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Niue Centennial Album 1846 – 1946

  • AU PMB PHOTO 17
  • Coleção
  • 1846-1946

The Niue Centennial album 1846-1946 includes 77 photographs and maps presented as an album to celebrate 100 years of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in Niue, Rarotonga and Samoa. The photographs were taken by a New Zealand LMS delegation travelling on the Maui Pomare. They include pictures of people, life and the environment of Niue in 1946. The photographs document the Centennial celebration on 5 November 1946 and include pictures of students, men and women marching, Mission staff, crowds of people at the celebration, boys and girls dancing, music, sports and tug-of-war games, and feast offerings.
The Rarotongan section include photographs of the arrival in Rarotonga, Churches, the Mission house at Talamoa, children of the Administration School at Avarua and the Ngatangia church.

The Samoa section includes photographs of the London Missionary Society at Malua, chapels, student housing, Papauta Girls’ School and girls’ dancing.

Included in the album is a 23 page account (Items 101-121) describing the geography, people and history of Niue. The account includes a travel diary describing the 1946 NZ delegation visit and Centennial celebrations in Niue, Rarotonga and Western Samoa.
Items 122-32 include typed descriptions of the individual photographs in the album.
Among the photographs of people in Niue, there are photographs of LMS Reverend Caleb and Mrs Margaret Beharell. At the time of the Centenary Celebrations, the Beharells were residents of Niue, having been reappointed there by the LMS in 1945. They had previously lived and worked in Niue from 1920 to 1929, leaving “for the sake of their children.” The Beharells left Niue in 1949 and Rev Beharell died in Brisbane, Australia, in 1951.
Also photographed are Mr and Mrs C.R. Lankshear, of Wellington, New Zealand. The Lankshears represented the London Board of the Society and both played a part on behalf of the Society in the Celebrations. Mr and Mrs Lankshear were well known members of the Terrace Congregational Church in Wellington and of the Congregational Union of New Zealand. Lankshears’s Printing Company Ltd at 22 Harris St had been established by Mr Lankshear’s father, W.J. Lankshear, a Congregationalist and expert in the binding of bibles.

Not photographed but mentioned in the text are the Resident Commissioner and his wife, Mr Hector and Mrs Jessica Larsen. Mr Larsen officially represented the New Zealand Government and was head of the Niue Administration. In 1953, aged 45, Mr Larsen was killed at his residence on the island. Also mentioned is the Official Interpreter, Robert Rex, later to become Niue’s first Premier.
A photograph of the headstone of Robert Henry Head is also included. Head, originally a trader, was appointed in 1879 as Acting Deputy Commissioner to Niue. He lived on the island until his death at age 88 in 1921.

Another headstone photographed is that of the Reverend James Cullen, LMS missionary on Niue at the time of his death in his 55th year, 1919. Rev Cullen was first appointed in 1891 to Niue, then to Mangaia in the Cook Islands. He left Mangaia to work for a short time in Papua, moved to South Africa, returning after a number of years to the mission in Niue. He combined his missionary work with the duties of printer and translator.

Rev Robert L Challis and Mrs Challis are mentioned in the text. Rev Challis was a LMS missionary at Takamoa Theological College on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands during the period 1933-1947. On leaving Rarotonga, he worked in Auckland with Pacific Island people and helped to establish the Pacific Island Church.

Mention is also made of two memorial tablets to Rev Hutchin. Rev John JK Hutchin was principal of the LMS Training College for Native Teachers in Rarotonga 1883-1891, first Principal of the LMS boarding school Tereora College which opened in 1895, and involved in the work of the LMS Takamoa Theological College. Rev Hutchin died in 1912.

All associated with Malua Theological College, Rev JD and Mrs Copp, Rev J Hoadley, Miss Joy Fowles and Mr and Mrs Edwards are mentioned in the Western Samoa section of the diary. Rev Edwards was Principal of Malua Theological College twice, 1941 to 1948 and 1950 to 1952. Rev Hoadley followed Rev Edwards as Principal in 1953, serving until 1955.

LMS Samoa District

Diaries of Reverend Conrad Stallan

  • AU PMB MS 1428
  • Coleção
  • 1940-1946

Conrad George Stallan was born in Chatteris, England on 31 March, 1904, to parents Edward Stallan, a congregational minister, and Isobel Pratt (?). He was the sixth of seven children; his brother Donovan was killed in action during World War I. When the family moved to Hampshire, Conrad met Christina Cryle Brown (Chriss), whose father had a smallholding, growing fruit and vegetables and running delivery lorries. Conrad met Chriss, whom he would go on to marry, while working as a driver delivering fruit and vegetables overnight to Covent Garden.

In the 1920s, Stallan trained for the ministry at New College, Hackney in East London and Christina attended Stockwell Teachers’ Training College. The couple married on 3 October, 1930 and within a week Stallan was ordained and the couple set sail for Samoa with the London Missionary Society (LMS) on 9 October. The couple had jointly decided to go to the Mission field, and they served in Samoa from 1931-1939. Their two sons, Donovan (1934) and Roger (1936) were born in Samoa. These were happy years for the family, but Rev. Stallan was after more challenging work.

Daughter Janet was born in October 1939 while the family was on leave in England. In March 1940, the family travelled across Canada before sailing to the island of Malekula in the New Hebrides Condominium. Supported by the John G Paton Mission Fund, Rev Stallan was based in Wintua, South West Bay. Several churches had already been established in the area before his arrival, but in nearby communities there had been some violent resistance to European contact and allegations of cannibalism.

Sons Donovan and Roger were sent to boarding school at Geelong College in Australia. Daughter Rachel was born in January 1944 in Vila hospital. Distressed at the thought of sending his young daughters to boarding school, Rev. Stallan requested leave for a possible 5 years, returning to the UK in 1946, collecting the sons from boarding school en route.

In the first diary, written by Rev. Stallan between 1940 – 1943 (though most entries were in 1941), he writes about his life and work in South West Bay. He comments extensively on sickness and death in the local community, including his own periods of illness. Both Rev. Stallan and daughter Janet suffered malaria during this time. Janet was treated by a visiting Missionary GP who administered life-saving quinine. Rev. Stallan had no formal medical training, but had worked as an apprentice chemist/pharmacist for an unknown period, and may have received some basic training for the mission field. He was often called upon for medical and dental help, including giving injections (known as ‘stick medicine’), and daughter Janet recalls there was a room in the family home known as ‘the surgery’. He also comments on school activities, agriculture, local customs and preparations for making contact with the Big Nambas; who had violently rebuffed previous European contact and missionaries were forbidden by Condominium authorities from approaching them (Garrett, 1997 p.75). Rev. Stallan also writes of visiting Tangoa, Tanna, Vila and Tongoa.

The second diary, dated 4 January 1945 – 10 March 1946 includes loose correspondence and photographs, including images of Stallan, the mission house and Wintua School. He also writes about weather, health of self and others, building the copra drier, interactions with workers, school commentary, family matters, a visit by American soldiers (intelligence unit), working in the garden, inter-island travel, carbon monoxide incidents, visiting the US Army Malaria Control Unit, baptisms, christenings and ministry, problems with launches, marriage/exchange customs, malaria surveys/control and reflections on mission. Writing in different hand is possibly that of Chriss Stallan. Some writing is in language – probably the Ninde language of the Meun cultural district where Stallan was located.

Stallan, Conrad George

The Mystery of Guise: Conflict between missionaries, colonial administrators and foreign traders during the British New Guinea Protectorate: a biography of Reginald Edward Guise.

  • AU PMB MS 1288
  • Coleção
  • c.1998

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.

Medical records from a Canadian medical expedition to Easter Island

  • AU PMB MS 532
  • Coleção
  • 1964 - 1965

The Medical Expedition to Easter Island was sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Canadian Government. Its purpose was to study the relative roles of environment and heredity in the Island's isolated population before an international airport was completed there in 1967. It also carried out pilot studies for the human adaptability section of the International Biological Program. The expedition reached Easter Island on 13 December 1964 and departed on 10 February 1965. For a popular account of the expedition see Helen Evans Reid, 'A World Away: A Canadian Adventure on Easter Island', Toronto, 1965.

The material has been filmed as PMB 532 to 536 inclusive.

Detailed medical records of all Easter Islanders living on the island at the time of the expedition's visit. The records include a photograph of each islander, his/her father's name, mother's name and other vital statistics. A list of the islanders examined, with the serial numbers assigned to them, appears on pp.183-222 of Georges L. Nogrady, ed., Microbiology of Easter Island, vol. 1, Montreal, 1974. The serial numbers are given for each reel of film. On this reel - Serial Numbers 00101 - 04108.

Canadian Medical Expedition to Easter Island

Rabaul - 1942-1945

  • AU PMB MS 36
  • Coleção
  • 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 'Rabaul Times' from 1925-27 and 1933-42. An obituary of Thomas was published in 'Pacific Islands Monthly' 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 'Montevideo Maru', 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. 'Rabaul - 1942-45' is an account of Thomas' life as a prisoner-of-war.

See also PMB 600.

Thomas, Edward Llewellyn Gordon

Letters and journal excerpts of William Nihill

  • AU PMB MS 1406
  • Coleção
  • 1841-1854

This collection consists of three letters written to his family in England on the voyage out to New Zealand, letters written from Waimate, pages from his journal while on the Isle of Mare in the Pacific, and other related items including letters to Nihill’s father on the occasion of his death in 1855.

Nihill's letters contain numerous references to the Bishop (who evidently took a close interest in the young and promising missionary) and give vivid and detailed accounts of day-to-day life in the colony and the progress of the mission, describing the school for natives which Nihill was superintending and his relationship with various Maoris, the development of the printing press which he was running, etc.

The series contains several long journal letters, including a journal of a trip to "Taurange, the Lakes and the Waikato written for dear mama in the hope that it will give her an idea of what travelling in New Zealand is like" covering the period 21 December 1849 to 9 January 1850.

After Nihill was ordained, he was given a cure on the island of Mare in New Caledonia in the Pacific, and his first letter from there on 1 August 1852 contains an interesting account of his first impressions of the island and the work on which he was embarking. Nihill died prematurely on the island of Mare (alias Nengone) in April 1855.

Nihill, William

New Hebrides Mission photographs, 1897-1950

  • AU PMB PHOTO 88
  • Coleção
  • 1897-1950

This collection of 128 images includes pictures of the people and work of the New Hebrides mission in Vanuatu. Islands featured include Nguna, Tongoa and Tanna. The photographs are mainly from the 1920s-1930s and include pictures of churches, ni-Vanuatu people working as preachers, church elders and teachers as well as church industries such as copra, arrowroot and yams. Local people in Christian weddings also feature. This collection includes several photographs of the Teachers' Training Institute at Tangoa as well as environmental features of Vanuatu such as small islands, volcanoes (1897 off Tangoa) and the hurricane damage (1923).

The New Hebrides Mission from the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand:

The Presbyterian Church began sending missionaries to the New Hebrides (today known as Vanuatu) in the mid-19th Century. The first missionary was Rev. John Geddie of the Presbyterian Church of Nova Scotia who arrived on the island of Aneityum in 1848. Subsequent missionaries came from the Presbyterian Churches of New Zealand, Canada, Scotland and Australia (Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales).

In New Zealand an interest in supporting a Christian mission to the New Hebrides was fostered when Rev. John Inglis of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Scotland toured the country in 1852 following a three month tour of the New Hebrides and Solomon Islands. In that same year, Inglis and his wife joined Geddie on Aneityum. Rev. John Inglis continued to send regular reports of his work to New Zealand, leading to increasing interest from the Church there in sending their own missionaries to the islands.

The Presbyterian Church of New Zealand was at that time divided up into the “Northern Church” and the “Southern Church” (consisting of the Provinces of Otago and Southland). The Southern Church was based on the ideals of the Free Church of Scotland and these principles influenced its mission work for many years. For over 40 years the two Churches worked separately, with mission activities during this time operating independently of each other.

Over several decades the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand sent a number of missionaries to the New Hebrides including the following people. The information below includes the missionaries' date of arrival in the New Hebrides, the name of the missionary and the name of the main island on which they worked:

1866, Rev. William Watt, Tanna
1870, Rev. Peter Milne, Nguna
1879, Rev. Oscar Michelsen, Tongoa
1885, Rev. Charles Murray, Ambrym
1889, Rev. Thomas Smaill, Epi
1892, Rev. Dr. Lamb, Ambrym
1899, Dr. John Bowie, Ambrym
1903, Rev. Thomas Riddle, Epi
1905, Rev. William V. Milne, Nguna (born on Nguna in 1877)
1932, Rev. Basil Nottage, Tongoa
1938, Rev. Ken Crump, Nguna
1941, Rev. J.G. Miller, Tongoa
1944, Rev. Ian Muir, Emae and Epi
1948, Rev. A.G. Horwell, Epi

In the early years there was no organised or reliable shipping service to the individual islands of the New Hebrides so it was important for the Church to have their own vessel to bring regular supplies from Australia and New Zealand. A boat was also necessary for transport to other mission stations. Although the New Hebrides missionaries were responsible for their home churches and allotted areas and islands, they worked closely together on common issues and met annually for a mission Synod meeting. New Zealand Presbyterian Church worked in conjunction with the Australian Presbyterian Church to raise money and purchased a mission supply vessel, the “Dayspring I”. This 115 ton brigantine was launched in Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1863. It was lost in a hurricane ten years later and replaced by a second hand schooner, the “Dayspring II” in 1876. The Dayspring II was sold prior to 1890 as she was too small and slow and uncomfortable to sail in. The Australian missionary Dr. John G. Paton raised £6000 during a visit to Britain in 1884-1885 and later increased the donations to £7000. The “Dayspring III” was built on the Clyde in Scotland to the order of the Victorian Presbyterian Church Foreign Missions Committee. She was 157 feet long and arrived in Australia in 1895. On only her fourth voyage to the islands, she sank on the 16th October 1896 after striking an uncharted coral reef near New Caledonia. The decision was made not to replace the vessel.

The New Hebrides Mission shared a practical concern for the everyday needs of island people. In addition to converting local people to Christianity, the missionaries worked to improve education, through the introduction of schools where the training of local mission teachers was initiated. The Tangoa Teachers’ Training Institute opened at Tangoa, South Santo, in 1895. The purpose of the Institute was to train local teachers and it was supported by all the Protestant missions working throughout the New Hebrides. Missionaries also worked to improve health education and services and encouraged the production of arrowroot and island trading as a means to generate revenue. Arrowroot powder was shipped to New Zealand and other countries, where it was initially distributed by women’s missionary groups and later by commercial organisations. The funds from the sale of arrowroot were used to build additional churches in the islands and, in some cases, as a donation towards New Zealand mission funds to be used elsewhere. From 1880 to 1918 on Nguna alone, over 26 tons of arrowroot was produced.

By 1910, the work of the New Hebrides Mission was declining. This was partly due to a rapidly decreasing population on the islands and a feeling that little room existed for further expansion of mission work, as by then most areas were adequately covered. The reduction in population was primarily caused by introduced European illnesses and epidemics which decimated the local population. The Queensland labour trade had also had an impact on the local population, with many locals having decided to remain in Queensland.

In 1947 there was a general consensus held among the Island missionaries that the local church was ready to assume control of its own affairs. A constitution was drawn up, and after amendments submitted by the New Zealand and Australian Mission Committees and the New Hebrides Mission Synod, it was adopted. At a Centennial Synod meeting in 1948, the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Rev. John Geddie, the local church was placed fully in charge of its own affairs. The island mission councils for Australia and New Zealand were then limited to the affairs of their immediate mission staff. The New Zealand Church continued to provide a large financial grant to the New Hebrides Presbyterian Church. A continued focus remained on training church leaders and education more generally. The Tangoa Training Institute later introduced a curriculum of advanced theological studies.
In the early 1950s, the New Zealand Missions Committee responded to the request for assistance to establish a High School at Onesua on Efate, along with funds and personnel to set up and run a small hospital on Tongoa. The Committee viewed this project as a practical means by which the New Zealand Church could provide for a social need rather than a means for furthering evangelistic opportunities. This policy shift in Mission funding opened up other opportunities for aid from the New Zealand Church including developing Navota Farm and opening the Maropa religious bookshop in Port Vila, training local islanders to be trades people and undertake the building work. The New Zealand Bible Class volunteer scheme sent out young people during the 1960s to assist with building, administration and nursing. The Mission, at the request of the Presbyterian Church of the New Hebrides, divested itself of all remaining authority in the Islands so that the New Zealand missionaries effectively worked for the New Hebrides Church. In 1965 a memorandum was prepared which defined the terms of “responsible partnership” and sought to define the responsibilities of each partner. The Church continues today as the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu.
For more information about New Hebrides Mission collections at the Archives of the Presbyterian Research Centre, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa, and New Zealand, see: http://www.archives.presbyterian.org.nz/missions/newhebrideshistory.htm

Foreign Missions Committee

Diary

  • AU PMB MS 1
  • Coleção
  • 1 January - 31 December 1905

Maurice M. Witts, (1877-1966) an Australian who fought in the Boer War, went to the New Hebrides as a settler in 1904 after a brief sojourn in Fiji. With two cousins, Theo and Arthur Thomas, he planted coconuts in the Hog Harbour area of Espiritu Santo. He returned to Australia about 1913 and lived in the Moss Vale district until his death.

The diary gives an account of the life of a copra planter in a remote part of the New Hebrides, and contains numerous observations on the natives of the Hog Harbour area. See also PMB 8 for a later diary by Witts for the year 1911.

Witts, Maurice M.

Letters, valedictions, publications, speeches, etc.

  • AU PMB MS 581
  • Coleção
  • 1885 - 1935

Solf (1862-1936) became president of the municipality of Apia, Western Samoa, in 1899, after serving as a district judge in German East Africa. In 1900 he became governor of Western Samoa when that country became a German colony. He remained in that post until 1911 when he became Secretary for the colonies in the German government. After World War I, he served as German ambassador in Japan. The Solf papers have been filmed on reels PMB 581 - 589.

The papers comprise:

  1. letters to family (3 volumes), 1885-1935
  2. personal honours, 1927-34
  3. congratulations on 70th birthday, 1932
  4. publications, speeches, etc. 1886-1932 (Continued on PMB 582)

Solf, Wilhelm Heinrich

Papers

  • AU PMB MS 585
  • Coleção
  • 1928 - 1932

Please see PMB 581 for full entry.

Documents relating to his ambassadorship in Japan, 1928, and papers written in retirement, 1929-32. The latter include 'Refutation' of Count Bulow's memoirs, a proposal to appoint Solf German Foreign Minister, Solf's mission re minorities in Hungary and German committee on Palestine. (Bulow was Foreign Minister of Germany in 1899 when the acquisition of Western Samoa was negotiated as a German colony).

Solf, Wilhelm Heinrich

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