Sunday, August 30, 2009

47 years ago...

Yesterday we had a visit from a couple touring around Australia in a caravan. Graeme and I taught in the same district in Papua 47 years ago. We had a lot to reminisce about that year we shared in the Gulf District in 1962.

If we could sit down with a few other colleagues, primed with a few drinks, we would have the material for an amazing book of our adventures in colonial times in PNG. Papua New Guinea, as I remember, was never referred to as a colony of Australia and the main thrust of education in the country was to work towards independence. I can also remember at the time that I could not perceive that independence would come in the foreseeable future. It did come about in 1975 and Joan and I joined the celebrations in the Northern District of Papua.

It has been said that Independence came a little early when Australia handed over the reins to a democratically elected government. That statement is probably true, but at the time of independence there were no armed independence movements fighting to ‘throw off the yoke’ of colonialism.

Since independence PNG has relied heavily on foreign aid mainly from Australia.

Graeme and his wife Elaine, visited us here and we took them on a tour of the local area which they probably would not have the time to explore themselves. I wonder if we will ever meet up again.

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