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Notes and research materials on the history of Rabaul and the Gazelle Peninsula, Papua New Guinea English
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Notes and research materials on the history of Rabaul and the Gazelle Peninsula, Papua New Guinea

  • AU PMB MS 1305
  • Collection
  • 1786-1975

Rev. Neville Threlfall was born in Subiaco, a suburb of Perth, on 4 October 1930, and grew up on farms in Western Australia’s wheatbelt. Following education by correspondence and at a one-teacher school, then at Perth Modern School and the University of WA, he entered the ministry of the Methodist Church in 1951 and served at Gosnells, Gnowangerup, Mount Barker, Moora and the North Midlands, before going as a missionary to Papua New Guinea in 1961, accompanied by his wife Roma (nee Thompson) and children Tim and Beth.

He served in the New Guinea Islands Region of the Methodist Church and then of the United Church of PNG and the Solomon Islands, at Nakanai 1961-64; Raluana 1964-67; Kavieng 1968-70; Matupit 1971; as Regional Secretary 1972-75; in charge of Literature and Publications 1976-77; as Regional Secretary again 1978-80; and finally undertook historical work in 1981-82 much of which was carried out while a Visiting Fellow at ANU, Canberra.

Mr Threlfall returned to ministry in WA in 1982, becoming Minister at Dalwallinu 1982-89 and at Northam 1990-93. He retired in 1993 in order to care for Roma during her terminal illness, but after her death undertook supply ministry in the Central South Parish in 1994. In 1995 he married Margaret Walker and moved to her home State of NSW, where he was still undertaking part-time supply ministries in 2008.

• NT/1-14, Methodist Mission Papers: minutes and reports of New Britain District Synods, 1896-1941; including Study Papers presented to the 1932 Synod.
• NT/15-24, United Church Papers: Minutes of the New Guinea Islands Regional Synod of the United Church of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, 1969, 1971-75 and 1979-82.
• NT/25-40, Early Contacts and Settlements: Including extracts from New Bedford Whalers’ Logs notes from the memoirs of Eduoard Hernsheim, etc.
• NT/41-78, German New Guinea: Official reports and other documents. Chinese settlers (Cahill, Wu).
• NT/79-88, World War I. The Expropriation of German Properties (including Pat Hopper’s thesis, “Kicking out the Hun”).
• NT/89-99, The Australian Mandated Territory, between World Wars I & II.
• NT/100-119, Extracts from Albert Hahl, “Governor in New Guinea”. More notes from the between-wars period. PNG history sources list. File of Rabaul News – post-WWII.
• NT/120-129, Geological and volcanic history, especially the 1937 and 1941-43 eruptions.
• NT/130-142, Post-WWII material.
• NT/143-172, Gazelle Peninsula/Rabaul. Problems over land & Multi-Racial Council.
• NT/173-200, A little more pre-WWI material. Material from the between-wars period. World War II: Including extracts from files in the Australian War Memorial on defence arrangements in Rabaul 1939-41, the Japanese invasion in January 1942, personal memoirs and press cuttings, Files of personal interviews and memoirs, etc.
• NT/201-225, Chronology of Prisoners’ movements.
• NT/226-278, Methodist &United Church Papers: New Britain District Meeting Minutes 1878, 1880-95; Notes from Methodist Overseas Mission Board, Minutes 1874-1912 and 1913-30, and from MOM Executive Committee and Finance & Advisory Committee 1898-1909; etc.
See Finding aids for details.

Threlfall, Neville A.