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Documents relating to Tama'aiga titles disputes

  • AU PMB MS 1115
  • Collection
  • 1949, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1990

The Tuimaleali'ifano title is one of the four princely titles in Samoa.

Legal documents and some related material concerning cases in 1949, 1976 and 1977 in the Land and Titles Court of Western Samoa re disputes on succession of the Tuimaleali'ifano title. <P><b>See reel list for further details</b>

Land and Titles Court, Western Samoa

Photographs from Papua New Guinea, mainly New Britain and New Ireland

  • AU PMB PHOTO 1
  • Collection
  • 1911-1943

Sister Lida Tonkin (Mrs L. Gill), a nursing sister from Young, NSW, first arrived at the Methodist Mission at Raluana in New Britain (Papua New Guinea) in 1916.

The photographs and post cards include events, daily life and traditional customs practiced in Rabaul in the early 20th century. Funerary and marriage customs are represented. There is a good set of photographs on traditional fishing (PMB Photo 1_31 to PMB Photo 1_46). Other images show canoe building and sailing, baske, broom and string making and traditional houses, mission life and the Malabunga hospital. Dances, such as the Kulau dance, carvings used in dances and the

Tonkin, Lida, Sr

Slides from Tim Bayliss-Smith’s Voluntary Service Overseas placement and PhD research in Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB PHOTO 100
  • Collection
  • 1966-1972

Tim Bayliss-Smith served on the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) program in Honiara, Solomon Islands, 1965-1966. He worked as a teacher in the Survey Drafting School in the Lands Department of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate Government and as a librarian in the Geological Survey Department. Though based in Honiara, he travelled around Guadalcanal for work, as well as to Savo, Malaita and Bellona. Tim returned to Solomon Islands in 1971 for his PhD field research into energy use on Ontong Java atoll. He joined the Department of Geography at University of Cambridge in 1973 where he has continued his research in land management in the humid tropics, with particular focus on Melanesia. Professor Bayliss-Smith has made many subsequent visits to Solomon Islands throughout his research career.

This collection of 108 digitised 35mm colour slides are mainly from the period of his VSO placement (1965-1966) and mainly feature Honiara and surrounds. The images depict VSO housing; other VSO volunteers; trainees in the Survey Drafting School; Chinatown; Honiara market; WWII wreckage and other landmarks in and around Honiara. Activities such as sporting events, Easter procession; Queen's Birthday celebrations and gardening also feature.

Bayliss-Smith, Tim

The Fison Project - Letterbooks, Vols 1-7

  • AU PMB MS 1039
  • Collection
  • 1867 - 1883

Lorimer Fison (1832-1909), clergyman and anthropologist, was born in Suffolk, England. He served with the Australasian Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society in Fiji from 1863 to 1884. For much of that period he was Principal of the Training Institution for Natives at Navuloa.<BR>This is the first of a series of microfilms The Fison Project was designed to bring together on microfilm the various Fison collections, relating to the Pacific, held in Australian libraries. Fison also wrote extensively about Australian Aboriginal customs but, because of the Bureau's specialised areas of interest, these writings have not been included in the Project. A list of Fison materials in Australia not copied, but made known to the Bureau, has been provided on each reel. See also PMB 1040, 1041, 1042, 1043, 1044.

Reel 1: Letterbook Vol.1, 1 July 1868 to 30 July 1869. Reel 2: Letterbook Vol.2, 10 August 1869 to 25 October 1870; Letterbook Vol.3, 27? October 1870 to March 1873 Reel 3: Letterbook Vol.4, 16 April 1873 to 26 February 1876; Letterbook Vol.5, 26 February 1876 to 1 November 1877 Reel 4: Letterbook Vol.6, November 1877 to 3 August 1879 (over a third of this volume contains texts of sermons); Letterbook Vol.7, 3 August 1879 to 5 May 1883.

Fison, Rev. Lorimer

Slides from John Baker’s Voluntary Service Overseas placement in Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB PHOTO 114
  • Collection
  • 1964-1965

This collection of 540 colour photographs was taken by John Baker in Solomon Islands in 1964 and 1965, while he was working there as a volunteer under the auspices of the British Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) organisation. He was 18 and 19 at the time and was what was known as a school leaver volunteer. There were 10-15 VSOs in the Solomons in 1964, with most working as teachers in mission boarding schools. However, John was attached mainly to two District Administrations to work on various local projects.

At the time, Solomon Islands was under colonial administration known as the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP), in which virtually all senior and technical/professional positions were still held by expatriates. Thus VSOs were working within and were very much a part of a colonial culture.

The photographs in the collection were taken with a Voigtlander Vito B camera on Kodachrome 100 colour slides. The camera was stored, including for many canoe trips, in an old Sunshine Milk tin with a bag of silica gel in the bottom. Captions for the photos were written in a foolscap notebook when the slides came back from processing. Thus the names of people and places were all recorded contemporaneously and so are likely to be accurate. These captions, written in 1964-65, sometimes have a colonial tone but have been left unchanged as they are an historical reflection of their times.

John Baker’s first work as a VSO was from August-November 1964 as a teacher at the Geological Department’s survey school in Honiara. Then he transferred to Western District headquarters in Gizo and worked during December 1964 and January 1965 as a surveyor on the Wagina Island Gilbertese resettlement scheme. In February 1965 he transferred to Eastern District headquarters in Kira Kira where he spent six weeks working on local election preparations. He then moved back to Gizo and spent April to August 1965 travelling round, organising the construction of concrete drinking water tanks in various villages in the Roviana and Wana Wana lagoons and subsequently on the island of Ranonnga.

Baker, John R.

New Hebrides Mission Photographs, 1890-1960

  • AU PMB PHOTO 93
  • Collection
  • 1890-1960

This is a collection of 190 images of the Presbyterian mission in the New Hebrides. The collection contains photographs of early missionaries to the New Hebrides, including Reverends Smaill, Milne, MIchelsen, Murray and Crump, along with some spouses and family members. The collection also includes images of other mission infrastructure including medical staff at clinics, churches, the Nguna District School and the Tangoa Training Institute. There are many photographs of unidentified New Hebridean / ni-Vanuatu people and everyday village activities such as preparing arrowroot and copra, weaving, making laplap and fishing.

The collection also contains images of a number of mission boats and identifies villages at Malapokasi, Mataso, Futari, Mangarisu, Tongoa, South East Epi, Santo, Paama, Lamenu, Lelaga, Fila, Iririki, Vila, Makura, Nguna, Lumbukuti and Emae.

The New Hebrides Mission from the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand:

The Presbyterian Church began sending missionaries to the New Hebrides (today known as Vanuatu) in the mid-19th Century. The first missionary was Rev. John Geddie of the Presbyterian Church of Nova Scotia who arrived on the island of Aneityum in 1848. Subsequent missionaries came from the Presbyterian Churches of New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Australia (Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales).

In New Zealand an interest in supporting a Christian mission to the New Hebrides was fostered when Rev. John Inglis of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland toured the country in 1852 following a three month tour of the New Hebrides and Solomon Islands. In that same year, Inglis and his wife joined Geddie on Aneityum. Rev. John Inglis continued to send regular reports of his work to New Zealand, leading to increasing interest from the Church there in sending their own missionaries to the islands.

The Presbyterian Church of New Zealand was at that time divided up into the “Northern Church” and the “Southern Church” (consisting of the Provinces of Otago and Southland). The Southern Church was based on the ideals of the Free Church of Scotland and these principles influenced its mission work for many years. For over 40 years the two Churches worked separately, with mission activities during this time operating independently of each other.

Over several decades the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand sent a number of missionaries to the New Hebrides including the following people. The information below includes the missionaries' date of arrival in the New Hebrides, the name of the missionary and the name of the main island on which they worked:

1866, Rev. William Watt, Tanna
1870, Rev. Peter Milne, Nguna
1879, Rev. Oscar Michelsen, Tongoa
1885, Rev. Charles Murray, Ambrym
1889, Rev. Thomas Smaill, Epi
1892, Rev. Dr. Lamb, Ambrym
1899, Dr. John Bowie, Ambrym
1903, Rev. Thomas Riddle, Epi
1905, Rev. William V. Milne, Nguna (born on Nguna in 1877)
1932, Rev. Basil Nottage, Tongoa
1938, Rev. Ken Crump, Nguna
1941, Rev. J.G. Miller, Tongoa
1944, Rev. Ian Muir, Emae and Epi
1948, Rev. A.G. Horwell, Epi

In the early years there was no organised or reliable shipping service to the individual islands of the New Hebrides so it was important for the Church to have their own vessel to bring regular supplies from Australia and New Zealand. A boat was also necessary for transport to other mission stations. Although the New Hebrides missionaries were responsible for their home churches and allotted areas and islands, they worked closely together on common issues and met annually for a mission Synod meeting. New Zealand Presbyterian Church worked in conjunction with the Australian Presbyterian Church to raise money and purchased a mission supply vessel, the “Dayspring I”. This 115 ton brigantine was launched in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1863. It was lost in a hurricane ten years later and replaced by a second hand schooner, the “Dayspring II” in 1876. The Dayspring II was sold prior to 1890 as she was too small and slow and uncomfortable to sail in. The Australian missionary Dr. John G. Paton raised £6000 during a visit to Britain in 1884-1885 and later increased the donations to £7000. The “Dayspring III” was built on the Clyde in Scotland to the order of the Victorian Presbyterian Church Foreign Missions Committee. She was 157 feet long and arrived in Australia in 1895. On only her fourth voyage to the islands, she sank on the 16th October 1896 after striking an uncharted coral reef near New Caledonia. The decision was made not to replace the vessel.

The New Hebrides Mission shared a practical concern for the everyday needs of island people. In addition to converting local people to Christianity, the missionaries worked to improve education, through the introduction of schools where the training of local mission teachers was initiated. The Tangoa Teachers’ Training Institute opened at Tangoa, South Santo, in 1895. The purpose of the Institute was to train local teachers and it was supported by all the Protestant missions working throughout the New Hebrides. Missionaries also worked to improve health education and services and encouraged the production of arrowroot and island trading as a means to generate revenue. Arrowroot powder was shipped to New Zealand and other countries, where it was initially distributed by women’s missionary groups and later by commercial organisations. The funds from the sale of arrowroot were used to build additional churches in the islands and, in some cases, as a donation towards New Zealand mission funds to be used elsewhere. From 1880 to 1918 on Nguna alone, over 26 tons of arrowroot was produced.

By 1910, the work of the New Hebrides Mission was declining. This was partly due to a rapidly decreasing population on the islands and a feeling that little room existed for further expansion of mission work, as by then most areas were adequately covered. The reduction in population was primarily caused by introduced European illnesses and epidemics which decimated the local population. The Queensland labour trade had also had an impact on the local population, with many locals having decided to remain in Queensland.

In 1947 there was a general consensus held among the Island missionaries that the local church was ready to assume control of its own affairs. A constitution was drawn up, and after amendments submitted by the New Zealand and Australian Mission Committees and the New Hebrides Mission Synod, it was adopted. At a Centennial Synod meeting in 1948, the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Rev. John Geddie, the local church was placed fully in charge of its own affairs. The island mission councils for Australia and New Zealand were then limited to the affairs of their immediate mission staff. The New Zealand Church continued to provide a large financial grant to the New Hebrides Presbyterian Church. A continued focus remained on training church leaders and education more generally. The Tangoa Training Institute later introduced a curriculum of advanced theological studies.

In the early 1950s, the New Zealand Missions Committee responded to the request for assistance to establish a High School at Onesua on Efate, along with funds and personnel to set up and run a small hospital on Tongoa. The Committee viewed this project as a practical means by which the New Zealand Church could provide for a social need rather than a means for furthering evangelistic opportunities. This policy shift in Mission funding opened up other opportunities for aid from the New Zealand Church including developing Navota Farm and opening the Maropa religious bookshop in Port Vila, training local islanders to be trades people and undertake the building work. The New Zealand Bible Class volunteer scheme sent out young people during the 1960s to assist with building, administration and nursing. The Mission, at the request of the Presbyterian Church of the New Hebrides, divested itself of all remaining authority in the Islands so that the New Zealand missionaries effectively worked for the New Hebrides Church. In 1965 a memorandum was prepared which defined the terms of “responsible partnership” and sought to define the responsibilities of each partner. The Church continues today as the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu.

For more information about New Hebrides Mission collections at the Archives of the Presbyterian Research Centre, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa, and New Zealand, see: http://www.archives.presbyterian.org.nz/missions/newhebrideshistory.htm

Foreign Missions Committee

Results 2001 to 2007 of 2007