17/08/2008 at 10:36 am #100945
Sadly on the 14th June, 2006 one of our trekkers Ian Bergman collapsed and passed away leaving us all with a feeling we could not express. How could this happen to such a young man. Our boys who were with Ian and his friends still grieve to this day. Our KTL boys still stop at the spot where he died to put flowers they cut and carry to the site, such is the respect we have for Ian and his family.
In January this year I met with Ian's mother Jan and her husband at my parents home in Shepparton Victoria. Jan wanted me to erect a small plaque she had made in his memory. The minute we met I felt a real bond between us as I too had lost my brother to a brain tumour and my parents and myself knew the pain they were feeling when they entered our family home.
I carried the plaque back to PNG and asked some of our staff to walk up from Owers' Corner and erect it in Ian's honour. This was done and Jan, her husband and his mates were overjoyed. The main reason for posting this here is to show you our trekkers how we honestly care for each and everyone of you. Not just whilst you are on the track but even when you go back home many of you still email us and have contact with our porters and guides.17/08/2008 at 10:43 am #10094417/08/2008 at 10:45 am #100946
When I let Jan know, this was the email I received:
Gail, I'm ecstatic! I can't tell you how much I appreciate all you have done for me and of course for my darling Ian. The photos had me in floods of tears, in gratitude for all you have done, the way you have done it, and all those wonderful people who contributed in whatever way. I thank you, and them, from the bottom of my heart. You've all done a fantastic job.
It has been a pressure on me for quite a while now, and although Nick said he wanted to do it, I worried it would be too big a load for him, and I know he's thrilled with how it's all worked out too.
I can't say any more just now as I'm overwhelmed. Will be in touch again soon.
Much love to you and your gang.
Jan17/08/2008 at 10:52 am #100947
Message from Ian's best friend and workmate:
Please pass on my gratitude to the builder and his two helpers for what they have done. It is a magnificent and lasting tribute to Ian. Obviously the locals have accurate memories because I can tell from the photos that they have pin pointed the exact spot where Ian left us.
Thank you for your assistance and to Russell for passing on the items to Collin.
Jan, it's there! Fantastic. Beautifully worded.
Nick Cicer03/04/2013 at 7:17 am #106440
Whilst this is a slightly dated topic, never-the-less it is a very real topic and my thoughts go to the family, friends and trek porters at that time back in 2006.
During our last trek last year, my Daughter and Fiancee stopped at a couple of these Plaques and offered our prayers in each case.
I have just finished a talk today to the Port Macquarie Probus Club on the Kokoda Track and mentioned these Plaques that were now evident on the Track. I also mentioned the professionalism of KTL and what lengths they will go to to ensure that each and every trek gives to each trekker the experience that they were looking for and in most cases they tend to exceed the trekkers expectations.
The other aspect that comes to mind is the generosity and general philosophy of Gail and her crew, that she took the time to meet Ian's Mother & Family and offer to carry out this small but very significant task to honour Ian's Memory. It again shows what Gail will do to help people.
Warren (Waza – Trek 83 & 872)
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