CWA Melbourne Cup Day – A Party For Eunie

Posted in Mixed Nuts on November 3rd, 2010 by MadDog
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Yesterday was Melbourne Cup Day. If you are not an Australian or you don’t hang around with Australians, then that might not mean much to you. Let me tell you that it is a very big deal here. The Country Women’s Association of Madang threw a lovely shindig yesterday –  the Eunice Messersmith Melbourne Cup Day Party. It made me very happy to attend.

Our local Wonder Woman who goes by the alias of Maureen Hill assisted the ladies of the staff of the CWA Cottage who, along with other members, organised a terrific lunch and provided a delicious fruit punch and a well-stocked bar, an obligatory facility for Melbourne Cup Day.

Maureen sported a stunning chapeau featuring my favourite orange lilies:

Sometimes I think that Melbourne Cup celebrations are more about hats and less about horse racing, though the race was quite exciting and ended with a nice surprise for me.

Lady Anna had come in from Kar Kar Island  with Sir John. I hope that I’m not mistaken, but I believe that Lady Anna won the Best Dressed prize:

All of the ladies were decked out in their finest.

I wore an old but respectable silk shirt and tropical white trousers. I have one pair of black leather shoes which have not succumbed to jungle rot. I wore them with an ancient pair of black socks with only a few holes, none of which showed. I love to tell uppity youngsters that I have underwear which is older than they are. It’s true!

Not to be outdone, Trevor represented the men of CWA (we are both dues-paying members) with this smart number which he picked up in a used clothing store in London:

The betting tickets make snappy accessories.

I can’t say that I’m particularly proud of the pictures. I was shooting for fun, not technique. I ran them all through a noise and softening filter to get the look I wanted. They are just a bunch of shots of people having fun. I always loved to go to the CWA Melbourne Cup Party with Eunie. She enjoyed it so much and I simply enjoyed soaking up that feeling which I got from being with her when she was having fun.

The ladies did seem to enjoy the attention of my camera. Here is Maggie in her very fine leopard spotted cap:

Maggie’s daughter, Annie, was a stunner in this outfit:

And Leanne showed her lovely smile for the lens:

The name of the horse which won the race as Americain. I found this intensely amusing. As the winners were delivered their spoils, I stood and asked why anyone, having thought about it, would not  have bet on that horse. The connection between the party for Eunie, one of the few Americans in Madang, and the fortuitous name of the horse should have been obvious. Americain paid about twelve to one. Too bad that I forgot to bet.

Here Karen shows off something which might be called a hat, I suppose:

Whatever it is, I like it.

This is Helen. I like this unpretentious headgear. It claims to be a hat and nothing more. Sometimes less is  more:

It’s a good look for Madang.

Heather was not in a mood for complex metaphors. This hat shouts Melbourne Cup Day!

I wonder where she found those little horses.

CWA was one of Eunie’s passions. It is one of the more remarkable organisations in Madang. I can’t think of another wholly local operation which does so much good with so little. The cottage makes a nice income as do the social functions. All of the income in excess of expenses is spent in support of local needs such as the Children’s Nutirion Ward of the hospital and Kindergarden Long Ples (pre-school programs at the village level) among many others.

Every time I think of CWA I have happy moments. I had some very happy moments yesterday.

Thank you, ladies.

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A Hen’s Party and Melbourne Cup 2009 Combo

Posted in Mixed Nuts on November 7th, 2009 by MadDog
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This Tuesday was Melbourne Cup Day. It’s arguably the biggest horse-race event in Australia and it’s a very big deal here in Papua New Guinea. Country Women’s Association has traditionally hosted a party for the event. This year was a bit different from the last one that I attended.

Work prevented me from attending this year until my wife, Eunice, called me at the office to suggest that she was ready to be picked up at the CWA Cottage. I was mildly surprised to arrive to a room packed full of . . . uh . . . happy women who descended on me, the only man present, as a plague of locusts. It was like a dream come true.

The dual-purpose party served also to celebrate the impending marriage of Karen Simmons to Trevor Hattersley. I suspect that the intensity of the partying (not to mention the number of empty Champagne bottles) was due to the nearness of the wedding at which I will participate as the Celebrant on Saturday.

In case you don’t remember Karen, I’ll show you an image that you’ve seen here on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi  before – the way The Water People  know her:

Karen Simmons as The Water People know herI really love that image. It’s one of the best photographs that I’ve ever captured. It’s not technically perfect, but it has a beautiful voice – like a Paul Simon love song.

I present here this humongous gallery uncensored and without comment:  (What could I say, anyway? Girls just want to have fun!)

I’m looking forward to the Wedding on Saturday. It will be a pleasure to be the Celebrant at the marriage of two of my fondest friends. These things come along only a few times in one’s life. It’s a blessing to me.

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All I Want to Do is Party

Posted in Humor on November 28th, 2008 by MadDog
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Imagine this. You live in a place where there are no movie theatres, no restaurants that you haven’t been to 1,000 times already, no jazz or blues clubs, no interesting hang-outs . . .

So, do you sit at home and read or watch The Tube? Some do.

We don’t.

Nonsensical socialization (i. e. partying) is the primary entertainment in Madang. By custom, it takes a minimum of three people to make a party. (Otherwise people will talk!)

Here’s three slightly demented women partying – just to demonstrate the principle:

Party girls on Melbourne Cup Day a few years ago

Okay, that’s not true. It’s Lorraine, Karen, and Eunie (my woman) at Melbourne Cup Day.

All parties don’t need to have a reason, but Melbourne Cup Day has two. The first (and by far the least important) is to watch the race. The primary reason for the Melbourne Cup party is to dress in such a way as to attract the greatest possible attention, which is what (I think) women like to do, but will never admit. The traditional focus is HATS!

Other parties have entirely different purposes:

Insanity rules at the Red Cross Fashion Show

No, no, this is not what it seems. The Red Cross held a fashion show to raise money. I don’t commonly remove so much clothing in front of so many people, but this was for a good cause. I suppose you can notice that I am on the left looking very improbable. Fedor is in the middle doing “Extreme Ironing”. Rich is at the right doing . . . something.

Here’s the cooking detail at a randomly chosen party at Blueblood:

The Three Stooges - Madang Style

I am as close to the barbie as I am allowed to go. This is an Australian thing. Yanks are not allowed to approach closer than two metres to the barbie. I have, in fact, encroached upon the limit. That is why I am surreptitiously displaying the victory gesture. As soon as Tony and Trevor notice, they will shout obscenities at me until I am once again outside the forbidden zone.

This has nothing to do with Madang, but I should mention that not all nationalities treat Yanks in such a shoddy fashion. Here I am happily, if a bit groggily, tending the barbie in the Vienna Woods. It was okay with the Austrians. In fact, they ignored me completely except to bring me an occasional yummy beer:

Tending the barbie in the Vienna Woods - a thirsty job

And, what would life be without TOGA? Yes, kiddies, we actually do have the occasional toga party in Madang, as this photo will attest:

The "Centurion" style toga

I don’t know what Eunie’s outfit had to do with toga, but I approved anyway. Mine was based on the “Centurion” design and it made me feel quite manly, considering it’s the next thing to a dress. I once wore a kilt for a wedding and it too gave me a strange sense of freedom. Maybe it is the lack of undergarments – who knows?

Here’s two of a group of partiers on board Moonlighting for a little fishing. We didn’t catch anything, but I guess, from previous experience, that catching fish is not really the point of fishing. I’m still not clear on that:

The great 'sport' of Fishing - similar to the great 'sport' of Watching Paint Dry

And, sometimes, on a rare Saturday morning, I find that only the ladies show up at the dock and I’m forced to endure an entire day out on the boat with a mob of noisy, wonderful females:

A Dog's Life on Faded Glory - Photo by Rich Jones

It’s a Dog’s Life, but once you get used to it, it’s not so bad. ( I should mention that the photo above – so close to my heart – was taken by Richard Jones, who was pretending not to be aboard so that I might enjoy my day to the fullest. A true mate!)

As I check this before posting it seems even more egocentric than usual. I’m in every photo except one. I’ll throw in the Faded Glory* logo to help restore the balance a little:

The Faded Glory (out of Madang) logoParty on!

* “Faded Glory” is a registered trademark of Wal*Mart. They stole it from me. Is it a political statement about the ultimate demise of all empires? Or is it just because my boat is cheap and junky like most of the stuff at Wal*Mart?  I’ll never tell.

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CWA Melbourne Cup Festivities 2007

Posted in CWA, Madang Happenings, Parties on November 7th, 2007 by MadDog
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This from Jan Messersmith:

We’ll do without all the jibber-jabber and get right to the pictures.  (It was a fun afternoon and was certainly much better than working.)

Getting straight to the winners, we have your humble webmaster as best-dressed man (no, I did not steal those clothes).  Next we have Maureen Hill with the best colour-coordinated outfit.  Then comes Daphne Mari with the best Classic Melbourne Cup hat.  Finally we see Kath Créne with her Best Local Style hat.

The winners

Speaking of hats, Eunice Messersmith did not win a prize, but it was noted that she brought her entire garden on her head.

Eunice’s Garden

Karen Simmons, our visitor all the way from Jolly Old England, presents us with a stunning example of un chapeau le plus formidable. (Okay, my French stinks.  You should hear my German – Ich spreche Deutsches, als ob ich eine Gans war.)


Of course, we have to have the obligatory group photo:

Melbourne Cup Group

Finally, let’s pay tribute to the CWA staff, without whose cheerful help the party would have been scratched (and not because of equine flu).

CWA Staff

If you were wondering if anybody had a nice afternoon . . .  These two did!

Two Hats

CWA, thanks for a good time!

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Melbourne Cup Day at CWA

Posted in CWA, Invitations, Upcomming Events on October 23rd, 2007 by MadDog
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This FROM:  Lorraine Collins

Racing Horse

It’s time to dust your hats and ties off for

Melbourne Cup Day

Get dressed up and join with friends for lunch
and laughter.

Watch the race LIVE on TV!

Date:   Tuesday 6 November
Time:  12 noon
Where:  CWA
Price:  K40 which includes a two course meal


There will be prizes for best dressed man and woman and, of course, best hat!  In addition, there will be a raffle and door prize, plus, you may like to have a flutter on the horses!

Doesn’t that sound

like a good day out?

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