of Pauline Hanson. Also, his seminary training would make it difficult for him to reduce refugee numbers and when interrogated on ABC TV he never seemed to remember to ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you'[James 4:7].

  • Julian

    Blame the right-wing economists who think in terms of non-discriminatory immigration-led profit and not in terms of assimilation, culture, (long term) societal health, etc. (As these people are now ‘Australian Citizens’ we are stuck with this problem) and blame the naive and idiotic and hypocritical Leftist multi-culturalists who support and enable it.

    Vanstone and the other Howard, Keating – era etc immigration ministers have a lot to answer for, and people, like Kevin Andrews, and Enoch Powell in the British case, have been long since vindicated. What a god damn joke of a society and economy this place now is (and mind you, you wouldn’t know it by reading Fairfax (Lefter by the day), the Herald Sun or the Daily T (Right, but idiotic) nor the ABC. The Australia is about the only place (along with this here fine publication of Quadrant) that talks sensibly about these things. Plus, Mark Steyn, Douglas Murray etc o/s.

  • en passant

    I lived in Port Moresby for three years after independence, just as it was starting to go bad. The benevolence of colonial administration had given way to Whitlam’s drive for PC righteousness. How dare we stop the tribesmen from leaving their villages and infesting shanty towns on the outskirts of Port Moresby where the only income was by theft. As the competition for the goods of others grew, so did the violence to obtain it. Oh, and it is their human right to have beer – PNG being almost the only society that had never discovered alcohol in any quantity. Within 3-years alcoholism was a serious problem – as was the violence it generated.

    If you were a member of the Boroko Tennis Club we may have met. The following may amuse you:

    “Due to an increase in thefts from cars in the car park the tennis club had hired local security guards to patrol the car park and the club house where people could leave their personal belongings and wallets while they were on the tennis court. With such security, what could happen? Anyway, two of the local ‘raskols’ had penetrated the ‘security’ grabbed some wallets and made a run for it – right past me! The leading raskol was waving a wooden club, but I caught him across the face with a perfect top-spin forehand from my racket. He went down so naturally jumped on him (as one does) and started punching him to make the point that the score was 6–0 in my favour. Unfortunately, he had his fellow thief and three of his friends waiting at the gate who now rushed to his aid. The depressingly surprising part of this tale is that not one club member came to my aid, yet several of the men were in the military. However, my blood was up so I refused to let my prey go and took them all on. There was a running fight out of the club and down the street where I finally knocked one out in the middle of the road. The locals love fights so I was soon surrounded by 200+ spectators who often felt the need to get involved on one side or the other (or sometimes no side at all as they now started fighting among themselves along tribal clan lines). It was obvious to me that no help was forthcoming and I was tiring so I launched one last attack. Bad call! I was kicked in the groin (fortunately missing vital parts of my anatomy, but bursting a blood vessel) and my up-close-and-personal combat resulted in a deep scratch from a long fingernail on the back of my neck as I gave one of them a ‘Glasgow-kiss’ (a resounding head butt in the face {preferably on the nose}) that caused him to fall down and go to sleep. After this I walked away, honour satisfied, but fuming over the lack of support I had received. The next fight nearly started when a young, fit club member met me with “I was just about to come and help you, but …” I cannot remember my exact words to him but he did not dispute my description of him as an abject coward or his lack of any traceable parentage.”

    This is what we have deliberately infected ourselves with, yet it was inevitable from the moment the prat pair, Bono and Geldoff saved enough barbarians so that they could grow up and beget more starving barbarians. The link to Kevin Myers article that identified the problem was taken down after he was successfully prosecuted for expressing his views. Fortunately I copied it so, although it is long, I recommend you read an point out the errors to Daniel Andrews and the rest of the ‘Open Borders’ fools …

    Quite a long read but very much to the point:

    In July 2008, Irish journalist and writer Kevin Myers wrote an article arguing that providing aid to Africa only results in increasing its population, and its problems.
    This is the report by Kevin Myers which appeared in The Irish Independent:
    ‘Somalia is not a humanitarian disaster; it is an evolutionary disaster. The current drought is not the worst in 50 years, as the BBC, and all the aid organisations claim. It is nothing compared to the droughts in 1960/61 or73/74. And there are continuing droughts every 5 years or so. It’s just that there are now four times the population; having been kept alive by famine relief, supplied by aid organisations, over the past 50 years. So, of course, the effects of any drought now, is a famine. They cannot even feed themselves in a normal rainfall year.
    Worst yet, the effects of these droughts, and poor nutrition in the first 3 years of the a child’s life, have a lasting effect on the development of the infant brain, so that if they survive, they will never achieve a normal IQ. Consequently, they are selectively breeding a population, who cannot be educated , let alone one that is not being educated; a recipe for disaster.
    We are seeing this impact now, and it can only exacerbate, to the detriment of their neighbours, and their environment as well. This scenario can only end in an even worse disaster; with even worse suffering, for those benighted people, and their descendants.
    Eventually, some mechanism will intervene, be it war, disease or starvation.
    So what do we do? Let them starve?
    What a dilemma for our Judeo/ Christian/Islamic Ethos; as well as Hindu/Buddhist morality.
    And this is beginning to happen in Kenya, Ethiopia, and other countries in Asia, like Pakistan.
    Is this the beginning of the end of civilisation?
    AFRICA is giving nothing to anyone outside Africa — apart from AIDS and new diseases on a regular cycle.
    Even as we see African states refusing to take action to restore something resembling civilisation in Zimbabwe, the Begging bowl for Ethiopia is being passed around to us out of Africa, yet again.
    It is nearly 25 years since the famous Feed The World campaign began in Ethiopia, and in that time Ethiopia’s population has grown from 33.5 million to 78+ million today.
    So, why on earth should I do anything to encourage further catastrophic demographic growth in that country?
    Where is the logic? There is none.
    To be sure, there are two things saying that logic doesn’t count. One is my conscience, and the other is the picture, yet again, of another wide-eyed child, yet again, gazing, yet again, at the camera, which yet again, captures the tragedy of children starving.
    Sorry. My conscience has toured this territory on foot and financially.
    Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there.
    The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a low IQ, AK 47-bearing moron, siring children whenever the whim takes him, and blaming the world because he is uneducated, poor and left behind.
    There is no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this predatory and dysfunctional economic, social and sexual system; but I do not know what it is. There is, on the other hand, every reason not to write a column like this.
    It will win no friends, and will provoke the self-righteous wrath of, well, the self-righteous, hand-wringing, letter-writing wrathful individuals, a species which never fails to contaminate almost every debate in Irish life with its sneers and its moral superiority. It will also probably enrage some of the finest men in Irish life, like John O’Shea, of Goal; and the Finucane brothers, men whom I admire enormously. So be it.
    But, please, please, you self-righteously wrathful, spare me mention of our own Irish Famine, with this or that lazy analogy. There is no comparison. Within 20 years of the Famine, the Irish population was down by 30%. Over the equivalent period, thanks to western food, the Mercedes 10-wheel truck and the Lockheed Hercules planes, Ethiopia’s population has more than doubled.
    Alas, that wretched country is not alone in its madness. Somewhere, over the rainbow, lies Somalia, another fine land of violent, AK 47-toting, khat-chewing, girl-circumcising, permanently-tumescent layabouts, and housing pirates of the ocean.
    Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually-hyperactive, illiterate indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive because of help from the outside world or allowances by the semi communist Governments they voted for, money supplied by lending it from the World Bank!!!
    This dependency has not stimulated political prudence or commonsense. Indeed, voodoo idiocy seems to be in the ascendant, with the president of South Africa being a firm believer in the efficacy of a little tap water on the post-coital penis as a sure preventative against AIDS infection.
    Needless to say, poverty, hunger and societal meltdown have not prevented idiotic wars involving Tigre, Uganda, Congo, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, et cetera.
    Broad brush-strokes, to be sure. But broad brush-strokes are often the way that history paints its gaudier, if more decisive, chapters. Japan, China, Russia, Korea, Poland, Germany, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the 20th century have endured worse broad brush-strokes than almost any part of Africa.
    They are now — one way or another — virtually all giving aid to or investing in Africa, whereas Africa, with its vast savannahs and its lush pastures, is giving almost nothing to anyone, apart from AIDS.
    Meanwhile, Africa’s peoples are outstripping their resources, and causing catastrophic ecological degradation. By 2050, the population of Ethiopia will be 177 million; the equivalent of France, Germany and Benelux today, but located on the parched and increasingly Protein-free wastelands of the Great Rift Valley.
    So, how much sense does it make for us actively to increase the adult population of what is already a vastly over-populated, environmentally devastated and economically dependent country?
    How much morality is there in saving an Ethiopian child from starvation today, for it to survive to a life of brutal circumcision, poverty, hunger, violence and sexual abuse, resulting in another half-dozen such wide-eyed children, with comparably jolly little lives ahead of them? Of course, it might make you feel better, which is a prime reason for so much charity!
    But that is not good enough. For self-serving generosity has been one of the curses of Africa. It has sustained political systems which would otherwise have collapsed.
    It prolonged the Eritrean-Ethiopian war by nearly a decade. It is inspiring Bill Gates’ programme to rid the continent of malaria, when, in the almost complete absence of personal self-discipline, that disease is one of the most efficacious forms of population-control now operating. If his programme is successful, tens of millions of children who would otherwise have died in infancy will survive to adulthood, he boasts.
    Oh good: then what? I know, let them all come here (to Ireland) or America. (not forgetting Australia!)
    Yes, now that’s an idea.’

    • whitelaughter

      Population density of Africa: 87 per square K.
      Population density of Europe: 188
      Population density of Asia: 246

      Africa is not overpopulated – quite the opposite. In fact, a logical solution to Africa’s problems would be to actively import Europeans and Asians to civilize the place.

      Africa’s problems are not new: I was introduced to Churchill’s “The River War” on Quadrant – one thing he did in the book was calculate the slaughter the Mahdi inflicted on the Sudan, and using the conscription figures (since ever adult male was required to serve) to prove that 90% of the population had been killed during the Islamic reign of terror.

      The one current problem that Europe did inflict on Africa was the land borders – since they follow the borders of the old colonies, they carve straight through the natural tribes, creating fractured failed states. Fixing that would be productive, though not as important as stomping on Islam.

      • padraic

        Going back to the traditional tribal land borders has its problems as post-independence governments inherited modern-type economic units under which paradigm the whole country could be financially dependent on only one region populated by a specific ethnic group. If they split into pre-colonial boundaries one group would have everything while the others would have nothing after the carve up. The Congo (Zaire) was a good example – Katanga had all the wealth which was allegedly used to benefit the whole country. If Katanga seceded into its ethnic boundaries the Congo would have become even a bigger basket case that it currently is.

        • whitelaughter

          You make good points padraic: but unless we begin this conversation *now*, these considerations will not be taken into account, and one mess replaced with another.
          So, to get the ball rolling – *would* Katanga seceding be a bad thing? Or would it have the chance to create a workable state? Because if the rest of the Congo is dragging them down, giving them the chance to break free will solve part of the problem, and tribal rivalries would encourage the other tribes to try and catch up.

          • padraic

            That was also my original position, white laughter – going back to the original ethnic boundaries. I felt it would stop the inter-ethnic tensions that plague the continent today. In many ways it is similar to the ethnic tensions in Europe in the last century. But the reality is that in some defined traditional tribal areas there are no assets capable of producing enough income adequate to run a modern nation state. It may have been OK in pre-colonial days solely with a subsistence economy, but no-one in Africa wants to go back there. Places like Tonga in the Pacific, with a small population, face the same dilemma.

          • whitelaughter

            OK then: do these areas *need* to be inhabited? We have a very nice nation while ignoring 2/3rds of the country. Asia has multiple civilizations while largely ignoring the steppes; can Africa do the same?

    • paul.mabarrack@gmail.com

      I lived in Tokara, in that same street, from about 1975 to 1978. I was single fortunately…only myself to protect.

      I also recall a gang trying to smash through my door, and then another trying to break through the fibro walls. I managed to scare them off with a loud voice and much abuse. By then many of us had used steel or timber to re-inforce the gaps in the frames they would enter though.

      There were a few times when they did get in, but luckily I was not at home. My earthly belongings shrank each time to the bare essentials. But I still miss those light tan boots..I often imagined them crammed with plate sized raskol feet in some village near Hagen.

      But I loved my time there, and formed great friendships with many local people…but have never been able to go back to see the ruin of the place. Now that would break my heart.

      We must speak plainly about all this stuff, as these pages show. Only then do we have a chance of protecting our own way of life..if that is still possible.

  • Keith Kennelly

    I say let’s encourage multi culturalism in AfricA.

    Let’s make to compulsory for all those Who support multiculturalism and socialism to Africa to progressive minded Africans towards the progressive multi cultural ideals.

    That would work.

    We would see a very quick conversion from multiculturalism and left wing attitudes here. No one would volunteer for such a suicide mission.

    • whitelaughter

      Actually, we’d get more than a few volunteers – you’d be amazed at how many people believe their own propaganda. And the results could be worth it; if 5 SJWs are murdered/raped to ensure one child is taught to read and write, then we win 6 times.

      I’ve thought for a while that for white collar crimes, we should ship the criminal to a 3rd world country and not let them back until they’ve taught X children to read; this is broadening that idea.

  • ianl

    > “The plot: throw us to the wolves to save the world”

    Agreed. And this is the core of noble cause corruption. The end result is so noble that the means matter not at all – sacrifice (of other, unwilling, people) is required and matters not.

    As noted in earlier threads, I find this genuinely scary as there is no control over it. Migrating someplace else is the only practical response.

    • en passant

      “Migrating someplace else is the only practical response.” I did that and it was the best move I have ever made – though initially with some trepidation. My only regret is that our children still see Oz as their only home.

      • ianl

        Yes, as you’ve said. I found it quite difficult to choose a country, given my requirements of widespread use of English, sensible taxation and *no* tropics. Added to this is the fact that I’m older now so the compromise needed has too long a timeframe.

        • en passant

          Go live in the Highlands. I love Dalat with its 2,000 colonial French chateaus and great vineyards, cool weather and spectacular mountain scenery.

  • padraic

    You handled the situation well, Peter, as any normal man would, wanting to protect himself and his family. I wonder how one of the types so accurately described by Jodie in a recent posting would have reacted. You can just visualize one of them in Melbourne being pinned to the ground by wide-eyed violent druggie high on meth about to slit his throat with a big knife. What thoughts flash through his self-esteemed brain about his attacker – “Perhaps his mother didn’t love him” – “He probably comes from an underprivileged background in an underprivileged suburb where there are no cafes selling smashed avocado on toast” – “I deserve it because it’s all my fault because I am an ageing, white, anglo-celtic member of the oppressor capitalist imperialist sexist various phobic ruling class”. – “He has mental health issues” – “He was called ‘Big Nose’ in Grade 4 by some school bullies” — You have to wonder what makes some of these people tick.

    • Keith Kennelly

      No Padric

      My experience is that people without solid foundation, such as bullies or superior class types, rarely have the guts to fight back.

      They simply go limp and give up, and plead for mercy, as they meekly accept their fate.

  • mburke@pcug.org.au

    Like Peter and en passant, I spent four years in the then Territory of Papua New Guinea, mostly in the bush, but with a whole year in Port Moresby. Even before self-government and the Whitlam phenomenon, Port Moresby was virtually unique in the Territory as a very dangerous place for Europeans. Elsewhere, we were probably safer than we would have been in any Australian city. Even in Moresby, if you followed the well-known precautions, eg avoid walking anywhere after dark, stay away from well-known no-go areas, etc, there was very little risk. Break those rules, and you would quickly attract the temder mercies of the “raskol” element.

    One infamous incident occurred in 1966 or thereabouts. A young Australian man and his fiancée were to be married in a couple of days, and his fiancée and her parents had arrived earlier that morning from Australia. Behind Konedobu, the government administrative headquarters of the Territory, there is a mountain on top of which were various aviation navigation aids. These were accessible by an access road, and the view from the top was spectacular, particularly at sunset. At the foot of the mountain on the Konedobu side there was a shantytown with large numbers of mainly young unemployed men who had come to Moresby from all over looking for work. Our friend broke one of the rules and took his fiancée up the mountain at sunset. A bunch of “raskols” ambushed them, pack raped the woman and beat the young man literally to within an inch of his life. He went for a lengthy stay in hospital while his fiancée and her family were on the next plane South.

    An acquaintance – a patrol officer who should have known better – took his girlfriend, a Papuan girl from a local village, to the drive-in movies then located on the old war-time airfield Ward Strip, near where the University now stands. After the movies he drove around the warren of old taxiways and revetments looking for somewhere to park out. He got lost, the car bogged or stalled, and he was stranded. A group of young native men offered to help him. He was beaten badly enough to be hospitalised and his girlfriend was pack-raped.

    In Rabaul, where I had spent six months a year or so earlier, a lone European could walk after dark through virtually the entire town with nothing more alarming than a cheerful “Goodnight, Masta” from passing native people who were virtually nothing more than shadowy figures in the dark.
    In the village where I lived for two years, about 200 km from Moresby, I literally never locked a door. I went home to Australia on long leave (3 months) leaving all my worldly possessions and returned to find that the only change was that fitted, wall-to-wall woven palm-leaf matting had been laid throughout by the village women. No charge.

    There were many factors contributing to the current problems, but probably the main factor is tribalism, as it is, I believe, throughout Africa and the Middle East. It was while I was there in the early-mid 60s that the UN Trusteeship Council worked its evil ways. Acting on the recommendations (read demands) of that Council, the Australian Territorial Administration changed the emphasis from education to infrastructure. Roads and bridges trumped schools to the extent that sbools ran out of chalk. The UNTC couldn’t have cared less that the people were not ready for self-government let alone independence, and they completely ignored the African decolonisation experience which effectively handed control to petty tribal chieftains, and would inevitably do so in PNG at its current stage of development.

    All this was manna from heaven for Gough Whitlam and the Labor Opposition. A couple of years after I left PNG, I was in the RAAF as an air traffic controller. Whitlam, during a visit to PNG not long before the election that brought him to power, made a statement promising independence. This was highly controversial at the time, so there was massive media interest on his return. Hordes of print and electronic media besieged the passenger terminal at the eastern end of Richmond Air Force. To avoid this prees pack, we were directed to park Whitlam’s VIP plane closer to the western end, near the control tower. He and his wife were then whisked away by the Base hierarchy and entertained for a couple of hours in the Officers’ Mess. When the media pack dissipated, his white taxi took him out the base back gate and home to Cabramatta. I never had much respect for Whitlam, but I had none whatsoever after his stupidity in PNG and his cowardice on his return. Of course, he had no problem at all trumping even that level of bastardry when he abandoned our Vietnamese locally-employed embassy staff to their fate when we withdrew from Vietnam.

    • ianl

      > “Whitlam, during a visit to PNG not long before the election that brought him to power, made a statement promising independence”

      I was working in Mendi, Southern Highlands, in 1969 when John Grey Gorton made his famous visit there as Aus PM promising the highlanders that independence would be postponed till they were ready. One of the most interesting days of my life – the sort of day that just tumultuously unfolded, no amount of planning or organising could possibly predict it.

      • en passant

        It appears that many of us are members of the ‘Black Hand Gang’. I worked mainly in PoM, but also in Wewak and visited Hagen, Goroka, Lae, Manus [wonderful place!], Kokoda [and walked the trail], Rabaul + various sojourns patrolling and exploring the mountain tracks, though I never made it to Wau.

        I was married in Koki Market Lutheran Church in 1976.

        Doubting Thomas,
        This was my experience of the ‘Great Whitlam’:

        ‘I contacted the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra and was given the news that the Australian Embassy in Sai Gon was to close on ANZAC Day, Friday, 25th April, (surely an unfortunate coincidence as ANZAC Day is the most revered day in Australia). Mention should be made that Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, who was visiting Machu Picchu in Peru at the time, had personally given orders that the embassy furniture was to be saved, but not the Vietnamese employees who had faithfully served Australia for years. Whitlam saw the local employees as ‘anti-‘his socialist principles, so he ordered that they should not be evacuated. Gough Whitlam was just another despicable and incredibly egotistical politician who ran a shambles of a ruinous government. He was sacked for good reason, yet he remains revered by the Left-wing of the political spectrum. That same year his policies also condemned the East Timorese to 30 years of murder and oppression by Indonesia (with as many as 200,000 dead before they gained their independence). To cap it all off he splintered the nation and almost ruined the Australian economy. There are few polite words that would do him justice – and none of them would come from me.’

  • mburke@pcug.org.au

    En passant, no doubt the Army has its fund of anecdotes about the disgraceful behaviour of Australia’s feral political class, but it’s the RAAF that operates the VIP Squadron. Two blokes who worked with me for a couple of years had previously been aircrew in the VIP Squadron and could reel off hour after hour of stories which would destroy any remaining illusions any True Believers might still cling to should they assemble these yarns into a book. Rudd’s infamous abuse of the RAAF female flight attendant was perhaps at the extreme end of the behavioural spectrum, but consistent with the norm. As for the Whitlam Vietnam withdrawal incident, my then next-door neighbour was senior officer in the C130 detachment tasked to evacuate the Embassy. He was present while the Ambassador pleaded with Whitlam for his local staff to no avail. There were many tales circulating about the recovery of the Embassy’s furniture. If only half of them are true, the mind boggles. The main perpetrator of the heist is still alive, so enough said.

  • en passant

    Doubting Thomas,
    I worked with a former pilot from the VIP flight, so I know many of the tales – including senior pollies (and an Oz Governor) taking both leftover and unopened wine bottles …

    Fortunately we have a better class of pollie fool as our masters today …

  • Doc S

    The experiences of those of us who lived &/or worked in PNG before independence provides some excellent anecdotes. I lived there as a pre-teen in the late 60s to early 70s – looking back a real ‘boy’s own’ adventure – and also had a number of pretty close calls. I lived in Murray Barracks outside of Moresby and one night I was home alone (babysitting my then baby sister) and listening to my favourite ‘Around the Horn’ on the radio (no TV in those days) when I heard the noise of a number of men in the garden next to the house. The house was on piers with louvers around head and shoulders height for the average adult and looking through the louvers was one of the gang outside the house while his companions went around the back to look for access via the stairs. Scared as hell but pretended not to notice and walked over to my parent’s bedroom cupboard and screened by the cupboard door, took out an ancient Belgian Liege single barrel shotgun. I stepped out, cocked back the hammer and yelled ‘u na rousim’ at the now very wide pair of bloodshot eyes outside. He yelled something to his mates and they ran off. I was about ten years old at the time and bloody terrified – but the rascals weren’t to know the shotty was u/s – the breech worked but the firing pin had been filed off! I was taught you had to stand up to a threat – or you’d be the victim! I rang the MPs and a jeep screamed past our place in what seemed like no time.

    The problem then was that despite even a fenced and patrolled compound like Murray Barracks was still no protection from marauding would-be thieves etc. They were nearly all were outsiders not locals. Some were ‘wontalks’ of the hausbois employed by most families there and were constantly being weeded out and either incarcerated or deported back to wherever they came from. Strikes me that given the present crime wave there Victoria could benefit from a deportation or two.

    Interestingly my father, a former Pacific Islands regt. officer, also has a few choice recollections of visiting politicians and in particular one Gough Whitlam. He does not remember Gough’s visit too fondly.

    • mburke@pcug.org.au

      The “wantok” problem was chronic throughout Moresby with “houseboys” being forced to accomodate relatives and to rely on their employers to get rid of their unwanted “guests”. They themselves were culturally inhibited from evicting these leeches because their relatives back in the village would suffer payback for any perceived lack of hospitality. It is merely one of the many facets of tribalism that may serve a useful purpose in primitive societies but which are less desirable in modern societies. I “went finish” in early 1967 before things got really bad and have had no desire to return.

  • DG

    Ah, pining for an Adler shottie. More bang than the ol’ Purdey, even if not as pretty.

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