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Newsletter #11, Issued March 2019

Madang Upgrades Airport

The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill attended the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the upgrading of the Madang Airport on Tuesday the 12th of February. Mr. O’Neill announced that the K88m upgrade would include widening the existing runway to 150m, enlarging the taxiway and parking bay, plus a new Terminal that would include provisions for handling international flights. “I am trying to upgrade the Madang airport in order to bring international flights direct to Madang.” It is expected that the second stage will extend the runway length, which ultimately would enable larger aircraft including international flights. The upgrade will be carried out by a joint venture between ESSAR, who would build the terminal, and HBS who will undertake the work on the runway that will be funded through a loan from the Asian Development Bank. Sir Peter has welcomed the airport

development and said that it was long over due. “The upgrade of the airport was first approved in 1971 prior to independence when a decision was made to make Madang the alternate international airport in PNG.” Sir Peter said that the shuffling of the government following the country’s independence caused the delay.

Former Miss Resort Promotes Madang in an International Expo Former Miss Madang Resort and now Miss Pacific has promoted Madang in America. Leoshina Kariha has said that she is passionate about promoting her country and her region, Madang. “One of the most amazing things about my first trip as Miss Tourism and Miss Pacific Islands has been meeting interesting people and talking about my country and my region.” Along with her travel gear and other materials to use to promote PNG, the young Miss Pacific brought along with her a unique sacred artefact from the Riwo Village in Madang.

Leoshina Kariha pictured holding the Riwo Village ‘JUK.’ Copyright 2019, Melanesian Tourist Services

Maclay Foundation Publishes a book on Madang’s Villagers

The book published by the Maclay Foundation in 2018. A Maclay Foundation has released a new book which was based upon their visit to Madang last year. The book titled, ‘Journey to the Maclay Coast’ follows the same title as the old diaries that were written by the Great Russian Explorer, Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay. Sponsored by MTS, the greatnephew of the Russian Explorer with the Maclay Foundation arrived at the Maclay Coast last year to meet the people that had looked after his ancestor for nearly 4 years. In the book, Nickolay Maclay (the explorer’s great-nephew) describes the people of Bongu Village on the Maclay Coast as a vital study that shows human civilization’s development. “By studying the Bonguans, the inhabitants of the village of Bongu on the Maclay Coast, one can trace

the development of the human civilization from the stone age.” Nickolay also said that his curiosity of his ancestor’s exploration as well as his name (which he got from his great-uncle) had made him curious about Madang. “With a name of Mickouho-Maclay, it was easier to organize this expedition than to explain why I did not do it.” The book shows the impression of the ‘Happy People,’ as described by the Great Russian Explorer, in the 1800’s and the changes that have taken place from the time of Nickolay Miklouho Maclay (the Explorer) to 2017 when the explorer’s great-nephew returned.

The book is available at the Divine Word University library in Madang.

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Issue #11

March 2019

O’Neill Approves MTS’ New ‘e-Vessel’ Proposal

PM Congratulates Tourism Pioneer for their proposal to build a new vessel. Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has congratulated Sir Peter Barter, Managing Director of the Melanesian Tourist Services for his initiative in his proposal to re-introduce scheduled expeditionary cruises upon the completion of the e-Niugini Discoverer, a 40m luxury vessel that will accommodate up to 50 passengers in five-star accommodation. The Prime Minister O’Neill and Sir Peter met recently in Port Moresby when the proposal was discussed and was followed by a letter of support in which Mr. O’Neill said that such a venture will improve the image of PNG. “Such a venture will improve the image of PNG, bring in foreign exchange, create jobs and business opportunities and at the same time assist us to retain our rich cultural heritage and reduce many social issues we are currently facing,” he said. Sir Peter advised the Government to exempt tourism vessels from import duty and requested that tourism facilities such as the e-Niugini Discoverer should obtain other incentives similar to what other resource sectors enjoyed. Sir Peter said that the Tourism Industry, unlike many other resources, it would not run out if responsibly developed and majority of ownership was retained in PNG for future generations. Mr O’Neill said in his letter of support that the Government would seriously consider GST exemption to encourage such development, The e-Niugini Discoverer will be fuelled by bio-diesel processed at Kar Kar Island by Kulili Estates – this would not only reduce emissions and also improve the performance of the engines and reduce reliance of fossil

An Artist’s Impression of MTS’ newly proposed e-Niugini Discoverer. A vessel that has 4 decks and can carry 50 pax. fuel which is in line with the Government’s policy on global warming. Whilst the vessel is smaller than the mega tourist ships, the proposed new vessel will have a distinct advantage of being able to visit more remote areas, this is through MTS’ relationship with the people that has been built up over 50 years and respect for cultural values. This distinct advantage will provide visitors with a unique way of seeing PNG, both above and below water as the ship will carry fast river trucks, a helicopter and will also be equipped to provide snorkelling and scuba diving. The vessel will offer 30 twin and double cabins, all with en-suites, picture windows, in-house and satellite TV, Telephone, gift shop, dining salon, lounge including a covered aft bridge deck and bow lounge. Sir Peter said that the general layout of the vessel will be similar to the former Melanesian Discoverer. “The vessel will be similar to the old Melanesian Discoverer, which has operated successfully in the past,” he said. “Melanesian Discoverer has operated successfully on scheduled cruises along the Sepik River and the islands and ports around PNG,” said Sir. Peter.

He also said that he would like to attract people from universities, museums and other non-profit organizations. “We expect to attract special interest groups from universities, museums and other not for profit organisations, we have already begun the process of marketing this unique facility in North America, Japan, Australia, Europe, Russia and the UK.” Sir Peter said that the country needs to take in tourists that want to learn about PNG and are also willing to spend their money here in this country. “I admit that it is a hard task to have a constant stream of well-heeled and educated tourists, but the country is a lot better off with visitors who want to learn about the culture, customs wildlife that will not only spend money aboard the Niugini Discoverer, but also by traveling on our National Airline, staying at hotels as apart of their visit to PNG.” MTS is a wholly PNG owned company and has more than 50 years of

experience in pioneering tourism through PNG – MTS firmly believes that the smaller expeditionary ships visiting PNG are a better option than the Mega Ships bringing thousands of tourists that tend to invade small islands and villages and leave very little behind. The e-Niugini Discoverer will be crewed by PNG Nationals, assisted by national and international experts to impart their knowledge to the visitors. It will also operate year-round on a scheduled basis and will include the Sepik River, Bismarck and Milne Bay Islands and coastal ports and have the ability to take guests inland aboard the helicopter which will be based aboard the vessel. Sir Peter also added that he was considering a full circumnavigational cruise round New Guinea, which of course would include Papua. The e-Niugini Discoverer is expected to be constructed in Thailand and enter service in mid-2020.

“Such a venture will improve the image of PNG...” Hon. Mr. O’Neill

CARMA Prize Winners Enjoy Madang Hospitality

CARMA Price winner has described her weekend in Madang as a wonderful experience. Cairns resident Teresa Cazzulino said this after her husband and herself spent their weekend at the Madang Resort & Kalibobo Village. “My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the harbour cruise and village tour, she said. “We were very glad that we extended our visit by one day,” said Teresa. Teresa also said that the environment at the Resort was very welcoming. “We received a lovely welcome on arrival and our room was large, comfortable, clean and quiet.” Teresa and her husband arrived in Madang on the 14th of February and had spent their weekend enjoying the hospitality and services provided by the Staff at the Madang Resort & Kalibobo Village. “We found all staff so accommodating and friendly,” she said. “We

really enjoyed our conversations with Peter, Busy Bee, the Sunday driver and George - we learned so much about Papua New Guinea - languages, exports, culture etc,” said Teresa. She also thanks the staff for taking time to make her husband and herself fully experience the Madang community. “We especially appreciated Vince arranging for us to walk to Sunday Mass with his wife Rose Mary,” she said. “This too, was a great experience - such a large congregation for an ordinary Sunday! We generally see such a crowd for an event such as Easter or Christmas, this was a very rich Madang experience,” she said.

..a very rich Madang experience.”

Copyright 2019, Melanesian Tourist Services

Teresa Cazzulino and her husband at a harbour cruise, a part of the many activities that are part of staying at the Madang Resort and Kalibobo Village.

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Issue #11

March 2019

Madang’s Bamboo Band History

The Demoilaks (Unwanted) from Siar Village Madang

“My ancestors used the Kundu, how can the people from my village accept something new like the bamboo, we use it for our house materials not as an instrument.” Copyright 2019, Melanesian Tourist Services

Madang province has always been the heart of tourism, taking pride in its pristine rainforests and its breath taking islands, but Bamboo Band? Tourists leave Madang with an imprint of Madang’s unique music, yet how and when did Madang’s culture intertwine itself with the bamboo? The answer to that question was found when an old, humbled yet experienced, man from Siar Village in Madang gave his story on the events that altered Madang’s traditional music till today. The name itself would not ring any bells for anyone, yet Mr. Deb Atip is the founder of Madang’s first and oldest bamboo band. As a young man Mr. Atip was accepted to be educated as a teacher in Balob Teacher’s College in Lae, Morobe Province. From the years 1966 to 1967 Mr. Atip trained as a teacher and took a year in-service with his classmates who were from Fiji, the Solomon Islands and the Cook Islands. “Students from the Pacific came to PNG to train at the College, we all trained together to become teachers.” Mr. Atip, a young and ambitious man, did not know that his dreams of becoming a teacher would send him far across the ocean. Balob Teacher’s College, as explained by Mr. Atip, was short of lecturers during that time, the young Mr. Atip and his friends from the Pacific Islands were all sent to Honiara to finish their studies, it was there that Mr. Atip got drawn into something that amazed him, “I was amazed at their percussion instrument, it was the first time for me to see something as wonderful as this.” Mr. Atip was quickly mes-

merized by the sound of this hollow tubular structured plant, “I might have looked silly, but I watched and watched till my ears became sore.” Remembering his village’s traditional Kundu, Mr. Atip quickly tried to understand the way the bamboo was prepared and played. Mr. Atip recalled waiting for the men to finish playing just so he could ask them a simple question, “how do you play that?” The young curious man from Siar Village in Madang armed with a notebook and a pencil approached the men who were playing the bamboo band, “they looked like famous people to me, I was nervous.” The bamboo band members from Honiara were all too pleasant and helpful to the young Madang man, “they gave me the measurements and a quick lesson, and then they told me something that I didn’t expect.” The men from Honiara smiled at Mr. Atip and asked him, “Why don’t you establish this in your village?” The question sunk like an anchor in Mr. Atip’s thoughts. The thought of bringing the bamboo back to challenge his village’s traditional Kundu seemed like an imaginary idea for Mr. Atip. “My ancestors use the Kundu, how can the people from my village accept something new like a bamboo, we use it for our house materials not as an instrument.” The bamboo band members from Honiara urged him, and told him that it could be used like a Kundu, “the bamboo can be like my village’s Kundu, they urged me to bring the idea back with me.” The thought lingered and he brought the idea back to his village in Madang. Arriving in his village in the late 1960’s Mr. Atip told

stories of this new instrument which he had learned from his visit to Honiara. “I was surprised to see that the people from my village were eager to learn this new instrument.” Mr. Atip gathered a couple of men from his village and they started preparing bamboos. The sound from the bamboos echoes and travelled across the small lagoon that covered Siar Village, attracting the whole village that followed this mysterious new sound. “They thought it was the Kundu, but it sounded different from the Kundu.” The young men that all gathered and played in front of the village soon became Siar Village’s first Patfun Bamboo Band. Patfun, the name as defined by Mr. Atip, is translated as the rock or the land that Siar Village is located on, “It is the foundation, which is why we decided to use that name.” Patfun became the admiration of many villages as the young bamboo band travelled, taught and wooed villagers along the Bel district of Madang to learn the art of bamboo playing. “It is not ours to be greedy over; we have to teach others, I think that was what those kind bamboo players from Honiara would have wanted.” In 1975 Mr. Atip became a judge for a string band competition. “They said that since I was the founder they would like for me to judge this competition and…. I was humbled by this invitation…”Mr. Atip with smiles trying his best to draw back an emotional side to his character. “It is something that I will always be proud of, it is ours now and it will be Madang’s forever, let the bamboo band live on!” With this comment it was clear that Mr. Atip revealed his passion for the musical instrument. He described it as a child being adopted from another country and to watch the musical instrument blossom in Madang was like watching a child growing up. Humbled and covered in his passion for the instrument, Mr. Atip denies any praise for being the founder of Madang’s bamboo band. “I don’t like to get praised for anything, it is ours and it has made an old man a very happy man to watch and to hear the bamboo being carried by the ocean to and from the islands that surround Madang.” Mr. Atip now aged in his late 60’s still thanks the men from Honiara for being generous with sharing their knowledge with him.

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Issue #11

MTS Thanks Russian Family The Founder of the Melanesian Foundation has thanked a kind-hearted family from Russia who have assisted them in the construction of the Maclay House Memorial at Gorendu in the Raicoast District, Madang. The Managing Director for MTS and the founder of the Melanesian Foundation Sir Peter thanked the Sourin Family for their support in the construction of the project in Madang. Sir. Peter said this in an interview in preparation for the Russian Explorer’s greatnephew who will be arriving in Madang in April this year. “The Sourin Family from Russia have been very supportive through their financial support in building the Maclay Memorial in Raicoast.” Sir Peter also said that the Melanesian Foundation has donated over K100, 000 plus the equipment and staff from the Madang Resort to see that the project sees its completion. “We have used all our resources, from the Madang Resort staff to the amount of

Valeri Irma and Valentine Sourin at the Maclay Memorial in 2017. equipment that we used from the Kalibobo Spirit to the machinery that were used at Raicoast,” said Sir. Peter. Sir. Peter hopes that through the influence of the Maclay Foundation in Russia, a lot more Russian Tourists could come to the coast named after their great explorer.

“It was hoped that money could have been raised through visitations of Russians and other tourists so the people themselves could have maintained the seawall and ultimately constructed a guest house which would have given them an economic activity.”

The Construction of the Sea-wall at Gorendu, Madang.

Picture: The staff of the Madang Resort with their equipment at Gorendu.

MTS’ Tour and Operations Team are Experienced in International Cruise Ship Services MTS’ Tour Sales and Operations team are experienced in providing the best services for transiting passengers aboard a European Cruise ship that is scheduled to arrive in Madang on the 15th of March. Senior MTS Tour Sales and Operations staff Wesley Hantan said that the arrival of the German based Cruise vessel, Europa, will demonstrate MTS’ experience in delivering world-class services to overseas tourists. Wesley was speaking at an interview recently in MTS’ main office in Madang. “MTS has always been

the first contact for tourist vessels from Europe and in other countries throughout the world,” he said.“We have always delivered the best services to our guests and transiting passengers that use our country’s airline services,” said Wesley. The cruise ship will be arriving in Madang where 20 passengers will depart the vessel to spend their night at the Madang Resort and Kalibobo Village to experience a night in Beautiful Madang. Elaine Allen, a staff from MTS’ Tour Sales and Operations team said that such vessels that come into Madang’s

Copyright 2019, Melanesian Tourist Services

Harbour promotes Madang and MTS’ image. “Even though these 20 passengers will be spending a night here, they are valuable because they chose to spend their night with us here in Madang,” she said. “MTS provides the best services to not only Europa, but to so many different passenger cruise ships throughout the globe,” she said. MTS has provided the best tourist services to tourists that come into Papua New Guinea and has successfully done so for more than 50 years till today, they continue to do so.

March 2019

Profile for Melanesian Tourist Services

Melanesian Newsletter 11  

The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill attended the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the upgrading of the Madang Airport on Tuesday the 12th of Febru...

Melanesian Newsletter 11  

The Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill attended the Ground Breaking Ceremony for the upgrading of the Madang Airport on Tuesday the 12th of Febru...