Chapter 26

Betty’s view of Abau

From a letter Betty wrote to my mother I quote:
“After a breakfast of the biggest, sweetest grapefruit I have tasted, John went off with the ADO up to the office about fifty yards from the house and I went on a tour of the island. Abau is very tiny, about a quarter the size of St. Helena in Moreton Bay, so you can imagine there isn’t much of it. Continue reading “Chapter 26”

Chapter 25

Married Life on Abau

Abau is a pretty island of about seventy odd acres in area, mostly a hundred feet rising to two hundred and fifty feet above sea level in the middle of Crowdy Bay inside the barrier reef and about one hundred and thirty miles east of Moresby. It was the centre for the sub-district, the local prison and local hospital and had one small trade store. We had to bring a month or so of stores down with us.

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Chapter 24

Bucking the system

I settled well into the course when a letter came saying Betty was arriving as a secretary-receptionist at the Papua Hotel. This had not been planned by us as a couple. Betty arrived and started to work at the Papua Hotel; so, now I had my fiancée in Moresby and the candle was burning from both ends again. On the plane coming up Betty met the District Commissioner’s daughter, Myola. She was returning home to Moresby and her fiancé, Jim, was in our group.
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Chapter 23

Looking for Adventure

Everything now blurs into routine, study, work outings and at the end of 1952 I was having problems with study; my results were not good with several supplementary examinations. An aptitude test, conducted earlier by a senior lecturer on the class I was with, indicated I was better suited to technical aspects than academics and this was becoming apparent. In hindsight I should have done the Civil Engineering Diploma instead of the Degree, but could not see this at the time. I was getting nowhere and would have to extend a year before going full-time for another two years before completing the course.
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Chapter 22

Family connections and courtship

At one stage I tried to teach Betty to drive her father’s car. We went out along Manly Road and she managed well but when I said “stop the car” she said “why?”, to which I replied “stop the car” and it was only after I called out “stop the bloody car” she did and said “don’t talk to me like that”. I said “anyone can steer a car but I wanted to know you could stop it when necessary. It was case of her wanting to get out and walk home and maybe I should have let her do this.

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