Tag Archives: Historical Samarai

Samarai Island: Once A District Nerve-Centre

Samarai is a gorgeous place. I visited Samarai 20 years ago and loved it. It is a shame that the authorities let it run down, especially when it held historical significance for Papua New Guinea from the 1920s. Thank you for sharing this post, sister Islandmeri.

Visit here for Samarai archival images from 1900s.  Read additional history from Loosenuts blog.

My Magic Moments

The south side of Samarai Island. The sight of a lone man in his canoe – still the main mode of transport for many people in these islands.

It was a short trip to Samarai from Doini Island – less than 30 minutes. I had never seen the island from this side before.

The Kwato Mission boats, MV Osiri and MV Labini would berth here some Saturdays bringing shoppers from Kwato and the famous homemade Kwato bread and buns. These were a popular hit as the ladies always returned to Kwato with the large empty bread basins.

Many happy memories of this wharf especially when the mission boats, MV Osiri and MV Labini would berth here for Kwato islanders to do their shopping at Samarai’s two main department stores – Steamships and Burns Philp and many other shops such as the hardware store.

Samarai was the District headquarters for the Milne Bay District before the advent of provinces. It was a hub for many islanders…

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