Hat given by SVD missionary remains

Letters

A HISTORICAL event took place after the arrival of the first SVD Missionaries in Papua New Guinea 125 years ago.
On Aug 13 1896, the first SVD Missionaries, Fr Eberhard Limbrock and three others arrived in Madang and later moved to Tumilio Island in Aitape, West Sepik.
During the evangelisation journey, Fr Eberhard travelled from Boiken mission station to Walis Island by a sail boat named Stella Maris.
Upon arrival on the island, he met village elders and Henry Parjani and told them of his evangelisation visit.
At the time, the village people regarded Parjani as the intervener or the prophet of the island.
In 1904, Parjani and others from Walis Island went to Madang to work as a labourers on the German coconut plantation at Gulili in Bogia.
Fr Eberhard met Parjani at Bogia mission station and baptized him and gave him the name Andrias as his baptismal name.
Parjani was later known as Henry.
After baptism, Fr Eberhard gave to Henry his walking stick and the large all-weather khaki brown hat as his gifts.
Later, Henry returned to Walis Island and travelled to Murik Lakes for traditional and cultural exchange purposes and died in Karau village.
The hat that was presented to him by Fr Eberhard is kept safely and still in good condition in a small house he lived years ago.

Mat Katu

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