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Our Stories

Through the eyes of a CRMF Pioneer (Part One)

by | Feb 10, 2021 | HF Radio, What CRMF Does

How much technology has changed over 50 years 

In Celebration to National World Radio Day

It was 50 years ago in 1969, that I, my wife Gaille and our 1-year old baby boy David, arrived in PNG to work with CRMF at Rugli for 7 years. I have recently turned 80 years, Gaille is 76 years. Yes, ‘much white grass (grey hair) on top. We are both keeping well, though I may be a little slower to walk up the PNG mountains now.

Gaille pictured with David.

There was only one technician at CRMF at that time I arrived and two lady teachers. At that time Alan Nutt was due to finish after about 10 years in PNG and return to Australia with his wife Elaine and 4 children. I had to learn in a few months how CRMF worked, how to repair the many types of HF mission radios, learn the Phonetic Language as well as some ‘Tok Pisin’. I worked as a radio technician repairing mission network radios, MAF radios and using the Medevac system and also manufactured and installed the HF antennas…

This was in the ‘Olden Days’ (as many people often say to us now); before there were computers, satellites dishes, mobile phones, fax machines, solar electricity, WIFI and the WiFi Bibles. Recently, I have been working for Vision Australia who also use the same WiFi bible device for the sight impaired so, I appreciate this latest technology being used by you (CRMF).

Mi no loosim ting ting (Tok Pisin for: “I can still remember”) the time when there were no computers and no mobile phones, as we all rely on them so much now!!

If a mission wanted to send a message to Australia, they would call us on their sked time to give us their (Phonetic) message to us. We would then relay the (phonetic) message to Telecom in Mt Hagen and they would send a Telegram to the Post office in Australia. A reply from Australia would return to us the same way and we would forward the message to the mission on their sked time. Sometimes, it would be quite some days before a sent message would have a reply. What a difference to today’s technology with emails. What really amused us, as well other former PNG missionaries who visit us, was the Contact cover with the man dressed in his ‘bush clothes’ with a mobile phone on his waist band. How much has the technology grown over the 50 years.

We are still trusting the Lord each day. He is just as faithful today as He was with us 50 years ago. It is great to see so many PNG people at CRMF doing such a marvelous work there now. I would have loved to have had many of you with your wonderful skills working with me back 50 years ago. It is also great to see Bryan Mathews in his position as manager.

I read each CRMF Contact and Closer Contact with great interest and continue to see how you all are continuing the work of CRMF just as we were doing 50 years ago, in providing the technical assistance to the missions and churches in PNG in presenting the gospel.

May the Lord Jesus continue to bless you all and supply all your needs as you carry on to do this wonderful work for God’s kingdom.

Many Blessings,

Graham & Gaille Spendlove, Melbourne Australia

CRMF mission would not exist if it weren’t for the founding fathers Syd, Bob, and Claude, and pioneers like the Spendloves, the Nutts and others after and before them. They have paved the path for us to follow in continuing the grand mission and wonderful work that our heavenly Father has entrusted us with.

We praise the Lord that Graham and Gaille and many other CRMF and MAF pioneers who are still with us today can continue to witness the tremendous changes and impact that Technology has in Papua New Guinea and how CRMF has stepped in to help assist by provide the best tools and equipment’s necessary through radio communication and technology services for our churches and people within Papua New Guinea to help them both physically and spiritually.

Click the button below to read part two of Graham and Gaille Spendlove’s letter. Graham explains the different types of radios that CRMF used in the past and the purpose that each radio served.