THE great-grandson of the famed Russian anthropologist Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay (pictured) will visit Papua New Guiena next month.
Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay IV is a direct descendant of the naturalist, explorer, anthropologist and artist who first arrived in PNG in September 1871, landing at Garagassi Point and settling at Gorendu village on the Rai Coast of Madang.
Here he established an excellent relationship with the people and is anthropological work and diaries became widely acknowledged in Russia and around the world.
In September 1971, a delegation of Russians visited Madang on board a Russian frigate to mark the centenary of Maclay’s arrival, at which time a monument was established on the site of his house.
Subsequently Maclay’s diary was published, books about his work were written (including one by Mary Mennis), films were produced and Maclay became a household name in Russia and considered amongst the country’s most famous explorers.
The original site of the monument was threatened by sea erosion and, with the help of Valeri and Irma Sourin, a generous Russian couple, the Melanesian Foundation and the Madang Resort maintenance team, a seawall was built to protect the site and a new memorial stone put in place.
We have asked Gerhard and Herman Sieland to provide plans and budget for a double classroom and this has been submitted to Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay IV in the hope he can find funding in Russia.
We are also waiting for the plan of a four-room guest house that can be enlarged if there is a demand for more accommodation.
A great deal of information is now available about Maclay’s work in PNG. He later married Margaret Robertson, the daughter of the first premier of NSW. The name Rai Coast was given by Maclay and the Vitiaz Straits and Alexishafen were named after Russian frigates which brought him to Madang.