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Tedder, James L.O. Solomon Islands Coleção Com objeto digital
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James Tedder slides of Territory of Papua and New Guinea and British Solomon Islands Protectorate

  • AU PMB PHOTO 75
  • Coleção
  • 1952 - 1974

This is a collection of 45 colour slides taken by James L.O. Tedder, MBE, during the period 1952 to 1974. Twenty nine of these slides were taken in the Territory of Papua New Guinea (TPNG) and 16 in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP).

Of the 29 TPNG images, three are of Lae in Morobe District, dated 1952. There are also five images of Rabaul in New Britain: one dated 1952 may be of Tavurvur volcano, a view from Matupi Island. The other four dated August 1964 show the view from the District Commissioner’s garden, a sunset, dancers and school students. Also dated 1964 is a portrait of an unnamed female nurse in Madang District. This photograph may not belong in this series, nor have been taken by James Tedder. Judging from the information on the badge the nurse is wearing it was taken after Papua New Guinea Independence.

Three images dated 1958 were taken in the Eastern Highlands District, probably all at Mt Michael Patrol Post. They include one of James Tedder, his wife Margaret and their children with District Officer W E (Bill) Tomasetti. Tomasetti served in World War 2 / World War II as a commando in Timor. The other photos were taken of two groups of local men, some of whom are displaying their traditional wealth, including plumes and kina shells.

Mt Hagen and the Western Highlands District is the subject of 14 images probably all taken in August 1964: seven are aerial views of the town, airstrip and geographical features, including the Hindenberg Wall, and the terrain en route to Porgera. Seven are of Highlands people. The people, including a portrait of two women, are shown walking along a road or posing for a photograph and show the wealth and status of these people. Three images taken also in August 1964 in Central District are of the view across Fairfax Harbour to Port Moresby town and, in the foothills of the Owen Stanley range behind Port Moresby, of the Rona (Rouna) Falls hydro plant and the Falls themselves. Both this trip outside Port Moresby in Central Province and the flight in the Western Highlands District were probably facilitated by the Western Highlands District Commissioner of TPNG’s Western Highlands District, Tom Ellis, for the District Commissioner of BSIP’s Western District, James Tedder, after the men met at a meeting in Port Moresby.

The last group of images in this collection were taken in the BSIP of two active volcanoes, one in Western District and one in Eastern. The submarine volcano Kavachi, in Western, is in the UNESCO Marovo Tetepare Complex, which is home to outstanding marine biodiversity. Of the five aerial images, two are captioned in distinctive handwriting “H. Moss 27.12.65”. Three images taken with what appears to be the same camera as Moss’, have “Tedder 1966” recorded on them in Tedder’s writing. It is possible that these are duplicates of three images taken by Harry Moss, MBE, and have been dated accordingly. After retiring as a TAA (Trans Australia Airlines) Captain, Harry became the first pilot in the new Solomon Islands internal airline Megapode Airways. Margaret Tedder worked in the Megapode office and occasionally James Tedder was flown by Harry for work purposes. Both men mention the other in their autobiographies, James in his “A District Administrator in the Islands 1952-1974” (published 2008) and Harry in his “10,000 Hours In the Life of a Flying Doctor Pilot” (published 1988). In Eastern District, in the Santa Cruz Islands, is Tinakula. A conical stratovolcano in the same volcanic arc as Kavachi, Tinakula has a long history of activity, including throughout 2019. There are eleven images, a number of them taken from different angles from the air, dated July 1974, and show landslips caused by the volcano’s activity.

James Tedder and members of his family described/captioned the majority of the images.

Tedder, James L.O.