Much ado about …..!
Dec 20, 2018
For the heritage club cocktail party (previous Uniworld cruisers) and the farewell dinner, I wore my new bright paisley jacket. Now I honestly hadn’t expected to draw attention to myself. I just love bright clothing and felt good wearing it. What did happen was that almost everyone in the lounge bar followed my progress and the bar manager came and asked me if it was “bespoke”. When I said “no”, wanted to know where she could buy it for her husband.
Among the 113 people on our cruise, were a woman, five young men and a young woman. Tiffany Twivey Nonggorr is the principal of Twivel Legal and has been practicing in PNG for 22 years.
Tiffany has practiced widely in law in both PNG and Australia and was formerly a Partner in the commercial litigation section of Gadens Lawyers in Port Moresby, until her move to open her own firm in 2008. Tiffany’s expertise lies in Commercial Litigation, Constitutional Law, Mining, Oil and Gas and Environmental Law both at the National and Supreme Court levels. In Port Moresby, Tiffany has provided long term legal advice to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Department of Attorney General and the Department of Finance, many indigenous Landowners of PNG, Nasfund (Superannuation), Bank of South Pacific, Oil Search, Interoil and other many other governmental institutions and private companies.
Tiffany’s sister died several years ago, and her three sons live in various parts of the U.S. For the last two years she has organized and paid for her son and cousins to holiday together. This year there was her son and his girlfriend and best friend and the three cousins on the cruise. All were aged between 19 and 31. These 7 people were the center of attention the entire cruise.
Every day there was a theme, and she had t-shirts, braces, Tyrolean hats etc. for all of them. They also came with dinner suits etc. The had snow fights … all attacking Tiffany, and she organized activities for the periods we were cruising during the day. They were always having fun and it was infectious.
Our bigoted meal mates began on the first day by declaring that they were Islamist and dodgy. By the end of the cruise, they declared that they were lovely people.
The freaky thing is that I had a tenuous connection to them both. In the case of Robbin from W.A. she grew up living at Rose Bay and Dover Heights. She is three years younger than I, learned to swim at the Watsons Bay Baths with Alf Vockler, the same as me. She went to Kambala, possibly in the same year as Mary Wright (my Godmothers daughter) and basically moved in similar circles to me in the early 60’s.
When I introduced myself to Tiffany, I asked if she knew what Moi Avei was up to these days. Sir Moi Avei was president of the Pangu Party and personal assistant to Sir Michael Somare, the first Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea at Independence. As a schoolboy, Moi along with around 30 other PNG schoolboys attended Ipswich and Toowoomba Grammar schools in the early 1960’s. They were the sons of tribal chiefs, selected to receive university educations and provide the leadership of an independent PNG.
Moi went on the gain degrees from the University of Queensland and London School of Economics, married a Brisbane girl, returned to PNG as mentioned above and I visited him twice in Port Moresby. Once was just months before independence and the other was fifteen years later, and while he served in many governments over the last 45 years, on that last occasion he was disillusioned with the corruption of many of his former school mates. He had returned to his village to try to keep the young people away from Port Moresby and the “Raskol” gangs.
Tiffany told me that Moi is now Chairman of the Ok Tedi mining company and advisor to many PNG companies and government agencies. Tiffany lives in the same residential complex as Moi and will pass on my best wishes and memories of the days in my youth when uninvited he wrote an entry in my autograph album, “silence is golden”. He knew me so well as a 17 year old.
So, following the farewell dinner, with me resplendent in my jacket, and leaving the lounge, someone saw the five cousins all dressed in Tuxedos and remarked, “there’s the rock stars”. One of them turned and responded, “no, here’s the rock star” and he came and put his hand on my shoulder.
For the next two days I had people coming up to me saying how they loved my jacket, and how good I looked in it.