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Diary of an escape from Salamaua, Territory of New Guinea

  • AU PMB MS 1181
  • Collection
  • 22 Jan-19 Feb 1942

Robert Melrose was born in Hay, NSW, on 5 April 1890. He served as a Telegraphist in the Royal Australian Navy on HMAS Yarra in New Guinea waters. He joined the civil administration of the Mandated territory of New Guinea as a Patrol Officer on 9 May 1921. He served initially as an Assistant District Officer to Colonel John Walstab in Kavieng, New Ireland, 1921-1924, than became District Officer at Manus 1924-1926, Aitape 1926-1931, Kavieng 1931-1933, Rabaul and Salamaua until 1936/37, and then at Rabaul till late 1941, when the Department of District Services and Native Affairs was transferred to Lae with the Administrator. At that time Robert Melrose was Assistant Director, then Director, of the Department.
Robert Melrose returned to the Territory after the War as Government Secretary based in Port Moresby. He sufferred a massive heart attack and returned to Australia in April 1949. During his retirement, Melrose served on a Committee interviewing applicants for government posts in PNG and also served as Honorary Secretary/Treasurer of the newly formed Retired Officers Association of PNG till his death in September 1959.
<BR><P>(Note by Geoff Melrose.)

In January 1942 two parties evacuated Lae and Salamaua in front of the appoaching Japanese forces. One group of young fit people, led by Nick Penglase, went via Wau, Waria valley to Buna and Kokoda. The remaining group of 34, led by Robert Melrose, travelled by pinnace and canoe to Morobe and Buna and then overland to Kokoda.
<BR>Diary of escape from Salamaua, Territory of New Guinea. Ms (faint pencil and pen), 22 Jan-19 Feb 1942
<BR>Transcript of diary, 22 Jan-19 Feb 1942, by Geoffrey Melrose. Ms., p/c.
<BR>Notebook and letterbook (letters-out), Apr-Jul 1941, Feb 1942
<BR>Notebook: list of personnel, stores, provisions and expenditure, n.d.

Melrose, Robert (1890-1952)

Diary relating to the New Hebrides

  • AU PMB MS 8
  • Collection
  • 1 January to 15 August 1911

Maurice M. Witts, (1877-1966) an Australian who fought in the Boer War, went to the New Hebrides as a settler in 1904 after a brief sojourn in Fiji. With two cousins, Theo and Arthur Thomas, he planted coconuts in the Hog Harbour area of Espiritu Santo. He returned to Australia about 1913 and lived in the Moss Vale district of New South Wales until his death.

Besides giving a day-by-day account of the life of a copra planter, the diary records Witts' efforts, as a temporary commandant of police, to capture a New Hebridean outlaw named Thingaru who had been terrorising parts of Espiritu Santo.<BR><BR>See also PMB 1 for an earlier diary of Witts, for the year 1905.

Witts Maurice M.

Diary, miscellaneous papers and correspondence

  • AU PMB MS 497
  • Collection
  • 1900 - 1951

Ellis (1869-1951) was born in Queensland and educated in New Zealand. In the 1890s he became an employee of the Pacific Islands Company Ltd of London, which was involved in the guano industry on islands in the Coral Sea and the Phoenix Group. In 1900, he became curious about a rock which was used as a doorstop in the Sydney office of his company and this led to the discovery of the phosphate deposits on Ocean Island and Nauru. He was a prominent figure in the Pacific Phosphate Company Ltd in 1902. After the phosphate company was bought out by the British, Australian and New Zealand governments after World War I, he became commissioner for New Zealand on the British Phosphate Commission, which was establilshed to exploit the phosphate deposits on Ocean Island and Nauru. He was the author of three books, Ocean Island and Nauru (1936), Adventuring in Coral Seas (1937) and Mid-Pacific Outpost (1946).

The documents on the microfilm include: <BR>1. Ellis' diary for May 1900 when he went to Banaba (Ocean Island) to establish the phosphate industry there<BR>2. Clippings on the phosphate industry from various newspapers and journals<BR>3. Correspondence covering the period 1920-51

Ellis Albert Fuller


  • AU PMB MS 59
  • Collection
  • c.1900-1915
  1. Dictionary of the language of South-West Bay, Malekula, by Father Pierre Chauvel, S.M. (French-South West Bay).<BR>2. Dictionary of the language of Vao, Malekula, by Father Casimir Salomon, S.M. (Vao-French).<BR>3. Dictionary of the language of Olal, Ambrym (French-Olal).<BR>4. Dictionary of the language of Talomako, Big Bay, Espiritu Santo (Talomako-French).<BR>5. Dictionary of the Talomako language of Big Bay, Espiritu Santo, by Father Alphonse Ardouin, S.M., (French-Talomako).

Roman Catholic Mission, New Hebrides

Dictionaries and vocabularies

  • AU PMB MS 60
  • Collection
  • c.1909
  1. Dictionary of the language of Aoba (Ambae) by Father J.B. Prin, S.M. (French-Aoba).<BR>2. Grammaire de Melsisi - Grammar of the language of Melsisi (Pentecost) by Father Joseph Niel, S.M.<BR>3. Dictionary of the language of Melsisi (Pentecost) by X (French-Melsisi).<BR>4. Dictionary of the language of Melsisi (Pentecost) by Father Elie Tattevin, S.M. (French-Melsisi) A-D only.<BR>5. Dictionary of the language of Wala (Malekula) by Father Casimir Salomon, S.M. (French-Wala).<BR>6. Vocabulary of the Loltong language of Pentecost by Father Pierre Gonnet, S.M. (Loltong-French and French-Loltong).<BR>7. Vocabulary of the Loltong language of Pentecost by Father Elie Tattevin, S.M. (Loltong-French).<BR>8. Vocabulary of the Loltong language of Pentecost by Father Elie Tattevin, S.M. (French-Loltong).

Roman Catholic Mission, New Hebrides

Dictionaries, catechisms and ethnography

  • AU PMB MS 632
  • Collection
  • c.1890 - 1912

Papers of Father Joseph-Victor Vincent (originally listed as 2 Reels):

  1. Dictionnaire Francais - Tyamuhi (Wagap), manuscript<BR>2. Dictionnaire Francais - Tyamouhi, typescript<BR>3. Manuscript annotations on a dictionary edited by Father Antoine Colomb. It is entitled Dictionnaire Francais-Wagap-Anglais et Wagap-Francais par les missionnaires maristes, Paris 1891<BR>4. Catechisme du Vicariat Apostolique de la Nouvelle-Caledonie: Traduit en langue Bayes-Ponerihouen, Saint Louis, 1910<BR>5. Catechisme de Vicariat Apostolique de la Nouvelle-Caledonie: Traduit en Tyamuhi, Saint Louis<BR>6. La Tribu de Wagap (Nouvelle-Caledonie): Ses Moeurs et sa Langue, d'apres les notes d'un missionnaire mariste, coordonnees par le P.A.C., S.M. (i.e. Father Antoine Colomb), Paris, 1890<BR>7. Catechisme du Vicariat Apostolique de la Nouvelle-Caledonie: Traduit en langue de Hyenghene, Saint Louis, 1912

Roman Catholic Mission - New Caledonia

Dictionary and grammar of the duke of York Island Language

  • AU PMB MS 614
  • Collection
  • 1882

Brown (1835-1917) established the Methodist Mission in New Britain (Duke of York Island) in 1875. Danks (1853-1921) joined Brown in 1878. Rooney (1843-1931) succeeded Brown and was superintendent of the mission, 1881-1888.

The work was published in an extremely small edition in 1882. Only a few copies are known to exist. The copy filmed was once owned by Rooney. The manuscript corrections and additions are probably by him.

Brown George, Danks Benjamin, Rooney Isaac, Revs.

Dictionary of New Britain dialect

  • AU PMB MS 615
  • Collection
  • 1889

Rickard (1858-1939) went to New Britain with the Methodist Mission in 1882.

A dictionary completed in 1888 and issued in a small multigraphed edition in 1889. It is in three sections:<BR>1. New Britain and English vocabulary<BR>2. English and New Britain vocabulary<BR>3. New Britain grammar

Rickard Rev. R.H.

Dictionary of the language of Talomako, Big Bay, New Hebrides: French-Talomako (A to 'Pere' only)

  • AU PMB MS 658
  • Collection

A Catholic mission at Talomako, Big Bay, was established in 1900 by Father Pierre Bochu, SM. In the following year, Father Casimir Bancarel arrived and remained until 1905. The dictionary is not in the handwriting of either Bochu or Bancarel. For letters by them see PMB 56.

The author of the dictionary is unknown.

Journals of the Melanesian Mission

Dictionary, gospels and catechism in the Canela-Nakety language of New Caledonia

  • AU PMB MS 567
  • Collection
  • c.1931-1977

Please see PMB 546 for full entry.

The contents are:<BR>Reel 1: a. Canela-Nakety/French dictionary<BR>b. French/Canela-Nakety dictionary (to ruine)<BR>Reel 2: c. French/Canela-Nakety dictionary (from lezard)<BR>d. Gospel of St Matthew<BR>e. Catechism<BR>f. Gospels of all Sundays and Feast Days.<BR>See also PMB 546 - 548

Neyret Father Jean Baptiste

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