"On fair play, on Mission teaching, and on the example of decent lives in the presence of the native race, is built that intangible fabric of moral force by which alone we hold our footing in this colony, the only one of its size and importance known to me that has never had a soldier in its service. . . . Years ago I pronounced Mission teaching to be indispensable to the progress and settlement of a country such as this. Experience only confirms this opinion. We can have no better colleagues than the members of a loyal Mission. . . . The coloured teacher, with all his human failings, has been to us a most important ally."--Sir William MacGregor (letter to the Resident at the seat of Government, B.N.G., December, 1898).
Chapter VI. Yesterday and To-Day.
As an example of the expansion of a New Guinea Mission district--yesterday, when the pioneers had done their work and the foundations had been laid, and to-day, when there are many Christians, and a priest has been put to live amongst them--take Boianai, fifteen or sixteen miles from Dogura, further west, and nearer the head of Goodenough Bay.
Maclaren visited the place more than once, and to those who know something about malaria, and can read between the lines of Maclaren's journals and letters, it seems very likely that when he spent that December night sleeping, or trying to sleep, in the midst of half a hundred natives in the mosquito-haunted club house on Boianai beach, he then and there contracted the fever of which two or three weeks afterwards he died.
Boianai was first occupied by resident missionaries in March, 1895, when Mr. Cyril Elwin, now a priest in Australia, but then a lay member of the New Guinea Mission, settled there with Willie Holi, a South Sea Islander. Mr. Elwin had joined the staff two years before, but had been invalided and sent back to Australia after four months. His health improving in a year or so, he placed himself once more at the disposal of A.B.M., and was sent first to the Queensland Aboriginal Mission at Bellenden Ker, now known as Yarrabah, and then on again to New Guinea at the beginning of 1895.
On the day that Elwin reached Dogura, Mr. King happened to be at Boianai, when he found, "rather to his astonishment," that the people were ready to welcome a resident missionary, and to sell the piece of land that was wanted for a station. They were "not very cordial," but Mr. King thought it was "a great thing that they did not venture on actual opposition," and that "some of them even helped to build the house."
In a few weeks Elwin's health again broke down, and he came to Dogura and stayed there for Holy Week. Then he went back to his station, but had finally to give it up, and after staying some time at Dogura went again to Yarrabah, "where he had formerly enjoyed good health."
Another S.S.I, was sent to live with Willie Holi, and for eighteen months these two coloured men kept things going, with six months' help from Mr. Clark, who went there chiefly to start them in their school work.
Mr. Clark, whose account of a visit to Uiaku has already been quoted, wrote the following description of Boianai as it appeared to him in 1897.
"Boianai is about twenty-five (sic) miles west of Dogura, and is one of seven villages on a small but very deep bay, called Murawawa (? Vurawara), which is a bight at the base of Goodenough Bay. There are no people living on the shore between Boianai and Dogura, as the mountains come down close to the sea: but here the hills fall back gradually, leaving a level semi-circular plateau covered with tall grass and trees and shrubs, and traversed by two dried-up water courses. At the edge of this plateau, near the foot of the mountains, which in some places rise to three thousand feet, are the gardens, where the natives grow their sweet potatoes, yams, bananas, and taro.
"The villages are all close to the sea, and are very clean and well cared for. In and about the villages the ground is covered with shingle and broken coral to a depth of some inches, and with the exception of coconut palms, of which there are great numbers, and a few crotons, nothing else grows in them.
"The houses are built of grass and palm leaves; but there is no plan in their arrangement, and they are placed anyhow. They are low, gable-ended structures, about sixteen feet long by ten or twelve broad, the ridge of the roof being eight or ten feet high, with the eaves coming down to within three feet of the ground, and as the entrance is always in the side the people have to stoop as they go in and out. Furniture they have none. They sleep on the ground, upon mats made of pandanus leaves, and the men rest their necks upon carved wooden pillows, so that they may not crush their hair, in the arrangement of which they take particular pride. It is teased with a long wooden comb until it stands out all over the head for four or five inches. The women shave their heads as soon as the hair gets long enough to take hold of, also their eyebrows, using a piece of stone or shell, but when they can get hold of a piece of glass they prefer that.
"The Mission ground is between the two villages of Kaiboda and Boianai, and about four acres in extent, a very large part of which has been cleared of grass and covered with shingle like the villages; and though not pleasant to walk on, and rough on one's boots, it has the advantage of being clean, and after a fall of rain the broken coral and shells and basalt sparkle with different colours. The ground above high watermark rises sharply for about fifteen feet, and then is level right back to the hills. The school-church, teachers' house, and mine are all close together, and about a hundred yards from the sea. One of the dry creeks I spoke of borders our ground, and the other runs through it at the other side, and both of these are full of trees and scarlet hibiscus and shrubs of every shade of green from olive to light emerald, through which, lifting high their feathery crowns, the coconut palms thrust upwards in search of sun and air. Between the Mission buildings all is clear but for a few coconuts, so that we can see right across the bay from our doors. Above high water mark the beach is covered with creeping convolvulus, which always seems to be in flower."
In August, 1897, Dick Bourke, a South Sea Islander who had just come to New Guinea, was sent to Boianai; and after another two years it was possible again to put a white man there, and Francis De Sales Buchanan took charge in September, 1899.
A priest from Dogura used to go up every few weeks; and Mr. Newton, who generally went, wrote as follows at the end of 1901:--
"I have made two trips to Boianai in the last three months, the intermediate visit being paid by Mr. Taylor, who then had his first experience of whale-boat travelling and life on an outstation; and on both occasions I have been privileged to see unmistakable signs of the progress of God's work.
"When Mr. Buchanan went to Boianai a little over two years ago, the general feeling and atmosphere of the villages were anything but favourable to us, and the work had suffered from many disadvantages and drawbacks. Willie Holi (S.S.I.), who had a very strong influence, died on May 27, 1899, and Dick Bourke (S.S.I.) had been alone until Mr. Buchanan's arrival.
"Honestly and faithfully as Dick has worked, it was more than he could manage single-handed, for Boianai is the most populous centre at this end of our coast line. The classes for catechumens had to be dropped, and all Dick could possibly manage was to keep the services going at the various centres, and maintain his influence over the people generally. For months it seemed as though we were to make no progress, but the seed sown by Willie and Dick was not lost, and after two years of quiet work and steady influence it was my privilege in September last to admit sixty-two men and women to the catechumenate, and again this month to admit nineteen more. These are nearly all old catechumens of Willie's; and the striking thing is that not one has been persuaded to join the class. They have in every instance asked for admission of their own accord. Many who are very friendly, and who were expected to come forward, have not done so, and are probably waiting to be invited, or for something else to break down the reserve. Now they have their classes twice a week, and attend very regularly, even leaving a village dance--and they are very fond of dancing there--when the bell rings for a class.
"Every one who goes is struck with the change. Two years ago all was opposition, now all is friendliness. Two years ago murders and disturbances were common in the neighbourhood, now everything is quiet; and when a murder was committed in the mountains a short time ago, one of the chief men of the mountain tribe came to explain everything to Mr. Buchanan, and to ask him in reporting it to the Government to let all the mitigating circumstances be known.
"To what is the change due? Those who know the place and the people cannot but think that it is a wonderful instance of the working of the Holy Spirit by indirect means, and with inadequate instruments. Willie Holi's influence was great indeed: Dick has been wonderfully sincere and single-minded, with never a thought for anything but God's work: Mr. Buchanan must have done much, but he has not yet mastered the language, and depends entirely upon Dick for interpreting: the Government has done something in the way of punishing outbreaks and murders: and the influence of the few Boianai boys baptized at Dogura has had its share. But all this is very inadequate cause for such effect. One can only think of the words spoken to the prophets of old: 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.'
"I wish some people who doubt whether we do any good could have been present at that service of admission to the catechumenate last September. Besides the candidates, who were arranged in front, a large number of others were present, men on one side, women on the other. There were over twenty men with their wives to be admitted, and none of the candidates were children. The number was too large for the questions to be put individually, and so they were answered collectively. To the question 'Do you desire instruction?' came the answer like a great shout, 'I desire it.' When the questions were answered, I admitted each one separately with the customary words, 'N. before this assembly I receive you into the catechumenate in the Name,' etc., holding the candidate by the right hand meantime. It was a long service, and to white people would have been a little tedious; but the whole congregation of hysterical people, whom the slightest thing sends off at a tangent, were perfectly quiet and reverent throughout. As we sang the hymn 'Jesus shall reign where'er the sun,' I could not help thinking that the words are gradually being fulfilled."
At that time, as recorded in the Annual Report of the Mission, there were thirty-eight boys living on Boianai station, drawn from nearly all parts of the wide district under Mr. Buchanan's charge. He had had to refuse others, including two who came forty miles asking to be allowed to stay, "partly because of the expense, and partly because of the responsibility, with no proper facilities for caring for them if they fall sick, so far from their own people."
"Give me permission," he said one day, "and I will have a hundred children on the station in a fortnight; but it will mean expense in buildings and in keeping them."
The Report went on to say that "Dick Bourke had been invaluable; his devotion to his work, and the trouble he takes to fit himself for it (e.g., he never comes to Dogura but what he asks to be taught tunes for new hymns for his people) are such as to put some of us to shame at times. . . . He has made twenty-seven pastoral journeys during the year to various places on the coast line, and wherever Dick has gone he has found people ready to listen to God's message, and to offer children for training at Boianai. The station has been almost entirely rebuilt during the year."
The next year (1902) opened at Boianai with "the largest Baptism there has been in the Mission." Mr. Buchanan was due for furlough in September, but "there was no one to take up his work, and he never for one moment entertained the idea of leaving it until a locum tenens could be found."
Services were held in five places regularly, and in twenty others occasionally, and a catechumens' class was begun by Dick at Vurawara, a group of villages two or three miles west of Boianai.
Towards the end of 1903, when Mamba hospital was closed, Mr. King went to Boianai for three months to prepare fifty-nine candidates, of whom thirty-seven were men, for Confirmation; and Nurse Nowland, who had also come from the Mamba, was established at Boianai with a lady teacher. These two ladies had to be withdrawn after six months, as the Mission was very short of nurses when Nurse Newton died.
The 1905 Report said that "Mr. Buchanan and Dick have worked on as bravely and patiently as ever, the former having completed five and a half years without furlough, a record in the Mission." That was seven years ago, and Mr. Buchanan has never been persuaded to go for a holiday yet; and once, when his superior officers ordered him to Australia, for a change and medical repair, he actually satisfied his conscience by a few minutes' talk with the doctor in Samarai, and then got him back to Dick and his beloved Boianai.
The Resident Magistrate for the time being of that division wrote to Mr. Buchanan on April 8, 1905; and, though the letter deals only with externals, it is worth quoting:--
"I was extremely pleased," said Mr. Campbell, "when visiting the Boianai villages the other day, to find an entire absence of anything approaching serious crime amongst the inhabitants, and I was also struck with their quiet and orderly conduct. There is no doubt in my mind that this happy state of affairs is, in no small measure, due to your excellent work in the cause of Christianity and civilization, and to the powerful influence for good which your presence amongst these people--once so unruly--exerts on the native mind. If all the other people in this division gave me as little trouble and anxiety as now do the powerful tribes of the Boianai district, my work would indeed be light."
And so the Annual Reports go on: "This station has the largest body of native communicants in the Mission." "Mr. Buchanan has completed another year without furlough, and R. Bourke is as faithful as ever." "This station is most economically managed, and that it is well supplied with native food is shown by the fact that though there are thirty-two boarders, only one bag of rice was used during the year." "Mr. Buchanan has sent nineteen tons of native food to Dogura during the year, and six bushels of limes."
Five years ago, John Regita, who was one of the first students at the training college, and who had been to Australia with Bishop Stone-Wigg, was licensed as an evangelist, and put in charge of the considerable group of villages at Vurawara. He soon had a school of sixty children, and was responsible for the daily services in church, Sunday services for both Christians and heathen, classes for catechumens, and a weekday service in another village. He has done well ever since he went there, and is one of the two Papuan natives who may possibly, though not probably, be admitted to Deacon's Orders in our time.
The 1909 Report said that "Mr. Buchanan is now in his tenth year of continuous service at this station. That it is telling on him goes without saying; that he is happy, no one can doubt. Richard Bourke, who has been still longer at Boianai, had a trip right up the coast this year, and he decided, after seeing all the stations, that Boianai is the best. Mr. Buchanan, without troubling to visit the others, is prepared to agree with him."
A year ago the Rev. S. R. M. Gill, who was trained at Burgh and Livingstone Colleges, and ordained at Dogura by the present Bishop, was sent to Boianai; and on September 1, 1911, Mr. Buchanan, who described the day as "the anniversary of my birth, Baptism, first Holy Communion, acceptance as candidate in O.S.B., and first sight of New Guinea," moved on a few miles further west, still accompanied by the faithful Dick, to open a new station at Uga Point.
Mr. Buchanan's flowing beard, which gives him a remarkable likeness to the pictures of "General" Booth, has been snow-white for some years; and Dick's sight is rather bad, and he cannot get about as he used to do; but they are very much in earnest about their new district, and find the Pekupeku people perfectly charming.
The love of these elderly men one for another, the Englishman preternaturally white, and the other as black as your hat; and their long continued labour together, and the wonderful results of their work, in spite of Mr. Buchanan's inability, even after all these years, to speak anything but pidgin-English sprinkled most oddly with miscellaneous scraps from half a dozen mingled dialects, is one of the finest and most beautiful things in the story of the New Guinea Mission.
They are now convinced that there is, after all, one station better and more beautiful than Boianai; and that, of course, is S. Benedict's at Pekupeku, a mile or so inland from Uga Point. [Mr. Gill wrote from Boianai a month ago, that he had been inland several times this year, making friends with the people. "My last journey," he said, "was a five days' trip among the Barabara people who had not seen a white man before, nor anything dim-dim (i.e., 'foreign'). They are nearly always fighting with the Poudawana people, their favourite battle ground being the Berema Plateau. The Barabara people gave me one of the little village children to take back as a Mission boy. His father was killed and eaten after a recent fight with the Poudawanas."]
Similar stories might be told of the growth, always very gradual, in other districts.
There is Mukawa, where Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson have worked steadily for thirteen years, where nearly all the natives are now Christian, and where "there is a very gentle home-like atmosphere about the station."
Francis Tutuana, a Boianai boy named after Mr. Buchanan, a licensed evangelist and fellow student and companion in travel of John Regita, is in charge of the large Bogaboga villages, on the eastern side of Gape Vogel. Until quite lately, Mr. Tomlinson had to make many wearisome and often dangerous whale-boat journeys right along the western side of Goodenough Bay, but the Rev. John Hunt went to live at Menapi last year, and he now superintends the South Sea Islanders who were established two or three years ago at Paiwa, the wild place where Sir William MacGregor was once so unceremoniously treated.
Mr. Tomlinson, in a letter which he wrote last May, said that his hands were very full just then: Confirmation classes at Mukawa, and classes for a Baptism that was to take place at Bogaboga on Whitsun Eve: and after that he was going to Wabubu, ten miles further along the coast, to give the final three weeks' preparation to about thirty-five people who were to be baptized towards the end of June; and he is "thankful to say that we have at last begun a catechumens' class at Uarakauta," a station fifteen or twenty miles from Mukawa in Collingwood Bay, which was opened by South Sea Islanders three years ago.
If the story of each large station were told in full, it would generally include the three stages of management by South Sea Islanders, by a white layman, and then at last by a priest; though it is one of the ever recurring tragedies of the New Guinea Mission that it is so often impossible to follow up at the proper time, and just when the possibilities seem greatest, the preparatory work of the coloured teachers.
And everywhere, as the priests-in-charge go about their districts, they meet opportunities for new work and see openings for more stations; but neither teachers, nor even money for their support, are available, and the work must still wait, as it has waited now for many years.
In 1906 Mr. King walked from S. Andrew's, by way of the Ope and Kumusi Rivers, to Ambasi. He came one Saturday to a village which possessed a woman as its "Village Constable." She put on her uniform and came out to meet the visitors. King preached that evening to a crowd of people on "What we mean by God"; and twice again next day on "God the Father," and "God the Son," and then he sat down and wrote as follows:--
"Never before, so far as we know, has Christian truth been taught in this district, though I held two services further inland, at Borugatatu on the Kumusi River, several years ago. One feels deeply the responsibility of choosing a subject and of setting it out in plain language on such occasions. The people listen attentively, but how much do they grasp? Sometimes the novelty or the solemnity of the service makes them giggle or talk, and others make matters worse by trying to stop them. The old men, not likely to have another opportunity of hearing; the young people, who may never learn to follow up what they have heard. And the consequences to these people? What difference will the fact that the Gospel has once been preached in their hearing make to them? Such questions puzzle us, but we must be content to leave the answers with God. He has told us to preach the Gospel. The responsibility of the result rests with Him."
Earlier in the same year, Mr. King, who might almost claim that at one time or another in these one-and-twenty years "the whole diocese has been his parish," was returning to Ambasi by launch, and here is his account of one part of the trip.
"Last Friday we arrived at Uiaku and had the usual tumultuous greeting from the villagers. The Bishop and Mr. Money stayed there for the Sunday, and I went on on Saturday by whale-boat to the new Wanigera (a new station on a more healthy spot, round which the natives have built new villages). . . . On Sunday, Holy Communion early. ... At 10.30, after the catechumens' class, the bell rang for service. Jimmie Nogar read the service in Ubir, with Wedauan hymns and Psalms. I read a lesson in Wedauan, and preached in English, with Jimmie as interpreter. There were over two hundred and eighty in the church, and the singing was very good indeed, and the responding excellent. . . . The church is wide and roomy, but it began to be close before the end of the service.
"In the afternoon there was another service of a similar character; and afterwards I walked through the village and came upon a group of men sitting round a fire. I found that one of them was the old man who exchanged names with Mr. Tomlinson in 1898, and is still called 'Mesitom.' I reminded him that I had visited Wanigera in 1895. As he did not quite remember, I mentioned incidents of my visit--handkerchief, watch, socks! . . . They remembered well enough then, and could give me the names of the experts. 'But,' they added, 'that was before the missionaries came and taught us; we don't do such things now.'
"Similar services had taken place at Uiaku, where, however, the language is totally different and much more difficult. On Monday the launch brought the Bishop and Mr. Money, and we went on north.
"We arrived at Okein on Tuesday, and spent the day tramping about looking for sites for a mission station. We camped for the night in Pouna village, and had a talk with the people. They use the Binandere language, which we use on the Mamba. They had offered to dance for our entertainment; but I said I wanted to teach them to sing another sort of song. They began to be shy; but I repeated the words of a hymn they could understand, and then we three visitors sang it. The old men and the young men clustered around, and I began to explain it. I found I had forgotten a lot of the language; so I called on one of my northern boys, who has been at Dogura, and he explained the first verse: how our Father in heaven made the world, and gave us all good things. The men discussed it freely, and talked a long time over the news. Then we went on to the second verse, and my boy, who was admitted to the catechumenate last Christmas, told about the Father sending His Son, and His dying for us. He said, 'God has been listening to our singing, though we can't see Him. Now we shall talk. When we talk to God we kneel down.' So they all knelt down on the sand, and I prayed that God would teach these people, who had never heard of Him before. As we rose from our knees, the boy called out, 'We have not been telling you lies; it is all true.'
"It was worth something to see the interested look on the old men's faces, and how eagerly they listened to what every one said, and tried to remember what they had heard from some of their neighbours who had met the missionary at Tufi. The time will come when they will have a man living near them, and possibly the talk we had will help them to understand why he comes.
"It is not always possible to seize opportunities like this. The following night we were at Oro Bay, but the crowd of young men there were too excitable for any quiet talk. We have been choosing sites at various places up the coast, but we cannot occupy them unless we get men. Let Wanigera bear witness to what men can do who want to serve God; and let Okein bear witness to the openings for service; and each is only a specimen of numbers of other places."
As for Okein, a South Sea Islander has lived there for three years now, on a hill near to Pouna, and within walking distance of half a dozen other villages, and there are a score of coastal villages within a day's canoe journey of the station. But the teacher is not very efficient, and the priest-in-charge lives forty miles away, and there ought to be a white man now at Okein.
And at Uiaku, where there is a large population, and where a station was opened in 1901, South Sea Islanders have been for eleven years in charge. The first teacher died, and the present man, though well educated and a good fellow, is feeble and can do little with the turbulent high-spirited Maisin folk; and the same is true of Sinapa, where a South Sea Islander has lived for six or seven years; and there are many villages down the coast towards Mukawa which the Mission has never really influenced, though many of the young men, both from Uiaku and the smaller villages, have been "recruited" for work on mines and plantations.
The priest in nominal charge of all these places lives at Wanigera, and is very fully occupied with the growing Christian community there; and not much will ever be done at Uiaku and along the coast until another white man can be spared. But the Maisin people have waited fourteen years, and it almost seems as if the opportunity were already gone.
About the time that Mr. King and the Bishop spent that Sunday together in Collingwood Bay, Mr. Money, the layman then in charge of Wanigera, went overland to the lower Musa River; and at Gumbode, a few miles from the coast, "had a chat round the fire in the evening, and the old chief asked that the Bishop be invited to place a missionary there, saying that they would help in every way, and get the people of the outlying villages to gather and live round the Mission House."
"We held service," wrote Mr. Money, in an account of this trip, "in six different villages, total attendance of 205, and took a rough census of the villages we visited (Foru, Sebago, Mofida, Senanda, Tarurawada, etc.) Census showed fourteen villages, seventy-three houses, and 411 inhabitants. Villages are very scattered, and unless they are brought together, as the old man at Gumbode suggested, it would be difficult to work them. The people seem anxious for us to begin; but the labourers are few, and it will be some time before anything beyond making an occasional visit can be attempted."
That was six years ago. The present writer has been casually to these places, which are within fifty or sixty miles of Wanigera, in the course of longer tours with the Resident Magistrate of the division, but nothing of a missionary character has been done, or is likely to be done until the Mission staff is very largely increased. But there were recruiters in those villages last month, and thirty more boys have gone away to work for a year or two on the rubber plantations on the other side of New Guinea; and there they will learn something of one side of English civilization, though nothing of the religion which, if it is worth anything at all, is worth more than anything else the white man can teach or offer them.
The same story must be told of all the country inland from the coast.
The Taupota crops often fail, and the people scatter into the mountains; there are many natives in the hills behind Dogura and Boianai; there are unruly tribes inland from Collingwood Bay; and the notorious Doriri have their villages only two or three days' journey from Wanigera. The writer has accompanied various Government patrols into that country, and all along the Musa River, and into a newly-discovered district further north, in the Hydrographer's Range, "where the population must be counted by thousands." These natives are still unsettled and not yet under Government control; and raids and murders are still as common there as they were all over New Guinea thirty years ago.
The point need not be laboured. The Anglican Mission in New Guinea, with its paltry staff and insufficient funds, has accomplished very much comparatively speaking, in these one-and-twenty years; but it cannot be pretended that the English Church has yet taken her task in Papua very seriously, or risen more than a very little way towards the height of her opportunities.
At Samarai--one of the two "white" settlements in the territory--Mr. Ramsay, since his marriage and Ordination six years ago, has been parish priest and also general agent, accountant, and storekeeper for the Mission, and business manager and banker for most of the missionaries, who must do their shopping and money changing and postal business by deputy. A thankless and distracting task, sometimes, for the general agent and the deputy; but missionaries in New Guinea cannot specialize, and must turn their hands to anything that needs doing. Mrs. Ramsay is the hospitable hostess of people going on furlough or returning to their work, and of the many visitors who come and go in the boats.
Mr. Ramsay also pays a few visits by schooner every year to the islands away to the east, where there are miners and a few other white folk; and every Sunday afternoon he holds a service in Samarai gaol, with a congregation of anything from fifty to a hundred prisoners, men and women perhaps of half as many different tongues, to whom he must preach as best he can in pidgin-English, since that is the only medium, and he the only teacher to whom these poor souls can look for any sort of explanation of the why and wherefore of the perplexities that have come into Papua with the wonderful but very interfering white man.
At Port Moresby, the other "white" settlement, and the seat of Government, although it is not, technically, in the Anglican Mission's "sphere of influence," land has been bought for a church and parsonage, and money promised for the maintenance of a clergyman, and a priest will live there as soon as one can be spared.
Dogura, of yesterday and to-day, has not been dealt with, just because it is the centre of diocesan activity, and too large and vigorous to be compressed into a few hurried pages of description.
It was rebuilt in 1906, by carpenters from Samarai, who found that many of the original piles on which the large European house was erected, "did not appear to have been sunk more than a foot or fifteen inches in the ground, while others broke off level when a rope was tied to the top and pulled by a couple of men"; so that it was small wonder the floors had for a long time been getting "more and more like the surface of the sea on a windy day." The chapel, which had hitherto formed the centre of the main structure, was rebuilt separately, near the path leading to Wedau village, and the living house rearranged on the old site.
Mr. Newton, besides being parish priest of Wedau and Wamira and the other villages in Bartle Bay and among the hills behind Dogura, has a hundred or so of people to look after: the large school for boys drawn from all over the diocese, with Miss (Nottingham in charge of the school work and a layman for external affairs; the half-caste orphanage at Ganuganuana under Nurse Nowland and a lady teacher; while Mrs. Newton, who came to New Guinea as a nurse fourteen years ago, besides her score or so of girl boarders, from among whom many fortunate South Sea Islanders have found well-trained and sufficiently civilized Papuan wives, generally has a handful of babies playing and tumbling about all over her verandah--poor little waifs and starvelings whom she has taken in and nursed back to health and strength, or orphans whom, on behalf of the Mission, she has adopted altogether.
Gerald (Sharp), consecrated second Bishop of New Guinea two years ago, tarries for a little while now and then in a humble native-built palace of palm leaves, half a mile away; and twice a year Dogura is a gathering ground for crowds of people: for the white staff in June at the time of the annual conference, and August for the South Sea Island teachers and some hundreds of elected Christian representatives from the various Mission districts.
That is the time to see, as in a panorama, something of what has been done in New Guinea in the one-and-twenty years! Especially, on the Sunday which falls nearest to the tenth of August, the anniversary of the first landing in 1891, it is very wonderful to see these coloured people from two score scattered stations, and speaking a dozen different tongues, thronging into and around the chapel soon after sunrise, for Eucharistic worship and Communion.
In times of depression even a New Guinea missionary sometimes wonders whether his work is really telling; but he can have no room left for any doubt at all when he goes to Dogura at anniversary time, and sees these devout consistent native Christian people, who but a few years ago had no care for each other but to kill and devour and destroy, going up together into the house of their one Lord, and kneeling together in "that blest Sacrament of Unity."