Sunday, January 29, 2012

End of an era in Lae


Dear Mr Nalu, as we’ve gone finish“ 1998, it takes its time until news from PNG reach us.  
But they still do! 
Today I read your article “End of an era in Lae”, about the late Paul Menzel, published in The National on Friday, November 25, 2011.
The sad news touches me very much, because during my three-and-a-half years in Lae my wife and I had a special relationship to Paul. 
Did you even know that Paul wasn’t his Christian Name, but, as far as I recall, Winfried! 
Many lunch breaks I enjoyed at his coffee shop. 
In Decembers he offered Dresdner Christstollen to us, a very special and famous German Christmas cake from the town of Dresden. 
His mother, living there, sent it to Paul for Xmas all the way from Germany. 
His Coffee Shop was the place to meet for the Germans living in and coming to Lae. 
Our friends Michael Schneider and his wife Phyllis, at that time living in Bulolo, married at Paul’s Coffee Shop in 1997. 
The Morobe Administrator held the Wedding Ceremony there!
When returning to Germany, Paul gave us a beautiful carved tablet  as a present at one of our last days in his Coffee Shop.
He then even wrapped it as protection for its shipment with our goods. 
Months later, when our goods had arrived in Germany, we cautiously unpacked the present, but something fell to the floor. 
It was a tin of Solomon Tuna, because his tuna sandwich had been my favourite dish at the Coffee Shop! 
That’s Paul! 
We kept the tin for a very special occasion  – it is still there after almost 14 years, as all the good memories of a wonderful time in PNG.
By the way: Winfried is an old German name and means “friend of peace”. 
This name fits for Paul, and we are sure that he finally found his peace.

Reimund Strauss
Freising - Germany

No comments:

Post a Comment