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.