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Solomon Islands Collection
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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.

Reminiscences of voyages in the Pacific Ocean

  • AU PMB MS 1342
  • Collection
  • 1860s

Alfred William Martin (1844-1928) was born in Clarence Plains, Tasmania, first son of William Martin (1805/6-1878), a convict transported to Tasmania, and Hannah Braim (1825/6-1860). Alfred William Martin was educated at Kettering Grammar School in Northamptonshire while his parents were revisiting England. Returning to Tasmania, Martin became a seaman, despite his good education, firstly on the ship Gem sailing out of Hobart and then, while still in his teens, on a whaler, Southern Cross, Capt. Mansfield, sailing out of Hobart to whaling grounds off New Zealand, NSW, and the New Hebrides. He then sailed on the Thomas Brown, Capt T.H. Brown, a freighter working between Melbourne and Adelaide. Subsequently Martin sailed a schooner, Jeannie Darling, 80 tons, owner Darling formerly a boat builder in Hobart, carrying timber and other goods between Melbourne and Schnapper Point (Mornington).

In Melbourne Martin joined the crew of a Brigantine, El Zéfiro (300 tons, Callao), Capt Manuel Diaz Garcias of Peru, smuggling opium to the China trade via Gilolo Island, Surigao and Manila; smoking bêche-de-mer at Ponape; trading in the Marshalls, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Niue, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji; trading for sandalwood in the New Hebrides; sailing onwards through the Banks Islands, Santa Cruz, San Christobal, Malaita, Guadalcanal, Bougainville, and back to Manila via the Moluccas and Celebes. El Zéfiro then sailed for Bougainville, reinforced with Bougainville warriors carried out a blackbirding raid in Aoba (Ambae) in the New Hebrides (Vanuatu), then sailed on to South America, touching at the Marquesas and Galapagos Islands, selling the New Hebridean slaves at Mollendo in Peru.

Alfred William Martin gave the manuscript to his granddaughter, Clara Ella Simm (b.1897), who he had brought up as a child after her father, William Simm (1855-1901), died in a flu epidemic in Launceston. When Dr Macnicol received the manuscript from his mother, via his sister, it was in a bundle tied with string. Dr Macnicol passed the manuscript to a conservator who repaired torn and fragmented pages. Dr Macnicol top-numbered the pages consecutively in pencil and transcribed the manuscript. He passed the transcript to Rafael Pintos-Lopez of Michelago, near Canberra, who submitted the transcript to Professor Brij Lal for assessment.

Untitled incomplete manuscript written by Alfred William Martin of Tasmania, written possibly in the 1890s relating his Pacific voyages and adventures in the 1860s, Ms. (gaps), re-paginated, pp.1-202; together with transcript of the manuscript made by Dr Peter Macnicol, Ts., pp.1-251.
See Finding aids for details.

Martin, Alfred William

Solomon Islands Photographs

  • AU PMB PHOTO 62
  • Collection
  • 2001

PMBPhoto 62 is a collection of 209 photographs of Solomon Islands subjects taken between 30 November and 13 December 2001. The main subject area is the 2001 Solomon Islands General Election, the first post-conflict election held.

The photographs are a record of Jan Gammage's experience as a member of an international team of election observers, the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) to the Solomon Islands. Members of the Mission included Australian public servants from AusAID and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and representatives from New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands and Japan. Organisations including the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat were also represented.

Subjects include the Solomon Islands Government welcome to the Mission, the IEOM's briefing and organising of teams, deployment by helicopter to Tulagi in Nggela constituency of Central Province (nine candidates, 9,000 registered voters living on five large and about 50 small islands, and 24 polling stations), and aspects of the electoral process. Subjects include electoral officials and police involved in the conduct of the election, and others including boat drivers, and the women who ran the guesthouse on Tulagi in which the observers stayed. Women in the market, Mboli Passage, ship wrecks, the site of the house occupied by Charles Woodford, the first Resident Commission of the British Solomon Island Protectorate, and the "cut road" are also subjects.

In Honiara and surrounds, the Electoral Commission, hotels, the Peace Monitoring Council, the market, Mission members, Parliament House, the Anzac memorial, World War II sites and memorials both American and Japanese, and the Solomon Islands Government farewell to the Mission are among the subjects.

Gammage, Jan

Solomon Islands photographs

  • AU PMB PHOTO 58
  • Collection
  • c.1890 - c.1920

This collection includes photographs of the Woodford family; Solomon Islands, Samoa, British New Guinea, etc.; Photographs were bundled with story as told by Solomon Islands person, 1907 (See PMB MS 1381, item 002).

Woodford, Charles Morris

Two albums of photographs taken during a voyage to and residence in the Solomon Islands from April to October 1886, and additional loose photographs

  • AU PMB PHOTO 56
  • Collection
  • 1852-1927

This collection includes two albums of photographs taken during a voyage to and residence in the Solomon Islands from April to October 1886, as well as additional loose photographs.
The collection includes images from the villages Aola and Fauro in the Solomon Islands. Images include village life, canoes, native animals, customs and the natural environment as well as Charles Morris Woodford’s life and Government residence in Tulagi, Solomon Islands.
Additional photographs from Rabaul, Madang, New Britain and New Ireland in Papua New Guinea.

Woodford, Charles Morris

Diary (Roviana original and English translation)

  • AU PMB MS 1104
  • Collection
  • May 1935-Jan 1936

David Voeta was associated with the Methodist Mission in the West of the Solomon Islands. Diary (possibly a transcript), May 1935-Jan 1936. English translation of the diary, May 1935-Jan 1936.

See reel list for further details.

Voeta, David

Diary (photocopy of original in Roviana)

  • AU PMB MS 1105
  • Collection
  • January-April 1937

This diary, associated with the Methodist Mission in the Solomon Islands, was found with Job Tozaka's diary (see PMB 1102). Diary of an unnamed person, possibly John Kevisi, 14 Jan-21 Apr 1937. See reel list for further details.

John Kevisi [?]

Solomon Islands Broadcasting Memorabilia

  • AU PMB DOC 544
  • Collection
  • 1982-1984

The first music and voice transmitted by radio in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) occurred in 1923 through the Methodist Mission?s wireless station at Kokegolo in New Georgia. The station often presented choral and band recitals performed in local languages, primarily for the interest of passengers on passing ships which were equipped with wireless sets. However, actual broadcasting in the BSIP began in June, 1944 with radio station WVUQ based in Guadalcanal, and was followed a few months later by WVTJ based in Munda. Both stations were operated by the United States of America military as part of the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) and were primarily sources of news and entertainment for American troops serving in the Pacific. Both stations were part of a grouping known as ?The Mosquito Network?.
In the years after World War II, a radio service was maintained by volunteers in Honiara, primarily for an English-speaking, licence fee-paying, expatriate audience. In 1952, the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Service was established as VQO, broadcasting news and music six days a week to local audiences in most parts of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate. By the mid-1950s, colonial administrators saw the important role radio was playing for local audiences and invested in programming (including Pijin content), staff, transmitters and new studios. The studios on Mendana Avenue, Honiara, opened in 1959. By the 1960s, SIBS was also providing school services and outside broadcasting of special events, putting a strain on the still new studio facilities. Studio and office upgrades were made in 1965.
In 1976, under the administration of Sir Peter Kenilorea, SIBS became a statutory body, and commenced operations as the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation (SIBC) in 1977. In 1978 the Australian Government committed funds for the upgrade of studio and transmission facilities in Honiara, the establishment of a new regional station in Gizo and correspondents based in more remote parts of the country. Broadcasting House at Rove, Honiara opened on 7 August, 1982.
From 1980-1984, Martin Hadlow was the News/Programme Trainer, then Head of Development and Training at SIBC. During this time the service transitioned from a government broadcasting service to an independent public service broadcasting corporation. This transition meant new management (including a new Board), a complete revamp of programming and news structure, and the new studio building at Rove. Hadlow prepared this booklet for the opening of the studio and was involved with the preparation of the First Day Cover stamp set for the 20th Anniversary of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

Hadlow, Martin

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.

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