Simona Noorenbergh

Simona Noorenbergh

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Simona Noorenbergh

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Sister Simona Noorenbergh (1907–1990; her surname is also spelled Noorenberghe or Noorenberg, and her original given name was Maria) was a Belgian-born religious leader and community organizer.

She was born in Ypres, Belgium in 1907. She was one of the founders of the small mountain village Fane in Central Province, Papua New Guinea, where she wasknown in Papua New Guinea as "Sister Simona". At the age of 84 she died in an airplane crash in the Papuan mountains on July 5, 1990.


In October 1989 she was made a Knight of the Order of Léopold II, for services to the people of Goilala and Papua New Guinea as a whole, awarded by Wilfried de Pauw, Belgian ambassador to Australia and Papua New Guinea.


  • "Having one big nose might be better than having two little ones."
  • "I'll never go back to Belgium. To do what? Is there still something to be done? Papua New Guinea is where I belong and were I'll die."
  • "My people in the tribes would consider it an honour if I offered them my body to be eaten. Having a look at myself it would for sure be a long extended meal."

Personal life

In 1923 at the age of 16 Simona Noorenbergh did read a story in a French magazine on Papua New Guinea. She told her parents that she immediately wanted to leave home to live in that country. This was refused. When she became very sick and her parents feared for her life they promised her that, when she got better, she would be allowed to go to...
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