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James L.O.Tedder was raised in Wamberal,NSW, attended the local primary school, and Gosford High School. He served for a few months as a deck boy in the merchant navy and spent two years in the AIF, the last year in 13th Small Ships in New Guinea. After the War he spent four years at Sydney University graduating with Bachelor of Economics with three years of geography and three years of political theory.
In February 1952 James Tedder was appointed as an Administrative Officer cadet in the British Colonial Service and was posted direct to the Solomon Islands. Following two months in Central District, he was posted to Malaita as District Officer Aoke to serve under V.J. Andersen. In November 1953 he was posted to Malu`u as District Officer. In August 1954 he was sent to the Devonshire Course in Cambridge. Confirmed in his appointment in March 1955 he was posted to Kira Kira in June as District Commissioner Eastern. In May 1959 he was appointed as Census Commissioner for the sample census organised by Dr Norma McArthur. In June 1960 he was appointed District Commissioner Malaita while Michael M. Townsend was on leave.
A posting for six months as Assistant Secretary Social Affairs followed the six months in Malaita. Then he was posted to Western District as District Commissioner for a year. Following leave he was posted to Honiara as District Officer Guadalcanal in October then District Commissioner Central as from January 1963. In 1967 he was promoted to Administrative Officer Grade A and awarded the MBE which was conferred by the Queen in May while on a Local Government attachment to three Councils in the UK.
On 1 January 1972 James Tedder was appointed to the new post of Director of Information and Broadcasting from which he retired in November 1974. While serving in Honiara he was Chair of the Tourism Authority, and at times Chair of the Copra Board. He belonged to the Broadcast Advisory, the University of South Pacific, Museum, and Library Committees.
While Director of Information and Broadcasting he was responsible for helping to establish the Solomon Island Museum, the Library, and facilities to ensure that researchers placed copies of their work, whether print or film, in the archives.
James Tedder wrote a small booklet, Walks in Guadalcanal, for tourists. He co-authored with Geoff Stevens a book, Birds in Honiara, for the Scout Association, and with his wife, Margaret Tedder, wrote, Yam Cultivation in Guadalcanal. Articles on dried breadfruit, Honiara planning, Broadcasting, the Museum were published in the South Pacific Commission Quarterly and other journals. Short pieces on ancient village sites were contributed to the Solomon Islands Museum newsletter. With Tom Russell and advice from Professor Davenport he excavated a cave Fotoruma near Honiara revealing artifacts going back to 970 BC. He wrote a book, How Government Works, which was distributed to all schools. In 2008 he self published, Solomon Island Years: An Administrative Officer in theIslands 1952-74. Mr Tedder’s research on beach erosion, on coral cays, on bird census and drift voyages is yet to be written up.