Mr Clarence T. Healy

Clarence “Clarrie” Thomas Healy, was born in Queensland in 1906, the son of a policeman. Their father was offered a position as Head Gaoler at Koki Gaol in Papua New Guinea, and in 1916 the family left Stanthorpe for Koki. Clarence followed in his father’s footsteps and began working as a government patrol officer in 1923. Following his father’s heart attack in 1927, Healy was joined in the patrol department by his brother Mick, who had to leave Nudgee College in order to help support his family (Roberts 1996, p 75). Healy developed a legendary reputation during his time as a District Officer, learning to speak Police Motu and was described in 1952 as “short, lean, with long hair….a glass eye and a friendly, informal manner” (Sinclair 1981, p 99). He was later appointed as a magistrate, and was declared by James Sinclair as “the best in the court for Native Matters that I ever encountered” (Sinclair 1981, p 99). It is notable that his nephew, political cartoonist Peter Cahill, depicted him in his office surrounded by angry Papuans, though this may be more of a reflection of tensions between Australian patrol officers and local peoples. Healy retired in 1965, having worked in almost every station in Papua New Guinea. He spent his spare time photographing landscapes and Indigenous peoples all over the country before passing away in 1983. 212 of Healy’s photographs of Papua New Guinea are featured in the UQAM online catalogue, having been donated in 1983. References: Cahill, Peter. Held in the Fryer Library, Brisbane. Mounted Sketch. UQFL387 Papua New Guinea Association of Australia, Parcel 55. Roberts, Jan. Voices From a Lost World: Australian Women and Children in Papua New Guinea before the Japanese Invasion. Alexandria, NSW: Millenium Books, 1996. Sinclair, James. Kiap: Australia's Patrol Officers in Papua New Guinea (Sydney: Pacific Publications, 1981. Written by India Anderson, 2015.

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B & W photograph
Registration No. 34800
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Pacific > Papua New Guinea
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