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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Remember Poseidon?

Nickel Queen, released April 1971


It was the summer of '69. It was a time of 'free love', the Vietnam War and ... a nickel mining boom. The company was Poseidon – Australia’s legendary boom stock. Poseidon’s shares went above $280. Poseidon tanked. It went from zero to superhero to bombed-out crater, all in six months.

I'd just come back from South West Africa, rejoined the ANZ Bank in Canberra and then gone to Papua New Guinea to escape the hand-to-mouth existence of a banking career. I was totally ignorant of the Poseidon boom but my new colleagues in the chartered accounting firm of Hancock, Woodward & Neill in Rabaul talked of nothing else - when they weren't drinking which was most of the time!

First out of sympathy and then as a convert, I spent what little money I earned on VAM and Kambalda shares which, after I had bought them at several dollars each, went down to just a few cents and then to nothing.

The address says it all: PO Box 187, Rabaul, New Guinea

All this came back to me as I watched NIckel Queen which I've just discovered on YouTube. It's loosely based on the Poseidon boom and worth watching, if only for those sounds and scenes from a bygone era.

PO Box 12, Kieta, Bougainville, New Guinea

As they say, "I started out with nothing and I'v still got most of it left".