Munda (Solomon Islands)

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{land, century, early}
{build, building, house}
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{ship, engine, design}
{water, park, boat}
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{food, make, wine}
{village, small, smallsup}

Munda is the largest settlement on the island of New Georgia in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands, and consists of a number of villages. It is located at the southwestern tip (called Munda Point) of the western end of New Georgia, and the large Roviana Lagoon is just offshore.

History

Munda Point was originally the site of a coconut plantation originally established by Englishman Norman Wheatley, and then owned by Australian Lesley Gill. During World War II the Japanese built an airstrip to serve as a staging point to Guadalcanal. A convoy put in to Munda Point on 24 November 1942, and started construction under careful concealment from the air by means of rows of coconut palms suspended by cable. The airstrip was discovered by American planes on 3 December, and the first airstrikes were delivered by B-17 Flying Fortress bombers on 9 December. However, the Japanese were able to use Munda despite regular bombardment from both air and sea, and the Americans' New Georgia Campaign spent July of 1943 closing in on Munda overland, capturing it on 6 August. The airstrip remains today and daily flights land from Honiara and Gizo.

Geography

Lambete, the largest village in Munda, today consists of a number of shops, a National Solomons Bank, a post office, a telecommunications centre, the airstrip and a small port. On the seafront is Agnes Lodge, a small hotel and currently the only tourist accommodation in Munda. The hotel compound also contains the local bar (Munda Bar), the dive shop - Dive Munda, and the local boat-tour company (Go West Tours).

Medical care in Munda is provided by the Helena Goldie Hospital, a small hospital west of Lambete that was originally set up by the Rev J.F. Goldie (Methodist missionary) and named after his wife.

Munda is a 1-2 hour boat journey or 15 minute flight to Gizo and a 1 hour flight to Honiara by Solomon Airlines light aircraft.

See also

Coordinates: 8°19′41″S 157°16′15″E / 8.32806°S 157.27083°E / -8.32806; 157.27083


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