[There was no bulletin last week but nevertheless President Chis wrote us a President's Message. -ed]
Dear Fellow Rotarians and Friends of the Club,
Dymphna and I have just returned from a most interesting and enjoyable trip to Papua New Guinea and even managed to undertake a number of meetings and discussions relevant to Rotary amongst our busy tourist activities. Ron Seddon from the Rotary Club of Port Moresby was happy to present the Kyeema Foundation Chicken Breeding Project to his club and felt that there were members of both this club and the Boroko Rotary Club who would be able to help with advice and valuable contacts in advancing the project. Ron also gave us an insight into his work as chairman of the five member “Rotarians against Malaria PNG” committee which has a budget of $26 million and has made significant progress in reducing the incidence of malaria in PNG.
In Kavieng, New Ireland, our meeting with Province Governor, Sir Julius Chan, and his personal assistant, mainly concerned possible help from our friends Richard and Sandra Pickworth’s Medical and Dental Supply firm to improve the equipment in a number of the hospital and health centre facilities. We spent a day visiting the main hospital in Kavieng and two outlying smaller facilities, a trip of over 400 km., and learnt a lot about the difficulties of providing very basic health care in this area. One small hospital had electricity for only three hours a day and repair and maintenance of equipment posed great obstacles even at the main hospital. We also had a good discussion on the most useful items which DIK could  provide to the New Ireland hospitals and schools and I hope we may be able to arrange a container of these to go to Kavieng in the next twelve months if DIK is operational. Two of the three hospitals have dental clinics but the more remote one had not had a dentist for about a year and the equipment in one of the two dental surgeries in the Kavieng hospital has been non functional for many months. Interestingly, when we returned to Port Moresby on July 16 there was a very impressive looking Chinese Hospital Ship at the dock near where we were staying and the local paper reported that it had already seen 400 patients, with dental and eye problems being the most common complaints. The activity of Chinese organizations was very evident generally, but especially in Port Moresby. I did give Sir Julius a summary of the Kyeema Foundation Project and a copy of its recent scoping report and he was interested in its potential for New Ireland if the pilot is successful.
Back in Port Moresby we had coffee with a retired National Government politician from the Highlands, Jamie Maxtone-Graham, who now owns a large health resort/hotel in Port Moresby and has a special interest in improving nutrition of the PNG population, especially the children. Jamie was very interested in the Kyeema Project as he is hoping to begin providing healthy nutritious lunches for the children in the three schools near his hotel and a reliable supply of chicken at a reasonable cost would be very helpful in this enterprise.
The people, geography, plant, animal and bird life of Papua New Guinea provide the visitor with wonderfully enjoyable, colourful and spectacular experiences but the country and its inhabitants do have many problems and as its nearest neighbour I believe we have a special responsibility to do what we can to help solve these. In this Rotary year I do hope that the RCOB can play a small part in this regard.
Yours in Rotary
Chris Muir