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Ellestan Dusting slides of Papua and New Guinea, New Hebrides and New Caledonia

  • AU PMB PHOTO 44
  • Collection
  • 1957-1959

This collection of 292 slides was transferred from the National Museum of Australia ‘Ellestan Dusting Collection’ to the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau in 2010. The slides came in two wooden boxes: one labelled ‘Papua and New Guinea’; the other labelled ‘Cocos Islands, New Hebrides and New Caledonia’ (however, inside the second box, the labels are for New Hebrides and New Caledonia only). No information was supplied with the slides except for a few handwritten captions on those for Papua and New Guinea.

There are 139 photos taken in 1957 and 1959, during official visits to the Territory of Papua and New Guinea by then Australian Minister for Territories, Paul Hasluck. Ellestan Dusting served as Hasluck’s private secretary in this period. On the 1957 tour, Hasluck was accompanied by Netherlands Minister for Overseas Territories, Mr Helders. The images captured in this set include several photos of Hasluck, Helders and other officials, though the majority of photos are of services and infrastructure, people, scenes of daily life and photos taken in transit. The delegates visit Goroka, Madang, Rabaul, Lae and Port Moresby. Photos include sing-sing at Wau show, visits to schools, hospitals and cemeteries.

The 135 slides of New Hebrides were taken as Dusting accompanied a short official “Joint Tour” in conjunction with the French and British Commissioners. The tour started in Vila and then went up through the central islands, Pentecost Island and on to Espiritu Santo. The slides depict images of dancers from many different regions. They don’t necessarily indicate the island where the photograph was taken as dancers from other islands were often asked to participate in tour festivities. In addition to formalities of the tour, including the consecration of a church and the opening of a bridge, this collection includes several images of Girl Guides and Boy Scouts. Dusting had a lifelong involvement with the Girl Guides movement.

No information was supplied for the 16 slides of New Caledonia. These photographs depict images around Noumea in an unknown year. This set of images features landmarks such as Haut Commissariat / former Hotel du Gouvernement, Noumea port, Societe Le Nickel (SLN), South Pacific Commission / Du Pacifique Sud building, Noumea, Pointe de l'Artillerie and Cathedrale Saint Joseph de Cluny] as well as many natural features.

Dusting, Ellestan Joyce

Isaac Neilson Whyte and Mary Grace Whyte Photographs of New Hebrides (Vanuatu)

  • AU PMB PHOTO 108
  • Collection
  • 1952 - 1959

This collection of photographs illustrates the life of Rev Isaac Neilson Whyte and Dr Mary Grace Whyte durng their service with the Australian Presbyterian Board of Missions in the New Hebrides, 1952-1957. With their children Michael, Robyn, Alistair and Peter, they were based in the village of Wintua in the South West Bay region of Malekula. Mary Grace and Neilson arrived in Wintua shortly after a hurricane had been through and destroyed much of the village infrastructure. In the years that followed, Wintua was rebuilt with the help of people from neighbouring villages, who helped to build a new church, mission house, district school and a small hospital. Rev Whyte was often away from Wintua, visiting other villages in his mission jurisdiction. He visited Big Nambas territory, which had in the previously been hostile to Europeans, and helped bring about a peace agreement between village leaders. Mary Grace practised medicine in Wintua and surrounding villages.

This collection of photographs depicts village and church life in South West Bay. It shows the reconstruction of the village, family photographs, Rev and Dr Whyte giving medical care and travel between villages by launch and canoe. There are also photos of a Big Nambas village and the Leviamp peace talks, as well as family photos taken on return to Australia.

Whyte, Isaac Neilson

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