247 George Street
As I shall be hard pressed for time during the next few months, I have proposed to the General Secretary that much of what I shall say this morning may be used later as my Annual Report. But for your special convenience I have asked that copies of the Mission Map may be put in front of you so that you may the more easily follow me as I work from one end of the diocese to the other.
Omitting Norfolk Island, we will begin our survey in the geographical area we now call the Archdeaconry of Southern Melanesia. Here we are at work in the three northernmost islands of the New Hebrides--Raga (or Pentecost), Aoba (or Leper's Island), and Maewo--and in the Banks and Torres groups. At the moment the white staff working in this area is as follows: Archdeacon and Mrs. Teall live at Lolowai in the house erected in 1926 for the Assistant Bishop. He has at his disposal, so that he may visit the whole district, a quite reliable schooner--the "Patteson"--built at a cost of about £2,200, a gift of the friends of the Mission in New Zealand. A layman (Mr. H. S. Nobbs) is in charge of this schooner. Also at Lolowai is the training college for teachers in this Southern area. Here teachers come for "refresher courses" of six to nine months. The college is in charge of the Rev. H. V. C. Reynolds--a priest from New Zealand. On Aoba (on which island is Lolowai) are stationed Mr. Lloyd Francis--now in Deacon's Orders--and his wife (formerly Sister Piggott, of Fauabu Hospital). He has a small district for definitely spiritual work, but we have placed a small launch at his disposal, so that he may undertake medical work (of which he has had some experience in the Solomons), both on Aoba and Maewo. The latter island formerly had a population of some six or seven thousand--it now has only 650, and that number is said to be falling. Disease is not the only reason: there has been a tendency to migrate south for plantation work. No other mission is at work on Maewo, so responsibility for this remnant falls upon us.
 On Raga, we still have the women's station at Lama-Lana--at the north-west corner of the island. Here, where for years Miss Hardacre (whose death a few months since was a great personal loss to many of our people) and Miss Broughton worked so unselfishly--we have Miss Fagan and Sister Cavers--the latter of whom I have just heard is shortly leaving us, owing to a second attack of blackwater fever. Owing to suqe and kava, there have been many difficulties on Raga during the past two years--the die-hards among the men having refused to allow their women and children to attend at the station. But the firm line we have taken is now being justified and many are returning to full church membership. Roughly about 400 women and children attend one day each week for "school" and for medical attention and instruction.
A little further down the cost--at Bwatnapni--where also "The Brothers" in the south have their headquarters--is a smallish house where Miss Bowden has "school" and does some medical work among the folk of Central Raga, her work being supplemented by occasional visits by the nurse form Lamalana.
On Vanua Lava, in the Banks, is Vureas--a boys' school, which until two years ago was trying to combine the teaching of small boys and quite big lads. Both Godfrey and Teall felt that some change should be made. So, with the good-will of the two governments, the older lads of the south now pass from Vureas to Pawa in the Solomons, which is now the senior school for the whole diocese. Vureas has about 70 boys--a quota being allowed to each "pastoral district." We have a large station at Vureas--a quite valuable property. A considerable amount of copra is made each year to reduce the cost of running the school, which is now under the charge of the Rev. P. C. Williams, assisted by Mr. Peter Garrity.
Close to Vureas is Torgil, the girls' school. This was for many years looked after by Miss Hurse. After her enforced resignation, it was not easy to find a woman to take charge. Miss Simson, who had previously done splendid work in the Solomons, and who knew Mota, very readily agreed to return to the Mission until such time as a successor for Torgil could be trained. That has now been done, and we are most grateful to Miss Simson, now compelled by health reasons finally to retire from the Mission. Miss. E. Muir is now in [2/3] charge, assisted by Miss Samuels, a trained nurse, who is doing a good deal of district work on Vanua Lava in addition to her work at Torgil and Vureas. Torgil now has 25 girls--a number we hope to increase.
I will say at this point that, so far as the Banks are concerned, practically all the people are at least nominal Christians. There are some "lapsed" on Vanua Lava, some "difficult" folk on Mota and Gaua, and as you know, there are still groups of heathen in our islands the New Hebrides. Among these last, "The Brothers" are at work. With the other, it is a matter of patient shepherding.
Away up in the Torres, we have no white resident. The native population is small and scattered, and, I fear, has for some years been somewhat neglected. There is now a native deacon in the group, equipped with a small dinghy, and even in a few months he has produced a marked difference. The Archdeacon, of course, visits the Torres three times each year in the Patteson, in addition to the annual visit of the "Southern Cross."
The Condominium Government which rules in the southern part of Melanesia has for long been a kind of "Aunt Sally" among governments, something at which all manner of things might be thrown. I am glad to say that both the British and French Commissioners have, during these past three years, been most kind and helpful. When Archdeacon Godfrey raised the matter of the depopulation of the Torres, owing to excessive recruiting there, the Government immediately ordered the recruiting to cease. When I asked for help in our medical work, the British Commissioner immediately applied for (and received) an annual grant of £200 sterling to assist us. It is right that you should know these things.
On the whole, so far as the south is concerned, I think our work is developing very satisfactorily. I have said little about the work in the districts or of our splendid clergy, upon whom we are in these days putting increasing responsibilities. I am one of those men who believe that the more responsibility you put upon people, provided they are reasonably well trained and equipped, by far the greater is their response. It will be so, I am sure, with our native clergy. And in the south they have an Archdeacon to turn to for advice, who has both the experience to help them and the capacity for friendship with them, which is not of lesser importance.
 Of late we have begun to feel that we could undertake new work in the south. There has been an understanding for more than sixty years with the Presbyterian Mission that we would not overlap by undertaking work in the southern islands of the New Hebrides or on Espiritu Santo, the latter usually known as Santo. I therefore approached their Synod on two matters: (a) if they would object if we began to make provision for the increasing number of our people who were recruiting for work on plantations in the southern islands (and at Vila--government headquarters), and then making their homes permanently there, and (b) if they would welcome our undertaking missionary work among the heathen on Santo. I received most cordial greetings from the Synod, who readily agreed that we should "follow up"--overlapping need not mean "proselytizing"--our own people, but we were asked not to go to Santo. So shortly we shall have a teacher at Vila, where there are some seventy of "our" people; and we hope "The Brothers" may be able to keep in touch with our folk on other islands. We must pass northwards.
The Archdeaconry of the Solomons
The Reefs, Duffs and Santa Cruz constitute George West's area. Here, assisted now by a native deacon, he is doing a great--but very lonely--work. I have told you elsewhere of his need of a new reliable boat. The people of the Reefs are nearly all Christian, and produce fine material for "teachers" and their churches are a joy to see. On Santa Cruz things are going well. In spite of all the great work in the past, until recently there were quite biggish numbers of heathen. Thanks largely to West's work, and that of Lionel Lonarata and successive groups of "Brothers," most of them, if not as yet actually under instruction, are in "touch". In August heathen villages on Santa Cruz produced 21 juniors and 14 older lads for "school."
 During last summer, Sister Madeleine and one of the Ta'ina spent seven or eight weeks in the Reefs, and had a very happy and most profitable time. Opinions may differ as to the value of "temporary women's stations." The people of the Reefs are most anxious to have such again!
The outlying islands of Tikopia--with a population of about 1,300, of whom 900 are Christians--and Anudha (with its population of 100, all Christians) can only be visited by the "Southern Cross." The former is becoming over-populated and many of the folk were anxious to form a colony elsewhere. I had been given to understand that every help would be given for the establishment of a colony on Santa Cruz, but at the last moment difficulties arose and the situation at present is "obscure."
Vanikoro and Utupua both have Christian villages, and certainly on Utupua the presence of a group of "Brothers" has brought new life into the five villages which, owing to our neglect, had all but lapsed into the old ways.
Westward to the Solomons--a journey of nearly 300 miles--and to the south of San Cristoval, we come to Rennel and Bellona. "Southern Cross VII" has enabled us to get into touch again with these islands, with which in former years Bp Patteson, Bp. Wilson, Mr. Drew and others had contact. We have paid a number of visits to Rennel, and now have a number of lads at Maravovo and Tabalia, who are making good progress. But the population of both islands does not exceed 1,500, and we can only give a small proportion of our time to visiting them. Dr. Fox has already produced a form of Morning and Evening Prayer in Rennellese. Wonderful man!
On San Cristoval there is now, I am sorry to say, no white priest, nor a women's station. At Pamua, where was formerly a junior boys' school, live the Freshwaters. They do a great deal of medical work for folk who are able to get to them. But Freshwater's job is the running of an experimental farm. In the Mandated Territory of New Guinea the Government some years ago established such a farm, and large numbers of "boys" have been taught rotation of crops, proper manuring and treatment of the ground--with splendid results in the villages. This we are trying to do for the peoples of the Solomons. So far, men who have been at Pamua [5/6] are most enthusiastic about the "new ways," and I hope that in time this knowledge will stay the breaking up of villages into smaller groups or the wholesale movement of whole villages because their local "growing land is used up." The work in the villages on San Cristoval is almost entirely in the hands of native priests and teachers. George Gilandi and Elias Sau are most faithful workers--whom I hope to reinforce by one or two younger men shortly. At the southwest of the island, near Santa Anna, is the island of Santa Catalina, where we are gradually winning the confidence of the smallish (heathen) population. And indeed, in the Star Harbour area generally opportunities are opening out to us.
On Ugi, just north of San Cristoval, stands Pawa School. Mr. Seaton has recently taken over the school from Bp. Dickinson, and is being assisted by the Rev. W. Dickie and Mr. A. Milner. As you know, the school is for senior lads, drawn both from Vureas and Maravovo. On her return from furlough, Miss Stead will live on Ugi, and, in addition to such medical work as comes from the school, will be able to do much needed work in the small villages of the island, and occasionally (with the help of the "Drew") in the coastal villages of San Cristoval and on Ulawa. We have two plantations on Ugi--one at the school, worked to reduce the costs of the school; the other worked by "The Brothers," that Brotherhood funds may be able to meet the Government tax (varying from £1 to 5/- per head) payable by "The Brothers".
Ulawa is a well-worked Christian island under Martin Marau, who now has a deacon to assist him.
Sikaiana (on the map, Steward Island) is away to the north. You know the story of the winning of these people--by Ini Kopuria and then Daniel Sade. We have had many lads from the island at Maravovo and Pawa--now our first girls at Bunana. They have produced several excellent "Brothers": Ta'ina came first from this island. Now the population has so increased the island cannot feed them, and some of the folk have already moved to a new settlement at Marau Sound, Guadalcanar.
On this big island, with its 14,000 people, we have no white priest at present doing district work. Six "pastoral districts" have been constituted, and each is in the charge of a native priest or deacon--as is the district of Lambe or Cape Marsh (Russell Is.), [6/7] away to the westward. But on the Tasimboko coast we have had Miss Wench doing both school and medical work amongst a very "tired" community--on her retirement from Bunana she asked that she might be give (possibly as her last piece of work in Melanesia) a station where she might again work among heathen or backward people.
Further along the coast is Tabalia--the headquarters of "The Brothers." Here I hope we shall shortly have secured to us on a long lease quite a reasonably large estate--the gift of Ini to the Church--where not only will "The Brothers" have their home, but whence, from the training and testing school, at present under our veteran Dr. Fox, these will go out year by year a steady stream of "new" "Brothers" to carry on aggressive evangelistic work among the heathen.
Twelve miles further on is Maravovo--now a school of about 200 junior lads; a place which radiates happiness, a school now well staffed and run on lines spoken fully of at least year's Annual Meeting by Warren himself. And hard by, Hautabu, with Freddie Isom and his invaluable printing press, one of our greatest possessions.
Gela is opposite Guadalcanar--a church island looked after by Mr. Caulton and five (all rather old) native priests. Gela presents problems, but we are not un-alive to them. At Tulagi (Government Headquarters) I had hoped by this time to have had erected a church--primarily for the white residents--with the money made available from the Patteson Memorial Fund. I hope that some day we may also be able to build--on a site close by--not so much a bishop's residence--but a house where we may put up members of the staff coming in or going out on leave, or needing a change, for Tulagi is the port of entry for the mail-steamer, and also (rather like Siota) normally the home anchorage of "Southern Cross."
Bunana School stands on a little island of that name off Gela--the island is our property, and provides ample garden land. There are now some 55 girls at the school, and a happy lot they are. Miss Safstrom succeeded Miss Wench, and she has Sister Piers and Miss Armstrong to help her.
Siota is on the other side of Gela, at the end of the Boli passage. Here we have our Cathedral; our College--now with 25 teachers, who came in October for a "refresher course"--under its new Warden (the Rev. E. A. Codd); our Community, now consisting of five "white" and five "native" sisters, running their school for Gela children and giving invaluable assistance in the College and district.
 The College for ordinands is now established at Maka, on Malaita, at the south-eastern entrance of the Maramasike Passage. Here we have a good estate of about 68 acres; we have put up (or rather, Austin Rowley has) some good college houses, as well as the white men's bungalow. Edwards is in charge--there are 18 ordinands in residence, just beginning a two years' course--and he will shortly have the help of Longden in the teaching work, as he has already that of Rowley in the gardens, etc. One of the two launches given to us by S. Mary's, Stafford, is stationed here. I hope it will be of still greater service to us in future, in carrying Longden from time to time around the coasts of south and central Mala for such medical work as he is able to do.
James Uqe, now with two deacons, still carries on admirably in South (or Little) Mala. The Church here is strong; produces good lads and girls for central schools; sends along excellent material for teachers or "Brothers," and is generous in its alm-giving.
In Central Mala we have hitherto done little, but there are now two good groups of "Brothers" at work and Mr. Hipkin has a roving commission in these parts. The nature of the country makes work very difficult and language is a real problem.
Further south, with two good deacons now working in his district, is Mason's area. We should be most grateful for his work--year after year, now over a long period of years. Mrs. Mason does a great work among the women and children and of late has been able to get further afield. There are always problems on Mala--we are fortunate to have a priest with such long experience of the people.
Twelve miles along the coast is Fauabu--now happily again possessed of a doctor. I can't tell you of the joy I have in thinking of the future of the hospital under Dr. James. And of the almost immediate re-establishment of the work among the lepers, on which he is so keen. We have already a good permanent dispensary at Qaibaita, built with funds made available to us by the British Empire Leprosy Relief Association in Dr. Maybury's time. We have in hand about _1,700 for the erection of other buildings. But let me remind you that this work--extending as it may well do to about 400 lepers--is going to be a very big extra annual charge upon our income. At Fauabu, during those long months with no doctor, the work has been most admirably carried on by Sister McKenzie and Sister Field--we are very fortunate indeed in our women staff.
Other districts on Mala are in the charge of native clergy--Jack Talofuila at Fouia, George Kiriau at Aama, both doing excellent work.
 Away to the north-east is Ontong Java (another Lord Howe)--a wonderful coral atoll, with a lagoon about 26 miles long. There is a population of about 600 at Liueniua at the eastern end, and of about 150 at Pelau on the other side. Years ago work was begun by the Methodists, but they later withdrew. Since the coming out of "Southern Cross VII", we have been able to make fairly regular visits and to have "Brothers" at work and considerable progress has been made. Like the people of Sikaiana they are of Polynesian origin; but they are sick (with chests) and there has been a big fall in population in the last thirty years. The lads we have at Maravovo are by no means as intelligent as the Sikaiana lads, but they are "coming on."
An artificial island.
Ysabel is our last island in the Solomons survey. No, I've omitted Savo--a small island twenty to thirty miles south-west of Gela, an island on which we have five villages, with a population of nearly 500 people, not very energetic or keen people, but now with a deacon of their own (John Pita), things will improve there.
Ysabel has a population of over 5,000 people, all baptised, and a good proportion confirmed. Another "mission" has been trying hard during the last two or three years to get into Ysabel. Why, I fail to understand; for they know full well, as does everyone else, that Ysabel was "evangelised" more than thirty years ago. Fallowes' enforced retirement is a big blow to us; but Mrs. Sprott still carries on in her own inimitable way at Meringe. Ysabel, however, has some splendid native priests, and although here and there a disgruntled parishioner (we have them in Melanesia as well as England!) may welcome an invading sect, Ysabel will, I believe, always remain loyal to the Church.
In the Solomons one of our big expenses must always be the initial cost and maintenance of essential launches and schooners. You know of West's disaster--that means at least £250 for a replacement. At the moment we are not badly equipped, although the time may come when the Doctor may the much better be able to do his work if equipped with a good schooner instead of the small Mavis at present at his disposal.
 The Archdeaconry of Northern Melanesia
WHEN we pass from the Solomons into Northern Melanesia we face quite a different set of problems. On my first arrival in Melanesia I was pressed by some excellent people to "wash my hands of 'New Guinea'." It soon became clear that this was impossible. In the first place, unlike other parts of the diocese, this northern territory had already a fair-sized (and interesting) white population. You will agree with me that we have a very real responsibility to "our own folk overseas." There were already two chaplaincies--one at Rabaul, on New Britain, being Government headquarters, and one at Wau, on the mainland of New Guinea, in the centre of the goldfields. Obviously these two chaplaincies had to be maintained. At Rabaul Mr. Bishop had done a great work; eventually Mr. de Voil (regretfully leaving "native work" on San Cristoval) agreed to take over this centre to become chaplain at S. George's, to try to get into touch with planters and their families in all outlying islands (already he has correspondence Sunday School courses for many children miles removed from any "school"), and, as Archdeacon, to be a link for me with the Government, and to be responsible for the sending of supplies, etc., to the new stations we planned to establish on the Arawe coast. I am more than grateful for the way in which D.V.--as we call him--has fulfilled his office.
On the mainland, the Rev. W. Bradley was in charge. He had been able to erect a church (S. Augustine's) at Wau; he regularly visited the small communities on the coast at Salamaua and Lae (the headquarters of the Guinea Airways Co.), and was in touch with small groups of miners and prospectors well in the interior. After his retirement in 1934, I asked Mr. Sherwin (who had had five years of complete isolation in native work on New Britain), in view of his approaching marriage, to take over this chaplaincy. This he had done, and we have been able to build a small rectory at Wau, so that two small vestries (12 ft. x 10 ft.) need no longer be the chaplain's sole lodging! Actually we could well do with a third "white" chaplain--stationed at Rabaul--to visit white folk in outlying islands, and at time to relieve the Archdeacon so that he may the more often visit the Arawe coast.
 The second and more serious problem was the work on this coast. As far as I can gather, for many years the people of New Britain, westward of a line from Talasea to Gasmata, had been "untouched," although a good deal of missionary work had been done both by the Roman Church and the Methodists eastward of that line. It was with the goodwill of the Government--and owing to the apparent inability of these other missions to occupy more territory--that in 1928 a beginning was made by us on the Arawe coast. Sherwin established himself at the extreme end of the island; Cartridge went to Kauptimeti, a small island off Arawe, and from time to time a third (normally a layman) was also working on the coast.
When I first visited Rabaul early in 1933, the Administrator of the Territory quite kindly but quite firmly told me that the Anglican Church had been but "scratching the ground." Little wonder then, that some members of the staff urged our withdrawal from native work. However, it seemed to me to be almost treason to Sherwin and Cartridge that we should withdraw; and the growth of "The Brothers" and the need for a future outlet for the Missionary zeal of the Church in "Old" Melanesia, all this determined me to go forward. With the new "Southern Cross" it has been possible to visit the coast at least once each year; the permission of the Administration to bring in a group of six "Brothers" has given us a nucleus of native teachers; and we have been most fortunate in having a splendid priest (Thompson) and layman (Wiederman) to carry on the work begun by the two pioneers. The district is isolated; our means of communication poor, but lately two additional priests from Australia (Voss and Barge) and another layman (Hill) have made it possible for the work to be seriously taken in hand. From Sag Sag to Gasmata we now have six stations--two being in charge of "Brothers," at Sag Sag and Passage Man o' War, while Thompson has established a school at Kumbun, from which we hope a supply of teachers may in the not distant future be available. And we have great hopes of being shortly able to open a women's station close at hand. There are at least 30,000 people in this western end of the island, and they are a challenge to us.
Native Ordinands at the Training College,
Maka, Malaita, British Solomon Islands, 1936,
 A third problem now presents itself--the discovery of the so-called "new tribes" in the heart of New Guinea. I have not time to go into the matter in any detail. There are reputed to be about 200,000 of these people, scattered over a very large area. It seems but right that we of the English Church should take our share in the work of evangelisation. At the moment the area is closed to white men, owing to the murder of two pioneer missionaries. It may be re-opened at any time. Sherwin has done a good deal of preliminary investigation; two men (Castle, a priest from the diocese of Auckland, and Moore, who has just completed his course at S. Augustine's, Canterbury) are available for the work; I very much hope that the Administration will revise its present policy of non-admission of native teachers form other territories and allow us to bring in other groups of "Brothers." You here at home are making yourselves responsible for the finance. This new work will be costly, as it must be done by air--there is no need at present to contemplate [12/13] the purchase of our own plane, for we could not be better or more cheaply served than by the airway companies now operating in New Guinea.
There are several other matters of which I want to speak briefly.
(a) Our relationship with New Zealand. We are, as you know, an "associated Missionary diocese" of that province and for years there have been the closest of ties. In 1931 the old contact through the "Southern Cross" ceased. In 1934 I insisted that the efficiency of the Mission could best--and only so--be served by the transference of our office from Auckland to Sydney. This caused real heart-burnings in New Zealand. But the change took place and there is absolutely no doubt that the step was a wise one. And the hear-burnings have gone--at least I believe so. New Zealand has a very warm place in her heart for Melanesia and supports us most generously. And the appointment of a New Zealand representative and deputationist--Mr. John Wilson, the son of Bishop Cecil Wilson (Melanesia, 1894-1912), will do much, I believe, to strengthen the bands.
(b) Of the "Southern Cross" I cannot speak in detail. We have had our difficulties. The problem of fuel is a big one. But she is invaluable. She is able to do very much more, being always in the diocese, then her predecessors, and at considerably less cost, as these figures show. "Southern Cross V" cost in 1928, '29, '30 and '31 respectively, _8,875, £7,486, £7,214, £8,122. Last year "Southern Cross VII", on the move the whole time within the diocese, cost £5,277. (This does not, however, allow for freights and passages.)
(c) One word about finance. As I have said, New Zealand helps us liberally--the Board of Missions budgets for £6,500 for us. Our own endowments there bring us in a matter of nearly £3,000. You liberally send us £9,500, and of course we get good benefit from the rate of exchange--at present nearly another £2,500. Australia gives us only £2,280, in spite of the fact that we have taken over from her the whole burden of the Mandated Territory--surely a special responsibility of the Church in Australia. Within [13/14] the diocese we may roughly assess our alms at about £2,000. Actually we need £28,000 to maintain the work as at present organised. It is easy to say, "You must live within your income--you must cut your garment to your cloth." But do you really want us to shut down work actually now in hand? May we not look to you--as well as to the Church in New Zealand and in Australia--for just that little more to enable us to make ends meet? (These figures do not, of course, take into account the new project in New Guinea for which you have issued your special appeal.)
Miss V. Syers (N.Z.), at the Dispensary on Raga.
We of the staff are most grateful to you for all you do for us without ever apparently a word of criticism. Always encouragement! And I should fail in my duty if I did not here and now thank you of the Home Base--especially may I name Mr. Corner--from the bottom of my heart for your confidence and your wonderful work. Surely this Mission is well served at its bases. In our Sydney office--his first care and sole interest being the welfare of Melanesia--we have in Major Robinson a Secretary who is second to none, and who gives us year in and year out most uncomplaining and loyal service.
I know you will go on strengthening our hands.
Further returns make it possible to bring still further up to date the figures included in last year's Report.
(a) The total population in those islands of Southern Melanesia where the Mission is actually at work is 12,904.
Two other missions have adherents in this area and there are thought to be about 1,500 heathen.
The Mission has 162 teachers at work in 131 villages, where there are computed to be 6,517 baptized persons, of whom 3,251 are confirmed. Twelve native clergy are at work in this area, and 23 "Brothers."
(b) The total population in the sphere of the work of the Mission in the British Solomons Protectorate is 80,127. Of these 27,930 live in villages where there are resident Church teachers-513 male teachers in 379 villages. 22,165 are baptized, and of these 11,795 are confirmed. 34 native clergy are at work in this area.
Other missions are working here, but there are still at least 35,000 heathen in these islands.
(c) The total population in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea is 456,924--apart from "new tribes." In the southwest of New Britain, where the Mission now has a chain of costal stations, there are 35,786 people, of whom about one-tenth are "in touch"; some 700 have been baptized, and 93 confirmed.
1933 4 Churches, 1 school
1936 19 Churches, 5 schools.
W. H. HILL, LTD., PRINTERS, 7-11 MALLETT ST., CAMPERDOWN