Philanthropy

Beds to Kavieng Hospital

Our friend Uncle Pete is the president of the Kavieng Rotary Club, so he was the first person I contacted. Next was our good friend Greg Parr, who got me in touch with the Calvary Hospital in Cairns and a number of months, sweat, many tears and even more bruises later, we had enough stuff to almost fill a 20ft container! We got hospital beds, physio beds, blood pressure cuffs, school desks, some more chairs, toys, clothing, pillows, cooking utensils and much, much more.

Three very happy nurses with a "new", proper hospital bed.

I happened to have dinner with Mike Ball  from Mike Ball Dive Expeditions one night whilst being in Cairns to pack all this up, and asked if he had any old linen from the boats. The next day, my car was filled with stacks of linen, still in their plastic covers from having only just come back from the dry cleaners! Everyone has been so generous, it’s been really very humbling.

Sweaty, but happy after unpacking boxes and boxes of medical stuff. With Matron, Dr Kuk and Merylin.

Unfortunately, PNG Customs is not so generous, they let our container sit there for months, trying to work out the document that said that all goods were in fact donated goods. Eventually, PNG Ports in Lae, where the container was stuck, started to charge us wharfage, so we bit the bullet and paid almost K 9,000.00 of our hard-earned Rotary-money to get the container released. In May, we were finally able to deliver the beds etc. to the hospital.
As if that wasn’t enough, Greg then asked his wife, who is a nurse, to collect kids clothing. So far, we have managed to bring up 4 bags, and there are still some with Greg in Cairns. Anyone coming our way from or through Cairns, who has a bit of luggage allowance left is encouraged to contact me!

Handing out baby clothes to new mums and their bubs at Kavieng Hospital. Photo courtesy of Don Silcock.

We needed to fill up our Rotary coffers again, so a couple of Sundays later, the Rotary Club of PNG held their annual Trukai (Rice) Fun Run all over the country. For the first time in 4 or 5 years, it didn’t rain, so we had a great turn-out. Luckily, my assistance is required at the sausage sizzle, so I always have a great excuse for not having to run. I probably wouldn’t even survive the first kilometre! But Uncle Pete knows why he keeps me there, the sizzle was once again sold-out. We made good money for Rotary that day!