Something to THINK ABOUT …
The villagers from Manari, about halfway along the Kokoda Track, are seeking our help to create a monument to their late Chief and former ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel, Faole Bokai.
Manari was the scene of the famous speech by Colonel Ralph Honner congratulating the survivors of his 39th Battalion for their magnificent defence of Isurava against odds of ten to one.
Faole was one of the young local carriers who risked their lives to help the Diggers during the intense fighting on the Track. Under the command of Captain Bert Kienzle, Faole and his comrades lugged ammunition and supplies up the Track and then evacuated wounded Diggers by carrying them on makeshift stretchers back over the treacherous terrain to Moresby.
While the Diggers, to a man, sang the praises of their beloved ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’, Australia as a nation has done little to acknowledge their service and sacrifice. It wasn’t until the Fuzzy Wuzzies were down to a handful of survivors that Australia finally presented them with a medal honouring their wartime service.
The great Ralph Honner described their work in bringing out the wounded as being like ‘the care of a nurse and the love of a mother’.
Faole was one the last surviving ‘Fuzzy Wuzzies’ when he died in 2016. His wife died last year. Now his villagers, led by his son, Saii, are trying to create a memorial plaque to be set outside his house and a headstone over the graves of Faole and his wife so that the villagers and visiting trekkers can pay their respects..
If you’ve walked the Track, you will have passed through Manari, one of the most picturesque villages on the journey. If you made your trek before 2016, you would likely have met Faole there.
Please give Saii and the Manari villagers a hand by donating to the GoFundMe page here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/faole-bokoi-manari-fuzzy-wuzzy-angel