Oldest building in Lae

The St Andrew’s Lutheran Church at Ampo is the oldest building in Lae that still had battle scars until its renovation in 2005.

During National Remembrance Day on the 23rd of July, youths from the English congregation hosted an exhibition to share the church’s rich history with their peers.

The Ampo church building of the Evangelical Lutheran Church was built on the 4th of March, 1933, and dedicated on the 8th of October, 1933.

It is the oldest building in Lae that survived the bombing raid of the Allied Forces during the Second World War.

A youth member of the English congregation, Jeremiah Moat, shared that the church and the adjacent Sunday school building survived the Japanese invasion; where the church was used as their field hospital.

“Bihain ol Allied Forces kam na difitim ol Japanese troops na kisim bek disla eria,” he stated. “Ol yusim disla haus lotu gen olsem church blo lotu na weshipim bikman insait lo em.”

Elizabeth Erron emphasised the importance of preserving our history, which was why they hosted the exhibition on Friday.

“Lo ‘90s i gat ol mak blo bulet weh mipla sampla witnesim. Bihain ol rausim olgeta disla ol mak blo bulet na renoveitim ken. History em, planti yut nau ol save lo history blo church.”

The Ampo church was built using timber shipped from Bukawa on the 11th of February, 1933.

(Ampo youths recreating a 1944 image)

Carmella Gware