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Today's quote:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

It's almost half a century ago!

Peter & Peter outside the 'Clubhouse' by the pond at "Riverbend"


Peter Logan and his charming wife Ida (née Zander) just called in at "Riverbend". I knew Peter from my time in Rabaul in 1970 where he worked for Rabaul Garage and we lived in dongas next to each other at the Public Works Department mess hall in Malaguna Road.

He had contacted me in 2012 after reading "The Die was cast!" in the "Una Voce" journal - see here - and we've been in contact ever since.

More recently, he had revisited Port Moresby and met up with another former colleague from our Rabaul days, Grahame Ward - see here, - and as we sat over lunch at the Steampacket Hotel, the memories and the names of people and places just kept coming back.

Peter stayed in PNG until 1990, after which he worked in Fiji, Tonga, and American Samoa, and now lives in Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. During our time in Rabaul he was a car salesman, a really gregarious type and out on the town most nights. I think he was also pretty popular with the girls. I was the complete opposite: nerdily pursuing my accounting studies night after night, hardly ever drinking (lack of money had something to do with it), and while I had a bit of a crush on Agnes, the Chinese office girl, I remained her secret admirer. Now that age has smoothed out some of our differences, Peter and I had lots and lots to talk about.

Ida and Peter at the Steampacket Hotel

Besides Grahame Ward whose two passions in life were beer and billiard - in fact, he was known as 'Felson' (remember The Hustler ?) -, there were the AMP's Bruce Fisher who had sold me a policy almost as soon as I'd stepped off the plane; Rabaul's uncrowned king, John Dowling, who passed away in 1994, aged 74, but whose business empire lives on through the Kator Company; my two bosses Barry Weir and Mark Henderson, both now retired; another colleague in the same firm of chartered accountants, Peter Langley, who's still balancing the books at his own firm Hill Rae & Embrey in Sydney; Jerry Carr-Boyd, an accountant from another accounting firm in town; the always-drunk Brian Davies who worked as spraypainter for Rabaul Garage and lived next to us in the mess hall; John "Millsie" Mills, the chemist at Rabaul Pharmacies ...

John Mills (left) at the PNGAA Christmas Function in 2010

... and Breckwoldt's Horst Hoertelmann who's now PNG's Honorary Consul in Hamburg ... - when I mentioned that I had Horst Hoertelmann's email address, both Ida and Peter asked me to send him their best regards. Are you reading this, Horst? (Peter & Ida's email address is loganfam3[AT]bigpond.com)

Who says you shouldn’t live in the past? Those were the best of days and the best of people and I thank Peter and Ida for dropping by and sharing those old photos which I scanned and added to this blog:

Grahame Ward (left) outside the company's house ...

... which was shared with several others; Brian Davies on the left

Grahame Ward posing with someone else's car


Grahame wearing sunnies to protect his bloodshot eyes on the morning after the night before

Behind the dongas at the Public Works Department mess hall

The front of the donga where we lived

Added only because at the centre is Grahame's white DATSUN Bluebird, buckled and bent

Click here to open PWD Mess Menu in separate window

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon, made even sunnier by all those wonderful memories. Thanks for the lunch and thanks for the wine and thanks for the memories, Peter and Ida, and I'm sure we'll meet again.