Uniformity in housing


AtoZ2019U

This 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. 

Public Servants and expats in PNG

Were provided with housing

Fibro external walls mostly

Louvres in all the windows for the breeze

Basic furniture and appliances

Maintenance by the Public Works Department.

21 Alotau house Cass

Our first home was the AR16 allocated to Mr Cassmob’s parents, who were in Moresby for a few months. Photo probably 1968 before his mother worked her magic in the garden.

Standard designs meant we always knew

Where all the rooms were –

No confusion over bathroom trips.

No matter that we would have the same layout

The residents’ personality was displayed

In their own possessions and styling

Visiting new friends could be quite fascinating

Looking at books and souvenirs.

Alotau 1960s view house 1

The view of Milne Bay from the relaxation area house #1, taken circa 1968.

The size house you were allocated,

And the location,

Often depended on status as well as

Family size and general availability.

We had three houses in Alotau

Two were three-bedroom AR16s

High set with concrete underneath for entertaining

Or just a cool breeze and an evening drink.

Our house at Nth Goroka 1971

Our north Goroka AR20 with the laundry downstairs, a vegie patch in the back corner, and a village over the fence.

Our final house was an AR10, two bedrooms, low-set

Quite the pain in the Wet Season with an infant’s nappies.

All had slow combustion stoves for heating and cooking

Chopping wood was part of the day’s ritual.

In North Goroka our home was a highset AR20

The laundry in the open downstairs, dirt “floor”

Baby’s playpen was a packing case near me.

Twin tub washing machines meant lengthy laundry sessions

No wonder, I suppose, that many expats had local house staff

Louisa and Rach with Les Goroka 1973

My father-in-law with the kids outside our West Goroka house. Big bear had been very sick.

I feared that if I started married life like that I’d never readjust.

We moved to West Goroka just the week before #2 child was born

A Dillingham, three bedrooms, low set

Across from the hospital and on the PMV route

Self-government came while we lived there.

Brandi in lounge room in Moresby c1978

Our Gerehu house – lounge room. Don’t have a hangover with those 70s curtains!

Our move to Gerehu in Port Moresby

Came with an M-type house, three bedrooms, low set

Trapdoors in the bedroom required a bookcase on top

A favourite point of entry for raskols

We acquire an automatic machine and a water bed

Not the government issued metal frame

We must be grown-ups now.

Neighbours became good friends.

Some now deceased, others are like family.

Alotau, Milne Bay wharf

The view from house #3 in Alotau spoiled us forever – what else could come close?

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Uniformity in housing

  1. This one reminds me of our mid 70s move from married quarter in Brisbane high set to identical married quarter in Oakey but low set and left to right rather than right to left orientation of rooms. Furniture, curtain rails, rods and curtains all fitted, just had to reorient our brains. Laundry underneath on concrete slab in Brisbane was fine until the night I trod on a cane toad! Learnt to always put on footwear before venturing outside.

    Liked by 1 person

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