Saturday, November 3, 2012

The road to Independence

Yesterday I was listening to ABC radio when a woman called in asking for advice about what to do with a Peacock in her backyard.  she didn’t mention her suburb, but it was obviously the Peacock I wrote about yesterday.  Call back resulted in many suggestions for the lady....stuffed and baked Peacock etc etc.

When we worked in Papua New Guinea in the 1970s I was Manager of a Vocational Centre in the East Sepik District at a place named Bainyik.  The aim of Vocational Centres was to train students in marketable skills such as building, mechanics, welding, concrete, small scale store management and animal husbandry etc etc, in fact anything which might make the student self-sufficient.  With a staff of four we worked with approximately 60 boarders for a full year.  We contracted to do work for different government departments building aid posts in remote villages, houses for teachers and village projects.  One project was to erect an Aid Post in a remote village.  The project was given to us by one Harvey Mack, a Patrol Officer at government station named Dreikikir.  Harvey was also a Western Australian and when Independence came to PNG we both (with families) returned to live back home.  My wife Joan and I went back to teaching.  Harvey started a trucking company which has grown from a couple of trucks to a 100 employee business.  He has bases in Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.
Yesterday I caught up with Harvey after 29 years.  I visited his base at Forrestfield and was very impressed with his business and his style of management.   We plan to meet again soon and reassess our time and achievements in our PNG days.    Both of us were adamant that we were most privileged to have been there and participated in building the road to Independence.  However, neither of us wish to go back and see how it is now.

Harvey's business page is here.

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