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Kal Muller Photographs of West Papua

  • AU PMB PHOTO 106
  • Collection
  • 1980s-1990s

Kal Muller, documentary film maker, photographer, writer, tribal art dealer and world traveller, was born in Budapest, Hungary and later on moved to the U.S.A., where he studied his doctorate on French literature at the University of Arizona. For the past 37 years, Dr. Muller has spent most of his time traveling and living in Indonesia, writing about and photographing this endless archipelago, specializing in Papua for the past decade.

This collection of slides is composed of photographs taken in several trips through West Papua or West New Guinea made by the author since late 1980s. From north to south, from the shores of the surrounding smaller islands, like Numfor and Biak, to the glaciers at the highlands of Puncak Jaya, Kal Muller has photographed people, activities, performances, art and landscape from this vast region of Melanesia. This collection portrays Dani, Lani, Asmat, Moni, Wano, Biak, Korowai, Kamoro people and lives.

Muller, Kal

Excerpts from Sister Harkness

  • AU PMB MS 1096
  • Collection
  • 15 Jul 1941-7 May 1957

Sister Harkness, who followed her family's missionary tradition, was a Teacher with the Methodist Mission in the Solomon Islands from 1937 till 1957. When Sister Lina Jones retired in 1949, Sister Effie became the Senior Member of the Methodist Mission's teaching staff in the Solomon Islands.

Index to the diaries of Sister Effie Harkness, 1941-1957, compiled by Mrs Nancy Carter, together with entries from 18 volumes of Sister Harkness's diaries dealing with the her time in the Solomon Islands.

Reel 1, diary Nos. 1-7, Jul 1941-Aug 1949;
Reel 2, diary Nos. 8, cont. - 13, Sep 1949-Jul 1952;
Reel 2A, diary Nos. 13, cont. - 14, Aug 1952-Aug 1953;
Reel 3, diary Nos. 14, cont. - 18, Sep 1953-May 1957.
<P><B>See reel list for further details</B>

Harkness, Sister Effie

Letters from New Guinea to Constance Robinson (Née Constance Hollowell Lewis) and associated papers

  • AU PMB MS 1323
  • Collection
  • 1928-1946

Hector Ernest Robinson was born in Pyap, South Australia on 8 April 1900. He schooled as a cadet in Mildura, Victoria and enlisted in the AIF at Mildura on 31 July 1918. On 7 November 1918 he embarked on the S.S. Carpentaria. At Auckland it was quarantined and recalled to Australia. Transhipped to S.S. Riverina and RTA Sydney on 28 November 1918 and Melbourne 29 November 1918.
On 24 November 1920 he embarked from Sydney on Melusia. On 13 December 1920 he was working in Rabaul as the Clerk, Lands and Survey. On his 21st birthday, 8 April 1921, Robinson was awarded the title of Honorable Corporal. He was transferred to Civil Administration in Rabaul on 9 May 1921. By 1928 he was working as an accountant for the Treasury Madang and in November 1928 moved to Treasury Rabaul.
The earliest correspondence in this collection to his girl friend or fiancee ‘Connie’, Constance Hollowell Lewis of Red Cliffs in Victoria is from 1928. Constance Hollowell Lewis was born on 21 June 1907 in Liverpool, U.K. Her father had moved to Australia around 1923 and opened a drapery shop at Red Cliffs. Robinson writes from Madang and gives information on the place and his work, and incidentally reveals attitudes and values of the time. The letters continue into the early 1930s.
Hector and Connie married on 24 June 1931 and their son, Albert Conrad Robinson, was born in New Guinea in 1938. Soon after the start of the War, in December 1942, Connie Robinson and Albert were evacuated and went to live in Victoria. Hector stayed on and the correspondence resumed briefly until the Japanese invasion on 23 January 1942. Some documents relating to the evacuation of the women from Rabaul are included.
Unknown to Connie, Hector Robinson, as one of the senior civil officials in Rabaul, joined two others (Gordon Thomas and R.L. ‘Nobby’ Clark) to carry white surrender flags down from ‘Refuge Gully’ to meet the Japanese. He and other whites were interned and in June shipped away. On 1 July, Robinson, the other civilian internees and over 800 Australian prisoners of war captured in Rabaul, were on the Japanese transport, the Montevideo Maru, when it was sunk by an American submarine off the coast of the Philippines. No internees or prisoners of war survived.
Connie received one letter from Hector while he was imprisoned. It was one of those dropped by Japanese aircraft over Port Moresby. The letters of women, sharing Connie’s distress about the uncertain of the whereabouts of her husband, are an important part of the collection.
Connie re-married, Lt. William John Martin Robertson, in 1948. W.J. Robertson had worked in Lae, New Guinea, from 1946, as a Traffic Control Officer when Connie was a Bookkeeper for W.R. Carpenter. They were divorced in Port Moresby in 1961.
Note provided by Professor Hank Nelson.

• Letters from Hector Robinson to Connie Robinson (née Constance Hollowell Lewis), 1928-1935
• Certificates, memorabilia, official correspondence, circular notices and some personal correspondence, 1933-1942.
• Letters to Connie Robinson, related documents and a photograph, 1942-1946. See Finding aids for details.

Hector Ernest Robinson (1900-1942)

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.

Rabaul - 1942-1945

  • AU PMB MS 36
  • Collection
  • 1942 - 1945

The author of this manuscript, generally known as Gordon Thomas, was born in Chicago, USA, in 1890 and died in Sydney in 1966. After schooling in England, Germany and Switzerland, he began a newspaper career in Canada. In 1911 he joined the Methodist Mission in New Guinea as a printer, and later worked as a planter, trader and oil driller in that territory. He was editor of the <I>Rabaul Times</I> from 1925-27 and 1933-42. An obituary of Thomas was published in <I>Pacific Islands Monthly</I> for August, 1966, pp. 9-10.

When the Japanese invaded Rabaul in January 1942, they captured about 300 European civilians. All but half a dozen of these were removed from Rabaul in the <I>Montevideo Maru</I>, which was sunk with all hands before reaching her destination, Japan. Thomas was one of the few Europeans who was kept back by the Japanese - to work as a rouseabout at the freezer and power station. <I>Rabaul - 1942-45</I> is an account of Thomas' life as a prisoner-of-war.<BR>See also PMB 600

Thomas Edward Llewellyn Gordon


  • AU PMB MS 1120
  • Collection
  • 1905-1982

French Marists first reached the Solomon Islands in 1845. A decade on, the losses of this expedition were great: San Cristobel, Woodlark, Umboi and Tikopia had all been abandoned; nine missionaries were dead. Under the auspices of the Oceania Marist Province, missionaries re-entered the Solomon Islands in May 1898. Apolostic Vicariates were established in the North and South Solomons and a Vicariate of the Western Solomons was established in 1960. After 1967 the Vicariats became known as Dioceses.<BR>Catholic development was directed from the Mission Station at Visale Station, Guadalcanal, before World War II, and from Honiara after the war. Though the Marist Fathers stayed at their posts during the war many records were detroyed and surviving records were subsequently decimated by mould and termites. See aslo the Mission journal, Na Turupatu, 1911-1958, 1970-1971, at PMB Doc 423 and Oceania Marist Provincial archives re North and South Solomons at OMPA 361-400.

Diocesan correspondence with the following Mission Stations:<BR>Ata'a/Ususue 1957-1967<BR> Malageti 1953-1971<BR> Tarapaina 1950-1970<BR>Ata'a land 1961-1973<BR> Makina 1971-1974 <BR>Rohinari 1972-1974<BR>Avu Avu 1946-1981<BR> Makina Marau District <BR>1952-1977<BR> Tsuva 1964-1970<BR>King George VI School<BR> 1951-1954 Manivovo<BR> 1949-1967<BR> Visale 1948-1953, 1961-1969<BR>Buma 1927, 1947-1982<BR>Rokera 1946-1968<BR>Wanoni Bay 1945-1970<BR>Buma land 1946-1981<BR>Ruavatu 1944-1977<BR>Yandina 1963-1970<BR>Dala 1950-1976 (gaps)<BR>Tangarare 1943-1968<BR><P>Together with correspondence held by theWanoni Bay Mission Station, 1905-1957, and a box file labelled World War II, and history and customs.<P><b>See reel list for further details</b>

Catholic Archdiocese of Honiara

Diaries (English translation from Roviana original)

  • AU PMB MS 1100
  • Collection
  • Oct 1940-Mar 1943

Joseph Alenge (1910-1969) was born at Piniri (Munda), New Georgia, Solomon Islands. He trained as a medical dresser by the Methodist Mission at Kokeqolo. He served the Church as dresser at Mono, part of the Shortlands group, for a number of years. In 1940 he joined the Government Medical Service as a dresser at Korovou, near Faisi and continued in this capacity after the War. In accordance with Methodist custom, he kept a work diary in English until aftre his capture by the Japanese. Of this the period from Oct 1940 survives. After his capture he began keeping a diary in his own language, Roviana, and of this some fragments survive. (George G. Carter, Ti E Varane: stories about people of courage from the Solomon Islands, Rabaul/Auckland, Unichurch, 1981, p.165.

Notes on Joseph Alege; copies of letters of Joseph Alege, 1 Jan & 1 May 1943; letter of Rev. George Carter to Allen Rutter and reply re Joseph Alege, n.d.; diary of Joseph Alege (Ts., translation; annotations by Rev. George Carter), 13 Sep 1940-2 Sep 1942, 26 Jan-23 May 1943; Ms. translation of the diary by Peter Sasabule, 8 Apr-27 Jul 1942<P><b>See reel list for further details</b>

Papers relating to the Gilbert Islands

  • AU PMB MS 1077
  • Collection
  • 1942-1970

Author/editor of a number of publicaitons on the Gilbert Islands, including <I>An Anthology of Gilbertese oral tradition</I> (Suva, USP, 1994), Maude was the British colonial administrator in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, 1929-48. For further biographical details see PMB 1057.

  1. The Genealogical Book of the Royal Family of Abemama. 98 page handwritten copy from the Genealogical Book of Paul I. Simon (1916), copied by John R. Tokatake on Kuria Island, 1960. Written in Gilbertese, this copy was sent to Maude by the Catholic priest Father Ernest Sabatier in 1964.<BR><BR>2. Circular notices, mostly addressed to village chiefs of the Gilbert Islands, from the Japanese Department of Civil Administration in the Gilberts, October 1942-May 1943. Written by Miyoshi, the District Officer and Resident Commissioner who was based on Uma, these 35 notices are mostly single page typescripts in the Gilbertese language. The original notices are accompanied by typescript English translations carried out by Reid Cowell in 1970.

Maude, H. E. (Henry Evans), 1906-

Diary and transcript

  • AU PMB MS 1061
  • Collection
  • 1942-43

In early 1942 Len Odgers was employed as a clerk in the New Guinea Administration and was based at Wewak.

  1. Handwritten diary which initially describes events in Wewak and Angoram in early 1942 at the time of the approach of the Japanese military forces. Unwilling to risk a maritime escape from the approaching Japanese, a party of eight European men undertook an overland evacuation to the Papuan coast. The party, under the leadership of Jack Thurston, departed Timbunki on the Sepik River on 14 April, proceeding up river on the vessel Thetis. On 28 April the party left the Thetis and proceeded up the May River by canoe. On 8 May the party commenced walking and arrived in the Telefomin Valley on 25 May. In late July they arrived at the Fly River where they built canoes and floated down river to the Papuan coast. On 24 September they arrived at Daru, almost six months after their departure from Angoram. The diary concludes in October 1942.<BR>2. Typescript transcript of the diary, complete with an introduction, prepared by Odgers in April 1943.

Odgers, Len

Papers relating to Papua

  • AU PMB MS 1059
  • Collection
  • 1941-1945

Jim Ross was an officer of the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU) during World War II. Based initially at Samarai/Milne Bay in East Papua, in July 1943 he was transferred to Kikori in the Purari District of Western Papua. In July 1944 Ross was again transferred, this time to Kairuku, Yule Island, in the Gulf of Papua. For further information see Ross' autobiography My First Seventy Years (1990).

  1. Lists of evacuees from Samarai, December 1941.<BR>2. 10 letters/memoranda relating to Ross' work for ANGAU, 1941-45.<BR>3. Diaries: 1942; 1944; and January-August 1945.<BR>4. Minute book including handwritten and typed drafts of patrol reports for the Samarai/Milne Bay District, February 1942 - May 1943 and for the Purari District, August-December 1943.<BR>5. Ledger book containing rough drafts of patrol reports for the Purari District, 1944. Includes a map of the Purari Distrcit patrol number 13/44.<BR>6. Day book containing newspaper clippings on the war in Papua New Guinea.<BR>7. Photograph album containing wartime photographs of Samarai, Port Moresby, Daru, Kikori and Purari. The photographs include views of Samarai burning as a result of Japanese bombing, native dress and ceremonies, houses, barracks and other scenes.<BR>

Ross, James Campbell, 1920-

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