We are at Sogeri and the date is 7th of July 2014. We have here a local historian, Maclaren Hiari. He's going to start off by giving us a bit of background on what happened during the 1942 war.
Thank you Mr Orere, I want to give a bit of background to the recruitment of native carriers from the Sogeri Plateau of the Kokoda trail to Kokoda, so the local people have some idea of how the recruitment took place, and where the carriers have come from, so when they are telling the story they can relate themselves, add their father's background story to it.
According to my research, a total of 4,677 Papuans were recruited to be carriers on the Kokoda trail between July and November 1942. This number, I've categorised it in this of list of number of people, there are around 192 from Sogeri area who were recruited, 758 from Sogeri plantations, 373 from Doa and Kanasoa plantation in Kairaku, 483 from Mekeo area, 307 from the Gulf Province, 98 from Hanuabada, 170 from Abau and Kupiano, 192 from Hula, 645 from Rigo area of the Central Province and 667 from Northern District.
And this total number of Papuans, 4,677, carried a total weight, cargo weight, of 1,496,640 kg during this four month period. This is an indication of the amount of cargo they carried, and the number of people who participated, assisting the Australians between Ower's Corner and Kokoda itself. The figure from Kokoda down to Buna/Gona is different. So just to give the people of Sogeri area, I'm releasing this information. For their interest, on July 3, 1942, a total of 600 Papuans, including your people were recruited to go to Alola to start the work. So this includes your fathers, so from your story you will know which were included in the 600 figure.
Alright and we will now proceed with..
“Maclaren Hiari - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG,” Voices from the War, accessed November 30, 2023, https://pngvoices.deakin.edu.au/items/show/255.