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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

Solomon Islands Forestry reports and papers

  • AU PMB DOC 537
  • Collection
  • 1957-1999

This collection includes printed papers and reports relating to forestry and logging in the Solomon Islands up until around 1999. They are mainly of a technical nature by specialist assessors, non-Government organisations or governmental reviews.

Bennett, Judith

My Papuan years

  • AU PMB MS 1416
  • Collection
  • 15 January 2014

This is the story of Nancy Beryl Watkins, nee Morgan in Papua compiled by Nancy’s son Peter R. Watkins. Nancy Watkins first went to Papua with Alwyn Edward (Bud) Watkins in 1934. She spent approximately nine of the next thirteen years living in the territory. The story gives some insight into the day-to-day lives of the women who accompanied their husbands to Papua. Nancy wrote many long letter/diaries to her own mother whilst she lived in Papua but these letters no longer exist. Peter Watkins persuaded his mother to remember as much of her life in Papua as possible and commit it to paper. My Papuan Years is the result of Nancy’s notes and Peter’s discussions with her prompting her memory prior to her death in 1997.

Watkins, Nancy Beryl

Slides and photographs of election campaigns during 1966 election in Fiji

  • AU PMB PHOTO 103
  • Collection
  • 1966

This collection of slides and photographs was taken by Robert Norton on his first research trip to Fiji, which took place during the 1966 Legislative Council elections campaigning.

The general Legislative Council elections were held in late 1966, just over a year after the first constitutional conference in London, and five years after the British government announced its plan to prepare Fiji for self-government.

The indigenous Fijian leaders were initially very anxious about this objective, viewing it as a threat to the protection they believed the Fijians had enjoyed under the colonial government’s policies, based in part, on the government’s interpretation of the Deed of Cession by which nearly 100 years before the leading chiefs had entrusted the islands to the British crown.

The Fiji Indians who in the 1960s were 51% of the population, and generally more advanced economically than the Fijians (43% of the population), looked favourably on the prospect of an end to colonial rule and their principal leaders called for a common franchise to replace communal (ethnic) political representation. The very influential but tiny European minority, concerned to preserve their longstanding privileged political representation, stood with the Fijians against radical constitutional change.

The 1966 elections were the first in which broadly-based political parties competed for a substantial power in the colonial parliament. The 1965 constitutional conference had changed the parliament (legislative council) from a council dominated by colonial officials appointed by the governor, to one dominated by elected representatives: 14 Indigenous Fijians, (2 elected by the Great Council of Chiefs), 12 Indians, 10 General electors (Europeans, Part-Europeans, Pacific islanders other than Fijians, and Chinese). The new constitution completed the expansion of the vote to a universal franchise, begun in 1963. Only four seats were reserved for colonial officials.

Most of the electorates remained ethnically defined, and all the seats remained ethnically reserved.

But overlaying the many communal electorates, were now three very large Cross Voting electorates covering the entire colony. They were multi-ethnic, made up from the communal electorates, and each had three reserved seats: Fijian, Indian, and General. The electors were entitled to four votes - one in their communal electorate, and three in their cross-voting electorate. Voting was not compulsory, and to cast a valid vote an elector need tick only the communal seat ballot paper if they wished. Communal seats numbered 9 Fijian, 9 Indian, and 7 General; there were 3 Fijian, 3 Indian, and 3 General cross-voting seats. Indigenous Fijians enjoyed additional representation by the two Council of Chiefs members of the parliament.

The intention of introducing the cross-voting electorates was to give people experience in supporting candidates of different ethnic identities from their own - a step, the British said, toward an eventual common franchise without reserved seats. It was hoped that political parties would each field candidates of different ethnicity, and that these would campaign together - the communal candidates assisting the campaigning of their cross-voting partners.

Some of the slides and photos illustrate this joint campaigning in western Viti Levu, by Fijian, Indian, and General candidates of the Alliance Party. All the pictures were taken on Viti Levu, Fiji’s major island.

The Alliance Party, whose main component body was the indigenous Fijian Association, won 22 seats (12 Fijian, 3 Indian, 7 General). The Federation Party (later the National Federation Party) secured only the 9 communal Indian seats; the party fielded only one non-Indian candidate, Fijian cane farmer Penaia Rokovuni (photos 48-54). Three General candidates were elected as independents.

References

Robert Norton 'Race and Politics in Fiji', University of Queensland Press, 1977, revised edition 1990

Roderick Alley 'The Emergence of Party Politics'. In 'Politics in Fiji' edited by Brij Lal, Allen & Unwin, 1986. Pp28-51

Norton, Robert (1944- )

Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology theses

  • AU PMB MS 1427
  • Collection
  • 1994-2016

The Pacific Theological College (PTC) in Suva, Fiji, is an ecumenical institution founded in 1966 to assist in providing the Pacific churches a highly trained indigenous ministry. The College established an international reputation for quality theological education, particularly in the three core areas of Biblical Studies, Theology and History of Christianity. In 1987 it began a Master of Theology programme in Pacific Church History. The thesis is an integral part of the PTC's Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology programmes. Theses systematically apply detailed local knowledge to topics covering a broad range of cultural, social and political matters in the Pacific Islands.

For student theses 1968– 1993 see PMB MS 1084

Pacific Theological College

Selected Archives from the Catholic Bishop's Office in Kavieng

  • AU PMB MS 1425
  • Collection
  • Various

This collection includes selected archives from the Catholic bishop’s office in Kavieng, New Ireland Province, Papua New Guinea. Papers describe the history of the Catholic Church in Kavieng, including meeting and conference papers, along with other official documentation. It also includes accounts of church personnel around and during World War II. This collection also includes documentation relating to the Australian Television Service, Australian War Crimes Commission, 1975 Independence Programme for Kavieng and the Catholic Handbook for PNG. See individual items for more detailed descriptions of content.

Roman Catholic Church, Kavieng

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

Kal Muller Photographs of West Papua

  • AU PMB PHOTO 106
  • Collection
  • 1980s-1990s

Kal Muller, documentary film maker, photographer, writer, tribal art dealer and world traveller, was born in Budapest, Hungary and later on moved to the U.S.A., where he studied his doctorate on French literature at the University of Arizona. For the past 37 years, Dr. Muller has spent most of his time traveling and living in Indonesia, writing about and photographing this endless archipelago, specializing in Papua for the past decade.

This collection of slides is composed of photographs taken in several trips through West Papua or West New Guinea made by the author since late 1980s. From north to south, from the shores of the surrounding smaller islands, like Numfor and Biak, to the glaciers at the highlands of Puncak Jaya, Kal Muller has photographed people, activities, performances, art and landscape from this vast region of Melanesia. This collection portrays Dani, Lani, Asmat, Moni, Wano, Biak, Korowai, Kamoro people and lives.

Muller, Kal

James Tedder slides of Territory of Papua and New Guinea and British Solomon Islands Protectorate

  • AU PMB PHOTO 75
  • Collection
  • 1952 - 1974

This is a collection of 45 colour slides taken by James L.O. Tedder, MBE, during the period 1952 to 1974. Twenty nine of these slides were taken in the Territory of Papua New Guinea (TPNG) and 16 in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP).

Of the 29 TPNG images, three are of Lae in Morobe District, dated 1952. There are also five images of Rabaul in New Britain: one dated 1952 may be of Tavurvur volcano, a view from Matupi Island. The other four dated August 1964 show the view from the District Commissioner’s garden, a sunset, dancers and school students. Also dated 1964 is a portrait of an unnamed female nurse in Madang District. This photograph may not belong in this series, nor have been taken by James Tedder. Judging from the information on the badge the nurse is wearing it was taken after Papua New Guinea Independence.

Three images dated 1958 were taken in the Eastern Highlands District, probably all at Mt Michael Patrol Post. They include one of James Tedder, his wife Margaret and their children with District Officer W E (Bill) Tomasetti. Tomasetti served in World War 2 / World War II as a commando in Timor. The other photos were taken of two groups of local men, some of whom are displaying their traditional wealth, including plumes and kina shells.

Mt Hagen and the Western Highlands District is the subject of 14 images probably all taken in August 1964: seven are aerial views of the town, airstrip and geographical features, including the Hindenberg Wall, and the terrain en route to Porgera. Seven are of Highlands people. The people, including a portrait of two women, are shown walking along a road or posing for a photograph and show the wealth and status of these people. Three images taken also in August 1964 in Central District are of the view across Fairfax Harbour to Port Moresby town and, in the foothills of the Owen Stanley range behind Port Moresby, of the Rona (Rouna) Falls hydro plant and the Falls themselves. Both this trip outside Port Moresby in Central Province and the flight in the Western Highlands District were probably facilitated by the Western Highlands District Commissioner of TPNG’s Western Highlands District, Tom Ellis, for the District Commissioner of BSIP’s Western District, James Tedder, after the men met at a meeting in Port Moresby.

The last group of images in this collection were taken in the BSIP of two active volcanoes, one in Western District and one in Eastern. The submarine volcano Kavachi, in Western, is in the UNESCO Marovo Tetepare Complex, which is home to outstanding marine biodiversity. Of the five aerial images, two are captioned in distinctive handwriting “H. Moss 27.12.65”. Three images taken with what appears to be the same camera as Moss’, have “Tedder 1966” recorded on them in Tedder’s writing. It is possible that these are duplicates of three images taken by Harry Moss, MBE, and have been dated accordingly. After retiring as a TAA (Trans Australia Airlines) Captain, Harry became the first pilot in the new Solomon Islands internal airline Megapode Airways. Margaret Tedder worked in the Megapode office and occasionally James Tedder was flown by Harry for work purposes. Both men mention the other in their autobiographies, James in his “A District Administrator in the Islands 1952-1974” (published 2008) and Harry in his “10,000 Hours In the Life of a Flying Doctor Pilot” (published 1988). In Eastern District, in the Santa Cruz Islands, is Tinakula. A conical stratovolcano in the same volcanic arc as Kavachi, Tinakula has a long history of activity, including throughout 2019. There are eleven images, a number of them taken from different angles from the air, dated July 1974, and show landslips caused by the volcano’s activity.

James Tedder and members of his family described/captioned the majority of the images.

Tedder, James L.O.

Margaret Tedder and James Tedder, Gardening: an album of photographs of subsistence gardening in eastern and central Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB PHOTO 48
  • Collection
  • 1955-1974

The series of photographs contained in this album covers an aspect of the life of the Tedder family in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) between 1955 – 1974. James L.O. Tedder held various positions in the colonial administration. His family lived and travelled extensively throughout the Protectorate. His spouse, Margaret Tedder, had a firm interest in botany and this particular album is her documentation of Islanders’ horticultural practices of certain root crops, especially yams. In this photographic collection, Margaret documented the cultivation methods, garden layout, harvesting practices and storage of yams in various locations on Makira, Guadalcanal, Malaita and Santa Cruz. Margaret also captured different yam varieties and a ceremonial display at Makaruka on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal. Besides the focus on yams in this album, there are some images of other crops such as taro, cassava and sweet potato. In its own right, this album is an ethnography of Islanders' cultivation practices of the mid-1950’s to the early 1970’s.

Tedder, James L.O.

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