Monday, July 27, 2009

South Pacific Survey, 18 June 1951, Apia

Once again out to Satapuala and because of the modifications to be made to the sweeps, we were engaged in putting down more marker buoys. There are about 40 buoys now in position and every one has a great piece of weight ie an old truck differential or something tied to it and I have tied every damn one on and placed every buoy over the side.

It is interesting to see just how money, particularly the taxpayer's money is frittered away on idle schemes. I can lay some claim to being a practical minded man, but these CAB and PWD boys even after they have boobed or made a mistake, they won't admit it, but go further to endeavour to justify the mistake made.

Altogether I have put up three different modifications for to make the sweep work and these people, just because it's me, won't have anything to do with them, even after they are cornered and asked what is wrong with it and we write down the number of points for and against and mine win hands down the answer is NO.

Altogether, we have wasted 3 days because of this incompetence and it is a rather sorry state to be in. However, it does not affect me as I am here only to operate the aircraft.

#####(Name withheld by son) is a very much self opiniated man and I would give him an idea or two and he will have the crass ego to produce them as his own ideas. To bed.

Monday, July 20, 2009

South Pacific Survey, 17 June 1951, Apia

Heavy rain here today, and it has been organised for the party to visit one of the native villages. We left "Aggies" at approx 9.30 and it rained until clear of the town, then it cleared. The native chief who is reputed to be quite a character in the area is called "Savai" and the village Afegi.
Pronounced Afengi, the "n" being a non epistant in Samoan, and it is written as a "g".

After a walk around the village where we inspected coco trees and pods, kava tree roots, sago and quite a few others, we repaired to the meeting house and there squatted down cross legged on mats and the speechifying began.

God and his works came into the old chief's words quite frequently and it was explained that he was a deacon in the village church. Even I was asked to talk, and from the remarks passed it went over better than Brodie's, who was leader of the party.

After much speechifying, banana leaves were brought in and placed long-wise on the floor of the house and then, chicken, whole fish, bread fruit and taro. As well, a delightful mixture called or pronounced pala-sami, which is made up of an outer wrapping of banana leaf, with an inner layer of taro leaf mixture, coconut and odds and ends. Any way, it tasted fine.

This sitting cross legged played havoc with some of the types, as it is considered an insult to stick them straight out in front. So after the feast was over, no knives or plates or forks, we washed our hands in bowls of waster, and didn't they need it too.

Very sweet, weak tea and sponge cake followed. The cake was baked in the old camp oven and was very light and good to eat. All this was very fine we thought and it was a nice gesture when one considers they were up at 5am preparing the food.
The general set-up was, our party, and on the other welcoming side was the chief, his talking chief, the chief's wife and "bebe" (baby), the chief's daughter and one or two of the lesser lights. The chief's daughter, as the village virgin, was expected to set a good example to all the rest of the young people in respect of morals.

The meeting house was a good example of native craftsmanship in design and construction. An old organ standing in the corner had most of the keys eaten away by wood ants and borer.
After an enjoyable stay, we departed for the city, after we had given assurances that we had accepted the village as our island home.

Went up to the hospital about my head and after waiting an hour and 15 minutes came away without seeing anyone.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

South Pacific Survey, 16 June 1951, Apia

No work today as the sweeps need modifying and present practice this means at least 3 days.

Rather a strange business this, the people who operated the original sweeps havent a clue as to what is necessary to make them tick or work, yet the people who were not even on them can tell you what is wrong and any idea which one may have is just not acceptable, however we are here only to fly the boat.

Wrote to my family today and stuck lots of stamps on just to give them something to bargain then wandered down to the Post Office in the pouring rain to post them.

Bought some socks and stockings and had a brief look around the shops then home. Spent part of the afternoon in bed and a short walk and sat around and yarned and as I have a slightly sore head, mainly ear I am off to bed.