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Round about the Torres Straits

By the Right Rev. Gilbert White, D.D.

London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1917.

Chapter I. The Australian Aboriginals
Chapter II. Yarrabah
Chapter III. The Mitchell River Mission
Chapter IV. The Roper River Mission
Chapter V. The Torres Straits: Moa
Chapter VI. The Islands
Chapter VII. The Beginnings of the New Guinea Mission
Chapter VIII. The Growing Work
Chapter IX. The People
Chapter X. New Guinea To-day


I WAS asked to write this little book at very short notice, and to reply as to whether I would do so or not by cable. This explains the fact of my venturing to write about the New Guinea Mission, about which, unlike the other Missions here referred to, I had no personal knowledge save my acquaintance with, and respect for, many of the workers. Having thus no option but to perform all or none of the task assigned to me, with some misgivings I determined to do what I had been asked to the best of my ability. I had almost completed for publication a much larger work on Tropical Australia at the time that I was asked to write this book on Australian Missions, and to a limited extent the two subjects overlap. I have, however, rewritten most of the matter required specially for this book, and have deferred the publication of the larger work. In any case, the extent of the matter common to the two books is not very large. I have, with the kind permission of the authors, made use of Mrs. Benson's (Miss Synge's) "Life of the Rev. A. A. Maclaren," Bishop Newton's "In Far New Guinea," and the Bishop of North Queensland's account of his visit to New Guinea. I have also been greatly assisted by the Rev. A. K. Chignell's "An Outpost in Papua," but, owing to lack of time, I was unable to ask his permission to make use of it. I am sure he will forgive me for doing so in memory of our first meeting in the wilds. The Australian Church raises annually a considerable sum for the Melanesian Mission, but that work was not included in the scope of this book.

The limits of space have obliged me to omit all reference to some of the most devoted workers, and in particular to the magnificent work of the women on the staff of the New Guinea Mission. Their work has been quite equal to that of the men, and they have offered themselves yet more freely. It would require a book to give any idea of their manifold activities, and of the extraordinary devotion with which they have given themselves to the advancement of the kingdom of Christ.


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