When The Garamut Beats: A Memoir of Fifty Years in Bougainville
Franz Miltrup’s life was long and eventful. Born in Germany and ordained a Catholic priest during the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, the young Franz Miltrup SM left his homeland in late 1937, destined for the island of Bougainville.
The Second World War brought catastrophic hardship to the islands and their people. Some missionaries remained after nearly all the European civilians fled. Narrowly avoiding execution twice, Franz Miltrup made a dramatic escape in 1945. With the aid of Coast Watcher Paul Mason and his Bougainvillean commandos, Franz Miltrup walked barefoot across the mountains to the Allied forces based at Torokina.
This memoir also deals with the tumultuous change that followed the war, as an emerging nation embraced self-determination in the closing years of Australia’s colonial administration. Tales of adventure, faith, and peril, of other missionaries in Franz Miltrup’s Marist community are included.
When The Garamuts Beat will interest anyone captivated by Pacific history, the impacts of the Second World War on our closest neighbour, and the social change that ensued. Franz Miltrup’s life was one of total commitment and love for the people he chose to spend his life with.