Can a truck inspire you? - Meet Isuzu Lu

Sometimes what begins as a spoof or an advertisement can become something much more. Back in the 1970s a cartoonist in Port Moresby PNG did a series of humorous ads in pidgin for Isuzu trucks featuring a character called Isuzu Lu. These ads by Bob Browne proved so popular that they later became a regular comic strip in the PNG Post Courier and Browne used the good hearted and somewhat naive character to gently satirise  aspects of PNG society. The early Isuzu Lu cartoons have been collected into several anthologies, and we hold books 1 and 3.

Isuzu Lu collection cover

Isuzu Lu collection cover

 

Page from Isuzu Lu

Page from Isuzu Lu

Page from Isuzu Lu

Page from Isuzu Lu

There is an interesting story behind our acquisition of the 1st book. It was received only a few years ago as a donation from a former District Medical Officer in PNG who worked there for 14 years from 1960-1974 and who now lives in Canberra. In addition to the Isuzu Lu book, the donation we received from him included some interesting health related publications not held by any other libraries. For example, 3 booklets celebrating the opening of regional hospitals, the Goroka Regional Hospital , the Madang General Hospital and the Mount Hagen Hospital as well as some health services pamphlets. These were not commercially published so would have been impossible for us to obtain without the generosity of someone like this PNG Distict Officer. Thank goodness for the hoarders and collectors out there! The Library places great importance on trying to collect material of all types from PNG and we hold some wonderful photographs in addition to books, periodicals and personal papers. Here is an example of just one of the thousands of early 20th century photographs from PNG that we hold - this is one of my favourites from Bioto taken in 1921 by Frank Hurley.

Man with camera Bioto 1921

Man with camera Bioto 1921