By Philip Fitzpatrick
It's with reference to the time whilst Papua and New Guinea territories will achieve independence from Australian rule and and a tender police cadet, kiap, Philip Fitzpatrick studies a quarter in transition. it really is an environment he interprets to this compelling account of the interval he served as a patrol officer in Papua New Guinea.
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Additional info for Bamahuta: Leaving Papua
I had also wanted to get out amongst bush people and away from the development-obsessed Highlands where I had spent most of my cadetship building and repairing roads and collecting local government tax. All this was making me sleepy. Time for coffee, as Imbum would say. I pushed the chair back and padded into the kitchen, giving the pressure lantern hanging beneath its blackened halo on the ceiling a few perfunctory pumps on the way. I filled an aluminium kettle with water, prised the hotplate off the stove and dropped a few sticks of firewood onto the dying embers of Kure’s dinner fire.
On my instructions Kasari had dispensed with superfluous gear such as camping tables and chairs. I was impressed with Sergeant Kasari’s organisation. He had negotiated the employment of ten carriers with Fiamnok, organised the tins of meat and fish, rice and trade goods with the clerk, weighed and distributed the loads and chivvied the Aid Post Orderly into action. ‘This is good,’ I said, returning the sergeant’s salute. ’ Bamahuta 39 ‘Good,’ I said and turned to the clerk. ‘I’ve told the corporal staying behind that while we are gone he has to supervise the sawing of timber for the new Aid Post.
A large black dog with fierce orange eyes hopped out of the co-pilot’s seat and bounded towards us. The labourers moved as one behind Sergeant Kasari. I patted the dog’s head until a yell from the 36 Bamahuta veranda of the house sent it bounding up the hill. Kure and the dog rolled over ecstatically on the ground. ‘The mutt insisted we land,’ the pilot said. ‘You’re nuts,’ I replied. Dan Fox stood in the office drinking coffee and staring out at the little plane huddled in the rain on the parking bay.
Bamahuta: Leaving Papua by Philip Fitzpatrick