07 November 2014

My First Car in Australia

Diane recently posted on her blog Adventure Before Dementia, how we met back in the late 60s. In it she mentioned that my car got flooded. This evoked a few comments and questions from her readers. I thought I'd explain.

I shared a flat in Boroko, Papua New Guinea with a few work mates. On the day, Diane left for Sydney, we all took her to the airport in Port Moresby to see here off. We then all went to the Gateway Hotel for a few drinks and lunch, which extended to mid afternoon, when I decided to go back to the flat for a snooze.

I awoke shortly before dinner by a tremendous thunderstorm which must have been raging for some time. I got up to investigate. Our flat was about a meter off the ground and when I opened to front door I discovered the water was almost up to the floor of the flat. Another inch and it would have come in through the door.

To my horror, I saw that my car was deep in submerged water outside the fence. My mate Willy's car was already gone.

I swam out to the fence but by the time I got to the car, it was floating away. I couldn't hang on to it. 

An hour later, the storm had gone and the water was receding. I eventually found my car in the nearby creek balanced on top of Willy's ute (Pick-Up truck).

 To make matters worse, I was due to fly to Rabaul on Monday morning very early and couldn't do anything about my car either on the weekend or the following weeks. I phoned my boss and asked him to organise both cars to be towed to local car dealer's workshop, tell them to strip the engines, clean them and put them together again. Of course he forgot to tell them that.

When I returned to Port Moresby a few weeks later. Our cars were at the back of their garage, just as they had picked them up. No need to tell you, they were both ruined. Such was life in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.


  1. I wonder if it would have been financially worth while disassembling the engine? Then the diff and gear box oil would probably have to be changed and maybe the brake fluid. Of course it rather depends on the cost of labour and if it was local labour, maybe it would not have cost so much.

    1. I know it would have cost me a bit, but probably not as much as buying a new car. We later traded in both my Falcon and Diane's Triumph for a brand new MGB-GT we saw being offloaded onto the wharf in Port Moresby.

  2. Boy your Boss sounds like a drip! I don't think I've seen the picture of the car under water before? I remember hearing about the story though! I love how much detail you remember.


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