Page 1 Issue #4 /16 Nov 2016—Jan 2017 Major Eruption of Long Island

Wenong Ab Wing opened by PNG Prime Minister

In Issue No 2/16 of Melanesian News we detailed a visit by Professor Russell Blong, a foremost vulcanologist who visited Long Island last year aboard the Kalibobo Spirit to collect samples for establishing the date of the major eruption which is thought to be one of the largest eruptions in the Pacific Region. Since our visit Professor Russel Blong, John Kemp and Kepin Chen have issues a research paper titles “Dating the last Major Eruption of Long Island, Papua New Guinea: The evidence from Dampier’s 1700 voyage on the Roebuck”. William Damper, one of England’s greatest navigators, named. Described, and drew a profile of Long Island, Papua New Guinea in 1700. As this island produced a very large William Dampier volcanic eruption with a disputed seventeenth or eighteenth century date, his observations assist in determining whether the eruption occurred before or after his visit. This contribution uses Dampier’s recorded observations to elucidate where the Roebuck was when the long Island profile was drawn so that an appropriate comparison confirms that the most recent major eruption of Long Island occurred before Dampier’s observations were made. MTS can arrange visits to Long Island aboard the Kalibobo Spirit which include treks to Lake Wisdom, villages and HMS Roebuck schools in this remote island

The Wonong Ab Wing (place to sleep) was blessed by Prof. Fr Jan Czuba and opened by Hon Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of PNG on 29th September. The opening was attended by the Madang Governor, Members of the Chamber of Commerce and public and private sector who played tribute to Givernor Jime Kas, Sir Peter Barter & Prime Minister O’Neill at the opening of the confidence shown by Sir the Wonong Ab Wing at Maang Resort Peter Barter, Chairman of MTS Limited owners of the Madang Resort. Sir Peter in his opening remarks said that Madang needs an international airport to be a natural tourist hub for tourism in PNG. Such a decision would justify the existing number of hotels and attract further investment in the future. Similar sentiments were expressed by Sir Arnold Amet, former Governor and the incumbent Governor, Hon Jim Kas who further asked the Prime Minister to complete the road linking Madang with Mt Hagen which would half the distance between Madang and the Highlands of PNG. Prime Minister O’Neill said that his Government was committed to the development of tourism, he emphasised the need to look beyond the mineral boom and Madang was uniquely positioned to continue being a major tourist hub due to its unique central position and natural beauty with diversity of many cultures. He announced the Government would begin to extend the runway, build a new terminal and undertake a major maintenance program on other roads in the township. Madang would become a an important venue for APEC meetings to take place and it was important that work begin now in order that work be completed before 2018.

For full document, click the undermentioned link. jourals/17576/291_complete.pdf

DIVE MADANG!—Niugini Dive Adventures Taka Yamaguchi our new Dive Instructor at Niugini Dive Adventures has settled in well with his team of dive masters and more Japanese divers are diving Madang. Gui Garcia has produced a video on diving and another on the Sepik River, he is now working on another video all of which can be downloaded from our website or by downloading the following link: (

Proposed Niugini Discoverer The new Wing has 20 executive rooms all with private balconies, kitchenettes, & king size split beds, exclusive car parking, with normal amenities that exist in 4.5 star accommodation. A further wing will be built in 2017 with another 10 Executive rooms all overlooking the beautiful Madang Harbour. Another development being considered is the re-introduction of a minii expedition ship to be called “ Niugini Discoverer” a 35m catamaran with a capacity of 40 passengers and 20 crew to operate scheduled expedition cruises along the Sepik River and Islands of PNG, Sir Peter said he was looking for partnership with local investors.

Investigating the prehistory of highland valleys in the Madang Province By Judith Field, School of BEES, The University of New South Wales New Guinea has a complex and largely unknown history regarding the arrival and subsequent dispersal of people across the landscape. When people first entered what is now modern day New Guinea, it was part of a much larger landmass. This landmass is commonly referred to as Sahul, and also included continental Australia and Tasmania. It was not until around 9,000 years ago that Sahul separated into Australia and New Guinea as Torres Strait formed with rising sea levels. Some of the oldest sites in Australia and New Guinea are found in the Ivane Valley, which lies at 2,000 m ASL in the Owen Stanley Ranges, about 120km northwest of Port Moresby. Radiocarbon dates of 46,000-49,000 years have been obtained from horizons where flaked stone tools have been recovered. The investigations were undertaken by a team led by Professor Glenn Summerhayes from Otago University in New Zealand. The question remains – why haven’t we found sites of similar age elsewhere in the highlands? Certainly there are numerous places along the north coast of New Guinea, which archaeological investigations have shown to be older than 30,000 years. For example, at Bobongara Point on the Huon Peninsula (Morobe Province), waisted stone axes have been found that are believed to be at least 40,000 years old. In 2014, Professor Glenn Summerhayes and Dr Judith Field (the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia) were awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant to pursue archaeological research around Simbai. Together with Dr Ben Shaw (UNSW), the late Herman Mandui (National Museum, POM) and Mr Henry Arifeae (National Museum, POM) we set about consulting with communities and authorities to lay the groundwork for a project investigating the prehistory of the Simbai and Kaironk River Valleys in Madang Province. The project aims were to investigate the likely pathways used by people to travel between the coast and the highlands, the subsequent settlement history of the area. There is still much to learn about New Guinea’s past and the information obtained during this study will help us understand aspects of New Guinea history that are as yet unknown – in particular how people adapted to new environments, innovations in tool design and use, and how these related to environmental change through time. Our project specifically targets the Kaironk and Simbai River Valleys of the Kalam speaking people. The Kaironk Valley has had a long history of research interst, as seen in the work of anthropologists (Professor Ralph Bulmer, Dr Ian Saem Majnep), linguists (Dr Andrew Pawley), botany (Dr R. Gardner) and of course Dr Sue Bulmer, who had undertaken the initial investigations at the famous archaeological site at Wanelek. Sue Bulmer often referred to three grassland corridors linking the north coast of New Guinea to the highland areas, suggesting these may have acted as conduits through which people travelled to the highlands. These pathways were the 1. Ramu-Markham River valleys; 2. the Yuat-Jimi River Valleys; and 3. the Simbai-Kaironk River Valleys. It is the third corridor that we have targeted for our project. Our understanding of the prehistory of this particular part of New Guinea has been mostly limited to the investigations at the important Wanelek site by Sue Bulmer in the early 1970s. We have taken a landscape approach to the archaeology to build a picture of where and how people lived and the resources they

The project has focused on the Simbai-Kaironk for 3 reasons: 1. investigations at the Wanelek site indicated people have been in these valleys for at least 20,000 years; 2. there has been no comprehensive survey of these valleys since the work of Sue Bulmer (though Dr Tim Denham made a brief visit in the late 2000s.); and 3. the archaeological ‘potential’ of this area has never really been explored, as indicated by numerous surface finds which include stone axes, stone bowls and club heads. Further to this, as one of the most peaceful and welcoming places in PNG, we believed that it provided all the requirements for a successful project to be pursued. In 2015, we travelled to Simbai for a 2 month field season. Our crew included Judith Field, Ben Shaw and Henry Arifeae. We were also accompanied by 3 volunteers – Dylan Gaffney (Otago University), Bruce Numode, and Simon Wyatt-Spratt. Over the course of our time there we recorded over 40 new sites across the 17km long survey area. We recorded many stone axes, stone bowls, pestles and club heads that villagers had found while digging their gardens. As there are quite a lot of limestone outcrops in both valleys, these were investigated and a number of rockshelters and caves were also recorded. The subsurface deposits were tested by digging small spade pits. These pits are just one method used by archaeologists to find evidence of past campfires, and bone, stone or clay pots that were discarded and subsequently buried with time. The aim of the 2015 trip was to establish where the sites were located and to collect charcoal samples from fireplaces for radiocarbon dating. We now have the results of the radiocarbon dating study and it has shown that there is a significant archaeological signature across both valleys, and in sum, the time depth is equivalent to the Wanelek site. While we can’t talk specifically about what this means just yet, it has focused our efforts for the current field season. During the period July-October 2016 we have been systematically excavating a number of sites to recover detailed information about the length of time over which the archaeological record accumulated, the technology people used – stone raw materials and the tools that were made, and importantly, the preferred settlement/village locations at different times in the past. This is just the first step in unravelling the prehistory of the Simbai-Kaironk Valleys. So watch this space! We would like to acknowledge funding by the Australian Research Council, and importantly, Sir Peter Barter and the Hon Jim Kas for their support and facilitating our visits to the Simbai/Kaironk area.

SPOTLIGHT 2017 POSSIBLE CRUISE SHIPS VISIT The PNG Cruise Market is slowly picking up and this may continue to grow over the years and 2017 again present another opportunity. Hapag Llyod Cruises - The Ms. Europa will visit Port Moresby in January 2017. MTS will be arranging the tours for the passengers onboard Europa around Port Moresby and to Goroka to see the mudmen. Europa is visiting a second voyage to PNG in early March and visit Rabaul, Garove (Witu Islands), Madang and Kopar at the Mouth of the Sepik River. The ‘Bremen’ will also visit PNG in April.

P&O and Carnival Australia - There is an indication that in February/March (dates yet to be confirmed) Madang expects a possible visit by two mega cruise vessels, particularly Pacific Eden and Pacific Jewel’ Both vessels are owned and operated by P&O and Carnival Australia. Ponant – They owned five vessels including L’Austral, Le Boreal, Le Lyrial, Le Ponant and Le Soleal. They operate luxury cruises aboard their five megayachts. In early December 2015, a maiden voyage was undertaken by Le Soleal and visited Kopar (Sepik River), Tufi and Samarai Island. In December 2016, Le Soleal’s sister vessel, L’Austral will be visiting PNG and calling at the ports of Alotau, Tufi, Kitava (Trobs) and Rabaul before heading across to Solomon Islands. L’Austral will be again visiting PNG next year 2017 in March and December.

Crystal Cruises - The six star deluxe ‘Crystal Symphony’ will be visiting Alotau, Kaibola (Kiriwina) and Rabaul. These will be maiden calls and MTS has been approached to act as the Ground Operator to operate shore excursions during these calls.

Residensea – The World is the only and largest residential ship on the planet and is a home to 165 residences. It is the only private residential community-at-sea where its residents may travel the globe without ever leaving home. The World last visited PNG in 2014 and has planned a return visit to PNG in March 2017.

SOME EVENTS IN PNG 2017 TBA Jun 02-04 Jun 09-12 Aug 05-07 Sep 19-21 Aug 19 Aug 19-20 Aug Sep 15-17 TBA TBA Sep 15-16 Nov 21 Dec 11-18 Dec 18

World Women’s Surfing Championship, Tupira, Madang Bilum Festival, Karkar Island, Madang Madang Festival, Madang Crocodile Festival, Ambunti, Sepik R Kalam Cultural Show, Simbai, Madang DWU Cultural Day, Madang Mt Hagen Show. Mt Hagen, WHP Yam Festival, Trobriand Islands, MBP Goroka Show. Goroka, EHP Enga Show, Wabag, Enga Province Jiwaka Show. Banz, Jiwaka Province Independence Day, Madang Kenu & Cultural Show, Alotau, MBP Music Festival, Madang Carols by Candle Light. Sugen Aben

MADANG LODGES & GUEST HOUSES TUGU TUGU GUEST HOUSE, KAR KAR Located beside white sand beach at kulili on Kar Kar Island, 35nm from Madang accessible by Banana Boat or copra work boat. Each year they sponsor the Bilum Festival. Snorkelling, swimming, sightseeing and inspection of bio diesel plat at Kar Kar can be arranged.

KRANGET ISLAND LODGE MADANG Set in Krangket Lagoon, self contained units on a peninsular overlooking the Madang Harbour. Snorkelling, swimming, harbour cruises can be arranged. Access by banana boat from Madang Resort.

BILIAU GUEST HOUSE, MADANG the lodge has self catering and offers superb snorkelling and village life out of the hustle and bustle of the towns and just a short canoe ride to the centre of Madang.

KEKI LODGE. NORTH COAST An eco lodge run by a local family has attracted international visitors keen to do birding and visit villages in the Adelbert Mountain Range at 4,000’. Accessible only 4x4 vehicle or helicopter.

Silversea Cruises – Silversea cruises has planned two voyages next year 2017 to be operated by Silver Discoverer in October and November respectively. Silversea Cruises owns among the ten fleets, 4 cruise vessels and 6 small expeditionary cruise vessels including Silver Discoverer with a 120 passenger capacity. Silversea cruises will be looking at offering more cruises to PNG in the years to come.


Heritage Expeditions – Heritage Expeditions based in New Zealand and operates

Tupira Surf Lodge is located at Ulingan Harbour 2

A unique guest house located near Simbai in the Bismarck Mountains at 4,500’. The Kalam Culture show is held in September annually, but is a year round operation, accessible only by charter aircraft to Simbai.


on charter the Professor Khromov, an expedition vessel with a Russian crew. Although limited to just 60 passengers they visit the more remote islands, including Bougainville. The vessel will visit PNG in April and October.

Kaliboob Spirit—MTS own motor yacht available for charter throughout PNG. In 2017 the Kalibobo Spirit will operate several scheduled cruises to the Sepik River.

hours drive from Madang along the North Coast Road. Open year round, best surfing is between Nov-Apr. The lodge provides good basic accommodation, local friendly staff and can arrange sightseeing and cultural entertainment.. Tupira is the most popular lodge in Madang and highly recommended. (pictured)

MY CAPITIVITY EXPERIENCE 1943-1944 A wartime memories of faith and perseverance by Sister Siglinde Poboss ssps

Every year in September, thousands of people in the Archdiocese of Madang join a pilgrimage to a place called Maria Helpim, located in the hill country above St Michael’s Mission Station at Alexishafen. The pilgrimage pray the Stations of the Cross during the arduous walk in the steaming tropical sun in memory of the missionaries who were driven from their mission stations in the area to the bush at Maria Helpim by Japanese military during the second world war. Bishop Wolf svd, with missionaries from the Society of the Divine Word and the Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Spirit, placed themselves under the protection of our Lady of Perpetual Healt, Marie Helpim. This begin an ordeal of incredible deprivation and suffering, a story of great courage and faith that took the missionaries from Alexishafen near Madang to Goya in the jungles of Hollandia (now West Papua) This is a relatively small book written by Sr. Siglinde Poboss, ssps who recorded the epic journey over 12 months which is a miracle in itself how she could remember the details of events that saw many Sisters , Priests. Brothers, Lutherans and mixed race families die under incredibly difficult conditions. Archbishop Stephen Reichert read the memoir written by Sister Sigklinde in 1945, he then had the memoirs published so that others will remember the heroic wartime captivity experiences and he decided that this story needs to be shared with others . Having read the memoirs I was moved to the extent that it was hard to stop tears and like Archbishop Reichert I recommend that this experience be shared not only by people of Madang but by all those who know PNG and perhaps not aware of this pilgrimage that resulted in the deprivation of those who paid the ultimate price and gave their life for PNG. The book is privately published an titled My Captivity Experiences and published by Tanget Book Store, Madang, Papua New Guinea.

The Empress Augusta/Sepik River By Otto Rèche, translated by John Dennison In

1908-1910 took an expedition up the Augusta-Fluss (Sepik River). At the time he was head of the Department at the Hamburg Museum of Ethnology. Until recently his book only available in German but thanks to Professor Glen Summerhayes, and John Dennison it has now been translated in English in association with Herman Mandui, the Chief Archaeologist in PNG. We are thankful to Professor Summerhayes and John Dennison for their work in this valuable book being available in English together with a copy that has been donated to the Noser Library at DWU in Madang. The book is available on the internet by downloading the undermentioned link. MTS pioneered tourism along the Sepik River with houseboats and later the Melanesian Discoverer and Kalibobo Spirit over a period of almost 50 years. (

Crocodile Festival, Ambunti & Expedition up the Sepik River The Kalibobo Spirit was used to escort and navigate up the mighty Sepik River for the 45m Luxurious motoryacht Qing from Jul 31-Aug 12. The owners were aboard and upon return to Madang, The owner sent the following email and I quote:

Sir Peter, On behalf of our family and entire crew, we would like to thank you and the crew of Kalibobo for an amazing trip. I am sorry we didn't get a chance to express our thanks in person and had to whisk off to the airport as you where coming into port. We had an amazing adventure! The Sepik is a beautiful place with incredible people. Selfishly, I am glad it is not heavily toured, as we enjoyed the sense of adventure that come with exploring places like this without obvious crowds, but from our experience it is a place that many people should make the effort to see, they would not be disappointed! You and your crew made the trip a true adventure. My only regret is we did not get to see it along side you 50 years ago! I am sure what you experienced was even more magical. Hopefully we will have a chance to see you again when we meet the boat in Madang in September. Thanks again for an incredible trip! Signed by Owner MTS have been asked to act as Agents and take other vessels up the Sepik and Milne Bay in 2016 and 2018/. If you would like a copy of the log, it can be downloaded from our website or the video fuse the following llink (

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Propseroud New Year! Every Christmas we celebrate Christmas with a traditional carol by Candle Light show , a special night for children at the Sugen Aben Park with a giant Christmas Tree. We hope to see you in the new year in Papua New Guinea.! Melanesian News is published quarterly by MTS Limited as a means to provide information about PNG. It can be downloaded from

MELANESIAN TOURIST SERVICES LIMITED P.O. Box 707, Madang, Papua New Guinea T: +675 4241300 F: +675 4222543 E:

Newsletter #4 oct dec 2018  

Melanesian News Letter No 4

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