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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 photographs of the 1900 synod are of interest showing numersou

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

New Hebrides Mission Lantern Slides, 1890-1945

  • AU PMB PHOTO 91
  • Coleção
  • 1890-1945

This is a collection of 180 images of the New Hebrides mission in Vanuatu. The images were created by digitising magic lantern slides. Magic lantern slide shows were used to promote the work of the Mission. The islands featured in the collection include Ambrym, Santo, Malo and Tangoa.

The images show the Ambrim volcano c.1913, missionary life on Ambrim during the 1920s, mission services and buildings around Craig Cove, Pangkumu church, local ni-Vanuatu missionaries, planters buying cotton from ni-Vanuatu people and ferrying sacks (of copra?) out to a steamer, ni-Vanuatu demits and drums. Missionaries in Hog Harbour and non-Christians with their children. Image of Elephant island and local birds as well as ni-Vanuatu people who live in the bush on Santo visiting the St. Phillip’s mission in Santo. It appears that an expedition was made across Santo by the mission crossing Oru river and through the bush greeting local ni-Vanuatu people and assisting them with health issues such as yaws (yaws is a tropical infection of the skin, bones and joints caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum pertenue). Building a mission jetty at Hog Harbour in Santo, sheltered coves for the launch during hurricanes and areas where young children swam safely.

The images include children swimming and climbing trees and Ni-Vanuatu people undertaking daily chores and images of their homes and gardens, including growing yams and other food. Some images include pictures of ni-Vanuatu men with muskets/guns, including a man standing on “killing stones” at Big Bay, the mission school and children at Big Bay, Big Bay river and local groups and teachers from Malo. Lenakel church and mission hospital, the wives and children of missionary students, the mission church at Malo and Tangoa students undertaking drills. Tangoa Training Institute jubilee in 1945, dentists and assistants (1945).

Missionaries and other ex-patriate people in the images include Mr.Mansfield, Robert Lamb, Rev. Anderson, Rev. Fleming, Dr Alex S Frater Superintendent of The Paton Memorial Hospital at Port Vila.

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

New Hebrides Mission photograph album, 1898-1914

  • AU PMB PHOTO 83
  • Coleção
  • 1898-1914

86 black and white photographs taken by Reverend T Smaill in the New Hebrides. Subjects are varied, with photographs captured on Epi, Erromanga, Nguna, Paama, Santo, Tangoa,and Tanna. The majority of these images feature missionaries or their family members. Named missionary families include the Smaill, Milne, Paton and Frater families) and there is an image of the Smaill family on furlough in New Zealand. Some photographs were captured at mission synods between 1900 and 1914.

Photographs are mounted on to separated album pages although there is no album cover. Captions were directly written onto the mount and subsequent white labels with captions handwritten in ink have been added.

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

Smaill, Rev. Thomas and Helen

New Hebrides Mission photograph album, 1906-1913

  • AU PMB PHOTO 80
  • Coleção
  • 1906-1913

This collection of 56 black and white photographs was taken by Reverend William Veitch Milne (1877-1837). They are taken mainly on Nguna in where Milne was stationed as a missionary, with some images captured on other islands in Vanuatu including Paama, Tongoa, and Malekula. The photographs reflect local culture, kastom and landscape, as well as mission life. There are photographs of the Taloa church on Nguna, missionaries at the 1906 synod on Tongoa and the 1912 synod on Paama, the mission launch and other boats, panoramas or Port Vila harbor and Nguna island, and groups of islanders and missionary families. Named individuals include Reverend Milne’s family, Reverend Frater, Sebuae, and Leinasei (both of Makura island). The images were captured c.1906-1913 and are mounted into an album with hand written captions.

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

Milne, Rev. W.V.

New Guinea Administration Series of Photographic Slides

  • AU PMB PHOTO 6
  • Coleção
  • 1956

Photographic slides of Papua New Guinea given to H.C. Morris by Sir Paul Hasluck in 1956 from his personal collection. In the 1950s, as Project Officer at the Manus Island naval Base, Mr Morris ran the first formal training and engineering apprenticeships in Papua New Guinea. Slides include photographs of Port Moresby Hospital, a village school, plantations and timber mills.

Sir Paul Hasluck

Posters prepared for the Infant Welfare Section, Department of Public Health, Papua New Guinea, and for the introduction of decimal currency in Papua New Guinea, 1935-1965

  • AU PMB PHOTO 9
  • Coleção
  • 1935-1965

Jean Chambers was a commercial artist who commenced work designing screen slides for Whitford Theatre Ads in Sydney. She then worked for Vivian Art Studios which carried out all branches of advertising and display for many large buisiness firms in Sydney, including Bonds Hosiery, Berley’s and Nestles. In 1935 she married Keith M. Chambers and moved to New Guinea with her husband. They were evacuated in 1941, returned to Madang in 1946, where Keith Chambers was the Customs Officer, then moved to Rabaul in 1948. In 1948 a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) service was established in the TPNG Department of Public Health by Dr Joan Refshauge. The MCH commissioned Mrs Chambers to design posters on infant care. (See posters marked “Rabaul”.) The original paintings were sent to Sydney for lithographic block making in 3 or 4 colours. Thousands were printed and returned for distribution by the Public Health Department as teaching aids in villages throughout the Territory. The couple moved to Port Moresby in the mid 1950s where Keith Chambers eventually became Chief Collector of Customs. In Port Moresby Jean Chambers designed and completed film strips for the Commonwealth Film Unit on women’s club training, and worked for Burns Philp (NG)Ltd for 18 months during 1958-59 on display and newspaper advertising. Mrs Chambers also received more commissions for posters and eventually acccepted a full-time appointment with the Department of Information where she trained New Guinean staff in silk screen printing, using her designs and stencils for posters, mainly on health education but also for the Departments of Agriculture, and Post and Telegraphs. Mrs Chambers left PNG when her husband retired in 1965 or 1966.

34 lithographic and silk screened posters on health education in PNG, 1948-1965(?); 13 posters on the introduction of decimal currency in PNG, 1965.

Chambers, Jean

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

Canberra branch, papers

  • AU PMB MS 1379
  • Coleção
  • 1957-1965

The New Guinea Society was set up at a meeting in Canberra on 31 Jul 1957, following a call for expressions of interest from Ralph Bulmer, Margaret McArthur, Murray Groves and others. It was based in Canberra and drew most of its membership from the Australian National University, the Commonwealth Dept. of Territories and the CSIRO. The meetings were usually held in the Meetings Room, Eastern Annexe, University House under strict Chatham House rules. Professor J.W. Davidson, when Dean of the Research School of Pacific Studies, ANU, required all PhD students in the School to belong to the Society.

There were regular meetings of the Society, at which papers were presented; the texts of some of these are in included in PMB1379/1. Some important policy decisions were aired and discussed by the Minister and others before they were made public.

The Papua and New Guinea Society (not to be confused with the New Guinea Society) was established in Port Moresby, following an initiative by Nigel Oram, on 22 Nov 1962. Some documents relating to this society, including its constitution, are included in PMB1379/6.
Below is a list of Presidents and Secretaries of The New Guinea Society from 1957-1965.

C.S. Christian, President, 1957
Ralph Bulmer, Secretary, 1957
Dudley McCarthy, President, 1958-9
H.C. Brookfield, Secretary, 1958-9
R.D. Hoogland, President, 1960-1
Paula Brown, Secretary in 1960, 1961
J. E. Willoughby, President, 1961-2
J.N. Jennings, Secretary, 1961-2
Francis West, President, 1962-3
D. T. Lattin, President 1962-3, 1963-4
J. A. Mabbutt, in Chair in 1965
Colin A. Hughes, Secretary, 1963, 1964, 1965

New Guinea Society papers presented at meetings in Canberra, Australia (1959-1964)
New Guinea Society: membership and activities (1957-1965)
New Guinea Society correspondence (1962-1965)
New Guinea Society: Notices of meetings (1957-1964)
New Guinea Society: Committee meetings and notes (1957-1962)

New Guinea Society: Constitution (1957-1959)
See Finding aids for details.

The New Guinea Society

Le Moniteur de la Nouvelle Caledonie Noumea: Imprimerie du Gouvernement. 1-1394, Oct 1859-June 1886

  • AU PMB DOC 11
  • Coleção
  • 2 Oct 1859-26 Jun 1864

The Moniteur, New Caledonia's first newspaper, was an official weekly. The first 119 issues consisted of two printed pages containing Government decrees and decisions, court judgements, statistics, news of official ceremonies, shipping movements and some general news. From the beginning of 1862, the size of the paper was doubled and was divided into official and non-official sections. The non-official section was open to contributions from readers so long as they did not transgress the limits of an official journal. There was a further liberalisation of the paper's policy six months later. For detailed description see P. O'Reilly Bibliographie ... de la Nouvelle Caledonie (Paris, 1955)

Nos. 1-248, 2 Oct 1859 - 26 June 1864

Le Moniteur de la Nouvelle Caledonie

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