AU PMB PHOTO 126
- September 1968 - April 1970 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
270 digitised 35mm slides
Name of creator
John Baker worked as a volunteer under the auspices of the British Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) organisation in 1964-1965. He was 18 and 19 at the time and was what was known as a ‘school leaver’ volunteer. John was attached mainly to two District Administrations to work on various local projects. August-November 1964, Baker worked as a teacher at the Geological Department’s survey school in Honiara. Then he transferred to Western District headquarters in Gizo and worked during December 1964 and January 1965 as a surveyor on the Wagina Island Gilbertese resettlement scheme. In February 1965 he transferred to Eastern District headquarters in Kira Kira where he spent six weeks working on local election preparations. He then moved back to Gizo and spent April to August 1965 travelling round, organising the construction of concrete drinking water tanks in various villages in the Roviana and Wana Wana lagoons and subsequently on the island of Ranonnga.
John Baker’s work in Solomon Islands prompted a long-term interest in the Pacific Islands and saw him work as Government Economist in Tonga in 1969-70. He later lived in Fiji and Tonga in 1971, while he undertook research for an ANU PhD on inter-island shipping services in the two countries. In 1976-77, while working in the Australian Government’s aid organisation, he was head of the Pacific Islands Section. Finally, after three years as an Australian Ambassador in Africa John Baker returned to working on the Pacific Islands when in 1991-97 he was Coordinator of the World Bank’s South Pacific Development Management Program. The program ran one-week residential management programs for senior government officials from across the region, with a number of participants later becoming heads of government in their countries.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This collection of 270 slides was taken by John Baker while he was seconded from the British Ministry of Overseas Development to the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga to work as Government Economist on the preparation of the country’s second development plan for 1970-75. John and his wife Liz (Elizabeth) lived in Nuku’alofa from September 1968 to May 1969 and travelled extensively around the main island of Tongatapu, as well as making a visit to the island of ‘Eua. The slides include various landscapes, agriculture, construction, King Taaufa'ahau Tupou IV and the exteriors of the Royal Palace, a visit by Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne of Great Britain and the Royal Yacht Britannia. There are also street scenes with signage for businesses such as Burns Philp, exteriors of the Dateline Hotel and people watching the Apollo 13 splashdown. Selection of slides for digitisation was made by John Baker.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
As arranged by John Baker
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Available for reference
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
See individual items
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Person: John R. Baker
Existence and location of copies
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
Photo captions written by John Baker at the time the photos were taken.
See also PMB PHOTO 114 and PMB PHOTO 127.
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Baker, John R. (Subject)
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Dates of creation revision deletion
Digital object metadata