Fab Feb Photo Collage Festival: Day 26 Going Finish

4 x 7UP collageGoing Finish was a pivotal point in the life of those who had worked in the administration of Papua New Guinea. Some of the old-timers left prior to Independence, as did those who were convinced “we’d all be ruined”. Others remained for a number of years after Independence. Some left as their jobs became handed over to Papua New Guineans as they gained the skills and competencies for their newly formed country. Others left before then, knowing that otherwise they might never leave the ties were so strong.

Kaye and Les going finish

So the ritual of going finish was a significant cultural event. As nearly all those who left the country permanently departed through Port Moresby, where were living by then, we have many photos of groups of people going finish. This photo is an important one for our family, showing Mr Cassmob’s family leaving PNG after 23 years. Never ones to wear their emotions on their sleeves, they look quite calm but I imagine that inside they were feeling very sad.

One of our going finish parties.
One of our going finish parties.

A few years later we would join the trek to the south where we learned to be Australians in our own country all over again. Strangely we have no photos of our departure though it’s likely our friends have one, so I must put out a query on that. What we do have though is this picture of one of our many farewells, this one by our gang of Gerehuligans (Gerehu was the suburb where we lived). As we flew out of Jackson’s airport I know I had tears in my eyes, mitigated only by the champagne handed to us, and the camera lending some emotional distance.

 I’m going to leave you with a special poem written for Mr Cassmob’s parents when they left Milne Bay (but not going finish). Written by the local teachers it’s a very touching tribute.

Kaye and Les farewell Milne Bay

Fab Feb imageFamily Hx writing challengeThis post is part of the February Photo Collage Festival and the Family History Writing Challenge.

5 thoughts on “Fab Feb Photo Collage Festival: Day 26 Going Finish

  1. It’s always with mixed feelings that we leave a place where we’ve spent a lot of time… ‘going finish’ just about sums it up. Is that Daughter No1 standing in the photo with your parents in law? So much a miniature of you.. lovely smile.


    1. Yes it does Chris, though I’ve never heard it used elsewhere. Yes that is DD1 standing, and yes even more of a mini-me now (not that she’d like that too much!) but DD3 is even more so. DD2 on her Nona’s knee is very much like her paternal great aunt.


    1. The red dress was what was known as a Meri dress (local)…very comfortable, cool and colourful…and cheap. Yes as I said to Chris, DD1 and DD3 are very like me in looks.


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