Project Canterbury

The Annual Report of the Melanesian Mission for 1909, Auckland: Clark & Matheson, (1910), pages 3-17.

By Cecil Wilson

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2010

[3] The Annual Report


Melanesian Mission

For 1909.


"Is not God now i' the world His Power first made?
"Is not His love at issue still with sin
"Visibly when a wrong is done on earth?"

R. BROWNING--"A Death in the Desert."


THE new ground that by God's grace we have won, our safe keeping, and the encouragement we have been given in the Melanesian Mission during 1909 would enable any of the writers of the following Report to answer the poet in the affirmative; but when they come to give a reason for their answers in a report, with figures and statistics, it becomes but dull reading, and less convincing to others than to themselves. If our readers care to go no further with us, will they accept it from us that we have seen in the so-called "Savage South Seas" that God is still in the world His power first made; and that His love is at issue still visibly with sin.

I.--Personal Changes.

The Mission lost during the year through death the Rev. Frank Bollen, who died of dysentery at Maravovo in Guadalcanar on August 4, after a two days' illness. He was a most valuable worker, and his place will not easily be filled.

[4] The Rev. W. G. and Mrs. Ivens retired from the Mission after many years of good service, the former undertaking for twelve months the work of Organizing Secretary in New Zealand.

There also left us Miss Ardill, one of the teachers at Norfolk Island, and the Rev. F. H. and Mrs. Petrie, who joined us only two years ago, with the intention of taking charge of the Central School on Bungana.

We deeply regret their loss, but happily they were to some extent compensated for by an unusually large number of new workers who joined us during the year.

Mr. E. Bourne, who worked formerly for some time under Dr. Welchman in Bugotu, on hearing of the latter's death, decided to rejoin the Mission, provided the doctors would permit him. This they did, and we warmly welcomed him back in September.

Mr. J. W. Blencowe came out from England, where he had distinguished himself at Oriel, Oxford, as a football player, but unfortunately has been obliged to return, only temporarily we hope, owing to an accident.

Mr. Dow joined us as a printer, finding his way out to us from the Parish of S. Paul's, Lorrimore Square, Walworth.

Mr. F. A. Crawshaw came from New Zealand, from All Saints', Auckland, and S. John's College.

The Rev. R. E. Freeth, of Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he captained his College boat, and Ridley Hall, joined the Mission in September.

The Rev. W. H. Sage, brother to Mr. C. C. Sage, came as Tasmania's first representative in the Mission.

We also welcomed two new ladies, Miss Wench from England, to work at the Ladies' Station at Mota, and Miss Miller from Nelson, New Zealand, to be nurse at the Bungana Hospital when it is opened.

Against six losses therefore, we were able to place eight gains.

II.--Progress in the Islands.

I propose now to give a very brief survey of the Mission's work on the different islands.

In Norfolk Island about 150 boys and girls have been taught by the permanent staff under Archdeacon Cullwick. In these days when other Missions are competing with us in evangelising the Islands, one is able to compare the Norfolk Island trained teacher with those made use of by others, and certainly we have no reason to be dissatisfied. The long [4/5] training, covering seven or eight years, from a boy's child hood to manhood, is no doubt costly, but the boy is benefitted by it in body, soul, and spirit. Happily there is a missionary spirit now in our scholars which makes them ready to leave their homes. It has become quite common for a boy to wish to teach in another island rather than in his own.

Raga, under Mr. Drummond and Miss Hardacre, has become one of the brightest parts of the Diocese. Mr. Grunling and Miss Bridges joined them, the former taking the Central Raga School and the latter helping Miss Hardacre with the women's work. The Church has made distinct progress at the northern end, but it has been continuously thrown back in the central part by the absolutely pitiless recruiting of boys by British and French traders. In one bay it is a common thing to see five recruiting vessels waiting for a boy's weak moment, when a family quarrel, or even a teacher's lightest admonition, will be regarded as a reason for "signing on" for a three years' contract at Epi or Vila. Unless the authorities can restrict this recruiting, even as restrictions are laid on baggers of sea-fowl and partridges in other places, Raga will soon be an island without a population.

One cannot see much progress in Opa, although Mr. Howard has worked hard, and done all that he could. The late Mr. Godden found the people terribly unreliable and discouraging. After his death Opa became the hot-bed of the traffic in gin. This condition of things has been im proved since the Anglo-French agreement was signed, but trade gin is still illicitly sold to the natives. There have also been cases of kidnapping, which Mr. Howard has reported to the Commissioner in Vila.

Maewo is one of Mr. Drummond's islands, and the Church is happier there than it has been for years. The introduction of Motalava teachers has brought in light and strength, and the last people to remain heathen have now been given schools. The whole island is therefore under Christian teaching.

The condition of the Church in the Banks' Islands depends on the strength of the Suqe secret society. To a visitor, particularly one anthropologically inclined, this society is full of interest, and having apparently "nothing wrong in it" there seems no reason at all for its suppression. But we see that the Church and the Suqe exist with difficulty in one island. If the Church is strong the Suqe is dead; if the Suqe is strong the Church is lifeless. People keen on Suqe are so much in [5/6] earnest in passing through its various ranks, that they can think of nothing else. And so we can almost divide the Banks' into Church islands and Suqe islands--Meralava, Merig, Gaua, and Rowa belonging to the former group, in which the Church is really vigorous, and the people well-off, well-fed, and, according to island standards, well-educated; whilst to the latter belong Mota, Vanua Lava, and Ureparapara, where every interest save Suqe is crowded out.

Between these two extremes

MOTALAVA and Lakona, having accepted and stood loyally by my "one day rule" that no Suqe ceremony shall last more than one day, have so lowered the prestige of the Society that in the former island, at any rate, the Church is still fairly strong, and continues to send out missionaries, northward to the Solomons, southward to Maewo and Raga, eastward to Tikopia, and westward to Lakona. If we could kill the Suqe altogether, as we hope to do in 1910, Motalava will be one of the brightest jewels in our crown. Mota proposed to divide the island between the Church and Suqe, to which the Mission's answer was a Women's Station under Miss Hawkes, with Miss Wench to assist, planted in their midst. In Ureparapara the Suqe chiefs forbade the school-people to attend prayers. This accentuated the cleavage between Church people and Suqe people, and we did not hesitate to declare Suqe a merely heathen custom, with which school-people had nothing to do, and by the rules of which they were by no means to be bound.

Vanua Lava is steeped in Suqe, and the Church is a struggling remnant. If the people had suppressed this old heathen custom themselves, as Meralava and other islands have done, it had been better than that we should have to step in and forbid it. One dreads forcing it beneath the surface, but when one sees how in practice the Suqe, which looks so harmless, destroys the Church, and keeps the people poor and short of food, it seems as though the Mission must forbid it altogether to such islands as Mota, Vanua Lava, and Ureparapara, where the "one day rule" has been broken, and the Church is so crushed that life depends on the suppression of the society which is strangling it.

It will be interesting to see the effect of the introduction this year (1910) of some teachers from Meralava to Mota. They will be, as are now all Meralava men, free from Suqe caste, and will replace the Mota teachers. The Rev. Joseph [6/7] Qea, a militant anti-Suqe champion, will lead them. What will the result be?

S. Patrick's Central School at Sanlang, Vureas, under the Rev. H. V. and Mrs. Adams, with Mr. Charlie Christian and Mr. Evans assisting, has continued its good work of training small boys drawn from Santa Cruz and the southern islands. The boys come to Norfolk Island well-prepared, and some have already been put on the teachers' list. A well-kept Mission Station like this must have its effect upon all the islands in its neighbourhood.

In Tikopia, the Mission has made good progress. Early in the year we carried back to this island four men who had been recruited unlawfully by a New Hebrides vessel, and thrown ashore at Raga. A letter was sent to the four chiefs asking them to accept this service as an expression of our desire to help them. It was warmly received, and when we returned in November, we found the chiefs far more friendly than they had ever previously shown themselves, and we were further rewarded with permission to take two of their boys to Norfolk Island, these being the first-fruits of this island. There are two large schools now on Tikopia, taught by Motalava teachers, Denmet and Mikael Tagalad, the late Henry Tagalad's brother and son.
In the Torres Islands the Church seems to have made satisfactory progress during the year. Toga has a Motalava teacher, Katlavle, and sixteen of its people were presented for Confirmation at the end of the year. Tegua rebuilt its church. The most surprising feature of the year in this group was the relinquishment of heathenism by a large part of the people of Hiu. They had so steadily opposed the introduction of Christianity to their island, that we had expected small progress even after a first footing had been gained. Instead of this, the people have come in with a rush, largely owing no doubt to the tact and zeal of the Motalava teacher, Charles Semtobok, and his wife.

A Rowa boy, Reuben Quasvar, relieved Ben Teilo at Vanikolo, and made a good little school on a small island on the Barrier Reef, whilst a Norfolk Island trained native opened a school on the mainland. Ben Teilo, the Matema teacher, and a true apostle to the heathen, was thus able to go to Utupua, thirty miles away, where hitherto the Mission had done nothing beyond paying an occasional visit, and to open a school, with a Nukapu boy as second teacher.

[8] Ben Teilo, during his holiday in his Reef Island home, infused new life into Matema, Nukapu, and Pileni by a preaching tour, in which it was said, "he so preached Jesus Christ that all the people were moved." James Tuena, a Nukapu boy at Norfolk Island, was then at home for his holidays, and worked hard amongst his people, and it seems that now this island, where Bishop Patteson was killed, is ready for admission into the Church. The people gave us four of their little boys for Norfolk Island. Nathaniel Leiau, the once ghost-house keeper, now head teacher at Matema, also came with us for further teaching. There is much to be done in the Reef Islands, but I never remember finding so much to encourage us before.

For one more year the Church in Santa Cruz was stationary, if it did not actually retrograde. We had no white man for it, and the station stood empty. The teachers perhaps did a little work, but one of them was accused of wrong doing. The training of Santa Cruzians for teachers was however still going on, both at Norfolk Island and S. Patrick's, and four more small boys were given us at one village for the latter school. We pray that this may be the last of these lean years in Santa Cruz. A mission party is being formed, consisting of the Rev. H. N. Drummond as leader, the Rev. C. Turner, and one other, with possibly one Maori teacher with his wife, to go to this group in April, and begin vigorous work. We need a brotherhood of missionaries in this group, with a leader stationed in Graciosa Bay, and two assistants visiting Santa Cruz and the Reef Islands in the boats. If Maoris will come from New Zealand and help in the Polynesian islands of the group, I believe that they could be most useful. I have written to that effect to the Maori Superintendent, the Rev. H. A. Hawkins, asking that the experiment may this year be tried.

I spent one month in San Cristoval and Ugi, and have already written to the Log an account of the condition of the Church in these islands. The Rev. R. Sprott, recently come from England, was given charge here in the absence of Mr. Drew, who has gone on furlough. The Mission is extending in both directions from Pamua, the Rev. Simon Qalges, the Ureparapara deacon, having charge of the advance eastward, where Cape Kahuo has already been reached, and a strong school established amongst the heathen at Rumatari, whilst James Faiato, a San Cristoval teacher, is posted at Naoneone, a little further beyond. Fighting is still common amongst [8/9] the bush heathen, and one of our villages, Manihuki, has become embroiled in a small war, owing to some fifty bush men having settled in the school village, and from there cleared off some old scores in the bush. The Motalava teachers, Joe Gilvelte and Hugo Silter, did all they could to dissuade them, but failed, and are now in danger with their people of reprisals. At Wango, John Still Taki, the old chief, led his people into the beautiful new church lately built in his village, when I dedicated it in July. At Heuru, the Church lost the faithful chief, David Bo, who for so many years had made his village the best in San Cristoval. He will be a great loss to this district. The schools reach as far as Parigina, on the south side of the island. At Bore, a village near by, the chief Ariahurongo, at whose request the school was opened, was baptized.

Ugi seemed to me a particularly bright little island. The reason probably lies in the fact that every head teacher is a missionary--that is, comes from some other island. More and more we and our teachers are seeing that a man is no prophet in his own country.

Ulawa, once one of the most encouraging places in the diocese, has been under a cloud of late. The native priest was accused of wrong doing by his people, and in the face of abundant evidence denied his guilt. At last he has confessed it, and the clouds, we hope, are beginning to pass. But the trouble caused by this defection broke the health of Mrs. Ivens, and necessitated the withdrawal of herself and Mr. Ivens from the Islands. The natives felt the loss acutely, as Mr. Ivens had endeared himself to them by many years of faithful service. The Rev. W. H. Sage succeeds him, but will reside in Saa, or one of the villages in South Mala.

We have three white missionaries now on Mala: the Rev. W. H. Sage at the south end; Mr. C. C. Sage at Fiu, half way up the south-west coast; and the Rev. A. I. Hopkins at the north end. There is a want of missionary spirit at the south end, and the teachers, who are very numerous, refuse to leave their villages, preferring to live in idleness there to doing the work of an evangelist even in the next village to them. It was not surprising therefore to hear of "an epidemic of immorality" passing at one time of the year through them. Mr. Sage has plenty of material to his hand in all these Norfolk Island trained teachers who are doing nothing, and one feels it will not be long before he puts his own enthusiasm into them, and scatters them up and down the coast.

[10] The Rev. A. I. Hopkins and Mr. C. C. Sage, in the north and central parts of Mala, are greatly in need of teachers. With the settlement of a Deputy-Resident on the island at Auki, five miles from Fiu, "war and rumours of war" have become less frequent, although threats and scares are still common, and a night watch is yet kept up at Nore Fou. At the latter village a nice church has lately been built outside the palisade, showing how greatly times have changed. Mr. Hopkins has pressed up as far as Duru on the north-east coast, and has schools in the still wild Atta Bay. Queensland trained teachers are doing good work in many villages, particularly at Fooia and Maanaere. The latter place has grown to a considerable size, and I had the great joy of baptising thirty-five of the people, including Noah Konai, the chief. Fiu has grown too, and is a strong centre. I foresee that Mr. C. C. Sage will give his brother no peace until he breaks up the numerically strong church at Saa, at the south end, and mans all the little straggling schools which dot the long line of coast from Fiu to Turu, and beyond.

The immense number of returned Queenslanders in Gela makes it a hard island to work at the present time. Avarice and swollen-headedness are the vices of a Gela "return." It is not what he does that is wrong generally, but what he thinks. He is moral and self-respecting--in fact, too self-respecting. Having received £6 or £8 a year for his labour in Queensland, he has persuaded the teachers that we are sweating them because we give them "a present" of only £2 or £3 a year. We have never considered the "teachers' pay" as wages at all. They have their own gardens, in which they grow all their food, and their work consists of reading prayers morning and evening, and about an hour of school a day, for which we give them presents which we buy for £2 or £3, and that would cost them with the traders £4 or £6. Last year we were con fronted with a strike of Gela teachers with a demand for £12 each a year, or £15 if they went to another island! Happily the Norfolk Island trained boys knew too much to be led very far by the Queensland contingent, and when I poured a little gentle ridicule on the strike by conceding their terms on condition the Gela people would find. the extra money, the teachers laughed at the idea of their Gela friends paying them all that money, and confessed to me that they were only "trying it on," and that I should hear no more of it.

The Rev. J. M. Steward was unwell for most of the year, but presented 277 candidates for Confirmation before going to [10/11] England on furlough. Miss Kitchen did good work, with Miss Owen assisting, amongst the women chiefly at Halavo. The Rev. R. P. Wilson settled down at Bungana, and began clearing the island, with the intention of opening the new central school this year.

I spent two months last year in Guadalcanar, and have already had my say about it in the Log". The Rev. F. Bollen, its most efficient and faithful young priest, died on August 4, leaving me temporarily in charge of the Maravovo district. The Church has made wonderful progress, and has schools and teachers now from Mole, near Marau Sound at the east end, as far as Luagi on the Balasana River facing Gela, a distance of about 150 miles. There is, owing to Mr. Bollen's death, no Anglican priest now on this island, and no Anglican missionary at all in the Maravovo district; but Mr. G. K. Moir made an excellent beginning at Tasimboko on the opposite side. On September 19 I ordained deacon Benjamin Tumu, a Gela teacher, who for many years has been working in this island.

In Savo I had only a fortnight, but in it I saw great possibilities for the Church there. Having confirmed four junior teachers and baptized 25 persons, all of whom seemed earnest and well-taught, I left Pagopago with William Keda, its Gela teacher, and a dozen of his men to walk round the island and visit the school-villages. I found that Keda's was the only good school in the island, but that the people generally had made up their minds to break away from heathenism, and to have only one religion in the island, namely Christianity. There are four little "Roman" schools in the island, and five "English." In every village not occupied by a Roman school, boys were give me for Norfolk Island, and in school-villages, where some of the people had not yet joined the school, the stragglers were first talked to by the men with me, and if still reluctant brought to me, or I was brought to them, that we might persuade them to "come in." In vain were their excuses; no sooner had they been made than a chorus of "Come in!" Come in!" overpowered them. I left William Keda, head-teacher, in charge of Savo, and next year I hope to be able to make him a deacon, for which office he has already been preparing.

We have no report this year from Bugotu. Dr. Welch man's worn-out body was laid to rest on the mainland, opposite his home at Mara na Tabu, towards the end of 1908, [11/12] and Mr. Bourne did not arrive from England to succeed him until October. Mr. Bollen had continued the doctor's Confirmation classes before he himself was called to rest and on my two visits in May and October I confirmed 228 persons. If these be added to the 570 communicants whom the doctor left behind him, we have nearly 800 confirmed, or very nearly one in every two of his baptized people. I have little doubt that this is the best district in the Mission. It has had the advantage of a first-rate man, both priest and doctor, living in it with but few breaks for twenty years. The teachers spent a fortnight or more each year with him at Mara na Tabu for instruction. They were devoted to their priest and ready to go anywhere he sent them, and he sent them where-ever there were people to hear them. And so there is no village in Bugotu without its school and teachers. Mr. Bourne has the Rev. Hugo Hebala to minister to the Buala district of Bugotu, and Ellison Gito, the late chief Soga's son, who will, we hope, be made deacon this year, to advise him and work in the Sepi district. But Bugotu must have a priest of its own as soon as possible, and not depend upon the visits of the Southern Cross for means of grace, otherwise its present high standard cannot be maintained.

Bugotu teachers have found their way to Nagotano and Russell Island. Both are colonies of Bugotu. The former is a small island with a Christian population. The latter is large in area, but has probably only 250 natives, 80 of whom have joined the schools. For the first time boys were given us for Norfolk Island last year. Messrs. Levers have very large cocoanut plantations here, the white planters of which show no small kindness to our school people.
I have now given a short summary of the Church's work throughout the islands. Statistics are approximate only, and illusory, for the returns are never complete, and we have no registrar of births and deaths. But we seem to have in the islands 13,848 baptized persons, 4,800 unbaptized "hearers." and 1,332 catachumens, making in all 19,975 adherents, attending 327 schools, and taught by 759 teachers, a large proportion of whom have been trained at Norfolk Island. Adding to these those now in training at Norfolk Island, and at S. Patrick's, we have over 14,000 baptized, and more than 20,000 adherents. There were altogether 973 persons baptized, and 778 confirmed during the year. Native contributions amounted to £184 6s. 8d., and curios given for sale.

[13] III.--Changing Conditions of the Islands.

There are always some who appraise a Mission by the money it spends upon making a so-called convert. They look at the balance sheet, and see what the Mission spent in the year, and how many "converts" it claims. Thus they see that each "convert" costs £1 to make, or more or less. This is of course an entirely unfair method of judging us, for we are not aiming at piling up numbers, which, if we wished, it would be extremely easy to do. We could baptize thousands every year if we liked, for after a school has been established a month or two in a heathen place, all the people would like to be baptized. We make it a rule, however, to let them learn for two full years, and then, when they understand the changed life that baptism will entail on them, if they desire it, they become catechumens, and for two more years attend special classes preparatory to baptism. Thus four years at least go by before a native can become a "convert," so-called; and at least another year must pass before he can be confirmed, and then after more teaching. Since, then, we are aiming, not at large numbers, but at changed hearts and lives, it is unfair to speak of our "converts" as expensive, if they cost us £1 each. Who can set down the value of a changed heart? Can you in terms of money express the difference between Torolala, the chief in Savo, who, in order that he might cut his hair and nails and wash after a long illn.ess, ordered a small boy to be murdered as a sacrifice to his ghost, and David Bo, the chief of Heuru, in San Cristoval, who, with the grace of God in his heart, ruled his village firmly and well for many years, and went down to his grave loved and honoured by all? Was David worth £1, or £100, or £1,000? Who can tell what a changed heart in a chief, or one of the least of his people, is worth?

We would have the Mission's work judged, then, not by the number of its adherents or baptized, but by the change which it has helped to bring about in the islands. If we have brought peace and goodwill to the people who knew nothing of these things before; if we have been able to raise them above the custom of cannibalism, infanticide, slavery, and bloody cruelty; if we have with our schools civilized and educated them to some slight extent; if we are making the Perfect Man, Jesus Christ, a reality to them, and setting the knowledge of God, the Father and Maker of all in their minds instead of the fear of savage gods, whose help could be bought [13/14] only with the blood of children, or slaves, or cripples, or women, surely an outlay of £20,000 in the year is not an extravagant price to pay for it?

The condition of the Islands has undoubtedly changed, and is changing. We are very far from laying claim to be the sole instruments of this, for the Government has become a force lately which the natives recognise and respect. There are also white men and women besides ourselves engaged in mission work, and there are planters, too, and a fairly large number of traders.

"The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways."

The civilised world has broken in upon us, yet while we recognise the benefits that it brings, we also plainly see that the change of circumstances is not all for the islander's good. It was sure to come, and perhaps it has come more happily than we could have expected. Mr. Woodford and Mr. King, the Residents in the Solomons and New Hebrides respectively, and their Deputy-Commissioners, are friendly to all missionary effort, and have many times gone out of their way to help us. Most kindly they removed the restrictions upon the movements of the Southern Cross, and allowed us to work almost as before. We are on good terms with the other Missions, and up to now there has generally been room both for us and them. The varieties of Christian creeds, of course, do make difficulties, particularly when, as occasionally occurs in one small bay, a rival school establishes itself within a few yards of one of ours. But this was inevitable, and must be put up with. Our Norfolk Island teachers are well able to hold their own. On three islands in the Solomons, Guadalcanar, Russell, and Mala, wide tracts of land have been bought for plantations, and are now being cleared and planted. Messrs. Levers and Messrs. Burns, Philp have large trading stores in islands off the Gela coast, near the Government Residency at Tulagi. Gela is now the government and commercial centre of the Solomon Islands, and two large steamers, arriving together from different directions, call regularly every fifth week, and a third every ninth. In the New Hebrides, steamers call at Vila almost every week. Messrs. Levers' steamer, the Upolu, calls at Santa Cruz every ninth week.

Of course this state of things affects the native population in many ways. Anyone who wishes for money (and what Melanesian does not?) can earn it on the plantations, for [14/15] there is work enough and to spare for all. It is a matter for regret that we have not as yet been able to follow up our people to the plantations and supply them with schools, where, I believe, the planters would generally welcome them. Money having become very plentiful, although it buys very little at present prices for native purchasers,* [*Note.--Inthe Solomon Islands, for 150 unhusked cocoanuts, or 100 husked and "cooked" into copra, 1/-is given to a native, who, in spending his money, pays 100 per cent. on all goods to the trader. His shilling is therefore worth only 6d. It is not surprising if the natives regard these prices as no great inducement to work.] the "pay" of our teachers seems small, and may have to be raised in the near future. The plantations have absorbed a good proportion of the kanakas who returned from Queensland in 1907, and have so rid the villages of discordant elements. In the New Hebrides the drain of men and women from the villages to the plantations is already seriously felt, and has been commented upon above. In the Solomons it is not yet so apparent, but will surely come, as blocks of 5,000 to 6,000 acres of land are sold to newcomers, and yet another 100 or more boys required to clear them. Everyone can see that a crisis lies ahead of us, when there will be insufficient labour for the plantations, owing to the increase in their number, and the decrease of the population. Can any protection be given now to the native race by way of restricting the drain upon the native villages? Chinese, Japanese, or Hindoo labour must come to these islands. Is it necessary to defer the day until the one race has been destroyed before introducing the other? May they not come at once, as they have to Fiji?

IV.--The Southern Cross.

The Mission ship made two voyages during the year, one of 12 1/2 weeks, and the other of 11 1/2--both being rather longer than in previous years--in order that the work might be done more thoroughly. On the first voyage (April-July), 73 Melanesian scholars were taken from Norfolk Island to the Islands, and in the second (September-November), 128 were brought up.

All the islands in which we have schools were called at, and besides these, Anudha, S. Anna, and S. Catalina were visited. More than 160 landings were made on each voyage.

On August 2nd, a very sad boating accident in Auckland Harbour resulted in the loss of Mr. J. A. Rae, chief engineer, Mr. T. W. Mealand, chief steward, and "Jim," a Torres Island fireman. The men were going ashore after their day's work, [15/16] when the boat was capsized close to the ship in a strong gale of wind. One of the natives managed to swim back to the Southern Cross, and the chief officer, Mr. Houchen, and three other natives were picked up as they clung to the overturned boat, by the master of the Northcote ferry-boat Albatross

V.--Support of the Mission.

The Mission is still largely dependent upon England, both for workers and money to support them. Bishop Patteson's hope that this Mission might be supported entirely by the Church in Australasia, will probably be always impracticable, because Churchmen on this side of the world do not care to confine their efforts merely to missions in their neighbourhood. China, India, and other countries arouse sympathy as much here as in England, and as the English societies are assisted with Australasian money to carry on their mission work in those lands, our Mission is obliged to ask from England what is lacking to it here. At the same time we will not forget Bishop Patteson's words in 1865: "The Australasian Church ought to support it, and they will do so . . . We can carry on the Mission here if we only do our duty"; and again in 1870: "Our object is to support the Mission here in Australasia, and to free England as much as possible from contributing to our aid, that they may have more to give to them that need it elsewhere."

From the Pan-Anglican offering an additional grant of £600 has been made to the Mission for the buildings at the central school at Bungana, Gela. Two grants from this source amount altogether to £2,370.

The S.P.C.K. has most generously undertaken the printing of the whole Bible in Mota. The proofs are sent to Norfolk Island and revised by Archdeacon Cullwick and the Rev. C. E. Fox.

VI.--The Selwyn Centenary.

The year under review was the centenary of the birth of our founder (George Augustus Selwyn), and thanksgivings were offered in many places for the great pioneer bishop who was sent by the Church in England to New Zealand in 1841, with a special charge from Archbishop Howley to make that colony "a fountain diffusing the streams of salvation over [16/17] the islands and coasts of the Pacific, as a luminary to which nations enslaved and debased by barbarous and bloody superstitions will look for light."

It is exactly 60 years since he visited, in company with H.M.S. Havannah, some of the Loyalty and New Hebrides Islands, and brought back with him the first five Melanesian scholars to his home at S. John's College, Auckland. We have much to thank God for in our founder. He formed the plan upon which the Mission has always worked, namely, of training the natives that they may be missionaries to their own people. He taught us the value of "sanctified common sense" in missionary work. He gave us an example of the bearing of hardships cheerfully, and of soldier-like obedience to orders and devotion to duty. He made Melanesia the missionary-diocese of the Church of the Province of New Zealand, and he helped to call into being the Australian Board of Missions (1850) to take charge of the aborigines of Australia and the heathen races in all the islands of the Western Pacific. Thus he forged links which have never been broken between the Churches of Australasia and the islands which lie off their shores.

Let us say in conclusion, that, as Selwyn left England because he believed God had ordered him to leave it, and accepted the charge of all the islands to the north of New Zealand because he believed that the "clerical error" by which they were given to him was an act of Providence, and journeyed over these seas in his little 2I-ton schooner alone, because he believed that God could keep him; so, sixty years later, we, who under entirely changed conditions work in those same islands, see God's hand in everything. It is He who is the Great Missionary working in the island-villages, and on the plantations; and all that we do, so long as it is done faithfully, is so extraordinarily increased and blessed, that no doubt is left to us that God is now "in the world His power first made," and that His love is·

"at issue still with sin
"Visibly when a wrong is done on earth.'"

Project Canterbury