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Lat 6° 19' 60S Long 145° 54' 0E Aiyura is located at an elevation of 5,298' / 1,614m in the Highlands of New Guinea. Pronounced "A-year-a". Also spelled Aijura. Prewar and during the Pacific War located in the Territory of New Guinea. Today located in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Aiyura Airfield (Aijura)
Built prewar. During the early stages of the war, there were several aircraft that force landed at the strip.
After the war, an Agriculture station was built at Aiyura staffed by Aub and Ance Schindler growing various crops to determine which was best suited to the Highlands.
Peter Schindler adds:
"My father fought at Milne Bay with the 25th Battalion and afterwards worked at Aiyura as chief agronomist. My parents moved to Aiyura from Melbourne, just after they were married in 1947. At the time, Aub and Ance Schindler were the only other Europeans there at the time. They Agriculture experimental station was developed as part of the Australian Dept of Agriculture, which wanted to find out which crops were most suitable to be grown in the Highlands. Over the following 20-30 years it grew to having 5-6 ex-pat families living on the station and a large work force of indigenous people. One of the early crops was chinchona trees which were grown to produce quinine (an anti-malarial). Coffee became the main crop that thrived in the highlands and most of the station was planted out in various varieties of coffee. A large coffee factory was eventually built to process the beans. Coffee has become a significant export product for the country. Cattle did well and many other crops were grown including vegetables, sweet potatoes and pyrethrum (insecticide). Horses were used for transport around the valley. My parents stayed there until PNG independence in 1975. I was born in Lae and spent my childhood in Aiyura before coming down to school in Melbourne at the age of 13. I have many happy memories of growing up there."
Aiyura is the headquarters of the Sumner Institute of Languages (SIL) who translate the bible into local languages. Also home to a large high school, primary school, agriculture research station and coffee research institute.
The Highlanders (1971) by James Sinclair includes a photo of Aiyura and Aiyura Airfield
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