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Today's quote:

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

"Not much to Wewak"

Read the book here


On arriving by boat at Wewak, Gavin Young writes in "Slow Boats Home", "Not much to Wewak. All I see is a promontory and behind it an open shore; smoke over attap roofs; palms; a mission church. Near us, on the shore: a meagre sprinkling of neat white bungalows with corrugated iron roofs some way away, a broad but featureless meadow; a background of creeper-draped trees. A causeway with a jetty crossing its head to form a T, at the end of which we must tie up and offload."   [click here]

I wonder if my old friend Noel Butler would have agreed with Gavin Young. Noel came to New Guinea as a soldier in 1939, and after his discharge from the Army in 1945 he returned to New Guinea, trying his luck in the Highlands, in Lae, and finally, in 1962, finding what would become his home in Wewak until Independence forced him out in 1978.

Sixteen years in a small place like Wewak leave their mark on a man. No wonder that Noel never quite settled back into his native Australia, repeatedly saying, "My spiritual home will always be New Guinea."

Both Gavin Young and Noel Butler are dead now but they are still remembered: Gavin through his books and Noel through this blog.

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