- AU PMB MS 1288
Nigel Oram was an ethnologist and academic. In 1946, after military service in World War II, he read history at Oxford University. This was followed by a career in the British Colonial Service in East Africa and Uganda. In 1961, Oram helped set up the New Guinea Research Unit, Port Moresby, which was an offshoot of the Australian National University. His role was to undertake social research. To facilitate his information gathering, Oram learnt the Motu and Hula languages. In 1969, he was appointed a fellow at the University of Papua New Guinea, where he remained from 1969 to 1975. Oram returned to Australia where he taught history for nine years at La Trobe University and where, upon his retirement, he became an honorary senior research fellow. An extensive collection of Oram’s PNG research papers is held at the National Library of Australia (MS 9436).
The mystery of Guise: conflict between missionaries, colonial administrators and foreign traders during the British New Guinea Protectorate, Ts., 29pp., is a biography of Reginald Edward Guise, grandfather of Sir John Guise, G.C.M.G., K.B.E., Hon. Ll.D., the first Governor-General of the independent state of Papua New Guinea. This version of Nigel Oram’s manuscript dates from sometime after 1994. In the late 1990s Oram’s health went steadily down hill, and completing the manuscript was beyond him. After Oram’s death, Janet Fingleton rescued the manuscript from her father’s computer. Donald Denoon has since worked on an edited version of this paper which is to be submitted to the Journal of Pacific History. This is a complete copy of the existing manuscript, but note that the references and some of the footnotes are missing.
Oram, Nigel D.