Collection PHOTO 48 - Margaret Tedder and James Tedder, Gardening: an album of photographs of subsistence gardening in eastern and central Solomon Islands

Photograph album: front cover Photograph album: inside cover and contents page Photograph album, page 1: Yams, Kirakira and Guadalcanal Margaret Tedder in a swamp taro garden, Cyrtosperma Merkusii[?] Greg Tedder in a drought stricken taro garden, Suparto, Guadalcanal Margaret Tedder stepping through yam garden, Kirakira Leone Anderson, James Tedder, Greg Tedder in yam garden, Kirakira Yam vine tended anti-clockwise on a stake, Guadalcanal Yam vine tended anti-clockwise on a stake, Guadalcanal Close-up Image of yam vine [same vine as PMB PHOTO 48-03f]
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Reference code

AU PMB PHOTO 48

Title

Margaret Tedder and James Tedder, Gardening: an album of photographs of subsistence gardening in eastern and central Solomon Islands

Date(s)

  • 1955-1974 (Creation)

Level of description

Collection

Extent and medium

Original object is 21 page photo album; 24 page digital PDF; 136 digitised images in JPEG.

Context area

Name of creator

(1926 - 19 April 2014)

Biographical history

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.

Name of creator

(1925-)

Biographical history

Margaret and James Tedder lived in the Solomon Islands from 1952 until 1974. During the last years of her residence there, after the children went to Australian schools, Margaret did a lot of bush touring carrying out research on plants used by the Islanders for medicines, cures and other purposes. Most of Margaret Tedder's plant identifications were checked in the now defunct Forest Herbarium where she lodged duplicates of the plants.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The series of photographs contained in this album covers an aspect of the life of the Tedder family in the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP) between 1955 – 1974. James L.O. Tedder held various positions in the colonial administration. His family lived and travelled extensively throughout the Protectorate. His spouse, Margaret Tedder, had a firm interest in botany and this particular album is her documentation of Islanders’ horticultural practices of certain root crops, especially yams. In this photographic collection, Margaret documented the cultivation methods, garden layout, harvesting practices and storage of yams in various locations on Makira, Guadalcanal, Malaita and Santa Cruz. Margaret also captured different yam varieties and a ceremonial display at Makaruka on the Weather Coast of Guadalcanal. Besides the focus on yams in this album, there are some images of other crops such as taro, cassava and sweet potato. In its own right, this album is an ethnography of Islanders' cultivation practices of the mid-1950’s to the early 1970’s.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

As arranged by James Tedder and Margaret Tedder

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Available for reference

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Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

See individual items

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Family: Tedder Family
Address: Queensland
Country: Australia

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

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Note

Additional notes supplied by Anna Annie Kwai.

Note

Related units of description: PMB PHOTO 66, PMB PHOTO 75, PMB MS 1365 and PMB MS 1366.

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