Salgari Memorial stone
I was back on Mompracem on July 12, 2019!
The Salgari memorial stone on Mompracem (Kuraman) is still there! A little broken, but still preserved!
Salgari - memorial stone:
- erected on August 29, 1971, by Giuglio Raiola and Rolando Jotti,
- rediscovered by Horst and Bianca Gerlich on August 10, 1998,
- I was there again on July 29, 2000 with Simon Barke
- and for the last time on July 12, 2019 (with K. Itzigehl).
On the left side: the Salgari memorial stone; in the background you can see the jetty
And here is the story of this stone, which has been resting on Mompracem for almost 50 years:
Giulio Raiola and Rolando Jotti erected a Salgari memorial stone on August 29, 1971 during their search for Mompracem. My father, Horst Gerlich (picture) discovered this stone made of cement by chance in 1998, when he no longer wanted to return through the jungle, which was then rich in mosquitoes. He returned rather over the rocks back to the beach where we had settled and where my mother was waiting for us. I followed him hesitantly because I was concerned about possible scorpions in the rocks that I had previously seen on cliffs on another Malaysian island. Suddenly he called out to me, extremely excited, that he had discovered a stone with the name Sandokan on it. I hurried up to my father and saw the following inscription:
The text says:
(1862 - 1911)
LE AVVENTUROSE IMPRESE DI
LA TIGRE DELLA MALESIA
PER I SOGNI DEI RAGAZZI ITALIANI
IN MOMPRACEM RITROVERATA
R.J. - G.R. 29-8-1971
Translation: THIS ISLAND HAS INSPIRED THE WRITER EMILIO SALGARI (1862 - 1911)
THE ADVENTUROUS ENTERPRISES OF SANDOKAN - THE TIGER OF MALAYSIA
FOR THE DREAMS OF ITALIAN CHILDREN IN MOMPRACEM FOUND R.J. - G.R. 29-8-1971
I have reported extensively on the Stone of Mompracem in my article "Una lapide commemorativa per Salgari su Mompracem" published in the magazine "Il Corsaro Nero" 33 (2022), pp. 39-43.
Incidentally, the island was not rocky enough for the filmmakers of "Sandokan" (1976), so they chose another, Pulau Kapas off the Malaysian peninsula. After all, Mompracem at Salgari is described as quite rocky, and thus as "wild" - as the illustrated book cover of Salgaris "La Riconquista del Mompracem" shows. Keraman-Mompracem has a lot of smaller rocks and ledges, especially in the water in front of the island there are many rocks. We were taken by boat to a quite large rock south of Mompracem to watch snakes that were estimated to be very poisonous and that were actually basking in flocks on the rock.
Also in July 2000, my friend and I climbed to the memorial stone and found it. My friend took theat picture with me and the stone. Later visitors to the island did not find the stone. They said it might have been washed into the sea. But that's not true, as I was fortunate enough to find out now. On July 12, 2019 I was there again and found the stone again! A top piece was a bit broken off, but 48 years after it was made it is still there! The coral rocks still looked like they did in 1998 and 2000. Nothing was washed into the sea.
It would be nice if this memorial stone, which is now a bit historical, could be protected in the future.