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Mrs Michaelis Presents Last Supper Carving
by: Marion Riedl, Ludington Daily News
Search For "Right" Gift Ended with Mrs. Michaelis Presenting a Carving of the Last Supper
Russ Miller
Mrs. Emil Michaels is shown here with the teakwood carving of the "Last Supper” which she and her husband presented to the United Methodist Church of Ludington in appreciation for having sponsored them in the United States. The carving was unveiled at church services on Sunday, April 9 1972.
Mrs. Emil (Elly) Michaelis likes to be called “Maus" by everyone she meets. A petite, soft-spoken, Indonesian woman, ''Maus'' has returned for a visit to Ludington from San Jose, Cal., where she and her family now live. The main purpose of her visit was to present the United Methodist Church with a large wood carving of the “Last Supper".
She stated that she and her husband had been trying to think of an appropriate gift to express their appreciation to the Methodist Church for sponsoring them in the United States.

They Are Refugees
Her story goes back to April, 1952, when she and her husband fled from Indonesia to the Netherlands because they didn't like the Sukarno regime. Other refugees had fled to Africa, Brazil, Canada, Australia as well as the thousands that went to Holland, she said.
They and their children remained in the Netherlands for seven and one half years. During this time, immigration restrictions were lifted twice which allowed many Indonesian refugees to come to the United States. The Michaelis family came to the United States and to Luddington in November 1959 under the sponsorship of the First Methodist Church and its minister. the Rev. Phillip Carpenter. Their seven children ranged in age from 19 to two years.
They rented a house at 607 E. Filer St. which had been arranged and furnished by the members of the church. "Everything was ready for house-keeping when we arrived, including the dining table being set.''
They lived In Ludington for two and one half years and enjoyed their life here, "Maus" stated that she corresponds quite regularly with her friends here.

They Choose A Gift
Once they had decided on the carving, they made arrangements to travel to the island of Java, where they had formerly lived, to purchase it.
“Maus” stated that carvings of this type are made only in the small city of Japara. Besides these wooden carvings made of a solid piece of teakwood, pictures and furniture are made there.
In December 1971 they flew from San Jose, Cal., to Jakarta. From there they took a night train, "biru malam", to Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. Mr. Michaelis then travelled by bus to Semarang City and then by car to Japara, “The World Carving Centre”, (6deg32minS 110deg40minE) to purchase the four carvings to be brought back as gifts. On the return trip it was necessary to transfer vehicles many times, all the while trying to carry and protect the four heavy carvings. The complete round trip from Surabaja to Japara,  took 26 hours because of the poor roads and transportation facilities.
"Maus" went on to explain that the system of roads is quite poor and that one meets all types of transportation including ox carts, buses, bicycles, motorbikes, cars and people walking.
Although the island of Java has more roads than some of the other islands. it is so populated that there are constant traffic jams. She also said that the drivers have no regard to traffic signs. An example which she gave was that when cars approach a stop light, cars from both directions spread out the width of the street in hopes of being the first to go when the light changes. But somehow they manage to avoid hitting each other. She wouldn't want to drive a car there, however.

She likes America
She also said that she prefers living in the U.S. to life in Java. The country has progressed since they fled, but she said she would miss the many modern conveniences of their adopted country. They and their seven children are citizens of the U.S. They also have three grandsons now.
"Maus,, and her family are very proud of the fact that they have always supported themselves since moving to the U.S. and have not been dependent on anyone.

The Future
"Maus" said that she and her husband have begun thinking of where they will live after her husband retires from his present job in the shop of an airlines company. Before that happens, however, she said she wants to travel to Greece and see the Acropolis and some of the sites of Europe.

Wall Hanging
 
United Methodist Church of Ludington www.ludingtonumc.org 5810 Bryant Road, Ludington, MI 49431