The ASOPA Story Toktok Gris
The Mail Piksa Bilong Yum
The ASOPA Files Archives
Home Contact Keith International Training Institute
August 2005


Great Occasion II: Friday 30 September – Sunday 2 October

With less than two months to go, it’s now time to submit your reunion payment. The $80 per person covers three pre-arranged activities - Saturday dinner [$35], the bus tour [$10] and Sunday lunch [$35]. If you’re not a 62/63 Asopian, you’re still welcome to attend any or all the reunion events.

Remittances can be paid by cheque made out to Keith Jackson and posted to him at Jackson Wells Morris, PO Box 1743, Neutral Bay NSW 2089.

The reunion program provides lots of opportunities to get together and reminisce as well as time for nostalgic walks around our old stamping ground.

Friday 30 September: Late afternoon and evening we’ll meet, greet and eat at the Cremorne Hotel, beside Concierge Apartments. Your accommodation and the hotel are in the heart of Cremorne Junction and surrounded by shops and restaurants. Adjacent is an IGA supermarket and a medical centre. There are multitudes of eating and coffee places around. If you get bored or thirsty or both, the Cremorne Orpheum and a Theo’s liquor outlet are just across the road. The main bus route into the city is at your doorstep. Bus stops for the Cremorne and Neutral Bay ferries are located nearby.

Saturday 1 October: Late morning, around 11, we’ll gather at The Oaks, Neutral Bay, for a drink and lunch. The Oaks is a 15-minute walk or five-minute bus ride up Military Road. It offers plenty of eating options - from a simple salad to barbecued steaks to the big roast. A section of the hotel will be set aside for our use. Then at 7 pm we’ll gather at Raymond’s Tai Kwun Garden Restaurant, Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay, for dinner. It’s in five minutes walk from The Oaks for those making a big day of it.

Suggested morning activity: Catch any city bound bus ($2.50 gives you an all day bus/rail/ferry pas with your senior’s card) and explore the CBD before heading to Quay and catching the Neutral Bay ferry which is met by a bus that terminates at Neutral Bay Junction, five minutes walk from The Oaks.

Sunday 2 October: At 10.30 the Mosman Bus Company’s coach will pull up outside The Concierge to ferry us to Middle Head and the old ASOPA campus. Rod Hard is arranging access to cooling beverages while we inspect the ancient ruins of our youthful folly. We’ll be off again at 11.15 and, by 11.30, will be debussing at the Mosman Club at Mosman Junction for the official reunion lunch. Late stayers can attend a valedictory dinner at Mido Restaurant, Military Road, Neutral Bay. This will be organised ad hoc depending upon how many of us are still in a reunion mood.

Suggested morning activity: Head down Murdoch Street to the harbour for a stroll around Cremorne Point, one of Sydney’s most glorious walks. The reasonably fit will accomplish the round trip in about an hour.



Ingrid and I, together with Libby, just spent a week in Singapore, which I first visited in 1973. It’s a city constantly reinvigorating itself and we really should send our politicians there for a quick course in how to build public infrastructure. While staying in the Mandarin on Orchard Road I caught up with David Ransom, a Port Moresby based journalist in the early 70s. After many years with ABC and SBS, he’s now a TV current affairs producer employed by an Asian network.

A phone call from Bill Wilson contains the disappointing news that he and Anita won’t be able to make the reunion. Bill’s been in indifferent health and a series of viruses have laid him low.

Took the opportunity of Keith Bain being in town to catch up with him and Barbara for dinner at Beppis and then, while Barbara was conferencing, to introduce Keith to a few of my old PNG mates at the Neptune Palace at Circular Quay. Both top eating places, by the way. Keith, now retired from the University of East London, is in good form and it was good to catch up with him during his first visit to Sydney in about 30 years.

But the real highlight of the month for me was the arrival of my daughter Sally’s first child and my third grandchild, Sydney Keith Romei. Sally was born in Rabaul in 1970 and, together with husband Stephen, has been for many years a journalist on The Australian. All are well.





IAN McLEAN [Okinawa Japan] - Sorry to be so late getting back to you, but my employer has been jerking us around for the past couple of months over approving leave applications for the rest of this year, and early next year. The verdict was finally given today and, unfortunately, all leaves are cancelled. That means there's no way that Belinda and I can make it down to Oz for the reunion.

I thought that after screwing me out of the first reunion (due to the workload at that time), I would have no problem just booking our flights and turning up in Oz on the requisite dates. Sorry I won't be at the reunion yet again. I retire in 3 years, so I'll start planning for 2008.

PS: Maybe I don't really exist and I'm just a figment of our collective imaginations. Sorry to disappoint Henry Bodman, who elicited a desire in the last newsletter to see how badly I've aged.


JOE CRAINEAN [Wishart QLD] - As you are already aware, I’m planning to attend the next very well planned ASOPA reunion. Your brilliant editing of The Mail is always greatly appreciated. I will arrange to advance the relevant remuneration within the foreseeable future.

I have just finished a stint of five months teaching adult numeracy and literacy to a small group at ADRA welfare centre in Brisbane - two mornings per week. I now have two Korean students to tutor three evenings per week - all of which helps keep the wolf from the door.

Have been enjoying having my son Adam home from Uni for a few days before he flies to Hong Kong during semester break on Monday - he will go with five other students to teach English as volunteers at our church primary school for four weeks. It will be his first cross-cultural experience apart from going to Fiji - his maternal homeland.

We have been blessed with torrential rain in this part of the country over the last few days - a great boon for falling water levels in our dams - and our gardens. I look forward to the BIG get together.


LES PETERKIN [Tweed Heads NSW] - I have been waiting before making any decisions about joining you all at the reunion. As I have to go over to Perth a few days after the reunion, I regretfully will not be able to attend. I know everyone will have a very good time, as was the case last time. I have recently returned from a cruise to Alaska which was a very exciting and interesting experience.


KEITH BAIN [London UK] - We had a very enjoyable time at our unit on the Gold Coast and a good flight back. We were back in London very early on Monday morning (Barbara was at work by 6.15 am). Some of the tube lines are still not running but everything else seems normal. The only sign at King's Cross station that anything happened in our absence is given by the many large bunches of flowers gathered together outside the station. Having been back now for just over 48 hours, we are still suffering from jet lag, but should be over that in another day or two.


MICK WILSON [Eltham VIC] - Sorry I have lost touch. Changed my old dial up address to broadband some time ago and have procrastinated in passing my new one to you and a lot of others. My life seems to get more busy rather than less with business, new grandchildren, house renovations etc. Ian 'Talker' McLean has indicated a number of times that I ought to rectify the situation and I certainly miss The Mail.


DAVE KESBY [Berowra Heights NSW] - John Howard must be having problems with his industrial relations legislation. I see he’s employed Sydney’s leading spin doctor,r Keithy Jackson and company, to tell us how good it is for us all. This is the same outfit that solved all the problems for James Hardie amid their asbestos issue. Well if anyone in Sydney can spin John Howard out of this one it will be Keithy. See you all at the reunion.


COLIN HUGGINS [Albion QLD] – I thoroughly enjoyed my short stay in Sydney for the Davis Cup, although the facilities at the Tennis Centre were very disappointing. I was not surprised at the result as I expected Argentina to be strong. I doubt that even Roger Federer would have beaten David Nalbandian as David played both singles and the doubles like a man possessed.
It was great calling in at Berrima where, during our ASOPA days, a group of the so-called intrepid skiers stopped at the heritage-listed White Horse Inn for refreshments on both occasions (1961 and 1962). Berrima is where my relations on my mother’s father’s side of the family settled when they migrated from Passau on the German-Austrian border in the late 19th century. The old family shack has been remodeled and has even featured in Vogue magazine. It is now a very upmarket B&B. The White Horse Inn is a place well worth seeing if anyone has any time to visit this wonderful heritage area in the NSW southern highlands. Looking forward to the reunion.


BRIAN FRASER [[email protected]] - I was wondering if you or any one you may be in contact with would know the name of a plantation owned by a Mr Frank King in the Bena Bena, Eastern Highlands Province. Frank King on or around 1957 sold a 50% stake in the plantation to Dennis Buchanan who, only two or so years later, sold out to finance the purchase of Territory Airlines, or TAL as it was known then. Thanks for your help. I realise it may be a big ask.



Meeting the challenge: Australian teachers in Papua New Guinea pre-independence, 1955-75

Gail Burke has attracted an enormous range of reminiscences from Australian expatriate teachers in Papua New Guinea between 1955-1975 to get on record some of the many memories dredged up when members of the Australian colonial effort get together, something happening more and more often as some of the legends depart for the ‘Territory in the Sky'.

In this book, 25 Australian educators have each contributed a moment in their hugely varied experiences which grew out of the inheritances of the policy of universal primary education for Papua New Guinea.

This is a must have volume that, in addition to the anecdotes, includes a substantial historical account of education pre-Independence. The foreword is written by former District Commissioner, Harry West, current President of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia.

You will recognise many of the names of contributors from shared times on outstations, when training at ASOPA or from the big smoke of Port Moresby.

Meeting the Challenge will be available in October with all profits from its sale channeled through Rotary International in support of aid projects focused on the welfare of the children of Papua New Guinea.

The price is to be advised but all enquiries should be directed to Gail Burke at PO Box 1224, Kenmore QLD 4069 or phone 07 3374 4894.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the contents:

Bruce Apps Guidance -A Moving Experience Henry Bodman A Date with Destiny Nick Bricknell Sogeri Sojourn Clarrie Burke Out of the Mouths of Babes Gail Burke A Lesson about Wildlife Gail Burke Stories from Mrs Fay Gill Marian Cahill Tertiary Teaching- Beginnings at Taurama and Waigini Ann Clark A Snake -Not in the Grass Bob Clark The Unexpected Christine Cooper Teaching with the Anglican Mission at Dogura Fay Edwards Student Dog or Dog-in-Charge? Geoff Gibson What a Surprise! David Harwood Recollections of Buka Noel Henderson The Message Stick Roger Hunter A Tapini Day, and Woitape Ways Keith Jackson Initiation into the Chimbu Eric Johns The Meeting that changed my Life David Lewis First Year at Karkar John Meredith Rabaul, Saturday Pam Quartermaine The Love Affair Begins Neville Robinson Reality of Rural Practice Teaching Bill Welbourne Rabaul - Athletic Sweatbox Norm Wells A Past Life in 'Panga' Diane Withers 'Unreliable' Memoirs of a School Inspector