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Postcards of German New Guinea

  • AU PMB Photo 40
  • Coleção
  • 1912-1916

This collection of 60 postcards and photographs of German New Guinea, all dated 1912-1916, were transferred to David Kaus at the National Museum of Australia by Merrell Davis and Catherine Evans, included with the papers of Ellestan Dusting. Dusting served as private secretary to Australian Minister for External Territories, Sir Paul Hasluck, and as Vice President of the Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA). Mr Kaus transferred the photographs to the PMB on 28 January 2011.

Though these postcards were collected by Dusting, the envelope in which they are held is signed by R.G. Bowen and a number of the photographs are marked as having been taken by, or given to Bowen by a Col. Pethebridge, or ‘administrator’. It is possible the photos were given to Sir Paul Hasluck as some of his paper were amongst those of Dusting.

Lieutenant R.G. Bowen, RAN, was amongst the first Australians to fight German troops in World War I. On 11 September 1914, Lieutenant Bowen landed at Kakabaul in New Britain with No. 6 Company of the Naval Battalion of the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force, to destroy the main German wireless station in the area. At the outbreak of war, Col. Sir Samuel Augustus Pethebridge, believed to be the photographer or sender of some of these images, took command of the Australian North-West Pacific Expedition, raised to occupy German islands north of the equator. Before the expedition could sail, the British government decided to allow the North Pacific islands to be left in the hands of their Japanese occupiers. Pethebridge suggested that his unit, known as Tropical Force, might be used to relieve the expeditionary force led by Colonel W. Holmes which had captured German New Guinea in the first weeks of the war. This was accepted, and in January 1915, Pethebridge succeeded Holmes as administrator at Rabaul. In January 1917, he contracted malaria which forced his return to Australia, where he died a year later.

The photos contained in this collection show people and infrastructure of German New Guinea (Deutsch-Neuguinea) including the Bismark Archipelago (hotels, churches), Rabaul (wharf, naval headquarters, hospital, China Town, ship building yard), the Bita Paka wireless radio station at Kakabaul and the wireless station and at Morobe (along with the District Officer’s residence and police quarters). The photos also feature Herbertshoe (naval signal post, hospital and German soldiers). There are also images of people (police, singsing, traditional headdress) and landscapes, including volcano Mt Mother, Mt Daughter, the beehive rock, plantations and a giant fig tree.

Sources:
Naval Historical Society of Australia, The Navy in New Guinea in 1914, http://www.navyhistory.org.au/the-navy-in-new-guinea-in-1914/
Australian Dictionary of Biography

Dusting, Ellestan Joyce

Papua New Guinea Cocoa Board Publications

  • AU PMB DOC 538
  • Coleção
  • 1979-1997

The Cocoa Board of Papua New Guinea was first established under the Cocoa Act 1974 and was then known as the Cocoa Marketing Board of Papua New Guinea. The Act was revised in 1981 and the name changed to the Cocoa Board of Papua New Guinea.

The main functions of the PNG Cocoa Board are to control and regulate the growing, processing, marketing and export of cocoa beans; establish price stabilization, price equalization and stockholding arrangements within the cocoa industry, promote the consumption of Papua New Guinea cocoa beans and cocoa products; promote research and development programmes for the benefit of the PNG cocoa industry; and carry out the obligations of the State under any international agreement relating to cocoa.

The PNG Cocoa Board also collects statistics on PNG Cocoa production, documented PNG cocoa exports, researched international cocoa farming and production practices and distributed educational material to New Guinea farmers on best practice farming methods for cocoa production. The PNG Cocoa Board produced publications and booklets, often in English and Pidgin and sometimes Motu, on various aspects relating to cocoa production.

This collection includes a selection of publications produced by the Papua New Guinea Cocoa Board (1979-1996). It includes Annual Reports (1979-1989), Board meeting papers (1985-1993), administrative, marketing and research papers (1982-1996), statistical reports (1990-1996), market reports (1992-1997), publications by the PNG Cocoa and Coconut Research Institute (1986-1992), manuals and reports from the Cocoa Quality Improvement Project (1987-1993) and other publications on cocoa production and distribution and PNG agriculture in general (1980-1993).

PNG Cocoa most likely came from Samoa in the early 20th Century. In 1844 Germany annexed New Guinea and took large numbers of New Guinea labourers to work on German plantations in Samoa. By 1900 there were well established shipping routes between Samoa and New Guinea. It is likely that a German company based in Samoa transported cocoa seedlings to New Guinea on the boats used for recruiting and returning New Guinea labourers.

Cocoa was primarily grown on plantations until WWII in New Guinea. From the early 1950s cocoa was developed as a smallholder crop and a plantation cop. The most extensive early development was in the Gazelle Peninsula of New Britain. Other early cocoa plantations were in North Solomons and the Northern District (Oro Province).

In the early 21st Century, cocoa continues to be the most important export cash crop of smallholder farmers in the wet lowlands. Over 90% of PNG cocoa is produced by smallholders. Many Papua New Guinea women participate in cocoa farming and production in PNG. Although PNG contributes less than 2% to the world cocoa market it has established an international reputation for quality, attracting 90% of a premium for fine and flavor cocoa.

Resources: http://www.cocoaboard.org.pg/

Papua New Guinea Cocoa Board

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