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Alfons van Nunen

Alfons van Nunen was born on 8 November 1922 in Tilburg and died on 18 December 2013 in Warmond. He was a missionary, teacher, librarian, archivist and anthropologist. He entered the Franciscan order on 7 September 1940. He was ordained as a priest on 16 March 1947. He studied anthropology in Sydney, Australia to prepare for his mission in West Papua. He arrived there in 1953 after receiving his bachelor’s degree. He was stationed in Epouto near the Wissel lakes, then transferred to Enagotadi in 1955 in the same area. He conducted research in nearby Kugapa among the Moni where he was stationed in 1957 and 1958 and wrote his doctoral thesis “The community of Kugapa”, with which he graduated in 1966 as a Master of Arts at the Anthropology Department of the University of Sydney. He already wrote the master thesis during his leave in the Netherlands in 1959, but due to the transfer of West Papua to Indonesia, he was only able to graduate in Sydney in 1966. After his leave, he was placed in Hollandia where he became a school administrator and was attached to the minor seminary, later the Theological School in Abepura, where he built up a large library and archive. He was also a member of the Catholic center and pastor of Sentani in the 1970s. He returned to the Netherlands in 2004 for health reasons and went to live in Warmond.

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