Collection MS 1369 - Memorabilia of R.A. Keevil, Vols.1-2, 1921-1983 and BSIP, Agricultural Department, Malaita, Auki visitors book, 1958-1968.

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AU PMB MS 1369


Memorabilia of R.A. Keevil, Vols.1-2, 1921-1983 and BSIP, Agricultural Department, Malaita, Auki visitors book, 1958-1968.


  • 1921-1983 (Creation)

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1 reel; 35mm microfilm

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Richard (Dick) Keevil was a British Colonial Serviceman from 1942-1971. In 1944 he participated in the Chindits Special Forces in Burma as a Platoon Commander. In 1945 Dick was recruited by the Colonial Office to take on a role as Development Officer in Nigeria. Keevil worked on agricultural development and communication in Africa and in 1952 married Margaret and later had two children, Frances and Lesley. In 1958 Keevil relocated, with his family, to the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. He worked for the British Solomon Islands Protectorate Agricultural Department and initially lived in Auki, Malaita where he was to develop the cocoa industry. In the late 1960s, Keevil was transferred to Honiara to develop education services within the Agricultural Department. Keevil compiled and published articles in The Solomon Islands Farmer (see PMB Doc 530), local newspapers and presented radio broadcasts for the national radio network. He later collected and published Custom stories of the Solomon Islands (see PMB Doc 510) and instrumental in establishing the Solomon Islands National Agricultural show in 1969. In February 1974 he hosted Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips at the Solomon Islands Agricultural show (see PMB Photo 57). Keevil was instrumental in developing several charities including the Solomon Islands Crippled Society and the US Marine Veterans Association. He helped to design and build the Henderson American War Memorial dedicated to coast watchers and the American marines at the Henderson airport (see PMB Photo 57). Dick Keevil left the Government in 1971, bought land and established a farm and riding school at Henderson, 10 miles east of Honiara. In 1981 Dick Keevil wrote his memoirs in two volumes before returning to live in Australia.

Memorabilia of R.A. Keevil includes unpublished memorabilia of Dick Keevil’s time with the British Colonial Service in Africa (1921-1957) and the Solomon Islands (1958-1983). The memoirs cover Keevil’s life pre-war, the War, Africa, the Solomon Islands and Australia.
Corrections to the text (in pencil) were made by Paul H.Brown, who worked with Dick Keevil in the Solomon Islands.
This title also includes the British Solomon Islands Protectorate Agricultural Department, Malaita, Auki Visitors Book from 1958-1968.
See PMB Photo 57 for a selection of Keevil’s photographs in the Solomon Islands.
See Finding aids for details.

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Frances Keevil, Sydney, N.S.W.

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