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 Post subject: Des Martin
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:01 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 9:53 am
Posts: 807
Location: Boonah, Queensland
DOSS: 30 Jun 1969
I have just received the message below:

Hello. Chris Martin and Shandra Coppard here, son and daughter of Des Martin.

We are sending this advice of dad’s death to those on dad’s email contact list. We would be grateful if addressees could inform anyone who might have known dad.

Dad passed away peacefully at the Buderim Private Hospital this morning at 6am, 1 February 2018, after battling a relapse of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma he developed in 2016. He was 92 years of age.

Shan and I were with dad while he was in hospital and are deeply grateful to Dr Shavaksha and the nursing staff who ensured his comfort to the end.

Dad had a great life. He enjoyed a wonderful and loving marriage to Pam (deceased), our mother and the love of his children and grandchildren, son and daughter in law.

His formative experiences were as a young soldier in PNG during WW2, then with the fraternity of Kiaps in Papua New Guinea and subsequently with his colleagues and in ASIO. He had a deep respect for the men and women who shared his journey and the friends he made during his life.

Mum and dad moved from Canberra to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland in the mid 1980s and enjoyed their retirement there.

Dad faced the end of his life with the strength of character he showed during his life, with calm and composure. One of his greatest gifts to us was to love and respect our mum, Pam with whom he is now reunited for eternity.

Daresay he will be having a few words with the man upstairs who took him earlier than he wanted.

Private funerary arrangements have been arranged in accordance with dad’s wishes.

Rest in Peace Dad

Shan and I are deeply grateful to those who maintained contact with dad over the years and particularly while he was in hospital during his last days. It gave him strength.

Kind Regards

Chris Martin and Shandra Coppard

_________________
Pindiu, Mindik, Kabwum, Yalumet, Aseki, Wau, Sialum, Finschhafen, Moresby


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 Post subject: Re: Des Martin
PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 12:48 pm
Posts: 12
Location: Richmond, Tasmania
DOSS: 13 Jun 1967
Thanks for the update, Paul.
I was privileged to meet Des at the last kiap reunion, particularly as I enjoyed reading all his posts on this forum that always reflected his extensive service and experience. He was a gracious, dignified and engaging person to talk with and I am so pleased I made contact with him.
I extend my sincere condolences to Chris and Shandra on the passing of this honourable gentleman. I am sure sure that a comfortable haus-kiap awaits him at the end of his last patrol.

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Taskul, Namatanai, Konos, Kavieng, Mendi, Munhiu, Komo, Tari, Nipa, Ialibu


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 Post subject: Re: Des Martin
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:18 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 9:53 am
Posts: 807
Location: Boonah, Queensland
DOSS: 30 Jun 1969
Here's a recent post on the PNGAA web site. Unfortunately I can't post the photos. There's also beaut photo of Des on Patrol that unfortunately for some reason didn't make it into the PNGAA site. Was it the strategically positioned shell on the bloke standing behind Des that was the reason why?

https://pngaa.org/site/blog/article/vale-4/

Vale (John) Des Martin

Nature’s gentleman, Des Martin passed away on the 1st of February 2018 aged 92. It’s fair to say that when advised he had only days to go, Des approached his death in the same way he always exhibited in life, with his thoughts of others and strong, personal courage.

Des was a soldier in World War 2 and ended the war as an Army Sergeant serving in New Guinea. The sights Des saw as the Japanese retreated along the Northern New Guinea coast stayed with him all his life. He swore he’d never go back.

When he returned to Australia he was transferred to an Army Militia Unit the 30th Bn in North Sydney. Amazingly, some 20 years later, I was to enlist in the same Unit whose regimental history and affiliation was with the British 42nd Regiment of Foot known world-wide as the (Scottish) Black Watch.

After a few years away from New Guinea however, Des applied and was accepted as a Kiap (Patrol Officer) in the then Territory of Papua New Guinea. He ended up as the star in a documentary film ‘Along the Sepik’ where he was stationed at the time at Ambunti as the Assistant District Officer (or ADC).

Many times Des and I would compare notes about what it was like to confront hostile situations as a Kiap in the 1950’s. In his final days, Des remembered one confrontation where his patrol was under attack and ‘the arrows fell like rain’. He ordered his police not to fire as he and his NCO ran forward. Des fired his pistol into the ground and disarmed the startled fight leader who was about to shoot his arrow at Des. This action eventually led to peaceful negotiations. If Des had been a member of a Australian uniformed service at the time, there is no doubt in my mind that this action would have been officially recognised as meritorious. Yet the Australian government and people virtually knew nothing about the actions of TPNG Kiaps like Des, such were the conditions of service that Kiaps operated under. Former Kiaps were only officially recognised a few years ago with the Police Overseas Service Medal.

Photo: Des on Patrol

Des and a fellow Patrol Officer were responsible for the initial response when Mount Lamington erupted in 1951 and wiped out the Northern District (now the Oro Provence) government station of Higataru and the thousands of people then living in the surrounding area. The mopping up operations were something no one could possibly imagine with the remains of hundreds of decaying bodies to be hurriedly buried. Afterwards, Des was just expected to recommence his duty as a field officer. It was for his actions at Higataru that he was honoured by the PNG government with the award a few years ago of the Order of Logohu.

Photo: Des Martin awarded the PNG Order of Logohu by consul-general Magdalene Moi-He

Returning from TPNG with his beloved wife Pam in the mid 60’s, Des worked with the Australian government until his retirement.

Des conducted an energetic retirement however that in later years involved letters to the Australian newspaper, a publication he read from cover to cover every day. He also made numerous thoughtful and informative posts on various internet sites. He was awarded a prize for one of the articles he wrote about his time in TPNG that was published in the International Police Association journal Police Down Under. He also wrote about his father’s exploits as a New South Wales policeman and serviceman in the First World War.

Des and his beloved wife Pam retired to Buderim on the Queensland Sunshine Coast and Pam passed on a few years ago so now they are united.

Des is survived by his son and daughter and his grandchildren.

A true mate that will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.

Des on Patrol:
Attachment:
Des1.jpg
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Des with medals:
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Des2.jpg
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Des being presented with the Order of Logohu:
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Des3.jpg
Des3.jpg [ 7.97 KiB | Viewed 2516 times ]

_________________
Pindiu, Mindik, Kabwum, Yalumet, Aseki, Wau, Sialum, Finschhafen, Moresby


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 5:44 pm
Posts: 353
DOSS: 10 Feb 1971
It has taken me a while to pay my respects to the passing of two wonderful men. To date I have not felt up to expressing my grief at the passing of Des Martin and Jim Sinclair.

I met Des at the 2013 Kiaps Rendezvous at Kawana Waters and having sat down next to him, did not move, spellbound by Des's life and background.

Des, then ADO, and his Missus had spent a few years at my wife Nikki's 'ples', Rabaraba, in the mid 1950's, when the Government Station was at Baniara Island, just off the coast from the 'big' village of Menapi half way up the East Coast of Cape Vogel, on the north coast mainland of Milne Bay Province, and fascinated her with stories of what things had been like there in the 'old days'.

After that, every time I was 'South', Nikki and I drove from Clayfield, near Brisvegas, up the coast to Buderim to visit with Des, and usually Jim and Jan Sinclair would join us at Des's house, giving Nikki and I the opportunity to get to know Des, and Jim, both of whom carved a niche in our hearts, as the finest of men.

I met Jim Sinclair, when, as DC Eastern Highlands, he visited Koroba in 1972 to officiate at the opening of an Agricultural Project. Totally overawed, I confined my interaction with him to a respectful 'Good Morning Sir.' A couple of years ago I joined some friends at a table in the Crown Plaza (the old Travelodge) Coffee Shop. Sitting next to a distinguished gentleman who was introduced to me as 'Jim, after some desultory conversation, I found myself explaining to him the progression of names from the Department of Native Affairs, to DDA to Provincial Affairs. 'Jim' offered that he had some knowledge of the various name changes and it suddenly struck me who 'Jim' was. Another Turner 'foot in mouth' incident.

It was Jim's first book 'Behind the Ranges' that seized my interest in being a Kiap. For me, a most fortuitous book. I requested and was granted the privilege of being posted to Koroba, which Jim had established in 1953.

I have met great men. Some of whom are probably reading this. These were certainly two of the best.

Nikki and I will miss them both.

'We will remember them'.


Peter Turner


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