Friday, April 13, 2018

Papuan eharo mask


Three weeks ago I was  interviewed by the West Australian Museum’s Assistant Curator of Anthropology and his assistant regarding my  donation of a rare Papuan head- dress called an eharo.  I had donated it to the museum whilst on leave from Papua New Guinea in 1963.   The language group of villages where my school was, was the Elema.  I was HT of their primary school in the village of Arehava for almost three years.  I had heard about their 7 year dance cycle, which at the end of the cycle, all the head dresses were destroyed and a new 7 year cycle commenced.   Unfortunately the Christian missionaries disapproved of this as definitely non-Christian and in my time in Arehava village no dancing of that type was practised.  I read of an anthropolgist’s book, The Drama of Orokolo (F E Williams 1940) and on my first leave back to Western Australia found a copy of the book at the W.A. state library. 
Upon returning to Arehava after leave, I searched out an old mask maker and we agreed on a price to recreate an eharo for me.  The agreed price was, I believe, 12 pounds Australian.  My part in the construction was to shoot a number of Sulphur Crested cockatoos for the feathers surrounding the top of the mask.     As I remember, it took a couple of months and at completion the entire village accompanied a male dancer with the eharo delivering it to me.  I was a bit concerned that a nearby mission station might think ill of me encouraging the dancing and the eharo mask, but I didn’t hear any complaints.   I had the eharo boxed in a wooden crate made by a tame carpenter at the Government Station at Ihu and took it by plane back home next leave.

The recent interview by Xavier and his assistant Karen was thorough and interesting. Some of the questions about the villagers and their traditions and indeed, how I decided to start a career in teaching in PNG were among things I had forgotten but pleased to recall.

Xavier and Karen are working to set up an exhibition of anthropological artefacts with background stories in the soon to be opened new W.A. Museum.  Hope I am still around for that.

                                        click image to enlarge

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Put a Church Key in your pocket


One of my Fav artists is Tom Waits.  In his Blue Valentine album my  favourite track is Kentucky Avenue.  As I understand it, it is perhaps a moving eulogy to a friend...quite likely imagined; who is crippled.

One of the lines near the end of the song is...
‘Just put a church key in your pocket, we’ll hop that freight train in the hall’

Some time ago I found out what a church key is.....



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

UWA Prosh Day


Tomorrow, the University of Western Australia has its traditional Prosh day.  The tradition has been an annual event since 1931, raising money for charities in this state.  A satirical newspaper is designed, printed and sold on the streets of Perth and the money collected distributed to chosen local charities.    Be prepared if you are visiting Perth City tomorrow.

A Prosh stunt in London Court, Perth City circa 1961 featured my late wife Joan seen holding the leash of a dog.  I met her about four years later at Bridgetown High School where we both taught.

Click to enlarge




Sunday, February 25, 2018

46 years together

Today, at approximately this time, seven years ago, I lost my dear wife Joan to the bastard disease cancer.   We had 46 wonderful years together.





Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Lock family adventures in Papua New Guinea

My wife Joan and daughter Helen on a wire rope bridge in Papua New Guinea 1972.
Click image to enlarge

Friday, January 26, 2018

A little bit of WW2 history

During WW2, Fremantle Harbour in Western Australia became the largest submarine base in the southern hemisphere.  170 submarines of the British, Dutch and American navies used ‘Freo’ harbour as their base making 416 war patrols out of Fremantle.
Across the harbour entrance was an anti-submarine ‘boom’ net which was lowered when friendly shipping entered the harbour and kept raised at other times.  The Fremantle boom defence net was a buoyed wire mesh net with a central gate opened by a winch on the North Mole, and two buildings were constructed on the western end of Victoria Quay for the naval boom defence operating unit.

The remnants of the lowering/raising machinery are still to be seen on both sides of the harbour entrance.  Click images to enlarge them
Harbour entrance

Winding machinery...Sth Mole
Winding machinery...Nth Mole
U.S. subs with mother Ship
HMS Adamant and Brit subs
Wartime photos taken by Saxon Fogarty
                           

Monday, January 22, 2018

Happy times at Fremantle Cemetery

My brother Graham pointed out this Happy notification.  I guess it seemed like a good idea???

Click image to enlarge


Friday, January 19, 2018

Typhoid Martin

42 years ago this Lock family returned from a six year stint teaching in Papua New Guinea.  Our son Martin was born in Wewak hospital after a somewhat hazardous river crossing en route from Maprik to Wewak a distance of approx. 80 miles on a dirt road.
It was all good and Martin was born without complications.
Four years later the family, Kevin, Joan, Helen and Martin flew out of Port Moresby and home to Perth at the end of our contract in PNG.   We had purchased a lovely colonial house the previous year whilst on leave and we moved into our house and welcomed friends and family to a couple of parties.  Martin fell sick and eventually was diagnosed with Typhoid and interned in the infectious disease ward at Fremantle hospital.   Some 60 people had been in contact with Martin and the local health authorities had a big job contacting those people and allaying any fears of spread of the disease.   After five weeks Martin’s situation was declared safe and he came home to us.


Newspaper clippings at the time....click to enlarge


Friday, January 12, 2018

Nice gift

Daughter Helen brought around a bottle of bubbly given to her by the family of one of her Pre-Primary pupils.  The lad was her best pupil of 2017 and the message on the bottle is rather cute.

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bushfire hazard

I have been having a morning walk lately, through and around my suburb.  On the northern fenceline there is what was meant to be a nature strip featuring Grass Trees, Eucalyptus trees and other native species, however no maintenance has been done on this strip in years and it is ready for a firebug to toss a lighted match in and create a firestorm.

The Grass Trees (Xanthorrhoea) in a non political correct era were called Blackboys.  In that past era young lads would set fire to them and we are now fortunate that iPhones, iPads et al keep kids busy and not setting bushfires.
Young Grass Tree