Tales from our Customer Joachim
Joachim has lived an amazing life, growing up in Germany before moving to Australia in 1951 to work on the Hydro Dam Project in Tasmania. The 92-year-old loves to share stories about all his adventures and misadventures. He recently recounted this memory about living in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea where life is very different!
Joachim moved to Port Moresby to work as a store supervisor. He was single at the time but discovered that had he been married he would be entitled to family accommodation. So, finding a wife is what Joachim set out to do.
“When I went on leave, I went back to Hobart and met Lois, the woman who was to become my first wife,” he explains.
One evening when he was out with friends, Joachim met Lois at the entrance to a nightclub. “I thought Lois was a nice-looking lady. My friends, Klaus and Margaret, said I wouldn’t be brave enough to ask her out so I went up to her, introduced myself and asked her to join us – which she did!”
Later that evening, the group went back to Klaus’ place where Joachim remembers sharing a first kiss with Lois.
The pair married on February 3rd at the end of Joachim’s three months of leave and Lois moved to Port Moresby with Joachim. Shortly after, Lois’ children from a former marriage went to visit and also ended up staying permanently.
“We all lived in the family accommodation allocated to me,” Joachim says. Living in Port Moresby was nothing like living in Hobart. Joachim remembers keeping a large snake and small crocodile in an enclosure he built near the house.
“To clean out the enclosure I had to go in with a shovel as protection because the crocodile might attack me. Lois would stand by with the garden hose and would squirt water at the crocodile if it got too close,” he says.
Jaochim and Lois had a housekeeper named Marley who helped around the house. Marley spoke pidgin so communication was often challenging.
“He said he could cook, but I didn’t trust him, nor did Lois, so we tried to teach him,” Joachim says. “One day, using an alarm clock, I explained that at 4pm you put the whole tin of food, unopened into the saucepan with water and boil it. Marley didn’t seem sure but he wanted to please me and said yes.
“I came back and asked if he had done the job. He smiled and laughed nervously. I lifted the lid off the saucepan and there was the alarm clock boiling away in the saucepan,” Joachim laughs.
“After that, I decided I needed to learn to speak pidgin!”
Thanks for sharing your story Joachim! If you have a story you’d like to share, let us know!