this is the story of another man battling in a place he did not belong - i did not know him, only knew of him.....thru the everlasting gossip!!!
i think he had already left australia when i became a jw in the the 1950's -- and my knowledge of him is only thru recollection of whispered conversations.
I've called it -----
Life gets better for Clive Williams
Being disfellowshipped is presented as a disaster..!! I met a young man on the chat line a couple of nights ago, to whom my life was presented as the model for his disastrous future (if he did not change)..
Well, maybe i will post about that one day, but in the meantime here's an article (slightly abridged) about a former, pioneer, special pioneer, and if memory serves right, a former gilead graduate, missionary and circuit overseer.
Rumours of clive's sexual preferences had been whispered about within the australian branch, and i believe that he had possibly been reproved while pioneering in Fiji...
It's all to far back for me to remember details, but someone else may be able to fill in...
it's also fascinating to speculate on his relationship with soeharto!!! but it sounds like we will never know those details.
Clive Williams, 80, died in Jakarta this month. He was a close
personal friend of President Suharto and rumoured to be gay.]
Australian Financial Review
Clive and the President
By Tim Dodd
Once it was not unusual for a Westerner to win the trust of an
oriental potentate and become part of his court. Think of Anna
Leonowens, whose relationship with the monarch of Thailand lives on in
Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I and the movie Anna and the
But it is little known that Leonowens had a recent counterpart. The
ruler in question was President Soeharto and the foreign confidant was
an Australian, Clive Williams, who died in Jakarta this month after
living as part of the Soeharto family for more than 30 years.
Williams was about the same age as Soeharto who turned 80 this year
but other details of his background are obscure. Many acquaintances
believe that he originally moved to Java as a missionary. By
profession he was a podiatrist, but by the late 1950s he was teaching
English in Semarang, the capital of Central Java, where he had a
Living in the same city at that time was the young Colonel Soeharto,
an ambitious young officer who commanded the troops in the region. The
colonel was looking for an English teacher. He met Williams and the
two must have clicked, because Williams rapidly became a friend of the
Soeharto family and, crucially, gained the confidence of Soeharto's
Incidentally, Williams was not the only key contact Soeharto made in
Semarang. He also met two local Chinese businessmen, Bob Hasan and Lim
Sioe Liong, who later became billionaires through favouritism and
largesse. Both took hard falls when Soeharto's presidency ended in
1998. Hasan is now in jail, convicted of corruption, and Lim nearly
lost his business empire in the economic crisis.
Hasan became a particular friend of Soeharto and was well-known as his
golfing buddy. But the evidence suggests that Williams had an even
When Soeharto took over in 1966 (power was initially delegated to him
and he did not formally become president until 1968), Williams moved
straight into the new leader's innermost circle. Soeharto habitually
had breakfast with Williams using it as a regular English lesson and
Williams moved into a house at the back of the Soeharto residence,
part of the suburban block in central Jakarta that became the family
``He was very much part of the Soeharto family, he became a family
member,'' says Malcolm Dan, Australia's deputy ambassador to Indonesia
from 1974 to 1976, who became a good friend of Williams.
By this time, Williams's role in the Soeharto household went far
beyond that of an English teacher. He was an uncle and tutor to the
six children and was entrusted with playing a role in their
``He regarded the children almost as his own. He was very close to all
of them,'' says Rawdon Dalrymple, Australia's ambassador in Jakarta
from 1981 to 1985.
People who knew Williams earlier report that he was especially close
to the older children, while those who knew him later say he was
closer to the younger ones, including the notorious youngest son,
According to one source, Williams once took Tommy to Australia for a
holiday when he was a boy.
From his house, Williams could walk through the back fence to the main
Soeharto house in Jalan Cendana, and he was free to come and go as he
``He used to spend time with the family, share the evening meal with
them and stay and talk afterwards,'' says Dalrymple, who came to know
He also acquired a new interest in agriculture and, as he gained
experience, became the chief adviser on running the Soeharto ranch,
Tapos, a property 60 kilometres south of Jakarta on the cool lower
slopes of the Mt Salak volcano. He bought Australian cattle for the
ranch and brought in Elders as a supplier and a source of expertise.
``He was completely loyal to the family,'' says Dan, who was in touch
with Williams regularly until recently.
But in recent years, Williams did express to another interlocutor his
concern about the behaviour of the Soeharto children, who by that time
were becoming notorious for abusing business concessions awarded to
them by their father.
But Williams was in high demand from those in the know - embassies,
companies and individuals who wanted a channel to Soeharto. Even so,
he is not known to have ever betrayed a Soeharto confidence or used
his special access for personal gain. ``To my knowledge he never once
abused his position,'' says Graeme Robertson, head of the coal mining
company Adaro, who has lived in Indonesia for 30 years.
He suffered from diabetes and, in his last year, had been very ill.
Many of his friends lost contact.
Unlike Anna Leonowens, Williams did not write a book, and the thought
that his life could inspire a movie, let alone a musical, is
ludicrous. But his position was unique, and the fact that he was not
Indonesian, and posed no political threat, seems to have been a factor
behind Soeharto's willingness to let him get so close. Aside from
that, there was his discretion, which Soeharto must have trusted
If Williams had written a book, it would have been an extraordinary
one. What he knew about Soeharto and his family is extremely unlikely
to emerge from any other source.
When he died it all went with him.