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Vanuatu Collection Text
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Oceania Marist Province Archives

  • AU PMB OMPA
  • Collection
  • c.1817-c.1981

The Oceania Marist Province Archives Series (OMPA) is the result of a special project during which records of the Catholic Church in islands of the Western Pacific were copied by Father Theo B. Cook, SM in collaboration with the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau. (Cook was born Theodorus Bernardus Wilhelmus Kok but chose to go by the name Cook in Australia: Povey, 2010). The OMPA series covers the Diocese of Tonga (OMPA 1-25), Diocese of Samoa and Tokelau (OMPA 26-74), Marist Fathers, Rome (OMPA 80-100), Diocese of Wallis and Futuna (OMPA 101-126), Diocese of Port Vila (OMPA 127-178), Archdiocese of Noumea (OMPA 179-360) and the Oceania Marist Province Archives (OMPA 361-400).

Detailed indexes were prepared for the six diocese and those records copied in Rome. These can be found at http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/collections/microfilm.php or compiled in The Catholic Church in the Western Pacific: a guide to records on microfilm (Robert Langdon, ed.), Canberra, 1986.

Oceania Marist Province Archives

Journals of Reverend Peter Milne.

  • AU PMB MS 1403
  • Collection
  • 1868-1906

This collection includes a significant sequence of journals covering Peter Milne's early years and ministry training, before giving an extended account of the mission in the New Hebrides at Nguna (Hocken Collections MS-0432/16 to MS-0432/23). They differ from the diaries in that they are written later as a more considered narrative, rather than daily notes. There are several numbered volumes, with consecutive pagination.

Milne, Peter.

Letters

  • AU PMB MS 197
  • Collection
  • 1869 - 1893

The Rev. Peter Milne (1834-1924) was born in Scotland and went to the New Hebrides as a Presbyterian Missionary in 1869. After a brief stay on Erromanga, he established himself at Nguna on Efate, where he remained, except for short breaks, for the rest of his life.

There are 33 letters. The first four were written in New Zealand, and all but one of the rest from the New Hebrides - mainly Nguna.

Milne, Peter.

New Hebrides Mission manuscripts from the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Archives

  • AU PMB MS 1419
  • Collection
  • 1870-1947

This collection of 14 items includes material relating to: Anglo-French relations, including land disputes, the labour and liquor trade; property purchases and agreements of land in New Hebrides; the building of the Ambrym hospital in 1908; events of the 1913 volcanic eruption on Ambrym; New Hebrides native teachers’ correspondence and archives; and correspondence of Rev. Peter Milne, his wife Mary Jane and his son Rev. William V Milne. Within the Peter Milne correspondence are a series of letters covering his disagreement with Rev Daniel MacDonald over bible translation work. There is also personal correspondence between William Milne and Oscar Michelson (1915-1934) and a scrapbook created by the Auckland Ladies New Hebrides Mission organisation.

New Hebrides Mission

Diaries and pearling logs

  • AU PMB MS 15
  • Collection
  • 1882 - 1905

Captain Hamilton (1852-1937) was born in Scotland and came to Australia at the age of 10. In 1882 - 1883 he made voyages from Brisbane to the New Hebrides, New Britain and New Ireland in labour recruiting vessels. For a dozen or so years from the late 1890's, he ran the Hamilton Pearling Co. with luggers operating out of Komuli in the Admiralty Islands and Gizo in the Solomons. This company also traded in copra, tortoise shell, black lip and green snail shell. Later, Captain Hamilton had big planting interests in the Solomons, mainly on Choiseul. He died in Sydney in November, 1937.

The papers copied on this microfilm are the most interesting and valuable historically of a large collection (in the Oxley Memorial Library) relating to Captain Hamilton's career. They comprise:

  • Diary of a recruiting voyage in the schooner Lochiel from Brisbane to the New Hebrides from September 20, 1882, to December 29, 1882.
  • Diary of a recruiting voyage in the schooner Jessie Kelly from Brisbane to the New Hebrides, New Britain and New Ireland from March to September, 1883.
  • Two reports on voyages in search of pearl shell in New Guinea and the Solomons in 1899-1900.
  • Log of the pearling lugger Nippon from April 20, 1901 to September 24, 1901, kept at the Hamilton Pearling Company's station at Komuli, Admiralty Islands.
  • Log of the Hamilton Pearling Company's station at Komuli from September 27 1902 to March 10 1903.
  • Logs and diaries kept by William Hamilton in the vessels Canomie, Ysabel, Gazelle and Kambin from January 1 1903 to November 14 1905. These concern the operations of the Hamilton Pearling Company in New Guinea and the Solomons.

For further details of Captain Hamilton's career and of his other papers in the Oxley Memorial Library, see the Bureau's newsletter 'Pambu' October 1968:3, pp.3-6.

Hamilton, William

Records, accounts, notes, correspondence

  • AU PMB MS 55
  • Collection
  • 1908 - 1969

Kalsakau became chief of Fila Island in 1908 and held that position for many years. He was a member of one of the most notable New Hebridean families of Efate. His three sons, Graham, John and Makau are (1969) also outstanding members of the New Hebridean community.

  1. Lists of important dates and events in Kalsakau's career and family life.
  2. Record of births and deaths (1908-1961)
  3. Accounts relating to business, household and the marriage feast of his son Makau (March 1, 1945)
  4. Record (September 1956) of visit by Gen. and Mme de Gaulle
  5. Centenary Celebrations, Erakor, 1st May, 1945 - an account of the settlement of Erakor by the early missionaries.
  6. School fees collected in 1943 - list of families and amount paid.
  7. Lease of land owned by Kalsakau.
  8. Celebration of the 105th Anniversary of the New Hebrides Presbyterian Mission, May 1, 1950.
  9. Correspondence regarding residency of Fila Island Reserve.
  10. Discipline book (1911-1943) in which fines and other punishments against members of Kalsakau's village are recorded.

Kalsakau

Slides and photographs of missionary service on the island of Tangoa, New Hebrides (1931-33) and a trip for the 75th Anniversary Celebrations of the Tangoa Training Institute, (1970)

  • AU PMB PHOTO 60
  • Collection
  • 1931-1970

Frank (Francis James Clezy) and Rita Paton were Presbyterian missionaries in Tangoa, New Hebrides from 1931-1933. They married in Ballarat in April 1931 and in May 1931 left for the New Hebrides.

Rev. Dr John G. Paton's eldest son, Rev. Robert Robson Paton, could not serve in the New Hebrides because he was declared medically unfit for work in the tropics, but he was pleased that two of his sons were able to go. Frank was the first of the third generation. He worked as assistant to Rev. Fred Bowie, the Principal of Tangoa Teachers' Training Institute (TTI) and District Missionary of South Santo. Frank was a teacher supported financially by the John G. Paton Fund.

At Tangoa, Frank built a workshop for the TTI students where they could do repair and maintenance jobs. After returning to Australia, three children - Barbara, David and Ruth - were born. Frank undertook pastoral work and preaching in NSW, then taught at Caulfield Grammar School and Scotch College Melbourne. Rita died in 1982. Frank subsequently remarried.

Frank writes the following: "After my early days at school I began work in the city of Melbourne but decided that I really wanted to become a school teacher. So for some years I did a lot of study and teaching. We married in Ballarat, Victoria, and set off in 1931 for the Tangoa Training Institute (TTI).

The Rev. Bowie was the principal and we were the only assistants. There were 60 students, of which about a dozen were married.
We set our clocks every fortnight at sunrise, for 6am, because at that time we met in the Hall for prayers and study. 8-8:30 was breakfast time, 8:30-10 school work; 10:15-12:30 practical work in the plantation and weeding and gathering coconuts for copra, while my work was on the buildings etc., to see that they were in good order. For this work I could call on as many helpers as were necessary for any building and carpentry jobs.

The afternoon was for the students to work in their gardens over on Santo, except that we always needed to keep at least four of them in case anything unexpected suddenly had to be done. Rita took the married women for school work in the afternoons. All sorts of things might suddenly become urgent problems, for instance, the baker's oven developed some cracks and, as the two students who looked after the bread making usually baked every Tuesday and Thursday, they had to do it on Monday and Friday that week and I had to attend to and supervise the dismantling of all the bricks and make sure that the 'new' bricks were quite sound before rebuilding the oven ready for the Friday baking. (The oven was about six feet long, four feet wide and four feet high.) At one time, we found that the workshop was in a bad way. White ants or similar unwelcome guests had made it unsafe. It had to be pulled down, the timber burnt and a new one built.

Often in the evening, the students would practice singing new hymns in the Hall and as our house (?Number Three?) was only about 50 yards away, it was a joy to listen to. The hymn books had tonic solfa notation and the students were wonderful sight readers."

(From They served in Vanuatu by Jungwirth, Fred, 1988, 2nd ed., p.39)

Paton, Frank (1906-2002) and Rita (1904-1982)

Archival papers of Reverend Conrad Stallan, 1931-1947

  • AU PMB MS 1433
  • Collection
  • 1931-1947

Five documents from the family collection of Conrad Stallan, who was employed as a missionary in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) from 1940-46, including:

  • Typescript document (3pp.)
  • Letter from Boys High School Malua, author unknown, 19 Dec 1931, Ts. (9pp.)
  • ‘1-447’, notebook containing a numbered list of photograph titles and dates (Mar 1940-Jun 1943)
  • ‘448-663/ 700 (-1947)’, notebook of photograph titles and dates (Jun 1943-1947)
  • Notes on Samoan Islands, n.d. Ms, (7pp.)

Stallan, Conrad George (1904-1980)

Reverend Conrad Stallan's photographs of the New Hebrides (Vanuatu), 1940-1946

  • AU PMB PHOTO 107
  • Collection
  • 1940 - 1946

A collection of 58 photographs taken by Reverend Conrad George Stallan, who was stationed on Malekula in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) from 1940-1946. Supported by the John G Paton Mission Fund, Rev Stallan was based in Wintua, South West Bay. Stallan was a keen photographer. He maintained a dark room to develop and print his photographs in both Malekula and Georgetown, British Guiana, where he was stationed in 1955-1961.

Stallan, Conrad George (1904-1980)

Reverend Conrad Stallan, album of photographs of the New Hebrides (Vanuatu), 1940-1946

  • AU PMB PHOTO 111
  • Collection
  • 1940 - 1946

Album of photographs taken by Reverend Conrad George Stallan, who was a missionary stationed on Malekula in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) from 1940-1946. The original images are mounted in a black bound album, accompanied by typed captions. See item PMB PHOTO 111-000 for a PDF of full album layout. Some pages are missing photographs.

Supported by the John G Paton Mission Fund, Stallan was based in Wintua, South West Bay, Malekula, with his wife Christina (Chriss) and their children Donovan, Roger, Janet, and Margaret. During his life, Stallan was a keen photographer. He maintained a dark room on Malekula to develop and print his photographs, as well as later while stationed in Georgetown, British Guiana, 1955-1961.

Stallan, Conrad George (1904-1980)

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