FIFTY YEAR'S MISSION WORK
IN THE SOUTH SEAS;
REQUEST OF THE RIGHT REV. JOHN SELWYN, D.D.,
LATE BISHOP OF MELANESIA
SOMETIME BISHOP OF TASMANIA; SECRETARY OF THE SOCIETY FOR THE PROPAGATION OF THE GOSPEL
Chapter I. Early Days of the Melanesian Mission
Chapter II. Norfolk Island
Chapter III. The Norfolk Islanders--Their Customs and Language
Chapter IV. Life on Board the 'Southern Cross' in 1892
Chapter V. The Religion of the Melanesians
Chapter VI. The New Hebrides--Raga, Opa, Maewo
Chapter VII. The Banks Islands--Mota
Chapter VIII. Santa Maria, Merelava, Merig (Banks Islands)
Chapter IX. Vanua Lava, Ureparapara (Banks Islands)
Chapter X. Motalava, Ra, Rowa (Banks Islands)
Chapter XI. The Torres Group--Toga, Lo, Tëgua, Hiw
Chapter XII. Suqe---Charming
Chapter XIII. The Santa Cruz Group
Chapter XIV. Nelua, Santa Cruz--Te Motu
Chapter XV. Taape, Carlisle Bay, Reef Islands, Pileni, Nukapu
Chapter XVI. The Solomon Islands, San Cristoval
Chapter XVII. Mala (Solomons)
Chapter XVIII. Guadalcanar, Ulawa (Solomons)
Chapter XIX. Florida (Solomons)
Chapter XX. Florida (continued)
Chapter XXI. Ysabel, New Georgia (Solomons)
THIS book has appeared already in the form of articles in the Tasmanian Church News during 1893-4, and they are now given to the public through the generosity of the S.P.C.K., in the hope that they may draw greater attention to the work of one of the noblest missions of our day. During the illness of Bishop John Selwyn I was called to do what I could for the Mission, starting on my tour from Auckland in August 1892. The Mission ship was my virtual home from that date until the 21st of October, when I was dropped at Vila in the New Hebrides, to find my way back to Sydney, and thence to Tasmania. During these months I spent a week at Norfolk Island, and afterwards I landed on almost every island in charge of the Mission in the New Hebrides, Banks, Torres, Santa Cruz, and Solomon groups. It was, on the whole, the most wonderful experience of my life, for I had to face problems of humanity quite new to myself, and did so in the company of men of great experience, who love the black races. I did not attempt to learn the languages spoken in these islands; I considered that in my case it would have been time wasted, But I spent every available hour in making myself acquainted with the history of the Mission, and I obtained access to every report and "Island Voyage" and published book from 1857 up to the present time. These I analyzed carefully, and submitted the result of my labours to the clergy of the Mission for correction and amplification, adding of course conclusions drawn from my own observation. I cannot, indeed, claim that there is much original matter in these pages, but I venture to hope that the method I have adopted may assist clergymen and those who wish to lecture on the Mission. I have taken each island in turn by itself, and have striven to give its history as a mission centre from the earliest days up to the present day. I trust that the publication of the "Melanesian Prayer Cycle" may lead many to desire a fuller knowledge of each centre, and this information I have striven to give. A visitor has one advantage over the veteran missionary in the field. He views everything as new and interesting, and if he can only be accurate he ought to be able to impart some of his enthusiasm to his readers. I have owed Bishop John Selwyn a debt of gratitude for the last twenty years as revealing to me the beau ideal of a missionary. But he has added this above all, that by his invitation to assist him he has linked me for life with his great mission, and if some day I could give a son to the work, it would be a cause for thankfulness thus to be able to be drawn still closer to regions with which the name of Selwyn and of Patteson are inseparably connected. There is a dark side to the story of the coming of the white man into the South Seas. But no one can doubt the truth of the late Dr. Guppy's words in alluding to the Mission in his book on the Solomons: "The work of the Melanesian Mission has been the only redeeming feature in the intercourse of the white man with these islanders."
The illustrations are from photographs taken chiefly by Dr. Welchman and the Rev. A. Brittain during my tour; a few are my own handiwork. The apparatus belonged to Mr. Beattie, photographer, Hobart, by whose directions we were able to save some ten dozen views from injury until he could develop them. Mr. Beattie is ready to supply photographs and lantern slides at moderate cost. The photograph of Taki is given by the kind permission of Captain Davis, R.N. For the index and for supervision of proofs in England I am indebted to the kindness of the Rev. A. V. Magee.
BISHOPSCOURT, HOBART, January 1896.
I HAVE not found it easy to adapt my record of travel to the exigencies of a second edition. I felt that I might spoil whatever was graphic in a first impression if I altered its language materially. I have done little but alter statistics and add a few facts. I have omitted the old appendices and have thrown into the form of new appendices my latest thoughts and hopes for the Mission which has so warm a place in my heart, and to which I owe so much. Many friends have helped me, and the Rev. L. Robin has acted as a generous referee. To those who desire to read better books than mine on this subject, recently published, I would recommend Mrs. Armstrong's Melanesian Mission (Isbister), and Miss Frances Awdry's In the Isles of the Sea (Bernrose).
S.P.G. OFFICE, October 1903.