George Cross Recipient. In July 1969, he was given special duties as District Commissioner for the East New Britain area. There were some hostile indigenous groups there but Emanuel insisted on travelling alone to meet them, often at night, in order to build up a trust. For two years, he encouraged some 70,000 Tolai people to discuss their problems in a peaceful manner. However, he was often the target of death threats. On several occasions, he met with public confrontations and scenes of imminent violence between police and protestors. He often placed himself at risk to try and pacify the dissidents and his courage often averted bloodshed.
On 19th August 1971, at a plantation on the Gazelle peninsula, Emanuel again took on the role of peacemaker in the presence of hostile locals. Some of the Tolai had donned warpaint to show their hostility. At the invitation of some of the dissidents and in particular a man called William Taupa, Emanuel left the protection of the police. Taupa then led Emanuel towards a path into the bush and they left the sight of the police. Twenty minutes later when Emanuel had not emerged, Senior Superintendent Greville Feeney sent two police officers down the bush path to look for him. Tragically, they found Emanuel’s body, stabbed to death with two rusty Japanese bayonets nearby. There was no sign of Taupa.
Bio by: Paul Barnett