EX-KIAP NETWORK FORUM

an egalitarian discussion board for ex-kiaps, former colleagues such as didiman, chalkies, polis, ko-ops, dokta and whoever else wants to join in.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:30 pm
Posts: 23
Location: Valla NSW
DOSS: 24 Aug 1970
Martin:
I have just seen your post of 13 October 2014. When I was PO at Palakau in 1972-73, locals told me the 'mother of all crocs', which had strong totemic significance, was shot by a visiting kiap, not a police inspector. He is said to have attracted the croc by tying up a dog in the mangroves not far from the wharf. The rest of the story was the same as you tell it.
Cheers,
Tony


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:36 am
Posts: 13
Location: Toowoomba
DOSS: 11 Nov 1965
Tony, I think that kiap was me. I was OIC Palakau 1967/8. A croc took one child from the mission wharf and I was asked to help. Had the beast in my sites and Bruno Kroenig steamed up the bay for a beer. Croc disappeared. I later set up a dead pig as a lure near the mangroves, then one dead croc. Nothing was mentioned about religious significance. They were happy the great beast was gone. Hope this helps
Bill Parsons


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:32 pm 
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Location: Valla NSW
DOSS: 24 Aug 1970
Bill:

I did hear that one of my predecessors had to shoot a croc in the late 60s after it took a child near the SDA mission across the bay from Palakau. That attack was said by a couple of locals (also Bruno Kroening, Bill Busch of the Theresa May, and another of my predecessors) to be the excuse a visiting kiap used a couple of years later to shoot a much bigger croc when his real motive was to take the skin for sale, which pissed off the locals. That story may be unfair to him. Surely no kiap was so mercenary? Well, I suppose I should confess to making a few bucks by supplying crayfish to Bill Busch for him to sell in Rabaul when he had a full freezer and so needed to take the Theresa May there for maintenance. I could name the visitor whom Bill called The Great White Hunter but I'm too discreet to do such a thing because the story might be apocryphal. Did the locals chop up the skin of the croc you shot?

Cheers,
Tony


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 9:36 am
Posts: 13
Location: Toowoomba
DOSS: 11 Nov 1965
Tony, I never saw the skin on or off mine. The locals were overjoyed and I just left the stiff with them.
I also supplied Bill Busch with frozen cray tails, I think it was to ensure that he didn't forget my supplies on the next trip. He had a good thing going there.
Cheers
Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:41 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 12:30 pm
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Location: Valla NSW
DOSS: 24 Aug 1970
Bill:
I know what you mean by Bill Busch forgetting to bring supplies and mail. This might happen after he had a brawl with Mert Brightwell or someone else at the District Office in Kavieng. He would retaliate indirectly. At one point my wife and I had not received mail for almost three months. When I met the Theresa May at the Palakau wharf he said there was no mail because it had not been delivered on board and he had told Mert (I think) it was not his job to make sure it was there, let alone collect it. He was taken aback to hear my opinion that he was petty and selfish, and was genuinely shocked when the usual dinner invitation from my wife was withdrawn. I found out a few days later that he had managed to bring mail for Bruno Kroening and the SDA mission. When Bruno found out he was embarrassed and pissed off, which matched the nature of the man.

Bill was not over-endowed with what we now call empathy but was almost always good-natured under the brusque veneer. I got on well with him and he adored my wife; but sometimes I wondered if he lived too much in the past and thought he was captain of the Bismarck rather than the Theresa May (about 90 tons, I think). He did not seem to think anyone in PNG was qualified to tell him what to do. He tried to convince me that all kiaps were useless apart from me and Rod Saker. It was weird to hear him in the early hours, on the overnight trip from Kavieng, as he sat alone in the galley, pounding the table as he made strident, familiar-sounding speeches that I could not understand because they were in German. He sang marching songs rather well.

Cheers,
Tony


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:22 pm 
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Location: Toowoomba
DOSS: 11 Nov 1965
Tony, I have often wondered - did the Palakau wharf ever get finished,and the road over the hill alongside the mission? I remember building the council chambers, water tanks and the house kiap haus wind and several miles of road. Rod Saker took over from me when I went into the army. Curious about what happened.
Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:16 pm 
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Location: Valla NSW
DOSS: 24 Aug 1970
Bill:

There was a small but adequate wharf when I arrived, so maybe it was upgraded by Rod or someone else before me. I doubt that any significant road work was done between your stint and mine, but I heard a few years later (when I was a DO in the Gilberts) that a mining exploration company had done a bit of roadwork to the west of Palakau. I was not asked to extend any existing roads but did some maintenance work on what you had built. It was difficult to get the council to cooperate and I used to wonder if the mission had a hand in that (which was certainly the case on Abemama in the Gilberts, where the Catholic and SDA missions had built up a lot of power in a very remote place and did not want to risk losing any of it).

There had been an unsuccessful attempt to build an airstrip behind the kiap house. Again, I heard (from Bruno?) when I was in the Gilberts that a mining company was attempting to make it operational.

The house you built ('haus win' is spot on) must have had the best view in PNG. Bruno Kroening and Hanna spent many weekends there with us.

Tony


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:29 pm
Posts: 155
DOSS: 01 Jun 1971
Oops,great to hear from other Palakau officers.Bruno and Hannah were under the gun to leave Kaleu Island 1978.
The lease had expired and since it was in anothers name had to be readvertised with trad. owners as applicants.
Stan Strahn had the timber lease and there were many roads and the promise of Stan was that he would bulldoze a road around the island.The road from Palakau went to the end of Katelusae village and further west ran into a 4metre koronas wall.The people breached this wall for the bulldozer access and then had a land dispute.After I left I was told that the road did encir cle the island.
You could also drive to Talanalu plantation through Roitano along the coast,Lamakanaru had more excavation but incomplete
road.The councillor Sevis was a particularly likeable man and I regarded him WES and Peter as my friends.

I always wondered about the airstrip at Loverang being used for smuggling but none other than SDA planes touched down while
I was there.1978.I was priveleged to visit Tench Is. on the Theresa May,whilst I went ashore in the dinghy the Theresa may slowly
circled trolling,100 fish at least.What a tight bunch of people living on virtually a football field in the heaving ocean.You watched the swells pass by as if you are on a boat,Tench!

The airstrip was built on Eloua island and when I visited the airstrip I used the workboat Auna,ex shit hauler from Arawa.
You guys did not have your own workboat,thanks to Lovett for campaigning for one.


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