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Archival description
Samoa Collection Text With digital objects
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Photographs from a teacher’s missionary work in Samoa

  • AU PMB PHOTO 123
  • Collection
  • 1990-1991

This collection depicts the life and work of Australian missionary school teacher Richard Arbon in Samoa, and his work
predominantly on the island of Savaii on behalf of the Uniting Church World Mission – formerly the Central Methodist Mission.

Arbon Family

Niue Centennial Album 1846 – 1946

  • AU PMB PHOTO 17
  • Collection
  • 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

A Paradise of the Gods. Writings and Drawings of Handley Bathurst Sterndale.

  • AU PMB MS 1442
  • Collection
  • 1870-1871

‘A Paradise of the Gods. Writings and Drawings of Handley Bathurst Sterndale.’ is an unpublished digital edition edited by J.J. Overell. In 1870, Handley Bathurst Sterndale worked as a surveyor on the island of Upolu, Samoa, for the German trading company Goddefroy & Sohn. In this capacity, he made an expedition across Upolu, making notes and sketches about the journey as he went. In 1871, on Motu Kotawa on the islet of Pukapuka atoll in the Cook Islands, he worked these notes into the manuscript ‘Upolu; or, A Paradise of the Gods’, and worked his sketches into finished drawings. Some accounts are not his first hand observations and others are demonstrably wrong. Sterndale sought to have the manuscript published, but was unsuccessful in finding a publisher before his death in 1878. After his death, it was listed in a catalogue among the publications of Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington of London, but the manuscript never made it to print.

The original notebooks have since been lost, but the surviving manuscript and drawings have been passed down to Sterndale’s descendants. This edition brings together edited excerpts from Sterndale’s original manuscript and is illustrated with his original drawings, which were digitised by photographer Rod Howe. It also includes a detailed introduction by editor J.J. Overell, and contextual chapters on the geology of Upolu, a chronology of Sterndale’s life and detailed appendices, including a complete transcript of the original manuscript.

Subjects covered by Sterndale include beachcombers, Samoan cultural beliefs and practices, civil conflict, diet, agriculture, wildlife, disease - amongst others. In addition to Upolu, Sterndale writes about Levuka in Fiji and Easter Island or Rapa Nui.

Sterndale, Handley Bathurst

Oceania Marist Province Archives

  • AU PMB OMPA
  • Collection
  • c.1817-c.1981

The Oceania Marist Province Archives Series (OMPA) is the result of a special project during which records of the Catholic Church in islands of the Western Pacific were copied by Father Theo B. Cook, SM in collaboration with the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau. (Cook was born Theodorus Bernardus Wilhelmus Kok but chose to go by the name Cook in Australia: Povey, 2010). The OMPA series covers the Diocese of Tonga (OMPA 1-25), Diocese of Samoa and Tokelau (OMPA 26-74), Marist Fathers, Rome (OMPA 80-100), Diocese of Wallis and Futuna (OMPA 101-126), Diocese of Port Vila (OMPA 127-178), Archdiocese of Noumea (OMPA 179-360) and the Oceania Marist Province Archives (OMPA 361-400).

Detailed indexes were prepared for the six diocese and those records copied in Rome. These can be found at http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/collections/microfilm.php or compiled in The Catholic Church in the Western Pacific: a guide to records on microfilm (Robert Langdon, ed.), Canberra, 1986.

Oceania Marist Province Archives