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Niue Centennial Album 1846 – 1946

  • AU PMB PHOTO 17
  • Collection
  • 1846-1946

The Niue Centennial album 1846-1946 includes 77 photographs and maps presented as an album to celebrate 100 years of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in Niue, Rarotonga and Samoa. The photographs were taken by a New Zealand LMS delegation travelling on the Maui Pomare. They include pictures of people, life and the environment of Niue in 1946. The photographs document the Centennial celebration on 5 November 1946 and include pictures of students, men and women marching, Mission staff, crowds of people at the celebration, boys and girls dancing, music, sports and tug-of-war games, and feast offerings.
The Rarotongan section include photographs of the arrival in Rarotonga, Churches, the Mission house at Talamoa, children of the Administration School at Avarua and the Ngatangia church.
The Samoa section includes photographs of the London Missionary Society at Malua, chapels, student housing, Papauta Girls’ School and girls’ dancing.
Included in the album is a 23 page account (Items 101-121) describing the geography, people and history of Niue. The account includes a travel diary describing the 1946 NZ delegation visit and Centennial celebrations in Niue, Rarotonga and Western Samoa.
Items 122-32 include typed descriptions of the individual photographs in the album.
Among the photographs of people in Niue, there are photographs of LMS Reverend Caleb and Mrs Margaret Beharell. At the time of the Centenary Celebrations, the Beharells were residents of Niue, having been reappointed there by the LMS in 1945. They had previously lived and worked in Niue from 1920 to 1929, leaving “for the sake of their children.” The Beharells left Niue in 1949 and Rev Beharell died in Brisbane, Australia, in 1951.
Also photographed are Mr and Mrs C.R. Lankshear, of Wellington, New Zealand. The Lankshears represented the London Board of the Society and both played a part on behalf of the Society in the Celebrations. Mr and Mrs Lankshear were well known members of the Terrace Congregational Church in Wellington and of the Congregational Union of New Zealand. Lankshears’s Printing Company Ltd at 22 Harris St had been established by Mr Lankshear’s father, W.J. Lankshear, a Congregationalist and expert in the binding of bibles.
Not photographed but mentioned in the text are the Resident Commissioner and his wife, Mr Hector and Mrs Jessica Larsen. Mr Larsen officially represented the New Zealand Government and was head of the Niue Administration. In 1953, aged 45, Mr Larsen was killed at his residence on the island. Also mentioned is the Official Interpreter, Robert Rex, later to become Niue’s first Premier.
A photograph of the headstone of Robert Henry Head is also included. Head, originally a trader, was appointed in 1879 as Acting Deputy Commissioner to Niue. He lived on the island until his death at age 88 in 1921.
Another headstone photographed is that of the Reverend James Cullen, LMS missionary on Niue at the time of his death in his 55th year, 1919. Rev Cullen was first appointed in 1891 to Niue, then to Mangaia in the Cook Islands. He left Mangaia to work for a short time in Papua, moved to South Africa, returning after a number of years to the mission in Niue. He combined his missionary work with the duties of printer and translator.
Rev Robert L Challis and Mrs Challis are mentioned in the text. Rev Challis was a LMS missionary at Takamoa Theological College on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands during the period 1933-1947. On leaving Rarotonga, he worked in Auckland with Pacific Island people and helped to establish the Pacific Island Church.
Mention is also made of two memorial tablets to Rev Hutchin. Rev John JK Hutchin was principal of the LMS Training College for Native Teachers in Rarotonga 1883-1891, first Principal of the LMS boarding school Tereora College which opened in 1895, and involved in the work of the LMS Takamoa Theological College. Rev Hutchin died in 1912.
All associated with Malua Theological College, Rev JD and Mrs Copp, Rev J Hoadley, Miss Joy Fowles and Mr and Mrs Edwards are mentioned in the Western Samoa section of the diary. Rev Edwards was Principal of Malua Theological College twice, 1941 to 1948 and 1950 to 1952. Rev Hoadley followed Rev Edwards as Principal in 1953, serving until 1955.

LMS Samoa District

Slides from Niue

  • AU PMB PHOTO 12
  • Collection
  • October 1956

Emeritus Professor R.G. Ward was Professor of Human Geography at the ANU from 1971 to 1998, and Director of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies from 1980 to 1993.

He was Foundation Professor of Geography at the University of Papua New Guinea from 1967 to 1971. He has taught at University College London, and University of Auckland and is President of the Pacific Science Association. Professor Ward has been conducting research in the Pacific Islands since 1956, and has done fieldwork in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.

His books, as author or editor, include "Land Use and Population in Fiji", "American Activities in the Central Pacific, 1790-1870", "The Settlement of Polynesia: A Computer Simulation", "Man in the Pacific Islands", "South Pacific Agriculture: Choices and Constraints", "Land, Custom and Practice in the South Pacific", and "Samoa: Mapping the Diversity".

Professor Gerard Ward took these pictures when his ship stopped for a day in October 1956 at Niue whilst on his way to undertake field work in Western Samoa.

Professor Ward has commented on the visit: “One of the striking things about Niue was the upraised coral nature of the island. It is very difficult to cultivate and this is evident in the photographs PMB Photo 12_14 – 16. There is broken coral everywhere so parts of the land have very little soil and are unusable. These pictures show this, PMB Photo 12_26. Another feature is the lack of beaches, making access to the sea difficult and opportunities for fishing limited.”

This collection of photographs include streets and boat ramps around Alofi in Niue. The collection also includes images of local dwellings that use burnt lime plaster, village scenes, plantations, fishing techniques and outrigger canoes.

Ward, Gerard