Vale: Items not printed in Una Voce

This page contains notices which were received well after the passing of the person, and which therefore have not been printed in Una Voce.

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KENT, Jim (21 January 2009)

Jim KENT (21 January 2009, aged 85)

Our father was an extremely private person and even we, his children, were unaware of much that happened in his life. We even thought he was two years older than he actually was, as his enlistment papers for WW2 show him as born in London in January 1922 rather than in Fitzroy in January 1924. So, although some of the following may be factually incorrect, we can unequivocally say that his service with the 2/6th Commando Squadron kindled an ongoing love affair with PNG that continued through his career as a Kiap and to the day that he died. As he continually impressed on us, our time in PNG should be viewed in all ways as a privilege, in no way a right: a perspective we've come to appreciate more and more as we grow older. This sentiment is reflected in his anecdotes, his writings, his photography and his drawings (he was an extremely talented artist).

Jim was born in Fitzroy in 1924, and his parents returned to their native Western Australia when he was about four years old. He grew up in Cottesloe where the surf claimed most of his youthful attention. An all-round athlete, he excelled in running (junior state champion), Aussie Rules (Claremont, his beloved tigers) and dabbled in boxing.

Jim enlisted on 1 December 1941, volunteering for the 2/6th Independent Company (later renamed as the 2/6th Commando Squadron), raised in March 1942, seeing service in their various PNG campaigns. We understand that while wounded and in hospital he was interviewed by Sir Hubert Murray who accepted his application for service with ANGAU. However, this was pre-empted by his discharge on 23 April 1946 and the disbandment of ANGAU on 23 July 1946. However, he did take up a position with the Department of District Services and Native Affairs on 24 August 1946.

Jim's first posting was to Kerema, working to Mick Foley. In his second term he was stationed in the Goilala, working to Ron Galloway. Jim met and married Dorothy MacKean in 1951. On his return from leave he was initially posted to Mount Lamington. However, the patrol post was destroyed in the Mount Lamington eruption with significant local areas remaining uninhabitable. So Jim and Dorrie spent about two months in Samarai before moving to Baniara as the A/ADO. Their children, Lita and Lachie, were born in Baniara toward the end of 1951. He was subsequently posted to Losuia in the Trobriands and (we believe) the d’Entrecastreaux islands and the Louisiade archipelago.

In 1953 Jim's posting to Namatanai in New Ireland (the most N/E administrative post) was changed to A/ADO Daru (the most S/W administrative post), working to Allan Champion. This period included an in district posting to Gaima. We understand that during this posting he explored and mapped the last unexplored section of the upper reaches of the Fly through to the headwaters of the Sepik.

This term was followed by two years in Jim's native Western Australia following complications associated with the birth of his third child, Michelle, in Perth. Jim returned to Sydney to attend the long course at ASOPA in 1956. Between 1957 and 1963 he swapped postings between Goroka and Kundiawa. He was then posted as ADC Mendi in 1964, ADC Bereina in 1966, A/DDC Moresby in 1967 and DDC Vanimo in 1968. We understand that following some time as A/DC Vanimo, Jim’s last posting was DDC Moresby. Gon Pinis in 1974, he settled back in Western Australia.

Jim is survived and missed by his children Lita, Lachie and Michelle, his six grandchildren and eight great grand children. Em tasol.