Sunday, October 16, 2011

A heap of goodies from Pacific Industries

South African expatriate Elaine Blagnaut hands over to Hayward Sagembo, TCC president, a plastic bag of foodstuff upon their arrival at the center recently, while compatriot Louise Piek, also a supporter, looks on. That day, Elaine dropped off 20 bags of rice and tinned fish to assist the center in its daily feeding program for the 200 beneficiary children. Last Thursday, she hauled off 67 cartons of snack goodies for the children, a donation from Pacific Industries of Port Moresby. – More pictures by AP HERNANDEZ after the story.

A Friend of Tembari Children

LAST Thursday, a mini-truck load of snack goodies was delivered to Tembari, courtesy of Pacific Industries, maker of cordial drink Gold Spot.

The surprise delivery consisted of 67 cartons of munchies, cookies, biscuits, chocolate bars and cordial drinks.

It was coordinated by South African expatriate Elaine Blagnaut, a regular donor, who, sometime last May, told the story of Tembari children to a friend-executive of Pacific Industries Spencer Trusler, also a South African.

Spencer is Pacific Industries sales manager for Papua New Guinea.

When I was at Tembari center last Saturday (I was unable to come yesterday October 15, as something went wrong with my car), I noticed that our stock of snack foods was quite low already, and would only be good for another three days.

It was heartening, really that Elaine has been able to connect soon enough and fill up the gap.

The truth is Pacific Industries has been a regular donor to Tembari children through its general manager Cary Warren and company quality control chemist, Filipino expat and friend John Villalba.

Early last year, Cary committed to a monthly supply of four six-liter cartons of the concentrate flavored drink, popularly known here in PNG as cordial.

But during the last three months, I was unable to drop by at PI offices at 6 Miles to collect the donation, owing to my tight schedule during the pick up days.

Of course, Cary would also advise me about other snack food donations whenever they were available.

In the recent Hatid Saya 2011 dinner-concert in Port Moresby, which raised funds for Tembari children and Friends Foundation, Pacific Industries, through Cary, was one of the many corporate sponsors. Cary bought a table for 10 worth K3,000 (US$1,300).

The Independence month fundraiser was spearheaded by The Filipino Association of Papua New Guinea (FAPNG).

For more than a year now, Elaine has been in loved with the Tembari children that she has made it sure that they don’t miss out on their daily meals.

Whenever she has determined that our rice stock has run low, she would just popped at the center in her 4x4, with bags of rice good for at least 10 days. (The children these days consume at least 15kg of rice a day, from Monday to Saturday, for a total of 90kg (9 bags).

Well, to be exact, Elaine has made it a point that she delivers at least 16 bags (10kg per) every month, plus some other small stuff that she would distribute to the children.

Elaine came to know about Tembari children through her compatriot Andre Potgieter, who is now based in northern PNG.

Then Port Moresby-based, Andre had donated rice regularly. In fact, he was one of the first donors who talked to me about helping Tembari children when I began looking for donors in early 2010.

When he asked me what the children needed, I told him: “We need a lot of rice …”

And he delivered.

But when he was assigned by his company – the RBP Trading -- in Manus in July of 2010 as the company’s business there has flourished, Andre made it sure that somebody took his place.

Elaine, the admin executive at RBP Trading, took over the job, until today.

And while she was sending stuff to Tembari on occasion, she also tried to tap her own network of expatriate friends for donations to Tembari.

Her latest “catch” has been Spencer Trusler of Pacific Industries, who made quite an impression with the Tembari children with his fourth delivery last week.

Thanks Elaine … thanks Spencer… thanks Cary … thanks John … thanks Pacific Industries.

Cary Warren (center), general manager of Pacific Industries, one of Tembari donors, gets a comic banter from Filipino funnyman and entertainer Richard Villanueva, while stand-up comic Chubbylita awaits her turn to unleash her own during the recent Hatid-Saya 2011 dinner concert spearheaded by the Filipino Association of PNG in Port Moresby. That night, Cary happened to celebrate his nth birthday at the dinner concert with company colleagues. Cary’s age had been the banter of jokes from the two Filipino comics, with Richard (in photo) making a funny assessment of the expatriate’s facial looks.

Cary gets the laugh of his life while Richard and Chubbylita make fun of him.

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