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Old 13-10-2004, 11:38 AM
wendyemc wendyemc is offline
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Great story! Visited Hagen a couple of times in the mid-60's during my 15 years growing up in PNG. Those were the days of Tom Ellis, apparently a man who brooked no nonsense from anyone, regardless of creed, colour or politics. My husband, Bob, who was a bank johnny then with the Commonwealth in Hagen, and the reason for my visits, has a store of good yarns about him. Like the time two female tourist arrived in town in shorts and were put on the next plane out. Or the time there was a late-night riot at the airstrip after alcohol was first introduced to the indigenous population. Things were getting out of hand between the Hagens and the Wabagers when Tom arrived in his dressing gown and slippers. He said, Okay who's leading this little ruckus?" Some fool stepped foward and Tom knocked him cold as a maggot. "Okay, who's next?" No sooner had another fool stepped forward than he too bit the dust. "Anyone else?" No takers, just a bit of foot shuffling and head hanging before the mob downed spears and began to disperse. Tom turned on his heel and stalked off, but not before having a go at his patrol officers. "Next time you blokes get me out of bed in the middle of the night, make sure it's for something important!"

On my first visit to Hagen, Bob arrived back from Porgera just before my plane touched down. He asked me to sit on a wooden suitcase he was carrying while he went to the loo. Turns out I was sitting on $60,000 worth of gold nuggets, back when gold was pegged at $35 an ounce. He flew out regularly to buy gold, which was supposedly thick on the ground; the story went that it was so plentiful that if a nugget was too small to pick up with your toes you left it lying right where it was.
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