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Madang – My New Home Town

A Few months ago I wrote about Springfield Illinois, my home town. Today I want to write about Madang, my new home town. Comparing Springfield to Madang is, however, grossly unfair. So, I won’t do that. What I will try to do is tell you why Madang has become my adopted home.

If you flew in a spaceship over the North coast of Papua New Guinea, you could look down and see our house in Madang:

Our House as seen by Google Earth

If you were landing at the airport in Madang towards the West, you would see our house right here:

Our House as seen landing at the Madang airport

Much is made of the beauty of small South Pacific towns. I have seen a few myself. Each has its own particular ambiance. For my money, Madang is one of the most beautiful.

The main reason I love Madang is the work I do and my home. Here are a few pictures of my home. My work with Pioneer Bible Translators over the last almost thirty years has been varied. I started out as the bookkeeper and moved on to Administrator of Finance to Director of Support Services and now I am the PNG Branch Director.

Our kitchen and our dog, Sheba

Sheba spends a lot of time in the kitchen with me in hope that something tasty will fall on the floor.

Dining area at our house

Dining area at our house

After nearly thirty years, I finally got all of my little treasures from the past to our new home and put them in a cabinet made by a local woodworker. I love to cook for friends, so I have a table that seats twelve.

Lounge area in our house

The lounge area is a little less orderly. Sheba sleeps on one of the couches, so we keep it covered with a blanket.

Our House

Our house is no mansion, but God has blessed us with a safe and pleasant place to live.

I love the scenery of Madang. Madang is on a peninsula. There is a bay on one side and the Madang harbour on the other. Across the bay there is a range of mountains that come right to the ocean. We have beautiful gardens and there is a lily pond that also has a crocodile or two.

Lily pond near our office and a frangipani tree

The home of our local crocodiles is a beautiful place to visit, but not a good place to swim.

Machinegun Point and Astrolabe Bay

Machinegun Point is a favorite swimming hole for local residents – no crocodiles here!

The beautiful gardens of The Madang Lodge Hotel and Restaurant

The main tourist attraction is the Coastwatchers’s Lighthouse. This is a real working lighthouse for shipping and a fitting memorial to the men that reported the whereabouts of the Japanese during WWII. Many of these men were Australians that were living in Madang at the start of the war.

The Madang Coastwatchers Monument

The Population of Madang and the surrounding area is about 40,000 people. The town center is not very large. There is a good sized outdoor market where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables. The shops are all small – no shopping centers or sky scrapers. You can walk to the post office, the bank and grocery store in less than five minutes.

The "veggie" house at the Madang Town Market

I love the sky above Madang. It is never the same. It seems to change every five minutes. The sunrises and sunsets are sometimes spectacular. When there is a full moon it seems to set in the sky just outside our front door. Here is the sun rising as seen from our front yard.

Sunrise over Madang Town as seen out our front door

As we drive to work each morning, we pass Coconut Point. The sunrises there are breathtaking.

Sunrise at Coconut Point

At another place on our drive in to the office we can look out to see one of the most dangerous volcanoes on Earth, Kar Kar Island:

Kar Kar Island, an active volcano, in the distance

From our house Jan can take our dive boat out on a Saturday and have a dive with many friends and acquaintances. He has become a professional photographer and enjoys underwater photography especially.

Nemo

An actual photogrpaph of Nemo, the famous fish, taken by my husband

Life is simple and nothing moves fast. There are some frustrations living in a place that is not quite in the 21st century yet, but most of the time that is one of the main reasons life is so good in Madang.

There is an expression in Tok Pisin (the lingua franca of PNG). Gutpela sindaun. It means “It’s a very nice place to live.”

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8 comments to Madang – My New Home Town

  • Alison Raynor

    Hello Eunice,
    I am really looking forward to meeting you and Jan and Sheba. I am a ” Ples Belong Mi” addict now and sometimes jot down the odd comment to Jan’s interesting and amusing/ slightly left of centre humor. He is hillarious! Both Dave and I are SO excited to be going back to Madang after so many years. This will be such an adventure and hope that you might have time to share it with us.
    Of all things, I remember the smell of Madang. (fortunately it’s the flowers) ha ha
    “Madang-My New Hometown”, is a delight Eunice and thank you so much for sharing it with us all.
    Kind Regards
    Ali

  • Judy Proctor

    Eunice,

    Your hometown is beautiful. It seems so peaceful. Do you ever miss the states?

  • No I don’t miss the USA. I miss family and friends but not anything about living in the USA.

  • It will be nice to get to know you. See you soon.
    Eunice

  • Jeff Collinson

    Hello Eunice.

    I am researching the details of a friend’s uncle who was a Coastwatcher in WW2. I believe that his name is inscribed on the Coastwatchers Memorial Lighthouse at Madang, and in view that you live there, I was wondering whether you would be so kind as to take a photo of the plaque with all the names plus a close up of his name. His name was :-

    Jack Eric Daymond.

    We believe that he was either executed in Rabaul or lost his life when the Montevideo Maru was torpedoed by an American submarine about the 1st June 1942. The sub was not aware that the Japanese ship was carrying about 1500 mainly Australian POWs and the ship sank in about 6 minutes and all the prisoners drowned. Jack was a Patrol Officer from about 1930 with the Administration of PNG.

    Sending the pics by email would be fine.

    Thanking you in anticipation,

    Jeff Collinson, Melbourne, Australia.

  • Jeff Collinson

    Hello Jan,

    Thank you so much for the photo of Jack Daymond’s name on the Coastwatcher’s Memorial Lighthouse at Madang. Jack was a Patrol Officer at Gasmata on the south coast of New Britain from about 1930 until his capture as a Coastwatcher in 1942 and subsequent drowning on the Montevideo Maru on the 1st July 1942. Another scenario is that he was executed by the Japanese but we have no proof of that.

    The Daymond family never knew of his fate until recently and I and a friend have undertaken the task of finding out more about him and his life in PNG and New Britain. We have found out a lot already and the photo that you have taken will please greatly the family of Jack. He was married in 1942 but we have not found any children or the whereabouts of his wife.
    Thank you sincerely.

    I am saddened to hear that your wife Eunice is not well. We here in Melbourne hope and pray that she recovers and can resume her life in your paradise at Madang. Please give her my greetings and best wishes.

    Kindest regards,

    Jeff Collinson

  • sameer

    dear Mam,
    Its so nice to see you well organised at Madang and also to see the lovely pictures of this place.
    I shall soon be coming to Madang to work there as a doctor and this story of yours inspires me a lot
    Thank you for sharing your home with us.
    take care
    regards
    sameer

  • Tony

    Thank you for the photos. I grew up in Madang & have nothing but memories. I remember most of places you’ve shown as well. I used to swim in those lily ponds – with the odd crock or too. I even remember when some kids brought 2 baby crocks to school (Holy Spirit).

    Life is very big in Madang. Thank you for sharing.

    Tony