world-war-11

Let us give Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels the recognition they deserve

Letters

I WANT to express my disappointment about the doco movie televised last Sunday night on EMTV to commemorate Remembrance Day in Papua New Guinea.
The show was historically inaccurate in its content. (Its quality is another matter).
I note that an objective of this doco was to promote the efforts of the famed Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, especially the role that they played along the historic Kokoda track in World War II.
Firstly, the term Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels does not reflect any official recognition of indigenous indentured labourers who were engaged by the Australian war administration.
Many of those local men were forced against their will to support the Australian war effort.
Without their involvement, the Kokoda Campaign would, quite literally, not have been fought, let alone won.
Secondly, there was no mention and no official recognition of the men from the coastal regions of Papua who were commissioned as carriers by the war administration to work on the Kokoda track.
It is a historical fact that the Kokoda track was mostly located behind enemy lines during the war, so it made logical sense for the war administration to recruit local labour, mostly from the coastal parts of Central and Gulf, as well as from neighbouring plantations.
Their continued omission in any efforts to commemorate and give prominence to the role played by the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels during the Kokoda Campaign, which ultimately led to Australia’s victory, is a shame.
It’s time to honour those men and their memory.

Robert Bino (Ph.D.)
Goroka, EH

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