Jackson’s Airport


AtoZ2019JThis series of blog posts is part of the A to Z 2019 Blogging Challenge in which I will write snapshot memories of my early married life in the then Territory of Papua New Guinea.

The dry plain of Jackson’s airstrip

Bounded by the ocean

And the encircling hills.

On my first arrival

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One of my first tasks as a married woman was to get an entry permit to the Territory of Papua New Guinea.

Heat slams my body,

Unfamiliar faces

Ground crew in sulus[i]

TAA written vertically,

Walk across the tarmac

Towards my new life.

A year later a new baby

Makes her arrival there

The start of her own adventurous life.

Travelling to Brisbane

Small children to see maternal grandparents

Visiting other family and friends

Louisa with grandparents Norman and Joan Kunkel Kelvin Grove 1971

Visiting my parents in Brisbane. Dad making silly faces at eldest daughter.

On leave or for work

Jackson’s is always part of the story.

Louisa and Rach airport BNE 1974

These two were already experienced flyers.

Friday nights in pay week

His week’s audit trip over

We slalom to Jackson’s round drunks

Car doors firmly locked.

Weekend flying lessons at the Aero Club

Circuits and bumps/landings

Heart pounds as we practice stalls

Sharing the sky with experienced pilots

All controlled by the Jackson’s Tower, “over”

The Grumman Tiger’s turn

May follow Air Nuigini’s 747.

Les and Kaye Cass going finish late 1976 with Louisa and Rach

A group photo of Jackson’s was part of the life experience. The kids farewelling their paternal grandparents as they went finish.

Greeting and farewelling

Jackson’s is our common denominator

The saddest is “going finish”[ii]

Most we see again, there or here

Until our turn comes

Leaving our hearts behind in PNG

For our new adventure “back home”.

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Returning to Jackson’s on holidays in 2012.

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[i] A sulu is a type of tailored laplap.

[ii] “Going finish”  was the term used for when people left Papua New Guinea permanently, usually to live in Australia, which wasn’t quite home any more.

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