19 February 2009

More Papua New Guinea from the 60s

I dug up some old black and white  photos I took while working in Papua New Guinea between 1967 and 1970. I was fascinated by the culture of the people up there and went with my cameras to every cultural event possible. I had my own darkroom where I developed black and white photos.

The first lot of picture here were taken in Port Moresby in 1968 at the Cultural Centre. These people performed for the passengers of a cruise ship in the harbour.

Very colourful costumes

My brother-in-law David Speakman was the Deputy Clerk of the House of Assembly (National Parliament) and got me to take some photos of John Guise who was the Speaker of the House.

I was employed as an electrician with Carrier Air Conditioning and in this shot here, supervised a couple of locals in the disassembling of a switchboard in a government building.
Metu and Tommy, two of our nationals who were employed as tradesman's assistants who helped the Electrical department.


  1. Who is that handsome young man supervising the boys working on the switchboard? Oh! It''s BB. Now I know why I married him. They were the romantic days.

  2. What a great bunch of photos Bill. They bring back a lot of vivid memories of the time I spent in PNG. I arrived there in 1968 and worked for PDC, Project Development Corporation, helping to build the army barracks in Port Moresby and Wewack. While I was working in Wewak, I went on a trip to Mt. Hagen to see the 'Hagen Show', which was nothing less than spectacular. Initially I was on a 4 months contract but ended up being for 11.5 months. I returned to Sydney after that for three months and in this time, because I had never bothered to learn the local language, I taught myself 'tok pisin' from a book. On my return, it was as though a magic door had been opened up to me, for all the conversations I now heard, I understood. My return trip took me to Rabaul and after working for a couple of private companies, I ended up working for Public Works. All in all I was there for almost 2 years.
    Thanks for the memories.

  3. Yes Ken,
    I remember climbing into the crater of the Matupit volcano in Rabaul with you. I guess we were young and very foolish in those days. You know what happened a few years ago. The thing blew up and buried Rabaul totally. I guess, we were lucky.

  4. Bill, you're better than National Geographic!And yes, you we're quite the handsome devil!

    I bet these were the days that tribal costumes weren't littered with plastics and man made materials. It's sad to see "traditional dress" adorned with coke wrappers and such.

    These shots remind me of the photos that my dad used to take with the old Box Brownie.

    Really great images, well done!

  5. Wonderful photos again Bill. And yes, I can see why Diane was swept off her feet!

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BILL!!!!!Wishing you many more. So what did Diane give you for a pressie?

  7. Thanks for recording some of the history of what is now called PNG.

  8. They are fantastic photos Dad! It must have been a real adventure living there! It sure is a different culture from growing up in switzerland!!! Can you email me the 2nd photo? I'd like to frame it!
    Love Carol


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