Vale: December 2015

BUCKLEY, Donald James (26 July 2015)
DAVIS, Peter Frederick (December 2013)
DAVIS, Victor Leslie (18 January 2015)
DENT, Betty Evelyn (21 June 2015)
DRYDEN, David Alexander Bruce (16 June 2015)
FISK, Val (18 August 2015)
HANCOCK, Jonathan Yeatman (22 June 2015)
LUCAS, Janet (née McKelvie) (9 June 2015)

Donald James BUCKLEY (26 July 2015, aged 81)

Don was born in Armidale, NSW, on 26 September 1933. His family was well known and respected in Armidale and the surrounding district. He came to PNG in 1957 via ASOPA and was posted to Samarai with the Department of Customs and Marine. After a two year stint in Samarai, other Customs postings to Moresby, Madang and Wewak followed.

Don left PNG in the early 1970s. Subsequently, he worked in England for a period and finally in the Accounts Section of the University of NSW from which he retired to Armidale in the mid 1980s.

Don was a man of quiet demeanour, who was highly regarded for his intelligence and integrity by his Customs colleagues and those in the private sector with whom he interacted. He loved his time in PNG with its unique challenges and responsibilities and the enduring friendships he made there.

He was an excellent tennis and squash player in his time. A lover of Corgi dogs, he owned a succession of them in his sunset years. Don is survived by his brother Norman, sister Barbara and their respective families.

‘Still waters run deep’. Derek Baldwin

Peter Frederick DAVIS (December 2013, aged 72)

Peter previously served in BSA Police Force (Rhodesia) from 1961 to 1964. Together with Norman Simmons (NSW Police on secondment) he set up the first fingerprint bureau at Konedobu. He resigned on 1 April 1967 to become the full-time General Secretary of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) Police Association.

Peter left for Australia in 1968 and for many years he worked as an Industrial officer in heavy industries and at Hammersley. He was the only RPNGC officer to have been born in the Falkland Islands.

Peter died after a long illness. He is survived by his second wife, Daphne, and family. Maxwell Hayes

Victor Leslie DAVIS (18 January 2015, aged 75)

Victor served in the NSW Police Force from 18 February 1957 to 21 June 1966. He was appointed to the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) on 24 June 1966 and served in Port Moresby, Lae, Madang and Rabaul. He resigned on 14 January 1971. His first wife, Val, was a member of the RPNGC Police Reserve.

Victor died after a long illness. He is survived by his second wife, Dawn. Maxwell Hayes

Betty Evelyn DENT (21 June 2015, aged 96)

Betty Dent went to PNG in 1959 when her husband Oswald was posted to Wewak as the District Surveyor. She worked in the District Office for several DOs and ADOs and became a proxy mother to many a young patrol officer coming to the Sepik. She was a wonderful cook and hostess and many visitors graced their dining room table and some became lifelong friends.

Moving to Lae in the early sixties, she continued her working life in Dick Davis' office. She joined the Girl Guides Local Association and was instrumental in raising funds to build the Guide Hut there.

In 1977 they retired and moved to the north coast of NSW and travelled widely in Australia and overseas. In 1996 a second retirement saw them move to Buderim on the Sunshine Coast to be closer to their family.

Betty enjoyed good health until she had a fall and broke her femur, but she never lost her love of life nor her quirky sense of humour. We will all miss her deeply. She is survived by children Cecily and Christopher, grandchildren Michael, Megan, Rosemary and Bronwen and great grandchildren Angus and Nicholas and their extended families. Cecily Odgers

David Alexander Bruce DRYDEN (16 June 2015, aged 74)

David was on an ‘E’ Course for teachers at Pila Pila in Port Moresby when he joined the Reserve Constabulary of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) on 12 March 1968 at Port Moresby. He left on 3 September 1969 with the rank of Senior Constable. He joined the regular RPNGC on 23 March 1970 as an Assistant Police Inspector and served at Kieta resigning on 30 June 1971.

Around 1997 he returned to Port Moresby and worked for Sika Fire later going to Lihir Island Gold Mine as a Safety Officer.

He was married to Ira and had three daughters. Maxwell Hayes

Val FISK (18 August 2015, aged 75)

Val was the wife of long-serving Papua New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (PNGVR) member WO2 Joe Fisk, who served in most centres of PNG. He was a founding member and an active office bearer of the NGVR & PNGVR Ex-members’ Association. Joe died a number of years ago.

Val had been suffering from emphysema and was admitted to a nursing home some weeks ago. Phil Ainsworth

Jonathan Yeatman HANCOCK (22 June 2015, aged 81)

Jonathon was born in April 1934. He became a medical officer cadet on 1 July 1958 while a student at Adelaide University and married Judith Masterman. They had three children: Rachel, Bridget and Andrew.

After graduation in 1959, he worked in the Sepik, Mt Hagen in the Highlands, Okapa and Goroka and eventually in 1965 became Superintendent of Angau Hospital in Lae. He left Papua New Guinea in 1966.

He obtained further postgraduate qualifications in Australia and was at times Director of the Northern Territory Health Services and Chief Medical Officer at Australia House in London.

Jon recently developed prostate cancer and had a minor operation which resulted in septic arthritis with a staph infection. Roy Scragg

Janet LUCAS (née McKelvie) (9 June 2015, aged 74)

Born in Brisbane in 1941, Jan led an adventurous life after leaving school, working on sheep stations in the Riverina, completing one year of a science degree and then teaching biology in a couple of girls’ schools before governessing on a Northern Territory cattle station. She then worked in retail in a department store while learning bookkeeping at night school.

In 1963 she went to Port Moresby to work in Posts and Telegraphs. There she met patrol officer Neil Lucas and they were married in May 1964. Neil’s postings included Kwikila, Magarida and Kupiano before moving to Lae in 1970. After a couple of years they moved to South-east Queensland and had several small businesses.

From 2000 to 2007 Jan worked in administration at the Maryborough Hospital. They then retired to Kumbia, a neat little town near Kingaroy. Both were experiencing declining health and Neil died in August 2009, after major surgery. In June 2011 Jan moved to Orana Nursing Home in Kingaroy where she died. She is survived by a daughter, Rosalind, and son Robert.

For the four years in the nursing home Jan was dependent on 24 hour oxygen: we visited her whenever we could and were inspired by her positive attitude and sense of humour during what were very difficult years. Graham and Patricia Hardy