by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
The Rock-itt : April 2010
pressure on Errol to take Swartz to his destination. Errol still owed the company the immense sum at that time of nine hundred pounds and knew if he wanted to keep "The Maski" hr had little choice but to except the charter. I spent most of the 1980s in Papua New Guinea and in a reasonably civilized environment although at any time the situation could turn dangerous. But every now and then some of these natives from the upper Sepik would venture across to the area in which I lived and I can tell you a more fearsome human being I have never seen before or since. It is as though they are a race of people trapped in a time forgotten, and for Errol to have ventured into the area, which he is about to take Swartz and his party, back in 1928 would have taken an extreme amount of courage. There is an old saying in Papua New Guinea about the Sepik River "If the head hunters don't get you then the mosquitoes and crocodiles will!" It took the "Maski" two months to complete the Sepik River charter as the film crew laboriously ground away, taking photos and footage of the natives and the area that the boat covered. As the bow of "Maski" pushed through the strong current of the Sepik, there was the constant beat of the jungle telegraph, warning those tribes further up the river that strangers were coming in their direction. Arrows were fired at the boat from invisible bowman who lay in wait. But fortunately, the trip into the interior went down without anyone being harmed. Errol and Swartz became quite friendly over the course of time, so much so that Swartz began to confide in Errol about the real reason for the Sepik trip. Apparently, it was a government funded expedition to document the area which at that time was virtually unknown. Both America and Great Britain decided that if relations with Japan diminished in the future then it could possibly give the Japanese an easy thoroughfare right across to the top end of Australia, so photos of the Sepik could be vital if this ever occurred. After the film was developed, Errol found that the crew had not only taken plenty of footage of the natives, flora and fauna and land area, but also quite a bit of himself. There were shots of him taunting a crocodile with a bamboo pole and waist deep in crocodile infested waters pushing the "Maski" off a sandbar, and lots of shots of Errol handling the ship's wheel and working around the decks. After the trip was complete, Errol found that after such a long absence, he had been fired as manager of the copra plantation, which incidentally suited him fine. He also realised that he would never get rich by skippering the "Maski" and decided to sell his half share to Dusty Miller. He found that little Maihiati, his young female companion had made contact with some survivors of her village. He gave her many presents then sent her back to be with them. It was obvious that in their time together he had found love for her, as in his last memoirs he describes her so well even after not seeing her for thirty years. With not a great amount of money and minimum supplies, yet with the thought of finding gold and making it rich burning in his young mind, Errol set off with a team of Kanakas to chase his original dream in the Papua New Guinea gold fields of Edey Creek. What will our young Aussie adventurer find in the goldfields of Edey Creek? Get your Rock-itt next month and find out. www.therockittmagazine.com.au click on ARCHIVES for previous issues. Any problems email me on: email@example.com Cheers Pete.