An original account by Captain Geoffrey Walker

Please click on the link below for a download. You will get a fascinating article with pictures and glimpse of a life that many people dream of.

Here is an extract….

It must be said that my time in New Guinea and the Paradise Island must rank amongst my most romantic of nostalgia. I was very fortunate to live and work in New Guinea, Bougainville, Lihir, and Simberi, including such exotic places as Palau as well as the less exciting like Nauru and Ocean Islands. Over my years spent at sea and working in the region I can say with hand on my heart that they were some of the most enjoyable and the adage that PNG only attracts Missionaries, Moneymakers or Misfits is entirely untrue.

My first introduction to the “Paradise Islands” was in 1973. I had been offered a post as Master on one of the Pacific Island Navigation Company vessels trading around the Pacific Islands but during the process of seeking alternative new challenges away from a seagoing life, I came across an advert in an Australian newspaper, for a Cargo Superintendent based in Bougainville; to be precise, the Port of Anewa Bay, which is a stone’s throw away from the Islands colonial City of Kieta. With tongue in cheek and full of self confidence, I sent off a quick letter to the advertiser, thinking I would hear no more. To my great surprise, I received a prompt response, in which I was requested to attend an interview. My permanent home and place of abode was Hong Kong but it just so happened I was visiting Australia at the time so attending an interview in Melbourne was an easy task.

3 thoughts on “PARADISE ISLANDS – PAPUA NEW GUINEA. A factual account of life working there by an ex Bank Line apprentice, in his later career as Master and Pilot.

  1. Yeh Dick, agree with you there. Being an expatriate of TP & NG 1956-1961, and for about 14 years following trips to and from PNG and living there again and working stevedoring Bank Line ships Rabaul and Madang, Lae and Port Moresby. LASH ships I ‘worked’ as tug master towing barges Salamaua to Lae. At one time the tow was nine barges in-line, over 600ft in length. A slow trip back to Lae moorings. Bougainville was on many cargo runs out of Rabaul on various coastal ships….Greyville, Papuan Liberty, and Burns Philp’s m.v. Kalili. and their overseas ship m.v BRAESIDE. Man, those were the days when you could rub shoulders with the Harbour Master and Pilots in the local watering holes!
    Cheers and out.


  2. it would be nice to know the name of the person who wrote the article about new guinea, as theres no mention who he is anywhere. i am an ex bankline man and am just curious if its ayone i sailed with.


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