CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS

Royal Papua Yacht Club, Life Members

JAMES SCHOFIELD

James-Schofield

Born in Bendigo, Victoria and christened James Edward Schofield some years ago, Jim, as he was better known, began sailing during his schooldays on the 56-foot ketch ‘UTIEKAH III’, then owned by one of his teachers. Later he built and sailed a 12-foot Bluebird.

Jim abandoned his engineering studies at Melbourne University to join the RAAF at the beginning of the War. He flew Hurricanes and Typhoons with 451 Squadron and, as Flight Commander of 127 Squadron, flew Spitfires in the Middle East and Europe.

After the war, he became a test Pilot for the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, testing the first ninety Mustangs to be built in Australia and also the CAC – designed CA 15 prototype fighter. Jim went on to fly more than forty–five types of aircraft.

For some years Jim was associated with the Accident Investigation Branch and spent three years in London as Civil Aviation Liaison Officer.

Jim came to Papua New Guinea in 1969 as Regional Director of the Department of Civil Aviation (PNG), becoming Director of the CA when the country achieved self-government in 1973. Shortly after his arrival, Jim bought ‘KANAI’ from the then Administrator of PNG, Mr. David Hay who was Commodore-in-Chief of the Papua Yacht Club. Co-owners at this time were Jim Lindeman (Vice Commodore), David Robin (Treasure) and David Gaunt (Honorary Secretary), a tradition of “top brass” ownership which is maintained to this. day

Jim Schofield acquired the title “the flyer who sails”. As the then Director of the Civil Aviation Agency in Papua New Guinea, he still flew the Merlin twin turbo-prop during his official duties but was better known to his many friends at the Papua Yacht Club as senior skipper of the yachting World Diamond, ‘KANAI’. Jim remembered his early days in the Club when membership was 800; Gerry Faramus ran the Club with some assistance from committee members and a middy cost 15 cents! With membership more than tripled; a much larger Clubhouse in a new location and galloping inflation, there have been some very marked changes over the years.

Jim Schofield was acknowledged as the Club’s elder statesman; not because of age but on account of his many productive years on the Committee. He served as Vice Commodore and then two years as Commodore. His executive skills, allied to the diplomat’s touch, did much to boost the Club’s standing as Port Moresby’s premier sporting club and Papua New Guinea’s largest yacht club. For his services to the Club, Jim Schofield was made a Life Member in 1974.

The Papua Yacht Club is very much indebted to Jim Schofield for his untiring effort to promote the Club and its many activities over the years – we hope he enjoys his well-earned rest from Executive Committee duties and his best season yet in ‘KANAI’.