an egalitarian discussion board for ex-kiaps, former colleagues such as didiman, chalkies, polis, ko-ops, dokta and whoever else wants to join in.
It is currently Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:58 am

All times are UTC + 10 hours

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 12:06 pm
Posts: 3
DOSS: 01 Jul 1970
Maria Friend has advised me that Tony passed away at Cairns Private Hospital on Tuesday, 15th August, 2107. He was cremated, in a private ceremony, on Thursday 17th August, 2017.

Tony had been ill for some time and had had a heart operation on 11th July in Brisbane. Sadly, he did not recover his strength after the operation and Maria flew back with him to Cairns in early August.

I first met Tony at the ASOPA course in 1971. There was then a forty year hiatus until we discovered, serendipitously, that we lived not two kilometres from each other in Cairns. We then spent many splendid hours discussing, inter alia, progressive politics on the veranda of his beautiful home overlooking Cairns. Always insightful and knowledgeable, I have been the recipient of both his company and friendship for the last five years.

In recent times, I introduced him to the Tropical Writers organisation where he took to recording his stories of his life in PNG with avidity. Spending many hours honing his burgeoning writing skills he presented these tales to the meetings with his usual infectious enthusiasm.

I shall miss him

Rod Owens.

24.08.2017. Darryl Woodward has asked me to post his comments regarding Tony.

Lots of good memories. Apart from sharing our ASOPA and Boroko training we were both initially posted to the Eastern Highlands, me to Goroka while Tony “volunteered” to reopen Watabung base camp which was at the top of Daulo pass on the Highlands Highway (exit EHP, enter Chimbu). His prime task was traffic accident/compensation issues with a little tribal fighting and frost relief work. I would come across from the Unggai for a chat occasionally and partake in his hospitality (warm SP – no power at Watabung – and his famous curries). He then moved on to another isolated position at Obura and I went to Marawaka just south of Obura. He was building a section south on the Obura/Wonenara road and I was doing the Wonenara/Obura end and I can remember coinciding our patrols in the pristine untouched range that both road projects were aiming for. We shared a bush camp and a bottle of scotch.
We took some leave and walked from Bena to Madang. No patrol boxes just what we could carry. A great walk but on arrival in Madang Tony went straight to hospital with blood poisoning from leech bites. Madang was his old stomping ground from his Burns Philp days so after he was discharged we had a couple of days visiting his old haunts.
A year later we both went back on a magistrates course but Madang had changed.
In 1975 Tony was posted out of the Eastern Highlands to the West Sepik border station Imonda. I had a message from him there that he was bringing a twin otter load of Oksapmin warriors to the Goroka Show and could he get accommodation with me. I met his flight and he had with him two young ladies from the Catholic Mission at Kamberatoro who also needed accommodating. One of these ladies I would later marry.
I had moved from Marawaka to Henganofi and had applied for another Province posting. It turned out to be Imonda too so after a couple of days handover with Tony he exited to Oksapmin. We didn’t catch up apart from the sked but every so often a charter aircraft would turn up with fresh vegetables.
I got married in Vanimo cathedrial in 1976 and three years later asked Tony to be Godfather to our daughter Elizabeth.While we were in Goroka Tony came to stay and introduced us to his new bride, Maria.
After that we lost sight of Tony for a few years – he stayed at Oksapmin and Telefomin and I returned to the Eastern Highlands and then ultimately back to Australia. I still have an unfinished letter to him that I started in the early 80’s – regrettably apart from Christmas cards we lost contact.
Marilyn and I were able to catch him in Cairns a year ago and it was like there hadn’t been an absence of thirty years. It was like yesterday.
A gentleman and a thoroughly nice bloke and a good friend
We will miss him

Daryl and Marilyn Woodward

Greg Harris, from Tony's ASOPA course, has emailed these memories of Tony and she would like them added to this narrative.

Mon 21/08, 10:13 PM


We read of Tony’s passing today from Rod Owens’ posting on the Ex-Kiap web site.

We were sorry to hear the news. We are conscious of the hurt and loss you are probably feeling.

I think you know that Tony and I were on the same course at ASOPA. It was clear during those months that Tony was a gentle, intelligent man, softly-spoken but with resolve. He always seemed to be at peace with himself with no need to present himself as anything other than what he was. That characteristic drew people to him and is an example to me. He seemed to be able to adapt easily to different situations and live in the moment.

His long-standing affinity with the people of PNG was evident in the extended period he spent in Telefomin with you working with the people.

I was glad to have met up with he and you many years after ASOPA. Our meetings in Canberra and Cairns were delightful. I enjoyed the meal he, you and I shared in Cairns in 2015 before attending the performance by Bangarra. He seemed to age well, not looking much different to the man we knew at ASOPA.

We could do with more good men like Tony to walk the earth.

Greg Harris and Helen Preston

Last edited by Rod Owens on Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:55 am 

Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 1:06 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Brisbane, Australia
DOSS: 08 Nov 1965
Deryck Thompson had circularised the passing of Tony Friend to a list of kiaps by way of email. Many of these recipients replied to all the addresses with expressions of condolences. I thought I might post those responses here and hope that I’m not stepping on any toes acting unilaterally.

18/8/17 Deryck Thompson initially wrote:
Hello All

I am passing on the sad news from Maria see below.

Tony travelled to Brisbane about six weeks ago for an operation and returned to Cairns last week end. I have not yet been able to speak with Maria but apparently Tony decided that he did want to burden others with his ill health and so declined visits from old friends in Brisbane and Cairns.

As was typical of life for us all in PNG, Tony has friends scattered around PNG, Australia, and the rest of the world, and we will all mourn his passing in our own way and own time. We here in Cairns were fortunate to be able to catch up with Tony and enjoy his company at our regular XK lunches.

Rod Owens, a course mate of Tony, is putting together a “Last Patrol” for PNGAA and XK and if anyone would like to contribute please let me or Rod know and we will send the draft to you.

Pls let others know.


18/8/17 Graham Watts wrote:
My sincere condolences Maria and thanks Rod and Deryck.

Having only recently been through my own tragedy in Cairns losing my dearest and best friend I can only imagine the pain and loss you must feel.

The PNG community everywhere are the most generous in support and assistance at times like this.

May you treasure the memories of the ones you love and are close to you.


Graham Watts

18/8/17 Mike Press wrote:
Hi all.

Sorry to hear of the passing of a great friend.

For Rod Owens, a humorous situation regarding Tony when he arrived as OIC Oksapmin in 1975. I was DOIC Vanimo when a frustrated A Friend asked me to help convince Steamships Country Orders that he was a real person . I visited Wobbly Bob (Bob Wynands) the Manager of Steamships Grocery and quickly opened a country orders account for Anthony Friend. Problem solved.

18/8/17 Ray Webber wrote:
Condolences to Maria. Tony was a gentleman, and worked with me on a couple of resource projects in PNG .

19/8/17 Chris Warrillow wrote:
Thanks Deryck.

Farewell my good friend - ever since hosting me and my eldest son (Brian), for a couple of days, at Telefomin c.1980.

So sad especially as, looking at the stud book, he must have been at least 12 years younger than I.

Too young with still too much to offer. Sincere condolences to Maria.


19/8/17 Laurie Bragge wrote:
Heart felt condolences for the loss of a true friend.

Laurie Mai and Mailyn

19/8/17 Bob Welsh wrote:
A very sad farewell to Tony my good friend and West Sepik colleague. A gentleman and a fine kiap. Sincere condolences to Maria.

Bob Welsh

21/8/17 Jack Coppinger wrote:
Sad condolences to Maria on Tony’s passing – Tony was in my group of kiaps and participated in many ‘exploits’ at Middle Head in Sydney and then at 4 mile in Boroko, before being dispersed into the wilderness. All of our group were/are good mates.

Kind regards - Jack Coppinger

24/8/17 Mike Milne wrote:
I am sorry to learn of Tony's passing. I had hoped we might catch up with Oksapmin in mind, but it was not to be. My condolences to his loved ones.

Mike Milne

Last edited by Peter Salmon on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:39 am, edited 2 times in total.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:16 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 10:50 am
Posts: 7
Location: Mansfield, Vic
DOSS: 09 Nov 1964
I first met Tony whilst I was posted to Vanimo in 1977. We again met in Wewak after I had moved there with the Dept of Lands, and Tony called to visit shortly after he and Maria had married. I found Tony to be a true gentleman.
I recall vividly an incident near Vanimo in 1977. Mike Press and myself, together with our families and also Ray Lanaghan and Kevin Rigg, used to occasionally go body surfing at Mushu Beach (about 15km west along the coast towards Wutung). On this particular occasion, Tony was visiting Vanimo and came along. The surf was pretty ferocious that day, with quite few "dumpers". Don't think Tony had surfed before, but he seemed to be getting the hang of it, until a particularly big one hit us. The rest of us managed to scramble out after being 'washing machined', but there was no sight of Tony. After what seemed an eternity, we spotted him, - he had been dragged out in the undertow and was about 100 metres further along the beach, and out behind the break, and he appeared to be in a fair bit of distress. A couple of us, having sufficiently recovered from our dumping were about to go to his rescue when he somehow managed to catch a not quite so ferocious wave and make to the beach. He quickly stumbled up the beach and into the bushes where he deposited a considerable quantity of salt water which he had ingested.
Rest in Peace, Tony

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 1:18 pm
Posts: 23
Location: swallowed the anchor now Aroona Sunshine Coast
DOSS: 29 Jun 1971
So sad to hear of Tonys passing. We were on the same course and travelled together to our inital postings but did not catch up again until one of the reunions and then later in Townsville where we met Maria. Tony was great bloke and certainly lived up to his surname. Farewell poroman and deepest sympathy Maria.
Greg and Jan Smith

Greg Smith

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:07 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:29 pm
Posts: 181
DOSS: 01 Jun 1971
Tony and I were good friends as we started in Sydney knowing a couple of beautiful university students
Who came and visited us in PNG and stayed with both of us.Tony was just shy of eighty at his death.
Tony had had a very interesting life,starting from South Africa ,an origin he changed to Rhodesia later to be more politically correct.He had been on ships and rose to purser before coming to Australia and applying for the ASOPA course.He returned to Rhodesia in 1973 where he found disruption and civil
War,he had some money in Rhodesia which had not been able to accompany him to Australia,he changed this into sheets of stamps by touring country post offices and buying complete sheets of Rhodesian lower denominations.He found penny sheets with great age in isolated places.Later he was able to sell these for modest profit.
I was posted to Obura three years after Tony had left.He had built two bridges,one at Tokena to the Habina side ,and one across the Lamari river.These were great achievements as the Lamari valley is denuded of trees they had to be dragged some ten kilometres from high altitude klinki pines.
Jim Sinclair as his last official ceremonial role opened the Lamari bridge.Any photo of Tony and bridge please Jim.Tony later was DOIC Nuku which was my first posting,we caught up stories at Telefomin when I was able to visit him there once, Cont..

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:27 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:29 pm
Posts: 181
DOSS: 01 Jun 1971
Tony became part of Telefomin,staying on for another twenty years.He was always hospitable and helpful and had contact with the most interesting visitors.His Polish anthropologist friends ,Kathys family the Dumbrowskis introduced him to the beautiful Maria who was also an anthropologist .They lived in the mists of Telefomin looking at the towering Feramin dominating the valley.Tony patrolled the Frieda river area on land tenure matters and Maria studied Mianmin women's lives .Greg Smith can you guide me to Tony's writing?
When Tony was uprooted to Australia he continued as an adviser to Kainantu Gold and possibly others,then in later years as liaison for Nautilus mining,which is approaching deep sea mining off New Ireland.He had a beautiful house in Cairns but sadly I never made the verandah.
When I visited him at Telefomin in 1979 we had plenty to talk about,he took me to the men's house at ENKEVIP opposite the sacred klinki pines.Nimkalok,a policeman from Atbalmin was Tony and mines friend as we had both been on patrol with him several times.He moved to Telefomin at the same time as Tony.
Farewell my friend.Maria had to look after her mother in Poland and nursed her,now Tony.All love to you Maria and I think a Telefomin moment will always be in your best reverie.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:13 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:59 am
Posts: 7
DOSS: 29 Jun 1971
I am sorry to hear that Tony has left us - and hello to my many old friends too.

Tony had the force of a strong but quiet presence. I liked him immensely

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:49 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:35 am
Posts: 206
DOSS: 29 Jun 1971
Una Voca Vale to Tony

UNA VOCE.pdf [123.39 KiB]
Downloaded 394 times

Bogia, Saidor, Tari, Komo, Tari
PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 7:54 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:04 am
Posts: 15
Location: Albury, NSW
DOSS: 01 Mar 1971
RIP Tony, he attended my pre 21st in Sydney before we left together for Port Moresby after ASOPA in 1971. A good man and a sad loss.

Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 10 hours

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group