My father - Babo Kakira was a carrier during World War Two, He together with the rest of the Koiari people were taken to Mariana, which was where the recruiting of the Carriers were carried out- and that is where my father was recruited. Mariana is about 3 kilometres from Donadabu. All the Allied Forces ammunitions were shifted there to attack the Japanese – it was at Goldie. At that time he was young and energetic boy so he used to work very hard for the Allied soldiers. He was appointed as the peace officer for the community. He took orders from the bosses and passed them onto the people and they used to carry them out. If they were big headed [disobedient] he used to arrest them and locked them up. He was a carrier. I did write some stories but when he died the stories were destroyed.
He was behind the enemy lines fighting. He did not give me the names of those who recruited him. The Papuan soldiers were first known as the PIB: some of them lost their lives in the war. Such stories I believe are kept in the archives.
All the Koiari people were there when the war came and most of them served in the war as carriers; Some became soldiers in the Papuan Infantry Battalion.
I am very proud of my father. He is a hero.
“Aramu Babo - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG,” Voices from the War, accessed February 27, 2024, https://pngvoices.deakin.edu.au/items/show/251.