It started as a joke and ended with a Herald journalist earning a tiny namesake in remote Papua New Guinea.

During a visit to the Bogia health clinic, where visual journalist Mike Scott and World Vision ambassador Clarke Gayford were interviewing new mothers about their experiences, they met Daphne.

Despite giving birth to a new baby just hours earlier, like many of the women in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, she was eager to share her story about access to healthcare.

Mike Scott is welcomed into the village of Boroi with traditional 'facepainting'. Photo / Simon Day
Mike Scott is welcomed into the village of Boroi with traditional 'facepainting'. Photo / Simon Day

During the interview, Gayford asked if Daphne had named her baby yet. When she said no, he joked: "Michael is a nice name."


"Clarke's a funny guy," Scott says. "He was just having a laugh. I thought nothing of it."

But half an hour later, as the team were speaking with other patients, a World Vision staff member approached Scott with some news.

Daphne had named her baby Michael.

"My first thought was, really?" Scott says. "I couldn't understand because I think I have a really boring name. And then I started to feel like I would have some sort of responsibility. Like I'd have to come back."

Scott said in the beginning he felt uncomfortable with the situation, but later consoled himself by arguing maybe Daphne was just being kind.

"I'm sure they went home and changed it. I doubt he's called Michael any more. It was the craziest thing."

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