Aida Jaruga and David Jaruga - Oral History interview recorded on 18 May 2017 at Hohorita, Northern Province, PNG

Description

Mrs Aida Jaruga and Mr David Juraga tell their mother's story on her behalf. Mrs Lilly Jaruga was a young girl who ran into the bush with her family, and grew up during the war. Mrs Lilly Jaruga was present at this interview, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. Because of her old age, her son and daughter told her story on her behalf. Mrs Lilly Jaruga passed away shortly after this interview, in September 2017.

Language

Interview

Warning: This site contains stories of war. Some of these interviews may include detailed and graphic descriptions of events and experiences that may be disturbing for some individuals.


Transcript:
[ME] We are at Road K, Igora block, oil palm block, and it is around a place called Hohorita, which is in the Higaturu local level government area, and they are in Ward 23. And we are just about to interview Aida and her brother on behalf of their mother, Lilly Jaruga, who is 105 years old. Because she is unable to speak, we are getting the children to tell her story on her behalf.
[ME]
Thank you Toki family for the nice welcome you gave us as we were coming with the European lady. While doing this job and going to other places, such welcome was never given, it was the first time. We will tell you about what we are doing.
Your mother is an old woman and we can't tell stories with her, so we got you, her children, Aida Jaruga and David Jaruga, to tell her stories. Whatever she did during the war, if she had told you, that's what you are going to tell us.
How did your mum tell you the story of how big she was when the war arrived? That's what the two of you are going to tell us. [DJ]
At that time she was ten years old when the war came, a small girl. When the war came people were running away into the bush when mum ran with her parents into the bush. They left their houses and ran to the bush.
[ME]
David, sorry, where is your mum from?
[DJ] Siremi
[ME] Siremi evohu re?
[DJ] Yes
[ME]
Aright, you tell your story.
[DJ]
From Siremi they ran into the bush. When they ran into the bush the Japanese arrived by boat and based at Buna. Australia and American came in the plane. As they were listening to the sound of the bombs being thrown Mum, as a little girl, got frightened and ran, and they walked around in the bush. They left their houses, their homes, and they walked around in the bush. They would sleep in the bush with nothing good to eat. When they were trying to cook they would make fire during the day. In the night they would not make fire because if they saw the smoke they would think it was the bomb. So, they would put all the fire off and stay quietly. As they were staying, when they heard the plane coming they would go and lie down and try to see which way the bomb would be thrown. This story was told to me by my mum. They would turn around to see where it was going, and it would be heading for the sea, where it was thrown, where the Australians and Americans were staying. In return Australia and America would throw [bombs] where the Japanese were. In that way Mum never slept or stayed well, she would lie down and when it exploded they would get up and go to another place. In that way Mum was a little girl and she grew up to be a big girl during the war.
[ME]
Aida, David has told his story, you tell us yours.
[AJ]
OK, the way Mum used to tell me the story, goes like this. She was a little girl when the war came. Japan came in a ship, Australian army came by plane. When the war came Mum was a little girl, my grandparents were at Siremi village so they held her by the hands and went about in the bush. They would cook the food during the day and eat. When the war planes were coming they would fetch some water and put the fire out. And they would run and hide. My grandfather dug a hole and put my
mum and grandmother inside, covering it with a piece of iron. And grandfather would carry the Japanese cargo and went in the war. This kind of story is what my mum used to tell me. In the war they [her grandfather and other carriers] would exchange cargo as far as Kokoda. From there the Japanese boss was shot by the Australian army and the war stopped there. When it stopped Japan and the Australian army had a fair fight with bayonets. Then they went down to Buna and the war stopped. Australian won the war, so Japan went back to their home.
[ME]
Did your mother have any brothers?
[AJ]
[yes]
[ME]
Did your mum tell you how your grandmother took care of them?
[AJ]
Mum was the first born, no, third born. First born was a boy, second born a boy, then mum was the third born. My grandparents took the three of them and looked after them during the war.
[ME]
While doing that, how did grandmother look after them?
[AJ]
Grandmother kept herself busy in trying to raise her children, two boys and one girl. She would cook and feed mum and protect them while Grandfather would carry cargo for Japan. He would put my two uncles and mum into the hole he had dug and cover with iron and go out carrying cargo for Japan to the war. My mum grew up to be a big girl while she was going around during the war.
[ME]
The food that should be taken from the garden, David I will ask that question to you. The food that should be taken from the garden was destroyed by the war, so where did she get the food to feed mum and uncles?
[DJ]
If she was lucky she would go into the garden and get the food quickly, then she would run away quickly, then she would make fire quickly and cook the food, or roast them on the fire. All this was done quickly so some food would cook, others would not cook properly because the war planes and bombs were all over. Quickly she would give the food to the children, the two boys were big so they would fend for themselves, but mum, grandmother, as mum was a girl, grandmother would hold her and walk around in the bush.
[ME]
The story as told by others is that when the war came and as they were running away, they came to a place called Inonda where there was a camp and they used to live there. Did your grandmother take the little ones to that place?
[DJ]
Ai, it was war time and the camp was built by Australia and America, so they went there. As they were coming to war Australia and America brought things like cartons of biscuits, Ox & Palm [tinned meat], they brought these and stored them at the camp. And that is what people at the camp would eat. The food from the garden was blocked by the Japanese and they were unable to get it. If they went there [the gardens] Japan would give them orders and threaten them, so they would get frightened and run away. So the Australians who were giving food to their soldiers would look after the village people as well.
[ME]
While eating and living there your mother grew up to be a big girl.
[DJ]
There she grew up to be a big girl.
[ME]
From there as the war was quieting a bit, what did your grandmother do, did she go back to the village?
[AJ]
They returned and built a village. The Japanese were going away, Australian army also were going away and they went back and rebuilt a village. They rebuilt the village, made their gardens, grew taro for us to eat, and they grew up there.
[ME]
Your grandfather used to carry cargo in the war, so when the war was coming to an end he returned—
[AJ]
They returned.
[DJ]
Where Doboduru is, they made the village at Ango.
[ME]
They made the village at Ango.
[DJ]
At Ango. While they were living there they started going around, seeing their land and whatever they had planted—[unclear]
[ME]
You are saying your mum is 105 years old, when the war left where did she meet your father?
[DJ]
She used to live in the village until she had a sore on her leg and because there was nowhere she could get treated, my father was a former medical at Higaturu Station—
[ME]
What is your father's name?
[DJ]
Alquin Jaruga—That is why there was nowhere she could get treated, and the only station was Higaturu, so she went there to be treated and while she was being treated she met Daddy there. As a single boy Dad would come and treat my mum, and mum saw him there
[ME]
Then they got married
[DJ]
They both got married.
[ME]
Do you know what year that was?
[DJ] 194—
[ME]
1942 is when the war came.
[AJ] 1940.
[DJ] 1941 [discussion, unclear]
[ME]
The war came in 1942.
[DJ] 1942.
[ME]
So when did Mum meet Dad?
[DJ]
Ah.
[ME]
The war came and was going a little bit later—
[DJ]
OK, I don't know about Mum, 1940, 42, 43, around there she met Dad.
[ME]
How many children did they have?
[DJ]
There are 15 of us.
[ME]
How many girls?
[DJ]
Seven girls and 8 boys.
[ME]
Are you all married?
[DJ]
We are all married.
[ME]
How many grandchildren are there?
[DJ]
There are four generations.
[ME] Four generations.
[DJ] [unclear].
All our children are married. They all married and our grandchildren also are married.

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Family Relationships

Interviewee

Aida Jaruga
David Jaruga

Interviewee Gender

Interviewers

Interview Date

18/05/2017

Interview Duration

00:14:39:00

Interview Translator


Rights Holder

Deakin University
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike licence

Files

http://pngvoices.deakin.edu.au/files/temp/jaruga-group-photo-2017.jpg

Collection

Citation

“Aida Jaruga and David Jaruga - Oral History interview recorded on 18 May 2017 at Hohorita, Northern Province, PNG,” Voices from the War, accessed December 10, 2018, http://pngvoices.deakin.edu.au/items/show/405.

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