Royal Papua Yacht Club, Life Members
GRAEME WILLIAM DUNNAGE (MBE)
Graeme Dunnage was born on 14 September 1942 in Christchurch, New Zealand and educated at St Albans Primary School Heaton Street Intermediate and Christchurch Boys High School. He then completed a Cabinet- making Apprenticeship.
His love of water sports began with water-skiing in 1955 on the Waimakarere River in Canterbury and Nelson during the Christmas holidays. Graeme left Christchurch in 1962 for Sydney where he worked a 6 month stint with Channel 7 as a background singer dancer on the Johnny O"Keefe show "Sing Sing Sing" and the Studio A Variety Show”
In April 1964 Graeme travelled to Port Moresby to work with Dowsett Engineering, building schools and houses at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby and eventually building houses around PNG.
In 1965 while still working for Dowsett Engineering Graeme started a band called “GD & the Pirates” playing gigs mainly at the Four Mile Club; Badili Club and the Ela Beach RSL.
In 1966 Graeme became the Bar Manager at the Four Mile Club and formed “GD & the Freebeats” still playing mainly in Port Moresby but also travelling all around PNG.
In 1967, Graeme married Lorraine his beautiful wife at the United Church on Boroko Drive and went on to have three beautiful daughters, Nikki, Kara and Tali. Their daughters attended Boroko East Primary School whilst their High Schooling was completed in Hawaii.
In 1973 Graeme won the Shell 100 Water-ski Marathon and the PNG Mens Water-ski Overall Title the same year.
During the 1980’s and early 90’s Graeme was the “President for Life” of the “A” Team; a group of supporters who fund raised to help the PNG Rugby 7’s team attend the Hong Kong 7’s over a period of approximately 15 years. The “A” Team funds enabled much needed coaches; airfares; team apparel and post team functions for the Rugby 7’s team and loads of frivolity for participants.
In 1986, Graeme was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list for his services to the community.
A long time marina resident, aboard MV Silver Fox, Graeme joined the Executive Committee of the RPYC as Rear Commodore (1986 – 1992) and then as Commodore (1992 – 1995). His love of entertainment and good times helped elevate the club to probably the largest social membership club in PNG at the time. Graeme led a like- minded band of committee members and arranged various fund raising nights like the Dunny Doo Review and the Men's Fashion Parades etc.
At the time he joined the committee the club was in financial straits and his team’s fund raising efforts turned the club around and propelled it into the future with the planning and construction of the new marina and clubhouse at Konedobu. For his contributions to the Club Graeme was awarded Life Membership in 1998.
When Graeme retired from the committee and left PNG he and Lorraine turned to their next grand adventure; they purchased a catamaran – Katani II – and spent the next couple of years learning about the joys of sailing; in 2002 they sailed east around Milne Bay, up the North Coast to Lae; then over to New Britain and on to Bougainville and the Solomons.
In March 2003 they left PNG after a memorable 39 years in PNG and spent the next 12 years cruising across the top of Australia and South East Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, the Philippines and back to Phuket). In late 2015 they sold Katani II and returned to Brisbane.
Rumour has it that they now have Katani III, a 4 wheel drive Toyota Coaster RV, (PMV), and are exploring Australia.