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ROCOR sources in New Zealand say:
- "Fr. Nikolai (Manovitch) (Manowich) was a hieromonk of questionable background who served in Russian parishes in early 20th century Australasia.
- He is regarded as something of a "colourful character" and had a spurious ordination from a bishop in Canada who was not recognised by any ecclesiastical authority in North America. He went to New Zealand and then on to Australia where he was close to the Bolshevik group in Brisbane. He was arrested for extortion, demanding outrageous amounts of money for baptisms and weddings. He disappeared from the religious scene when Fr Paul Korchinsky came to Australia at the request of the Russian Imperial Consul-General to counter the effect of Manowich. He died in 1925 and is buried in Queensland."
Archpriest Michael Protopopov's thesis "The Russian Orthodox Presence in Australia" contains information on this faux priest and his religious and political activities. See pages 24-35. http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/digitaltheses/public/adt-acuvp09042006.85/02whole.pdf
Antiochian sources in New Zealand say:
- "The only historical evidence we have about Fr Nikolai Manovitch is he was the first priest of the Saint Michael Orthodox Church in Dunedin NZ. He came to Dunedin in 1910 - persuaded the Syrians to build their church in Dunedin, travelled to Australia to purchase Orthodox Service books for Dunedin, consecrated the church in Dunedin in January 1911, and finally left Dunedin for Australia in 1913. We have no further information on him after that.
- "He was responsible for starting the first Orthodox parish in New Zealand, and building the first Orthodox church ever built in New Zealand, which was also the first Antiochian Orthodox church in Australasia.
- "We would be very interested to see substantive evidence for anything else about him."