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Solomon Islands Collection
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Slides from John Baker’s Voluntary Service Overseas placement in Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB PHOTO 114
  • Collection
  • 1964-1965

This collection of 540 colour photographs was taken by John Baker in Solomon Islands in 1964 and 1965, while he was working there as a volunteer under the auspices of the British Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) organisation. He was 18 and 19 at the time and was what was known as a school leaver volunteer. There were 10-15 VSOs in the Solomons in 1964, with most working as teachers in mission boarding schools. However, John was attached mainly to two District Administrations to work on various local projects.

At the time, Solomon Islands was under colonial administration known as the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP), in which virtually all senior and technical/professional positions were still held by expatriates. Thus VSOs were working within and were very much a part of a colonial culture.

The photographs in the collection were taken with a Voigtlander Vito B camera on Kodachrome 100 colour slides. The camera was stored, including for many canoe trips, in an old Sunshine Milk tin with a bag of silica gel in the bottom. Captions for the photos were written in a foolscap notebook when the slides came back from processing. Thus the names of people and places were all recorded contemporaneously and so are likely to be accurate. These captions, written in 1964-65, sometimes have a colonial tone but have been left unchanged as they are an historical reflection of their times.

John Baker’s first work as a VSO was from August-November 1964 as a teacher at the Geological Department’s survey school in Honiara. Then he transferred to Western District headquarters in Gizo and worked during December 1964 and January 1965 as a surveyor on the Wagina Island Gilbertese resettlement scheme. In February 1965 he transferred to Eastern District headquarters in Kira Kira where he spent six weeks working on local election preparations. He then moved back to Gizo and spent April to August 1965 travelling round, organising the construction of concrete drinking water tanks in various villages in the Roviana and Wana Wana lagoons and subsequently on the island of Ranonnga.

Baker, John R.

Articles on the Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB MS 67
  • Collection
  • 1350 - c.1961

The Rev. John R. Metcalfe (1889-1970) was born in Yorkshire and served as a Methodist missionary in the Solomon Islands for 37 years. He served as a home missionary in Great Britain before moving to Victoria in 1914. He became a candidate for the Methodist ministry in 1916, and after being ordained was appointed to the Solomon Islands in 1920. After a brief period at Roviana, he was appointed to Choiseul as assistant to the Rev. V. LeC. Binet. Apart from four years at Teop, he remained on Choiseul until 1951. During the war, he served as a Coastwatcher. He became chairman of the Methodist Mission in the Solomons in 1951, a post he held until he retired to Australia in 1957. He continued to take an active interest in the mission until his death in 1970.

A collection of 39 articles with the following titles: Lauru; The Three Brothers; Harry Raeno; Stephen Gandepeta; The Two Friends; Timothy Loe; Solomon Damusoe; Methodism in the Marovo; A Footnote to Rickenbacker; The Vurulata Senga Feud; Pioneering on Choiseul; The Gumi Family; Methodism on Guadalcanal; The Helena Goldie Hospital; The Melanesian Cargo Cult; Our Time at Teop; Osea Tambipunda; How the Lauruans met the Japanese; Thoughts on Etoism; Aola Methodism; San Marcos or Choiseul Island; The Fisherman who Got Lost; Sub-Hospital No.3; The Coming of the Uniform; The Coming of the Aeroplane; Christmas in the Battle Area; Broadcast at Honiara (8/4/51); How I Left Munda; The Methodist Church and the Development of North-East Bougainville; How the Japanese Descended on Lauru; The Beginning of the Kamanga Tribe; The Problem of the Tropical South Pacific; Co-operation in the Solomon Islands District; My Years as Chairman; Vangunu: The Tragedy at Egolo ... Rendova; and three braodcasts made in August and September, 1943, entitled Readings from a Missionary's Diary.

Metcalfe, John R.

Essays on Solomon Islands life and Missionary Review extracts

  • AU PMB MS 413
  • Collection
  • c.1902 - 1964

The Rev. John R. Metcalfe (1889-1970) a Methodist missionary in the Solomon Islands for 37 years, was born in Yorkshire and went to Victoria in 1914. He became a candidate for the Methodist ministry in 1916, and after being ordained was appointed to the Solomon Islands in 1920. After a brief period at Roviana, he was appointed to Choiseul as assistant to the Rev. V. Lec. Binet. Apart from four years at Teop, he remained on Choiseul until 1951. During the war, he served as a Coastwatcher. He was chairman of the Methodist Mission in the Solomons from 1951 until he retired to Australia in 1957. He continued to take an active interest in the mission until his death.

The papers comprise essays written by Solomon Islanders in vernacular languages describing their lives, local events and people of importance (52 pages); similar writings in English; annotated extracts from the Missionary Review 1902 - 1921; etc.

Metcalfe, John R.

Descriptive newsletters from the Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB MS 68
  • Collection
  • 16 September 1920 - January 1950

The Rev. John R. Metcalfe (1889-1970) was born in Yorkshire and served as a Methodist missionary in the Solomon Islands for 37 years. He served as a home missionary in Great Britain before moving to Victoria in 1914. He became a candidate for the Methodist ministry in 1916, and after being ordained was appointed to the Solomon Islands in 1920. After a brief period at Roviana, he was appointed to Choiseul as assistant to the Rev. V. LeC. Binet. Apart from four years at Teop, he remained on Choiseul until 1951. During the war, he served as a Coastwatcher. He became chairman of the Methodist Mission in the Solomons in 1951, a post he held until he retired to Australia in 1957. He continued to take an active interest in the mission until his death.

From time to time during his career in the Solomon Islands, Metcalfe wrote long, descriptive neswsletters to friends overseas which he called general letters. They were invariably typewritten. Apparently several carbon copies of each letter were sent out. Those on this microfilm were written in the following years:<BR><BR>1920 (2), 1921 (2), 1922 (1), 1924 (1), 1925 (1), 1926 (1), 1927 (1), 1929 (1), 1936 (2), 1937 (2), 1938 (2), 1939 (1), 1941 (1), 1946 (2), 1947 (2), 1948 (1), 1950 (1).

Metcalfe, John R.

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

Solomon Star (Honiara)

  • AU PMB DOC 429
  • Collection
  • 1982-1987

The <i>Solomon Star</i> was originally published as a regular Government Information Service newsheet. In 1975 it was turned in to a weekly newspaper called The <i>Solomons News Drum</i>. In mid-1982 it was taken over by five Solomon Islanders and renamed the <i>Solomon Star</i>, and has run as a private newspaper ever since.

<b>Reel 1 </b>
Nos.1-11, 28 May-6 Aug 1982
Nos.13-31, 20 Aug-23 Dec 1982
Nos.32-82, 7 Jan 1983-23 Dec 1983
<b>Reel 2</b>
Nos.83-133, 6 Jan 1984-21 Dec 1984
Nos.134-152, 11 Jan 1985-17 May 1985
<b>Reel 3</b>
Nos.153-183, 24 May 1985-20 Dec 1985
Nos.184-207, 10 Jan 1986-20 Jun 1986
<b>Reel 4</b>
Nos.208-233, 27 Jun 1986-19 Dec 1986
Nos.234-256, 9 Jan 1987-11 Jun 1987

Solomon Star (Honiara)

Diaries

  • AU PMB MS 74
  • Collection
  • 1 January 1911 - 31 July 1921

The Rev. John R. Metcalfe (1889-1970) was born in Yorkshire and served as a Methodist missionary in the Solomon Islands for 37 years. He served as a home missionary in Great Britain before moving to Victoria in 1914. He became a candidate for the Methodist ministry in 1916, and after being ordained was appointed to the Solomon Islands in 1920. After a brief period at Roviana, he was appointed to Choiseul as assistant to the Rev. V. LeC. Binet. Apart from four years at Teop, he remained on Choiseul (with a break during the war) until 1951. He was then appointed chairman of the Methodist Mission in the Solomons. He retired in 1957, but continued to take an active interest in the mission until his death.

The diaries span Metcalfe's entire career as a churchman and are of especial historical interest for his years in the Solomons.

Metcalfe, John R.

Diaries

  • AU PMB MS 75
  • Collection
  • 1 August 1921 - 31 May 1931

Please see PMB 74.

The diaries span Metcalfe's entire career as a churchman and are of especial historical interest for his years in the Solomons.

Metcalfe, John R.

Diaries

  • AU PMB MS 76
  • Collection
  • 1 June 1931 - 17 October 1938

Please see PMB 74.

The diaries span Metcalfe's entire career as a churchman and are of especial historical interest for his years in the Solomons.

Metcalfe, John R.

Diaries

  • AU PMB MS 77
  • Collection
  • 18 October 1938 - 19 February 1946

Please see PMB 74.

The diaries span Metcalfe's entire career as a churchman and are of especial historical interest for his years in the Solomons.

Metcalfe, John R.

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