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Papua New Guinea Collection Text
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Papua New Guinea Posters

  • AU PMB PHOTO 47
  • Collection
  • 1970s

PMBPhoto 47 is a collection of 25 posters produced in Papua New Guinea. Twenty four of the posters were collected in the 1970s when Bill Gammage and Jan Gammage lived there. One poster is from 2006 and was collected by Jan when working in Papua New Guinea.
Poster subjects include the 1972 Goroka show, health education, Pangu Party electioning, beer advertising, the Eight-Point Improvement Plan, and nation building and independence. An autographed portrait of M.T. Somare when Chief Minister is also part of the collection. The 2006 poster promotes human rights in relation to HIV/AIDS.

Gammage, Bill

Peter Grimshaw collection of Papua New Guinea photographs

  • AU PMB PHOTO 5
  • Collection
  • 1946-1955

Photographs of Papua New Guinea taken or collected by Peter Grimshaw, possibly including some of the missing ones from the Mt Hagen series. It seems Grimshaw collected several of the photographs and some have been identified as likely taken by Michael J. Leahy in the 1930s

Grimshaw, Peter John

Photographs documenting an investigative patrol following murders in Telefomin, Papua New Guinea

  • AU PMB PHOTO 10
  • Collection
  • Nov 1953

On his return from the Middle East, Rhys Healey’s unit was disbanded so he transferred to ANGAU in early 1943. On 8 November 1948 Rhys Healey accompanied District Commissioner Horrie Niall to open Telefomin station, in Papua New Guinea, together with Assistant District Officer Des Clifton-Bassett and Patrol Officer Rodgers. Healey’s job as Medical Assistant was to check on the malaria situation – he noted that the disease was already in the valley. Healey also took with him his well trained Dokta Boi, Bunat, and both stayed six weeks to organise the building of the native hospital. As no European medical Assistant was available, Bunat stayed in charge to supervise the running of the hospital and Healey returned to Angoram on the Sepik River to his family for Christmas. Bunat was awarded a Government Medal for looking after Harris and the wounded Police in 1953. At the request of Sir Michael Somare Rhys Healey stayed in PNG after independence, until Christmas 1981, mainly to take charge of the Finance Department and to train indigenous staff quickly. (Notes from Mrs Dorothy E. Healey, April 2006.)

Following the murders, an investigative patrol was flown into the area. The patrol was lead by District Commisisoner Allan Timperley and included Distict Officers George Wearne and Allan Corrigan, Cadet Barry Ryan and Medical Assistant Rhys Healey. They inspected the villages of Komdavip and Misinmin and the rest houses in the Eliptamin Valley.

These photographs were taken by the investigative patrol in Nov 1953.

Healey, Lionel Rhys

Photographs from Bougainville, East New Britain and Kerema, Papua New Guinea

  • AU PMB PHOTO 13
  • Collection
  • c.1945-1961

This collection of 44 photographs documents time spent by Gwen and Tom Taylor at Buin Area School and Kerema in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea from 1945 to 1961. Most of the photographs relate to Buin Area School and document the physical appearance of the school and various aspects of life there. These include photographs of students in classrooms, making cane furniture, weaving, swimming and gardening. Several photographs show Gwen Taylor holding babies and being pictured with nuns. Tom Taylor is pictured in a classroom and mention is made of his role as the principal of the school at Buin. Some of the photographs depict special occasions and ceremonial events being celebrated by local people. There are good examples of houses, school buildings and a church. One photograph depicts the purchase of a new truck and there are a few photographs depicting canoes, including an outrigger canoe. Also pictured are boats, including the MV Gona. One photo appears to show artillery at Kokopo. A few photographs feature non-local adults and children posing for the camera. One photograph shows a large cloud of smoke and appears to be the burning of garden. Another shows an explosion in the sea.

Taylor, Gwen

Photographs from Papua New Guinea, mainly New Britain and New Ireland

  • AU PMB PHOTO 1
  • Collection
  • 1911-1943

Sister Lida Tonkin (Mrs L. Gill), a nursing sister from Young, NSW, first arrived at the Methodist Mission at Raluana in New Britain (Papua New Guinea) in 1916.

The photographs and post cards include events, daily life and traditional customs practiced in Rabaul in the early 20th century. Funerary and marriage customs are represented. There is a good set of photographs on traditional fishing (PMB Photo 1_31 to PMB Photo 1_46). Other images show canoe building and sailing, baske, broom and string making and traditional houses, mission life and the Malabunga hospital. Dances, such as the Kulau dance, carvings used in dances and the

Tonkin, Lida, Sr

Photographs of Dr Frank Forster, Papua New Guinea

  • AU PMB PHOTO 112
  • Collection
  • Dec 1949-Mar 1950

This collection comprises 39 images black and white photographs taken in the Australian Territory of Papua and New Guinea by Australian Frank Forster in the 4 months December 1949-March 1950.

The photographs record a trip made mainly by boat to the Territory by Frank, a 28 year old honours graduate in obstetrics, surgery and gynaecology of the University of Melbourne, who became as well a medical historian, bibliophile and benefactor. At the time, health care services provided for the local people by the colonial authorities were minimal. In 1947 there were 17 doctors working there, all of whom were expatriates. The first two trained surgeons arrived about 1950, and were based in Rabaul and in Port Moresby. In 1953 the Australian National University, through a government committee, began identifying “gaps in knowledge” in the territory.

Frank’s record of his journey starts in Papua’s Eastern District at Samarai Island and ends as he returns to Brisbane, having visited several other small islands including Kwato in Papua, then to New Guinea where he visited Lae, Goroka in the Eastern Highlands, Madang, and Manus Island.

Frank’s collection is literally a “snapshot” of the times. He shows various types of boats and light aircraft, local people at work, postwar buildings including wharves and railway lines, and equipment. Nine photos relate to the port and town on Samarai Island in the Milne Bay District of Papua, now the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. Six of these show boats at the wharf, including MV Malaita of the Burns Philp Shipping Company, the wharf railway line and men working to move cargo. Two photos show members of the Papua and New Guinea Constabulary presenting arms, and one is of a building displaying an Australian flag and two flags of the United States, a clear reminder of the importance of Samarai to the Allies in World War 2.

En route to Lae in the Morobe District of New Guinea, now the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea, the boat passed Gesila Island and berthed at Kwato Island. On Kwato, Frank photographed the London Missionary Society (LMS) Church. In the port of Lae, Frank photographed landing craft AB2348 with many men, possibly labourers, on board, and the ship MV Malaita again.
In Madang District, four photographs are of the coastline and buildings, one possibly of the administrative headquarters of the district and business establishments, and a detailed scene of a wharf, including men working to move cargo. On the mainland, three photographs show beautiful trees including one of a long archway of trees, and at the cemetery, the 1914 grave of Willi Wohlgemuth, a machinist probably on the mission ship, for the Divine Word Mission at Sek (Alexishafen). In 1913 the Mission sub-divided for sale land on Doilon Plantation just south of Alexishafen, and Wohlgemuth got Block 3, 160 hectares, but died of appendicitis on 1 March 1914. (Amtsblatt 1914, 45, 91.) One photograph captures a well maintained corrugated iron building with “1913” clearly shown and another an aerial view of MV Malaita at a wharf.

Four photographs were taken in or near Goroka, probably at Humilaveka, in the Eastern Highlands District of New Guinea, and all relate to an airstrip – kunai (grass) buildings, fences, people watching and a biplane, a De Havilland 84 Dragon.
The four photographs taken of Manus Island are of the main port of Lorengau. Various types of water craft, possibly pieces of equipment left after World War 2, buildings and the main wharf, are shown in these photos.
Probably on his way back to Australia, Frank took a photograph in the China Straits showing three different types of boat, and one other.

The photographs were given to Helen and Ray Spark in 1976. They met him on a trip with their two daughters to Melbourne from Wewak in Papua New Guinea where they were living, Ray then working at the Wewak hospital. They got talking and Frank told them he had some old photos of New Guinea. He said he took the photos when he was a student doing an internship there in December 1949- March 1950. Under Frank’s care, a son was born to the Sparks in April 1976. Frank gave the photos to the Sparks in the brown manilla envelope. On it in pencil is the note “These pictures were taken Dec 1949 March 1950”: presumably the handwriting is Frank’s.

The brief descriptions on most photos are Frank Forster’s own. Additional information has been added to these descriptions, much of it based on the work Bill Gammage did in 2018 when asked to look at the images by the Bureau.

Forster, Frank

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