In 1854, at the recommendation of Bishop George Augustus Selwyn, Melanesia was created as a separate "See" which Bishop Selwyn toured in 1857 in the mission ship Southern Cross, visiting sixty-six of the islands. John Coleridge Patteson was consecrated Bishop of Melanesia in 1861. Patteson and several of his companions were killed on 20 September 1871 on the island of Nakapu, in the Santa Cruz group, after slave-raiders had visited the area. In 1867, the Mission college at Mission Bay, Auckland, moved to Norfolk Island. In 1919 it moved to Siota, Gela Island, and in 1970 to Guadalcanal where in became known as Bishop Patteson Theological Centre (later college), Kohimarama. The first Melanesian to be an ordained priest was George Sarawia from Mota Island, New Hebrides (Vanuatu) in 1873. Charles Elliot Fox joined the staff of the Anglican Melanesian Mission in 1903. During more than seventy years of service as a missionary and teacher, Fox lived and worked in most of the islands of the Solomon chain, on the Banks, and in the New Hebrides. Ini Kopuria formed the Melanesian Brotherhood in 1925. The first two Melanesian bishops were Dudley Tuti from Ysabel and Leonard Alufurai from Malaita. They were consecrated in Honiara in 1963. The Church of Melanesia was inaugurated in 1975.
Documents in the pre-1975 archives of the Church of Melanesia were deposited on 2-4 Feb 1981 and are now held in the National Archives of the Solomon Islands.
The documents copied include:
-news cuttings of Bishop Walter Badley (1926-1953),
-ephemera (Bishop Chisholm (1967-1972),
-Charles Fox Lord of the Southern Isles),
-Melanesian Mission, Sydney correspondence with Miss H.R. Blake,
-Melanesian Mission miscellaneous correspondence (1860-1940),
-Maps of Melanesia, 1947,
-Melanesian Mission General Secretary’s correspondence ‘English Correspondence’ (1921-1931),
-Melanesian Mission Trust Board (N.Z.) correspondence (1928-1963),
-Honiara Cathedral correspondence (1961-1970),
-Australian Board of Mission correspondence (1931-1974),
-New Zealand Anglican Board of Mission correspondence (1926-1928, 1950-1965),
-New Hebrides correspondence (1955-1970),
-Registers of the Church of St Barnabas, Alanguala, Ugi (1948-1954).
-Church of Melanesia Synod Minutes (1953-1965),
-O Raverare Gagang Melanesian Mission Church calendar in the Mota language (1939-1957),
-O Sala Usuri (issues missing from PMB Doc 215),
-Legal papers (1880’s-1960’s),
-George Hammond Tarr Ten thousand miles away with the Southern Cross (1921-1936).
See Finding aids for details.
See also PMB 549, 550, 554-560, 1301, 1331, 1332, 1333, 1334, 1344 and 1359.
Church of Melanesia (Anglican Church in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Norfolk Island, New Zealand and Australia)