Anthony W. Pahl


I recall spending a night at Nui Dat in late ‘69 (fairly close to Christmas if I remember) at the invitation of the Kiwis from Victor Company which formed part of 4 RAR at the time. They had actually invited as many off duty chopper crews as could make it but for some reason I was the only one who took them up on their offer.

The Kiwis were preparing a hangi when I arrived and I watched and helped them set the pit and was treated like a king. The blokes informed me that they’d brought the lava rocks over in their cabin trunks instead of clothes, which they put into their duffle bags instead.

I wasn’t much of a drinker in those days (I was 19) and fell asleep for an hour or so after only a few beers, but that was OK because they woke me when the hangi was ready. We ate till we were stuffed, and then drank more beer. From memory, we had pig, deer, chickens, sweet potatoes, and all sorts of other meats and vegetables. Apparently they’d shot most of the game on their way in from a patrol.

We sang late (very late) into the night and I was still hung-over as I staggered my way back to Kanga Pad the next morning.

Thank God I didn’t have to fly that day.

Thank God for the day… it’s bluddy great to have a memory of laughter and fun