Mathias was a local, though not too old, long long man. This photo of Mathias was taken on a Sunday with Mathias in his best clothes. Every Sunday Mathias would dress up in his best clothes, go to Mass (sometimes making a disturbance in church), and always giving an impromptu sermon after the Mass outside the Church!
He was a very short man, which is common of the people who matured before white men arrived with their tin pis and tinned meat; but very very strong.
People such as Mathias were generally well looked after in the community. They all laughed at what he did (which often was very funny), but also cared for his daily needs. Mathias was an emotional fellow, his pidgin often hard to understand, and always talking in circles. I remember one day he coming to visit us in our house and he listened to the song on the CD player and burst into tears! It took a little time to work out what the matter was: the song on the CD was a pidgin song called, "A Sad Song"!
Someone had taught him some numbers and some rudimentary maths, because he was always coming up to you and calculating some wild scheme he was involved in: like owning all the kaukau in the Highlands, some 1,500,750 bags worth!
Very sadly we were informed that Mathias died the year after we left Papua New Guinea.