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Papers relating to the Kahua language and Makira in the Solomon Islands

  • AU PMB MS 1415
  • Collection
  • 1953-2015

Fr. Gerard Bruns was born on the 17 August 1932. He arrived in the Solomon Islands in September 1960 and worked as a Marist priest on Makira, Solomon Islands. Fr. Bruns took a great interest in the people of Makira and has documented much about the Kahua language and the culture of east Makira in the Solomon Islands. In 2008 he moved to the Marist Brothers at Tenaru Secondary School outside of Honiara. Fr. Bruns moved again and now lives at Tanagai parish centre close to the sea shore which has been his home ever since.

This collection includes typescript documents that Fr. Brun has written on his personal typewriter throughout more than fifty years of living in the Solomon Islands. The collection include grammars and vocabularly/dictionaries of the Kahua language. The collection also includes Fr John Espagne’s thesis on Makira religion, titled ‘Witless Trust’, written in 1953. Fr. Brun edited "Witless Trust" to make the text more readable and typed the manuscript himself, titled ‘Origins of Religion in Makira. Anthropological Investigations. Father Iron John Investigations 1918-2001’.
Also included in the collection is Fr. Brun's autobiography ‘Antipode’ (2015), his manuscript ‘Augunua, Among the Kahua’ (2011), which summarizes Espagne’s thesis and also the ideas of Lorensio Marau, a Makiran who had described origin stories and beliefs, developing syncretic approach to Catholicism and traditional beliefs. ‘Auguna, among the Kahua’ also contains kastom stories as well as insights into Makiran society. The collection also includes Fr. Brun's manuscript on "The evangelisation of Makira, 1845-1847; 1908-1960". Fr. Brun worked with Solomon Islanders and translated the Bible into the Kahua language.

Bruns, Gerard

Malu’u dictionary

  • AU PMB MS 1426
  • Collection
  • 1924

Malu’u dictionary, recording the English translation of Malu’u words, a language spoken on Malaita, Solomon Islands. Malu’u is also known as Toqabaqita or To'abaita language. A note inside the cover of the dictionary states that it was compiled for the South Sea Evangelical Mission by Clara Waterston and others, and is one of six copies produced. Arranged in alphabetical order, typescript 296 pp.

Pages 100 and 204 are missing from the original manuscript and appear to be intentionally torn out. In the process of copying, the following pages were not digitised as they were blank: pp. 26-28, 42-45, 53-56, 84-87, 97-99, 110-113, 141-144, 159-162, 181-184, 192-195, 201-203, 214-217, 227-230, 244-247, 277-280, 289-292, and 297-299.

Waterston, Clara

The Marshall Islands Journal

  • AU PMB DOC 543
  • Collection
  • 1965-

The Marshall Islands Journal is the newspaper of the Marshall Islands. It began in 1966 and was known as:
1967-1969 – The Marshall Islands Journal
1970-1973 – Micronitor (starting in Dec 1973 [Vol 4 no. 46], changes title to Micronesian Independent)
1974- mid-1980 – Micronesian Independent
1980-2016 – The Marshall Islands Journal Some articles in this newspaper relate to other Pacific Islands as well as the Marshall Islands.

The newspaper was established by Joe Murphy and Mike Malone, two Irish-American expatriates who were in the Marshall Islands. [They claim to have started in 1970; the first three volumes from 1966-1969 appear to have been published by others].

The newspaper was published usually once a week, sometimes monthly, although some weeks it was not published and throughout the 1980s it was sometimes produced as regularly as 3 times per week when Dan Smith, a former Peace Corps Volunteer assisted.

The newspaper set up offices in Truk (Chuuk) and Ponape (Pohnpei) and Saipan. It appeared in other Trust Territory districts under the alias of Marianas Weekly or Ponape Sun. The newspaper simply made print runs using a different masthead.

Giff Johnson became the editor in 1984 and assumed day-to-day responsibility for the newspaper. Giff continues to work as the editor today in 2016.

Micronitor News and Printing Company

Photographs of Dr Frank Forster, Papua New Guinea

  • AU PMB PHOTO 112
  • Collection
  • Dec 1949-Mar 1950

This collection comprises 39 images black and white photographs taken in the Australian Territory of Papua and New Guinea by Australian Frank Forster in the 4 months December 1949-March 1950.

The photographs record a trip made mainly by boat to the Territory by Frank, a 28 year old honours graduate in obstetrics, surgery and gynaecology of the University of Melbourne, who became as well a medical historian, bibliophile and benefactor. At the time, health care services provided for the local people by the colonial authorities were minimal. In 1947 there were 17 doctors working there, all of whom were expatriates. The first two trained surgeons arrived about 1950, and were based in Rabaul and in Port Moresby. In 1953 the Australian National University, through a government committee, began identifying “gaps in knowledge” in the territory.

Frank’s record of his journey starts in Papua’s Eastern District at Samarai Island and ends as he returns to Brisbane, having visited several other small islands including Kwato in Papua, then to New Guinea where he visited Lae, Goroka in the Eastern Highlands, Madang, and Manus Island.

Frank’s collection is literally a “snapshot” of the times. He shows various types of boats and light aircraft, local people at work, postwar buildings including wharves and railway lines, and equipment. Nine photos relate to the port and town on Samarai Island in the Milne Bay District of Papua, now the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. Six of these show boats at the wharf, including MV Malaita of the Burns Philp Shipping Company, the wharf railway line and men working to move cargo. Two photos show members of the Papua and New Guinea Constabulary presenting arms, and one is of a building displaying an Australian flag and two flags of the United States, a clear reminder of the importance of Samarai to the Allies in World War 2.

En route to Lae in the Morobe District of New Guinea, now the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea, the boat passed Gesila Island and berthed at Kwato Island. On Kwato, Frank photographed the London Missionary Society (LMS) Church. In the port of Lae, Frank photographed landing craft AB2348 with many men, possibly labourers, on board, and the ship MV Malaita again.
In Madang District, four photographs are of the coastline and buildings, one possibly of the administrative headquarters of the district and business establishments, and a detailed scene of a wharf, including men working to move cargo. On the mainland, three photographs show beautiful trees including one of a long archway of trees, and at the cemetery, the 1914 grave of Willi Wohlgemuth, a machinist probably on the mission ship, for the Divine Word Mission at Sek (Alexishafen). In 1913 the Mission sub-divided for sale land on Doilon Plantation just south of Alexishafen, and Wohlgemuth got Block 3, 160 hectares, but died of appendicitis on 1 March 1914. (Amtsblatt 1914, 45, 91.) One photograph captures a well maintained corrugated iron building with “1913” clearly shown and another an aerial view of MV Malaita at a wharf.

Four photographs were taken in or near Goroka, probably at Humilaveka, in the Eastern Highlands District of New Guinea, and all relate to an airstrip – kunai (grass) buildings, fences, people watching and a biplane, a De Havilland 84 Dragon.
The four photographs taken of Manus Island are of the main port of Lorengau. Various types of water craft, possibly pieces of equipment left after World War 2, buildings and the main wharf, are shown in these photos.
Probably on his way back to Australia, Frank took a photograph in the China Straits showing three different types of boat, and one other.

The photographs were given to Helen and Ray Spark in 1976. They met him on a trip with their two daughters to Melbourne from Wewak in Papua New Guinea where they were living, Ray then working at the Wewak hospital. They got talking and Frank told them he had some old photos of New Guinea. He said he took the photos when he was a student doing an internship there in December 1949- March 1950. Under Frank’s care, a son was born to the Sparks in April 1976. Frank gave the photos to the Sparks in the brown manilla envelope. On it in pencil is the note “These pictures were taken Dec 1949 March 1950”: presumably the handwriting is Frank’s.

The brief descriptions on most photos are Frank Forster’s own. Additional information has been added to these descriptions, much of it based on the work Bill Gammage did in 2018 when asked to look at the images by the Bureau.

Forster, Frank

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 [?]

Manuscripts, pamphlets and press cuttings relating to Rev. William Gray

  • AU PMB MS 1123
  • Collection
  • 1884-1895, 1913-1915

William Gray (1854-1937) was born near Gawler, South Australia. He obtained his BA from Adelaide University and graduated in divinity from Union College in 1880, the first Presbyterian student to complete the course. He spent 1881, the year of his ordination, in medical training at Adelaide Hospital and as Minister to the congregations of Goodwood and Mount Barker. He married Elizabeth McEwen in 1882 and shortly after they sailed for Weasisi, Tanna, New Hebrides in the <I>Dayspring</I>. Gray was the first Presbyterian Church of South Australia missionary to the New Hebrides. He produced a grammar, primer, hymnal and translation of Luke's Gospel in the Tanna language. At the age of 71 Gray became head of the Smith of Dunsek Presbyterian Mission which later became the nucleus of John Flynn's Australian Inland Mission. See also PMB 1046, 1047 and 1048.

Rev Gray's manuscripts, phamphlets and press cuttings on the labour traffic; copies of some annual reports of the Queensland Kanaka Mission and the Queensland Department of Pacific Island Immigration; pamphlets by J G Paton, A C Smith and J Inglis 1915; William Watt Erskine's recollections of his childhood on Tanna, lantern slides and photographs of missionary life in the New Hebrides, 1880s. <P> <b>See reel list for further details</b>.

Gray, William

Papers on Pacific Islands land matters

  • AU PMB MS 1168
  • Collection
  • 1919-1997

Alan Ward is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Newcastle, NSW and contract historian for the Waitangi Tribunal, New Zealand. His Master's thesis was on the East Coast Maori Trust, in the Gisborne region of New Zealand's North Island where he was born and raised. During this research Ward became interested in customary Maori land tenure and its conversion to forms of title cognisable in the New Zealand courts and intended to facilitate land transfer and economic development. This interest lead to subsequent research on land tenure in the Pacific islands, particularly in New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea and to employment in land administration in the latter two countries. Emeritus Professor Ward is the author of a number of books on land issues in PNG, New Caledonia and New Zealand, the most recent being <I>An Unsettled History: Treaty Claims in New Zealand Today</I> (Bridget Williams Books, Wellington, 1999).

Almost half of this record group is concerned with PNG. These papers were gathered when Ward was Lecturer in History at the University of Papua New Guinea and adviser to the Land Evaluation and Demarcation Project Study (LEAD). The collection includes correspondence, notes, articles and papers, draft legislation and press cuttings. A small portion of these papers relate to politics and land matters in Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Africa, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, Banaba, French Polynesia and Guadeloupe. The remainder of the documents are mainly concerned with New Caledonia between 1947 and 1990 and were assembled by Ward at La Trobe University, Melbourne, through the 1980s, particularly during the years of political uncertainty in the French Territory from 1984 to 1990. <b>The complete, two hundred page calender of microfilmed documents held in the Alan Ward papers is available. <a href=http://rspas.anu.edu.au/pambu/reels/manuscripts/PMB1168full.rtf> [rtf format]</a>, <a href=http://rspas.anu.edu.au/pambu/reels/manuscripts/PMB1168full.pdf> [pdf format]</a> </b>
<b>See reel list of file titles for a shorter summary</b>.

Ward, Alan

Tupou College records

  • AU PMB MS 985
  • Collection
  • 1868 - early 1920s

The records are in a series numbered D100 to D137. Some items could not be located for microfilming; others were not microfilmed because of their minimal historical value. The contents of the two reels are:<P>Reel 1:<BR>D100 - College diary, 1899-1901<BR>D109 - mark book, 1868-71<BR>D110 - mark book 1880-91<BR>D111 - mark book 1893-96<BR>D114A - History of Britain 'Bilitonia' by Dr J.E. Moulton<BR>D115 - E.E.V. Collocott papers comprising Pita Vi's narrative (30pp.) typescript<BR>D116 - Collocott papers, beings songs, poems, stories (Tongan)<BR><P>Reel 2:<BR>D117 - original notes (in several hands) from which Collocott transcribed <BR>D118 - examination papers 1898<BR>D120 - daily meteorological records 1874-78<BR>D129 - diary, notebooks of J.E. Moulton and E.E. Crosby re Wesleyan-Free Church conflict, 1885<BR>D130 - Diary, notebooks of J.E. Moulton - 1887, Wesleyan-Free Church conflict<BR>D131 - diary, notebook, J.E. Moulton, 22 January - 14 May 1887.<BR>

Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

Journal and correspondence

  • AU PMB MS 1048
  • Collection
  • 1882 - 1886

Please see PMB 1046 for full entry.

  1. Journal 6 September 1884 to 4 February 1886
  2. Correspondence: Elizabeth to William - 2 letters (1882), William to Elizabeth - 2 letters (1882), Irene (daughter) to parents - 2 letters n.d., John (son) to parents - 2 letters (1892), Mrs Macmillan to Elizabeth - 1 letter (1900), Agnes Watt to Elizabeth - 3 letters (n.d.), 5 letters (1882), 3 letters (1893)

Gray, Elizabeth (nee McEwen)

Registers of baptisms

  • AU PMB MS 1201
  • Collection
  • 1886-1973

See also SSEM correspondence, 1890-1946, at PMB 1150; Not in Vain, 1887-1995, at PMB Doc 439; Despatches from the SSEM, Mar 1932-Jul 1956, at PMB Doc 440; and Solomon Soldiers’ News, 1945-1966, at PMB Doc 441.

Reel 1
Queensland Kanaka Mission. List of Baptisms, Nos. 1-1369, 1886-1900
Notes on baptised people, cross referenced to QKM List of Baptisms, above, 1902(?).
Solomons Baptisms Register, Nos. 1-1203, 1902-1905.
Solomons Register of Baptisms, Nos. 1204-2811, 1915-1922.
Solomons Baptisms Register, Nos. 2812-5821, 1922-1932.
Solomons Baptisms Register, Nos. 5822-9310, 1932-Mar 1946.
Solomons Baptisms Register, Nos. 9311-14796, 1946-1962.
New Guinea Baptism Record Book, Nos. 1-3180, 1958-1973.
Reel 2
Miss L. Drewitt. List of Villagers visiting Mission (One Pesi?), 1927-1951.
Furlough Lists (2 volumes). Lists time spent by staff in the Islands, 1907-1965.
Grammar Notes and English-Makira Vocabulary WB [Wanoni Bay], arranged by Miss Waterson. Ts., carbon; c.80pp., (first page missing), 1931.

South Sea Evangelical Mission, formerly Queensland Kanaka Mission

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