Mission museum open to public

Wantok Place, the LCA/NZ’s museum of Papua New Guinea artefacts, is now open to the public one day each week and at other times by appointment.

Formerly called the Louise Flierl Mission Museum and founded in 1998 by Christel Metzner in the Adelaide Hills town of Hahndorf, it is now located in the LLL Building at 175A Archer Street, North Adelaide.

The revamped and relocated museum, which is open each Wednesday from 10.00am to 4.00pm and by appointment for group bookings, was officially opened on 16 June by LCA Bishop John Henderson and Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC–PNG) representative Pastor Kinim Siloi. Other special guests were Christel Metzner and the Rev Dr Ulf Metzner from Queensland.`

The new name – Wantok Place – which means a speaker of the same language, a friend, or a partner, highlights the partnership between the people of the two churches, the LCA/NZ and the ELC–PNG. Speaking at the opening, Pastor Kinim said partnership in the gospel was ‘not just a passing experience, devoid of long-lasting impact on our lives’.

‘A healthy partnership has relational power deeply rooted in the love of Christ’, he said. ‘What a challenge, and what a joy. What blessing and delight we can have being engaged in a partnership in the gospel. The rebuilding of the museum … is an indication that our partnership in the gospel is very strong. You and I are “wantoks” because we believe in Jesus Christ and are bound together by his love – therefore we are partners in the gospel for his sake.’ (for Pastor Kinim’s full homily, please click here)

The majority of the museum’s approximately 1500 artefacts were given to or acquired by Australian Lutheran missionaries and lay people who worked in PNG missions from 1886 for the next 100 or so years. The artefacts were donated to the museum.

Some 50 of the artefacts come from the LCA’s South-East Asia mission partners in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. Most of these items have been given to the LCA by Australian Lutheran College scholarship holders.

Wantok Place has approximately 1000 pieces on display. These include bows, arrows, shields, spears, daggers, sorcery and magic bundles, bullroarers, flutes, masks, tools, jewellery, pots, drums, conch shells, bilums (woven bags), storyboards, and much more.

The museum is open Wednesdays from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Bookings for Wantok Place can be made for group visits, by emailing wantok-place@lca.org.au or by phoning the museum manager, Timothy Pietsch, on 08 8267 7410. Visit the website for more information at www.lca.org.au/wantok-place