"The crying need is for leaders, first in New Guinea, after that for the northern shores of Australia from east to west. I believe we are verily guilty of neglect of an obvious duty and shall miss the blessing of God if we lose any more time in putting at the head of our Mission in New Guinea, which is now some years old, the natural leader in the Church. He alone can speak and act with authority. I do not hesitate to state my own conviction that every Church Mission should commence with a Bishop. Let him be, if you like, the only worker at first, let him contain within himself the germ and development of all that is to come."--Bishop Montgomery of Tasmania (sermon in Sydney Cathedral, July 21, 1895).
Chapter III. The Bishopric (1898)
IN his address to General Synod of 1896, the Primate of Australia spoke of "the project of a bishopric in New Guinea which has been mooted, and is to be placed before us." "Whether," Bishop Saumarez Smith went on, "the urgency of this step be so great as some of my right reverend brethren seem to think, and whether this be an opportune time to appeal for this special object or not, is to my mind doubtful."
In spite of this splash of cold water from the heights, Synod straightway resolved, with only one or two dissentients, "That it was desirable to establish forthwith a bishopric in New Guinea."
Nine months later, it was announced that Montagu John Stone-Wigg, Canon of Brisbane, had been chosen.
Canon Stone-Wigg was no stranger to the New Guinea Mission. One of the letters that Maclaren wrote from Cooktown, while waiting to start for Samarai, was addressed to him. When one of the earliest batches of South Sea Islanders for New Guinea was leaving Brisbane in 1895, it was Canon Stone-Wigg who took the chair at a farewell meeting for them; and before he went to England in 1896, the S.S.I, in Brisbane gave a supper to the priest who had prepared some of them for Baptism and Confirmation, and who, as Bishop, was afterwards to draw many of them to New Guinea.
The consecration took place in S. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney, on S. Paul's Day, January 25, 1898, when the present Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak, then a Sydney curate, acted as chaplain to the bishop-elect.
Between his election and his consecration, Canon Stone-Wigg had been to New Guinea and back, spending a fortnight in his future diocese, meeting all the staff', seeing all the stations, and being present at a Baptism one Sunday afternoon on Wedau beach.
Within twenty-four hours of his consecration, Bishop Stone-Wigg met the Executive Council of A.B.M., and it was resolved: "That the financial responsibilities of the Mission, together with the control, should be taken over by the Bishop after March 31st, under pledge of support from the Executive Council."
This meant that the new Bishop began by making himself financially responsible for everything and everybody in the Mission; and it ended by meaning that his life-insurance policies were pledged as security for the debts of the diocese; but it gave Bishop Stone-Wigg a free hand, which was what he wanted, and what the head of the New Guinea Mission needed but had never yet had, and it relieved the A.B.M., who had long been in straits for funds, and whose organizing secretary had just resigned "on account of emptiness of the treasury," which was his pleasant way of protesting that his salary was twelve months in arrear.
Some Churchmen in Australia clubbed together and promised an episcopal income of about £450 for five years; and along with this modest guarantee for the future there was made over to the first Bishop of New Guinea an immediate bank overdraft of some hundreds of pounds.
Let it be recorded here that this first Bishop used no part of his official stipend for his own purposes, but, on the other hand, spent much of his own money upon diocesan and Mission objects, and that when he resigned the see Bishop Stone-Wigg was a poorer man, financially as well as physically, than he had been at the time of his consecration.
He did not go at once to his diocese, but for three months was travelling all over Australia, as Maclaren had done eight years before, preaching, lecturing, being interviewed, making friends, and above all collecting money and trying to collect men.
Meanwhile, work went on as before at Dogura and in the five village schools which had been opened up to the end of 1897. In March of 1898, the first Christian marriage was solemnized in Dogura chapel, when Selwin took Elisabeta to wife. They did things in style in those early days, and the bride was dressed in heliotrope crepon trimmed with cream lace and pink ribbons; she wore a wreath of flowers, but positively refused to carry a bouquet; the bridesmaid, who was beautiful in blue muslin, "was almost as shy as the bride herself"; and Elisabeta's old heathen father, who gave her away, appeared "in purely native costume." Many young people in the village afterwards lamented that they had not waited until they too could have been married after this manner. It was not only and altogether of the blue muslin and heliotrope crepon that they were thinking, for the solemn service had shown forth to them some of the many privileges which baptized people are allowed to claim.
On Easter Day one man and seven women were baptized. "Henry" was Samuel Aigeri's chum and brother-in-law, and of "Alice, Sarah, Lily, Ruby, Ellen, Eunice, and Mabel" Mr. King observed that "of course some of these names will have to be slightly changed both in spelling and pronunciation."
The Bishop came from Australia in the Merrie England, and was at Dogura with the Government party for a few hours one evening early in May. He went on with them to Mamba River, and there had his first slight experience of fever. He was enthroned at the end of the month, and an address was presented to him in which "while thanking God for what little they had been allowed and helped to do for Him," the staff asserted that they knew, "even better than their friends in the south, how much still remained to do. Cape Vogel, and Gollingwood Bay, the Valley of the Musa, and the goldfields of the Northern Rivers, all were waiting to be evangelized."
They had a cheerful time at Dogura, while the Bishop was settling into his "one roomed palace." There had arrived, a fortnight before, a large party of new missionaries from Australia, a priest, three laymen, a lady, and a South Sea Islander, and besides their own impedimenta this throng had brought with them 127 packages, large and small, for the Bishop.
Day after day the natives crowded about the landing-place and up on the hill, and enjoyed themselves tremendously amidst all the disorder of cloven packing-cases and torn paper and scattered straw. The climax came when the "wizened old eagle" (Bishop Stone-Wigg's own description of a lectern which had once belonged to a church in Brisbane) appeared. Was it a pigeon? The beak suggested a cockatoo, the wings a rooster! What was it? "We explained as well as we could" (it is still the Bishop who writes), "and carried the old bird up, blushing to find himself the object of so much admiration."
One of the men had brought a bicycle, and he rode precipitously down Dogura Hill and through the shingly village of Wedau, scaring the dogs and colliding with pigs, and striking terror into native hearts. Men, women, children, and four-footed beasts ran screaming and barking and squealing in every direction, but as soon as the apparition had passed they followed in a shouting crowd behind. Requests for similar performances came in from other villages, and one old fellow who was even persuaded to have a ride became for many days afterwards the hero of all the neighbourhood.
A party soon went off to establish stations in Collingwood Bay, and within three months white men and South Sea Islanders were living among the swamps of Wanigera, at the head of the bay, and on the low hills of Cape Vogel at Mukawa.
And when these expeditions had been sent out, Dogura settled down to steady work. The school, for picked boys from the out-stations, was in charge of a white lady, and another was over the store and the household. There was a trained nurse, who opened a dispensary and went about in the villages. Mr. King taught in school, managed the outside work, was busy always with language and translation, and spent his evenings in Wedau at night school and prayers and classes.
The Bishop, whenever he was at home, took his share of station work, going down with the boys at daylight to their work of woodcutting or gardening under the hill; and he sometimes took the "upper mathematical class" in school in the afternoon. The phrase is pretentious, but the class "contained some boys who could do compound long division in money, and long measure," and a despatch from Sir William MacGregor to the Queensland Government had already spoken of "one phenomenal boy who was studying algebra--probably the first Papuan who ever did so." They were all taught copy-writing and composition. They read English to a certain extent, and the native language fluently. They were taught conversational English by the Gouin method, but they seemed to have objections to speak it. They learnt the outlines of geography, and could read at sight a sol-fa tune written on the blackboard.
"I enjoy these sums," wrote the Bishop. "The little heads get so muddled, and the little faces so perplexed, and the wild shots at answers which they make combine despair and hope, despair of ever getting the right answer, and a faint hope that they may hit upon it by accident. There is one splendid little fellow, who regularly gets his sums as wrong as they can be, and as my pencil goes through each erring figure, the sounds and sighs he emits are enough to upset one's gravity. Another boy, whenever he hands me his slate, says, disparagingly, 'All wrong, bada' (master)."
"It is hard work getting them to use their heads. They have never had to think, but their instincts are as keen as can be. Yet they learn wonderfully well, and though much patience and perseverance are demanded, their teacher sees steady progress. In dictation, their spelling is very accurate, a mistake being of rare occurrence, as the language is phonetically written. But they have no idea of the divisions between the words, and as you dictate the sentence, a little head will bob up and ask, 'Bada, pive (5) word?' or 'Tiree (3) word?' and if you do not tell them, you will have all the words running into each other, like the cars in a railway collision."
There was one promising little person, nicknamed "The Archbishop," who evolved a system of marginal notation to his sums. Against an indistinct figure he would put "Tuau, wei naeni" (This, O my friend, is a 9). Opposite the next, perhaps, it would be, "Tuau, wei a terei boai" (O friend of mine, I have done this wrong), and wrong assuredly it was! He then ventured on English, and wrote a diffident "rom" across another sum. He meant this for "wrong," but the sum was right!
The Bishop always had an answer for the critic who asked, after being told all about the general educational work of the missionaries, "What, after all, is the good of teaching little niggers to make d'oyleys?" "It is not the d'oyley that matters," replied the Bishop, "it is what the d'oyley represents--the patience, perseverance, and concentration of mind which are so difficult and yet so necessary to develop in this tropical land."
Sir William MacGregor paid his farewell visit to Dogura in July and inspected the Wedau and Dogura schools. Of Wedau, where there were about forty children, he wrote, "I was pleased with the tone and attitude of the children, and with the interest they seemed to take in their work. Writing and arithmetic appeared to me up to the level of European children of the same age in the case of the younger ones. The reading was very fair, all things considered. The sewing of the girls was creditable." And of Dogura, "I found the progress made in arithmetic surprising. The handwriting is of a high order. Many read the Gospel with considerable ease and fluency.... I wish that some of those that question the utility of mission work could or would come here and judge for themselves."
In this same month, late on the Eve of S. James's Day, a dying catechumen was baptized by the name of James. He died at daybreak, and his was the first Christian burial at Dogura. As no cemetery had yet been consecrated, a piece of ground near the beach was chosen and hurriedly prepared, and a barrier thrown round it, inside of which only the dead man's friends and the clergy and bearers were admitted. After service in the chapel, a long procession went down the hill, and round the grave were gathered great numbers of natives. It was a striking object-lesson to them of the missionaries' outlook beyond the grave, and a deep impression was made by the contrast between this Christian death and burial and the customary native howling and hysterical weeping and savage self-mutilation at the time of a death.
A few days afterwards, Bob Tasso, a S.S.I, teacher, was married at Dogura to a native girl. Rhoda had spent some years at Dogura, and was a fairly good scholar, able to be of use to Bob in his school. Directly after the marriage service, the bride made her First Communion, having been confirmed the evening before. At the wedding breakfast, Rhoda, in her dress of "white crepon, made loose from a yoke, trimmed with lace and small white flowers, a wreath of the same flowers on her head," was exceedingly shy, but "conducted herself charmingly, considering it was her first appearance at a breakfast table." The contemporary record from which these authentic details are gathered, adds that the one bridesmaid, in a dress of white lawn trimmed with lace, and a large bow over her left shoulder, "looked very dignified sitting on a chair and eating cake." Bob and Rhoda are still at work for the Mission, and they are still at Awaiama, where they were sent on their wedding day, fourteen years ago.
In September, the Bishop visited Taupota on his way to Samarai. "We left in the schooner on Monday," wrote Mr. King, "and on Thursday morning we were still loitering off the coast several miles from Taupota. We could stand it no longer, and got ourselves put ashore in the dinghy, and set out to walk along the coast, with boys to carry us across the numerous streams that run out from the mountains." Mr. King stayed some time at Taupota, to help with the preparation of the first candidates for Baptism. He found the people very earnest, and wrote, "Although Mr. Clark has not mastered the language, he generally manages to make himself understood and to understand. Every Sunday night he and Peter, the S.S.I., sit down together and study the subject for next week's sermon. Mr. Clark composes it, and Peter preaches it, and we may well believe that the Holy Spirit blesses it, for its effects are seen in the changed lives of many of the people, as the old village folk testify, and as is shown by the first-class workmanship put 'into the new church by these boys."
In October, the Bishop went by schooner to Wanigera and Mukawa. At Mukawa, he found that by laborious work and the use of dynamite, a good, though steep, track had been made up the hill, some native houses built, and nearly all the material for a large European house put ready on the ground. At Wanigera, no stores had reached them since early in August, and they were almost down to their last cup of tea and the penultimate biscuit. Building was still going on, and the Bishop had to sleep in the little chapel on a springy palm floor, which he found "so comfortable." He thought the native houses in which the party were living were "charming and rustic-looking, perfect, indeed--if only the rain would not come through the roof, and the rats run up your legs."
The Taupota church was opened and dedicated in December, and sixteen Baptisms, the first outside Dogura, took place in the afternoon. They were the first-fruits of Mr. Clark's work. Mr. Clark died a few months afterwards, and lies buried close by the church that he built.
Tommie and Teddie, the Taupotan twins, are famous in the history of the New Guinea Mission. They were rescued from being buried alive with the mother who had died in giving them birth. Their father would have nothing to do with them. Children whom the mother has left so young are shunned as certain to bring sickness and death to all who touch them. A boy belonging to the Mission passed by just as they were to be thrown into the open grave. He called out "Avena" ("Don't do that!"), and rushed up to the station; and some one from the Mission ran down and found the children, and took them, and a woman who was soon to be baptized, though she already had a young child of her own, nursed these other two. Tor-mee and Tay-dee were the firstlings of the Mission Orphanage and Infants' Home, and the nurse who received them said they were the tiniest babies she had ever seen--at three weeks old they weighed but four and five pounds--but they soon picked up, and grew so fast that the natives thought the missionaries must have been feeding them on "lots and lots of tinned meat."
These twins were among the Taupotans who were now baptized in the new church.
That same night a hurricane struck the northeast coast of New Guinea, and the stream where the Baptisms had taken place became a raging torrent. The Bishop relates that at Taupota huge trees were uprooted, coconut palms in large numbers thrown down, and houses blown away, and in some cases carried out to sea with their living occupants. Twenty-five yards of frontage were washed away from the Mission land, and of fifty-seven houses in the nearest village, only twelve were left standing; and sixty-five were destroyed in a larger village just beyond. At Dogura two whale-boats were dashed to pieces and the schooner thrown upon the beach, her main-mast being smashed against a coconut palm. Two dinghies and the boathouse were destroyed, and, most serious loss of all, a new bulk store, built near the landing-place only a month before, and containing £300 worth of stores, was washed clean away. No lives were lost in the Mission, though three men on the schooner had a narrow escape, but the Bishop was obliged to put out an appeal for £600, to repair the damage done in a few hours by this hurricane.
Some of the old men of Wedau said that the missionaries were to blame for all this misfortune, and that the Bishop and Mr. King had gone down to Taupota "to raise the wind"; but the proper retort was obvious, and the burden of suspicion was easily removed from the shoulders of those who had themselves borne the greater part of the loss.
The Bishop tried to charter a vessel while the schooner was being repaired, but so many had been lost in the hurricane that boats were scarce and expensive. He then bought a small eight-ton cutter, and named it the Canterbury; and she did good work, chiefly round about Dogura, getting firewood and fetching food from the islands, with a native captain and crew, until she was lost on a reef in Goodenough Bay last year.
While the Bishop was at Samarai, arranging these shipping affairs, he held Christmas services in the "School of Arts" (the pretentious name given to a small reading room), and made a beginning with a Church Building Fund. He then returned to Dogura, where there were now fifty boarders, and went on in the new cutter to Mukawa, where he heard "a horrid report that the party at Wanigera had been murdered in their houses at night"; but he found everything well when he got there three days later.
1899 was a year of much building--churches, schoolrooms and living-houses. These houses of native material need rebuilding every few years, or at least re-roofing; and fires are frequent--there were fires both at Dogura and Wanigera in 1899, when four or five houses were destroyed on each station. Building by native workmen, with native material, mangrove poles, posts of teak, thatch and walls of coconut leaf or sago palm or long grass, means much supervision by the white men, with endless patience and determination. Papuans, left to themselves, are at no pains to set up their posts in straight lines, nor have they any reverence for the perpendicular. They have their own ideas, quite naturally," as to how high a building should be, how many windows are necessary, and of what shape and size they must be--the roof very low, and the microscopic windows few and stuck in unexpected places; and of how much of a post should be pushed into the ground, for the New Guinea man doesn't dig holes for his posts if he can help it--it is easier to shove the timber into the ground and prop it up against something. At Wamira, the roof-centre of the new schoolroom was eighteen inches out of truth, and rather than be at the trouble to adjust it, the workmen offered to forgo their pay, if only they might leave it as it was. The height of the posts for the new church scared them, and they wanted to "cut just an inch off the bottom," and one of them, comparing it mentally with the Albert Maclaren, exclaimed that "it isn't a church, it's a schooner!"
In May, 1899, two of the staff died, Edward Henry Clark, who built the new station, and prepared the first catechumens at Taupota, and Willie Holi, "the best of the S.S.I, teachers," as Bishop Stone-Wigg called him. The white man died of malarial fever, alone, and in the place where his best work had been done; and the coloured man of a lung complaint, at Dogura, tenderly cared for by a white nurse.
The Bishop was also ill at this time, and his sickness was variously diagnosed as "a slight sunstroke," and as "neuralgic malaria." It seems to have been the beginning of the breakup of his health, for he was hardly ever perfectly well afterwards.
By the middle of the year the big European house at Mukawa was finished, at a cost of £1,200 for material and freight alone, the labour being supplied by members of the staff. Bishop Stone-Wigg had plans for Mukawa. It was central in the diocese, and this was to be the Bishop's palace, where he dreamed of establishing a school of the prophets for the training of young Papuans for life-long service in the Mission--plans and dreams which may yet come to pass, though the first Bishop did not see them realized. Mr. Tomlinson was put in charge of the station, and he has lived in the big white house with the golden cross on its eastern gable ever since. It is not every priest who can boast that, before his Ordination, he worked as a skilled tradesman on the building of the very house in which he now lives. A fifteen-inch lamp, with proper lenses and reflectors, was set up on Dog's Hill at Mukawa at this time, and the Mission had the honour of kindling the first marine light on the New Guinea coast.
In August, Henry Newton reached Dogura, the first priest who had offered for New Guinea since the Bishop's consecration, nineteen months before. There has always been a dearth of clergymen in this Mission; and towards the end of his episcopate Bishop Stone-Wigg reminded the Australian Church that "out of all the clergy ordained in Australia in the last twenty years, not one was working in New Guinea," though it was supposed to be, distinctively, a Mission of the Australian Church.
Mr. Newton was put in charge of Dogura, and Mr. King set free for translation work, for which, by this time, he had become excellently well qualified.
"Darkie," the horse that came to Dogura as one of the original party, had been running wild for some years, and one of the new broom's first sweeping reforms was to make the "Enormous Pig" fall into line and work like everybody else at Dogura. The poor old chap had to help with a wall that was being built, and he spent his days hooked on to a sort of sledge in which he dragged loads of stones up the hill, and his nights in a fenced-in paddock. He was shot, when his infirmities increased a few years later, at a time when a hungry crowd was gathered at Dogura for the August anniversary; and there is a sinister story still told to new-comers, though it now appears in print for the first time, that the white staff, as well as the coloured visitors, ate abundantly of fresh beef that week, and took large pieces of corned beef back with them to their stations--but, however that may be, the village children in Wedau long had a game which they called "playing darkie."
In October the Bishop left for Australia, having confirmed Samuel Aigeri before he went, and made all arrangements for the opening of a new station on the Mamba River. The diocese being £1,400 in debt, the Bishop spent some months on tour, collecting money and enlisting men.
"Upwards of fifty thousand pounds," he wrote, "has been given in a few weeks to a fund for sending Australian soldiers to South Africa, while Australia's only missionary Bishop, by constant travelling and incessant talking and writing, and at no little expense to himself, has scraped together, in as many months, something considerably under six hundred pounds."
It used to be said of Bishop Stone-Wigg's tours in Australia, that when he was in poor health, and showed it, people gave him plenty of money, but he got no men; and that when he looked less broken and worn than usual, he got the men but not the money. This time he secured a deacon, who stayed one year; a layman, who has since been ordained, and is now priest-in-charge of Samarai; another layman, who developed marvellous gifts for New Guinea languages--it was said of him that when he went to a new village he would talk the local dialect fluently in half an hour, and finish the arrangement of a dictionary on the third day, and be ready to translate S. Paul's Epistles or compile a liturgy within a week; an elderly boat-builder, who was all but drowned the following year, and who died in the service of the mission; a trained lady teacher for the newly-opened school in Samarai, who afterwards married and settled in New Guinea; another lady, who stayed three years; and a third, who stayed three weeks; a printer, who was dismissed within six months; and three South Sea Islanders. There was also sent up to Dogura some very complete furniture for a printing office, presented by the Rev. Bernard C. Wilson and other people in England.
The Bishop, with some of these new missionaries, was back at Samarai by the beginning of April; and the Governor was good enough to take them the rest of the way in the Merrie England, with the Albert Maclaren, full of flocks and herds and ducks and geese, in tow.
After Easter the Bishop set out to visit all the stations, intending to go as far as the Mamba. He got to Wanigera, where the resident magistrate from Cape Nelson met him, and they went together in the schooner to the newly-opened Government station at Tun.
"It was slow work," the Bishop wrote, "and instead of anchoring at 5 p.m., as we usually do on that dangerous coast, we pressed on, anxious to reach the station. It was past 6 p.m. when we saw the lights, and an hour later before we got abreast of them and about to turn into the anchorage. Then a black rainsquall swept down upon us, put out all the station lights, and left us in pitch darkness. Other rainsqualls followed, the sea got up, and we were soon in difficulties. It was impossible to find our way in the dark. Reefs abounded, and a two-knot current would upset any calculations. We were unfortunately very short of ground-tackle, having only thirty fathoms of chain. So we let run eighty fathoms of coir rope and a small anchor. The strain on it was severe--it was stretched as tight as a fiddle-string--but it held bravely till midnight, when the edge of the rock cut it through, and we were once more adrift. There was no help for it but to put out to sea. It might mean going straight on the reefs, and our small dinghy could not have lived in the sea that was running. The night had fortunately cleared, and we could see where we were going, but it was an anxious time till daylight appeared, going about every quarter of an hour, and ready every minute for a crash. God mercifully preserved us, and in the morning we found ourselves ten miles beyond the station, and it took us all that day to beat back again to Tufi. All the week I had been troubled with fever, and by this time the vomiting was so incessant that I felt it impossible to go on to the Mamba. The schooner had waited a day or two, but then went on without me, and I was most hospitably treated by the resident magistrate. I soon got well, and filled up three weeks with great arrears of writing."
Things were going briskly in New Guinea then, and two small steamers had begun to run up and down the coast, and in one of these the Bishop was able to get back to Samarai, and then right up to the Mamba.
In August the Bishop was in Australia for the jubilee of the A.B.M., and he was able to send four new and very useful missionaries to New Guinea--Nurse Gombley, who worked all over the diocese until her death twelve years afterwards at Dogura; Percy Money, who spent ten years at Wanigera and very much extended the work in Collingwood Bay; P. G. Shaw, who was ordained a few years ago, and is now priest-in-charge of Taupota; and Sydney Ford, a printer, who put a quantity of excellent work through the press in the three years that he was at Dogura. Since he left, nine years ago, the press has lain idle; and all through these nine years a petition--"a printer for Dogura"--has appeared in the quarterly intercession paper of the Mission. When he comes, it is likely that this long-delayed printer will find his plant needs some overhauling.
The Bishop returned to New Guinea in October, and was present at another Baptism service and the first Christian marriage at Taupota.
About this time a coconut plantation of ninety-six acres was offered for sale, at the winding-up of a syndicate at Hioge, on the coast between Taupota and Cape Frere, and the Bishop bought it. An additional thousand acres was applied for, and it was hoped at the time that the whole would be used as a Christian industrial settlement.
Before the end of the year the first Baptisms and Christian marriage had taken place at Boianai, where Mr. Buchanan had been in charge for a little over twelve months, with Dick Bourke, South Sea Islander, to help him.
Then the Bishop was at Samarai for the opening, on November 12th, of a schoolroom-church; he went over to Thursday Island in the Merrie England for the installation of the first Bishop of Carpentaria; and before the end of the month he met the Executive Council of the Papuan Government at Port Moresby for a discussion on the tenure of Mission lands.
In 1901, four large Confirmations were held. The candidates came to live at Dogura for some weeks beforehand to attend the preparation classes that were held by Mr. Newton twice a day. Up to this time, only Samuel Aigeri and Rhoda Tasso and one or two others had been confirmed, but by the end of the year the number of native communicants was raised to over a hundred.
On Shrove Tuesday the first Baptisms took place at Mukawa, in a tiny stream at the foot of the hills, among the bread-fruit, native fig, and other luxuriant tropic growths. The eleven candidates were "mandates," that is, neglected, castaway, or abandoned children, who had been handed over by Government to the care of the Mission until they were sixteen years of age. Thirty-five such children had been thus "mandated" to the Mission up to this time, and some of them were at Mukawa in the care of Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson. A year or two later the mandates numbered fifty-seven. One of these was the child of a Solomon Islander and a Papuan mother, and the Mission had a boy of similar origin among its pupil teachers; there were also three children of an American negro, who had married a Queensland aboriginal, and three sons of an Englishman who had a Papuan wife. Strictly speaking, a mandate could only be granted in the case of a child both of whose parents were Papuan, as no Reformatory Act had yet been adopted, such as would give magistrates power over children of mixed origin; but towards the end of his episcopate Bishop Stone-Wigg was able to establish an orphanage at the head station for children, "whose fathers hailed from all quarters of the globe, and whose mothers were Papuans, some dead, some deserted, some grievously injured, and a few alive and thankful for the care taken of their children." This particular work originated in the fact that the Bishop was made guardian of three boys whose father had gone home to England and died a few months afterwards. He was of good English family, and had held a commission in the army, and left full provision for his boys and their mother. Soon afterwards the Bishop "drew" the whole coast and many of the islands, from Samarai to Basilaki Island, and all round Milne Bay to East Cape, seeking half-caste children of Portuguese, and Malays, and Japanese, and Chinese, whom he might rescue from neglect and ignorance. He came back with thirteen or fourteen, who lived for a little while with a white matron at Hioge, and were afterwards, as the numbers largely increased, removed to Ganuganuana, a quarter of a mile or so from Dogura.
The Bishop spent a fortnight on the Mamba in March (1901), with the layman and S.S.I, who were working the station while Mr. King was on furlough. Before starting, he had timed his journey as nearly as possible, hoping to be at Samarai for Easter, but he had to wait twelve days for the steamer at Samarai going, and twenty-one days at the mouth of the river on his return, so that for a six days' journey--three days each way--he was delayed thirty-three days, and spent Holy Week, Easter, and the fortnight following almost in solitude, in a shed on the beach, pestered by sandflies during the day, and by swarms of mosquitoes at night, on short rations, and with little to do but watch and watch for the steamer.
In May of this year Mr. Mounsey, who had acted as chaplain to the Bishop at his consecration, paid a visit to New Guinea, in order better to realize the work of the Mission before beginning his work as organizing secretary in Australia. He went to all the stations except the Mamba, and was present at the opening of the Mukawa church, when a native Christian, who had been educated at Dogura, interpreted for the Bishop, who spoke in Wedauan. Mukawa is not more than forty miles across the bay from Wedau, but the language is almost unintelligible to a chance Wedauan visitor. Clement, who had once been to Sydney with the Bishop, interpreted well, and one who was present said that "a sentence would barely have left the Bishop's lips when you would hear Clement rolling it out with the rich guttural k's and sibilant s's so dear to Mukawans, thus:--
The Bishop: "Amadodo wei numana mai Mukawa anatapui God i verei."
Clement: "Karaku nikosi love Mukawabizisi pesarisi God si berekei."
That is:--"To-day this house has been given by the Mukawans to God."
In July, the Rev. E. W. Taylor joined the staff, and though he died within two years, he was able to do much in the short time. He "settled well into the swing of things, became familiar with New Guinea ways and character, got a good grasp of the language, and was able to help very much with translation, and, above all, was inspired with the true missionary spirit of devotion and self-sacrifice."
In September, with the opening of Uiaku, in Gollingwood Bay, the number of coastal stations was increased to eleven. Better and quicker means of travelling were required, and there were possibilities of extension everywhere.
But the Mission was in debt again, and with a staff of forty-five to maintain, and nearly a hundred buildings to keep in repair, and an annual income which even now was never more than three or four thousand pounds, it could hardly be otherwise. Twenty-four white missionaries, with few exceptions, received only board and lodging at an average cost of ten shillings a week, and a quarterly allowance of £5 for small personal expenses; and the S.S.I, teachers were paid £25 a year; but even with this strictest economy, the irreducible minimum of expenditure remained.
The five years for which the episcopal income had been guaranteed were passing: several guarantors had died, some had found themselves unable, and others had "forgotten" to give what they had promised; the Bishop's health was uncertain, and he remembered that if he should die or be disabled, there was as yet no provision for his successor--all these things conspired to urge the necessity of securing some endowment for the see.
In the middle of December, 1901, Bishop Stone-Wigg left New Guinea for England, returning in May, 1903. He had hoped, if he could, to get some £15,000 for see-endowment and for extinction of the debt, but he was laid aside by fever and bronchitis much of the time. At the end of 1902, with help from the generous English societies, he was able to invest £5,500 as a beginning of the endowment.
In his absence Baptisms took place at Dogura, Hioge, and Boianai--at the latter, "sixty-nine persons, the largest Baptism yet held in the Mission"; and by the time he returned there was a white staff of twenty-eight, with a thousand children in the schools; nearly five hundred Papuans had been baptized, and there were over two hundred native communicants.
Every one of these Baptisms and Confirmations meant long preparatory work. Mr. King had waited nearly seven years before be baptized Samuel Aigeri at Dogura. At Boianai and Taupota it was five or six years before they reaped the beginnings of harvest; at Wanigera and on the Mamba River, Baptisms began only after ten or twelve years. The general rule of the mission has been two or three years in the catechumenate, following on several years in the day schools, and then, in the case of younger candidates, yet another two years before Confirmation and First Communion. Dealing with a childlike people, of weak character and very little strength of will, in a country where the Christian Church, with its tradition and manner of life, has to be built up from the very foundations, and where the variety of languages so increases the difficulty of near approach between the natives and the foreign missionaries, it has always seemed best and safest to go very slowly indeed in these early stages.
During 1902 there were heavy rains and storms in April, doing much damage to the gardens, on which the natives largely depend for food. From May to December there was very little rain, and before the end of the year many districts were on the edge of famine. Such scarcity, caused by too much rain when the gardens are newly planted, and too little afterwards, when the taro crops ought to be growing, is not uncommon in some parts of New Guinea. At Mukawa, where the people live chiefly on bananas, they are often obliged to scatter and seek for food in the sago swamps along the coast of Colling-wood Bay.
Things were so bad before the end of 1902 at Dogura that Mr. Newton had to take the schooner over to Australia to buy food. There was no help to be had in Samarai, nor any certainty as to whether rice might or might not be presently available, and it was unlikely that native food would be ready in the gardens until March. So the Albert Maclaren went on to Cairns, and thence to Cooktown, arriving on a Sunday afternoon. Mr. Newton preached that evening in Cooktown church, bought and shipped nine tons of rice on the Monday morning, and left again the same evening for New Guinea.
On the return voyage Nurse Newton joined the schooner at Samarai. She was for some time in charge of the dispensary at Dogura, where she nursed the Rev. E. W. Taylor and a layman in their last illnesses, and died herself of the results of fever within eighteen months.
While the Bishop was in England, he received from a brother of Seth Low, who was at that time Mayor of New York, a much needed oil launch for the Mission. The gift was made through S.P.G., and the S.P.C.K. paid most of the freight. The Abiel Abbott Low provided those who travelled by her in Papuan waters with many adventures and shipwrecks, and some narrow escapes from drowning and being blown up or burned alive, but she did eight years' hard work before she was lost last year in a hurricane off Taupota, when Edric, the native boy, lost his life so heroically in trying to save her.
During the August anniversary of 1903, Samuel Tomlinson was made a deacon at Dogura, and the Bishop ordained him priest seven months afterwards in the little chapel of his own house on Mukawa Hill.
In September very anxious news reached the Bishop. It seemed that another heavy overdraft would have to be faced at the close of the year. Prompt measures were taken; station expenses, already almost too low for health and safety, were still further cut down; mission boarders were dismissed to their villages; the Mukawa light on Dog's Hill was extinguished, and the Mamba hospital and the printing office were closed. There had been hard and hungry times in the New Guinea Mission before that, and there have been such times since, but older members of the staff still speak with a shiver, which ends in a smile, of the "Great Retrenchment."
At the end of the year, Mr. Mounsey, who had finished his three years of organizing work in Australia, began similar work for the Mission in England, and the endowment of the diocese was completed within twelve months.
At the beginning of 1904, a training college was opened near Dogura, for the preparation of native teachers and evangelists, with Mr. Newton in charge.
Towards the end of the year, the Bishop was in Sydney and admitted Mr. Ramsay to the diaconate, in S. James's Church, ordaining him to the priesthood in the following year.
In 1906 the Bishop was away from September till January; and within four months of his return he was taken seriously ill, and had to go away at once. He made several attempts to return to New Guinea, but it was not until January, 1908, having married in the meantime, that he arrived in Samarai, "looking very well, and able to take four Confirmations, and be present at a staff gathering at Dogura, held to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his consecration, and to do a good deal of organizing work, though he was only a little over three weeks in the diocese." Even in that short time he had a return of asthma, and a slight attack of malarial fever. He left New Guinea on February 7, 1908, and went to England, where the report of the doctors made it clear to him that he could not live in the tropics, and in August, 1908, his resignation was sent to the Archbishop of Brisbane, who, as Metropolitan of the Province of Queensland, had paid an official visit to the Diocese of New Guinea a year before.