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Diary and photographs of Eleanor J. Walker

  • AU PMB MS 98
  • Collection
  • 1881-1893

Eleanor J. Walker was a member of the Methodist mission at Dobu in the D'Entrecasteaux Islands of Papua (then called British New Guinea). The mission was established in June 1891. For details, see <I>George Brown, D.D., Pioneer Missionary and Explorer : An Autobiography</I>, London, 1908, pp485-92.

The diary describes how the diarist came to join the mission and gives an account of her life at Dobu.

Walker, Eleanor J.

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

Photographs from Papua New Guinea, mainly New Britain and New Ireland

  • AU PMB PHOTO 1
  • Collection
  • 1911-1943

Sister Lida Tonkin (Mrs L. Gill), a nursing sister from Young, NSW, first arrived at the Methodist Mission at Raluana in New Britain (Papua New Guinea) in 1916.

The photographs and post cards include events, daily life and traditional customs practiced in Rabaul in the early 20th century. Funerary and marriage customs are represented. There is a good set of photographs on traditional fishing (PMB Photo 1_31 to PMB Photo 1_46). Other images show canoe building and sailing, baske, broom and string making and traditional houses, mission life and the Malabunga hospital. Dances, such as the Kulau dance, carvings used in dances and the

Tonkin, Lida, Sr

Postcards of German New Guinea

  • AU PMB Photo 40
  • Collection
  • 1912-1916

This collection of 60 postcards and photographs of German New Guinea, all dated 1912-1916, were transferred to David Kaus at the National Museum of Australia by Merrell Davis and Catherine Evans, included with the papers of Ellestan Dusting. Dusting served as private secretary to Australian Minister for External Territories, Sir Paul Hasluck, and as Vice President of the Pan Pacific and South East Asia Women’s Association (PPSEAWA). Mr Kaus transferred the photographs to the PMB on 28 January 2011.

Though these postcards were collected by Dusting, the envelope in which they are held is signed by R.G. Bowen and a number of the photographs are marked as having been taken by, or given to Bowen by a Col. Pethebridge, or ‘administrator’. It is possible the photos were given to Sir Paul Hasluck as some of his paper were amongst those of Dusting.

Lieutenant R.G. Bowen, RAN, was amongst the first Australians to fight German troops in World War I. On 11 September 1914, Lieutenant Bowen landed at Kakabaul in New Britain with No. 6 Company of the Naval Battalion of the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force, to destroy the main German wireless station in the area. At the outbreak of war, Col. Sir Samuel Augustus Pethebridge, believed to be the photographer or sender of some of these images, took command of the Australian North-West Pacific Expedition, raised to occupy German islands north of the equator. Before the expedition could sail, the British government decided to allow the North Pacific islands to be left in the hands of their Japanese occupiers. Pethebridge suggested that his unit, known as Tropical Force, might be used to relieve the expeditionary force led by Colonel W. Holmes which had captured German New Guinea in the first weeks of the war. This was accepted, and in January 1915, Pethebridge succeeded Holmes as administrator at Rabaul. In January 1917, he contracted malaria which forced his return to Australia, where he died a year later.

The photos contained in this collection show people and infrastructure of German New Guinea (Deutsch-Neuguinea) including the Bismark Archipelago (hotels, churches), Rabaul (wharf, naval headquarters, hospital, China Town, ship building yard), the Bita Paka wireless radio station at Kakabaul and the wireless station and at Morobe (along with the District Officer’s residence and police quarters). The photos also feature Herbertshoe (naval signal post, hospital and German soldiers). There are also images of people (police, singsing, traditional headdress) and landscapes, including volcano Mt Mother, Mt Daughter, the beehive rock, plantations and a giant fig tree.

Sources:
Naval Historical Society of Australia, The Navy in New Guinea in 1914, http://www.navyhistory.org.au/the-navy-in-new-guinea-in-1914/
Australian Dictionary of Biography

Dusting, Ellestan Joyce

The Methodist Mission in New Britain and the Duke of York Islands, New Guinea

  • AU PMB PHOTO 14
  • Collection
  • Jul 1912-Mar 1913

This collection of 36 postcards and photographs was amassed by Sr. Rhoda Ransom. Sr Rhoda Ransom was born in Maryborough Victoria, 29 Dec 1887 and worked as a nursing sister with the Methodist Mission in New Guinea from July 1912 until March 1913 when she returned to Australia suffering from malaria and rheumatic problems in her legs.
The majority of the collection is post card prints from the New Guinea Methodist mission series, some with notes and letters on the reverse side. Some of the post card print labels are in German. There is a family photograph (possibly taken around the time of WWI?), a passport photograph of Rhoda Ransom in 1949 and a photographic print of Rhoda Ransom in old age.

Ransom, Rhoda

New Guinea Photographs, 1930 - 1940

  • AU PMB PHOTO 18
  • Collection
  • 1930-1940

Jack Read joined the Australian administration of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea as a Cadet in 1929. He worked as Patrol Officer in most parts of the Territory, having covered New Britain and the mainland from the Sepik River to the Morobe Goldfields, but had not been located in Bougainville until his appointment in November 1941 as Assistant District Officer in charge of the Buka Passage Sub-District, under District Officer Merrylees. Following the Japanese entry into the War on 8 Dec 1941, Read helped evacuate most European residents from Buka, established inland dumps of emergency provisions and shifted his administration to Bougainville island just before a Japanese attack on the Sub-District HQ on Sohano island on 24 January 1942. Following the winding up of civil administration in February 1942, Read, the only remaining government representative, was appointed Lieutenant in the Australian Navy under Lt. Commander Feldt with instructions to remain in Bougainville as a coastwatcher. See also PMB MS 1245 for Report by W. J. Read on coast watching activity Bougainville Island, 1941-1943, and PMB MS 1309 for Read

Read, W.J.

Posters prepared for the Infant Welfare Section, Department of Public Health, Papua New Guinea, and for the introduction of decimal currency in Papua New Guinea, 1935-1965

  • AU PMB PHOTO 9
  • Collection
  • 1935-1965

Jean Chambers was a commercial artist who commenced work designing screen slides for Whitford Theatre Ads in Sydney. She then worked for Vivian Art Studios which carried out all branches of advertising and display for many large buisiness firms in Sydney, including Bonds Hosiery, Berley’s and Nestles. In 1935 she married Keith M. Chambers and moved to New Guinea with her husband. They were evacuated in 1941, returned to Madang in 1946, where Keith Chambers was the Customs Officer, then moved to Rabaul in 1948. In 1948 a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) service was established in the TPNG Department of Public Health by Dr Joan Refshauge. The MCH commissioned Mrs Chambers to design posters on infant care. (See posters marked “Rabaul”.) The original paintings were sent to Sydney for lithographic block making in 3 or 4 colours. Thousands were printed and returned for distribution by the Public Health Department as teaching aids in villages throughout the Territory. The couple moved to Port Moresby in the mid 1950s where Keith Chambers eventually became Chief Collector of Customs. In Port Moresby Jean Chambers designed and completed film strips for the Commonwealth Film Unit on women’s club training, and worked for Burns Philp (NG)Ltd for 18 months during 1958-59 on display and newspaper advertising. Mrs Chambers also received more commissions for posters and eventually acccepted a full-time appointment with the Department of Information where she trained New Guinean staff in silk screen printing, using her designs and stencils for posters, mainly on health education but also for the Departments of Agriculture, and Post and Telegraphs. Mrs Chambers left PNG when her husband retired in 1965 or 1966.

34 lithographic and silk screened posters on health education in PNG, 1948-1965(?); 13 posters on the introduction of decimal currency in PNG, 1965.

Chambers, Jean

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