Stu's Stories as at 2022

31 | P a g e A Little of My Time in New Guinea I went to New Guinea in the mid 1950s to work for the newspaper there. This time was a real highlight of my life and my first time out of Australia. Port Moresby is hot and dry for about 8 months of the year and very moist and wet the other 4. During the “wet” you could set your watch by the rainfall in the afternoon. It would just suddenly start falling like a solid curtain – straight down – for about 20 minutes (if I remember correctly) and then just stop. The wind blows from one direction for half the year and reverses the other. This never seems to vary like it does elsewhere. If memory serves me right it was NE to SW direction. If you moved 30 miles inland from Port Moresby it was wet most days. Strange. I loved it there and would probably have stayed on except for problems brought on by the polio damage to my nerve system. After about 7 months there I lost most of the use of my right arm. The local GP pumped vitamin C straight into the muscles and this seemed to work and got it going OK again. However, about 6 months later it happened again and there was a new GP there who diagnosed a probable tumour on a nerve end. I did not know then that the cause was polio damage. This meant returning to Sydney and seeing specialists. All of whom agreed with the diagnosis but could not figure how to fix it. It eventually settled down and I got back on with life but could not risk returning to NG. Shortly after arriving in NG, myself and 2 others bought an old motor boat. It was in poor condition but we did it all up, recaulking and painting inside and out. It was driven by a single piston engine that pushed it along at 7 knots. Definitely no speed boat, but very comfortable! One day, while we were painting the inside with all floorboards up, we got an urgent call from the shore asking us to go out to rescue a couple of girls who had crashed onto a reef in a “lakatoi” (native double-hulled sailing canoe) and upended it. Port Moresby in the mid 1950s. Our cruiser anchored at Fisherman’s Island with the girls we “rescued”.

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