AU PMB PHOTO 75
- 1952 - 1974 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
45 digitised slides
Name of creator
James L.O.Tedder was raised in Wamberal, NSW, attended the local primary school, and Gosford High School. He served for a few months as a deck boy in the merchant navy and spent two years in the AIF, the last year in 13th Small Ships in New Guinea. After the War he spent four years at Sydney University graduating with Bachelor of Economics with three years of geography and three years of political theory.
In February 1952 James Tedder was appointed as an Administrative Officer cadet in the British Colonial Service and was posted direct to the Solomon Islands. Following two months in Central District, he was posted to Malaita as District Officer Aoke to serve under V.J. Andersen. In November 1953 he was posted to Malu'u as District Officer. In August 1954 he was sent to the Devonshire Course in Cambridge. Confirmed in his appointment in March 1955 he was posted to Kira Kira in June as District Commissioner Eastern. In May 1959 he was appointed as Census Commissioner for the sample census organised by Dr Norma McArthur. In June 1960 he was appointed District Commissioner Malaita while Michael M. Townsend was on leave.
A posting for six months as Assistant Secretary Social Affairs followed the six months in Malaita. Then he was posted to Western District as District Commissioner for a year. Following leave he was posted to Honiara as District Officer Guadalcanal in October then District Commissioner Central as from January 1963. In 1967 he was promoted to Administrative Officer Grade A and awarded the MBE which was conferred by the Queen in May while on a Local Government attachment to three Councils in the UK.
On 1 January 1972 James Tedder was appointed to the new post of Director of Information and Broadcasting from which he retired in November 1974. While serving in Honiara he was Chair of the Tourism Authority, and at times Chair of the Copra Board. He belonged to the Broadcast Advisory, the University of South Pacific, Museum, and Library Committees.
While Director of Information and Broadcasting he was responsible for helping to establish the Solomon Island Museum, the Library, and facilities to ensure that researchers placed copies of their work, whether print or film, in the archives.
James Tedder wrote a small booklet, Walks in Guadalcanal, for tourists. He co-authored with Geoff Stevens a book, Birds in Honiara, for the Scout Association, and with his wife, Margaret Tedder, wrote, Yam Cultivation in Guadalcanal. Articles on dried breadfruit, Honiara planning, Broadcasting, the Museum were published in the South Pacific Commission Quarterly and other journals. Short pieces on ancient village sites were contributed to the Solomon Islands Museum newsletter. With Tom Russell and advice from Professor Davenport he excavated a cave Fotoruma near Honiara revealing artifacts going back to 970 BC. He wrote a book, How Government Works, which was distributed to all schools. In 2008 he self published, Solomon Island Years: An Administrative Officer in the Islands 1952-74. Mr Tedder’s research on beach erosion, on coral cays, on bird census and drift voyages is yet to be written up.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This is a collection of 45 colour slides taken by James L.O. Tedder, MBE, during the period 1952 to 1974. Twenty nine of these slides were taken in the Territory of Papua New Guinea (TPNG) and 16 in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP).
Of the 29 TPNG images, three are of Lae in Morobe District, dated 1952. There are also five images of Rabaul in New Britain: one dated 1952 may be of Tavurvur volcano, a view from Matupi Island. The other four dated August 1964 show the view from the District Commissioner’s garden, a sunset, dancers and school students. Also dated 1964 is a portrait of an unnamed female nurse in Madang District. This photograph may not belong in this series, nor have been taken by James Tedder. Judging from the information on the badge the nurse is wearing it was taken after Papua New Guinea Independence.
Three images dated 1958 were taken in the Eastern Highlands District, probably all at Mt Michael Patrol Post. They include one of James Tedder, his wife Margaret and their children with District Officer W E (Bill) Tomasetti. Tomasetti served in World War 2 / World War II as a commando in Timor. The other photos were taken of two groups of local men, some of whom are displaying their traditional wealth, including plumes and kina shells.
Mt Hagen and the Western Highlands District is the subject of 14 images probably all taken in August 1964: seven are aerial views of the town, airstrip and geographical features, including the Hindenberg Wall, and the terrain en route to Porgera. Seven are of Highlands people. The people, including a portrait of two women, are shown walking along a road or posing for a photograph and show the wealth and status of these people. Three images taken also in August 1964 in Central District are of the view across Fairfax Harbour to Port Moresby town and, in the foothills of the Owen Stanley range behind Port Moresby, of the Rona (Rouna) Falls hydro plant and the Falls themselves. Both this trip outside Port Moresby in Central Province and the flight in the Western Highlands District were probably facilitated by the Western Highlands District Commissioner of TPNG’s Western Highlands District, Tom Ellis, for the District Commissioner of BSIP’s Western District, James Tedder, after the men met at a meeting in Port Moresby.
The last group of images in this collection were taken in the BSIP of two active volcanoes, one in Western District and one in Eastern. The submarine volcano Kavachi, in Western, is in the UNESCO Marovo Tetepare Complex, which is home to outstanding marine biodiversity. Of the five aerial images, two are captioned in distinctive handwriting “H. Moss 27.12.65”. Three images taken with what appears to be the same camera as Moss’, have “Tedder 1966” recorded on them in Tedder’s writing. It is possible that these are duplicates of three images taken by Harry Moss, MBE, and have been dated accordingly. After retiring as a TAA (Trans Australia Airlines) Captain, Harry became the first pilot in the new Solomon Islands internal airline Megapode Airways. Margaret Tedder worked in the Megapode office and occasionally James Tedder was flown by Harry for work purposes. Both men mention the other in their autobiographies, James in his “A District Administrator in the Islands 1952-1974” (published 2008) and Harry in his “10,000 Hours In the Life of a Flying Doctor Pilot” (published 1988). In Eastern District, in the Santa Cruz Islands, is Tinakula. A conical stratovolcano in the same volcanic arc as Kavachi, Tinakula has a long history of activity, including throughout 2019. There are eleven images, a number of them taken from different angles from the air, dated July 1974, and show landslips caused by the volcano’s activity.
James Tedder and members of his family described/captioned the majority of the images.
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Access this title at PMB Member Libraries or by purchasing it directly from the Bureau: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/pambu/accessing.php
Related units of description
Related collections: PMB MS 1189-309, PMB MS 1365 and PMB PHOTO 66.
Individual item titles are taken from supplied captions. The language is reflective of the period of captioning. Information added by cataloguer is included in square brackets [ ].
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Name access points
- Tedder, James L.O. (Subject)
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