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PNG reunion calls Yamba home

Once was home: ‘Cowboy’ used to wander the streets playing his guitar; traffic control in the main street of Port Moresby in the 1960s. Images: Contributed by Margaret Anderson.
“For all those who have lived in the beautiful land of Papua New Guinea – let’s Unite!” says the I used to live in Papua New Guinea (PNG) facebook page. “There is probably not that many of us, but we share a unique experience!” These are the sentiments of long-time Yamba resident Margaret Anderson, who lived in Port Moresby in the 1950s and then from 1969 to 1982. On the weekend of August 25 to 27, over 130 friends from as far south as Melbourne and as far north as Cairns, as well as a few who are still living and working in PNG, will gather in Yamba for a PNG reunion. “These friends met whilst in Papua New Guinea from the 1950s onwards, and comprise people who went there with their parents, people who went to play football and people who went up there to work in various industries and government departments throughout the country,” says Margaret. She says the idea had its genesis at a reunion in Port Moresby in 1981. “It was attended not only by people still living there but also people who had ‘gone finish’ [a PNG colloquialism for leaving]. “The consensus of opinion was that we should try not to lose touch, and to have reunions whenever possible. “Over the years there have been numerous reunions held at different venues with different groups of friends.” It’s 25 years since the 1992 reunion in Yamba, which over 70 people attended. “In February this year, a few friends decided to get together in Yamba for a ‘mini’ PNG reunion and, with only three weeks’ notice, 28 people turned up to get together for a lunch and a few drinks.” Meanwhile, the mini reunion stirred interest in having another one, “on a larger scale”. Soon enough, with the Facebook page as the centre of a network of sorts, “together with the email network, over 250 people were contacted … and over 130 acceptances have been received,” says Margaret. “This reunion should be bigger and better than any we have had in the past.” Anyone who is has lived in PNG and is interested in attending the reunion can contact Margaret Anderson on 0417 737 938.