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A trip to Alexishafen – the historic ghost town of Momase

Alexishafen_KathedraleAMANDA YEOU

ON the dawn of National Repentance Day, Madang was blessed with rain. Such a wonderful blessing, I thought as I got out of bed and packed my bag.

On 26 August, the Divine Word University lecturers and students left for Alexishafen to attend a Catholic Bible study session hosted by FrJohn Ryan SVD.

I was in the group which boarded the bus at 8:30 am arriving in Alexishafen, about 25 km north of Madang, around 9:15.

Alexishafen is an old Catholic Mission Station established by Society of the Divine Word missionaries.

I stood on what used to be an old harbour and thought of what it might have been like when Alexishafen was a small thriving town.

AlexishafenI said a prayer and thanked the Lord for the life of the missionaries, especially the SVD priests, because without them this place wouldn’t have had the strong and well organised facilities made from materials shipped from Europe in the late 1800s.

There isn’t much left in the town now, but there is still a health centre staffed by Divine Word nurses and doctors.

Late in the afternoon, we left Alexishafen for Madang. As the bus approached the main highway, I thought of the beautiful place that we had left - once a town but now almost deserted.

Alexishafen is truly the root of Catholic faith in the Momase Region.

Comments

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Arnold  Mundua

The church in the photo above I beleive had a great story of its own. It was bombed to ruins during the war. Had it remained today it would be the greatest landmrk monument left behind by the early SVD missionaries....a definite tourist attraction.

Baka Bina

It was picturesque. Unfortunately I forgot my camera back in Madang. Very elegant.

I wonder what it was like back then. Must have been beautiful. There is some wartime armaments there rusting away.

I hope there is are a cache of photographs someplace to post as a reminder of what we will miss if the current slide is maintained. Last year the retirement home was in need of paint.

Amanda, tenk yu tru.

Bessielah David

Amanda, it is indeed a beautiful place. I've been there. It may be deserted now but the serenity and peace is awesome, kind of like a country outback station.

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