This is a picture of MV Manus [courtesy of Mathew Brillante], a barge owned by the Manus Provincial Government which was built in Perth, Western Australia. The barge is currently rusting away at Motukea and when Matt first published the photo on Facebook, it drew a lot of thoughts from Manusians.
Unlike most of my friends on FB, I had a very close connection to this barge. My father, who was then the Provincial Works Minister, actually went down to Perth and brought this vessel back. Dad has a whole album with photos of this vessel being built and later the trip back to Manus.
I was also one of the few privileged enough to get a free ride on it and a tour of the ship by its captain. To top it off, my first trip on a ship to Madang was on her.
I can state confidently that the vessel was more superior then the recently purchased MV Manus Atolls and had first class facilities. Unfortunately, all that class is now rusting in a dry dock at Motukea and no one seems interested in getting it fixed.
I just hope that the same treatment is not accorded to MV Manus Atolls.