"1928 Synod Trip" Diary of the Reverend Richard Godfrey, priest of the Melanesian Mission
transcribed by Bishop Terry Brown from the original copy 2011
First Voyage S.Y. Southern Cross 1928. Synod trip.
May 15. Tues.
Left Lolowai at 2:15. p.m. & arrived at Tavolavola at 3 P.M.. taking Rawson for Synod, he is very thin & all passed remarks about his appearance.
" 11. Wednesday.
We arrived at Meralava at 6. A.M. beautiful calm trip across but rather hot during the night and did not sleep much. We took on board Harry Vanva, Priest, for the Synod & 3 girls for Torgil.
Sailed at 8. A.M. & called at Merig to put down a boy from Merelava, we arrived at Mota at 2 p.m. & spent the day landing numerous goods for Leggatt, we went ashore very few people were there & no attempt was made to put Leggatt's things under cover, we sailed for Vureas at 6:30 P.M. Arrived at Vureas at 9:30 P.M. Teall, Butchart, Fletcher & a crowd of boys all came on board, both Teall & Butchart looked thin, but were well. Fletcher looks very well indeed. Boys all well.
17. Ascension Day. The Bishop Celebrated at 6.30. We all went ashore at 9 o'clock. The place looked very clean & tidy & much improved. The Bishop confirmed 6 boys at 10. A.M. but most of us passengers went to Torgil for morning tea & missed the confirmation. John Bartholomew's son was confirmed.
Miss Scott stayed on with Miss Hurse, & Miss Bray came on for Synod. Miss H. looks very well indeed, Miss Bray much washed out. We sailed at 1.45. P.M. for Ureparapara taking John with us, B & C could not part with him.
We arrived at Lehali, Ureparapara at 5. P.M. & picked up Communicants for Holy Eucharist in the crater in the morning; it was too dark to call in at Tano; we arrived in the crater at 7. P.M. The Bishop went ashore & took the H. C. preparation class.
Thurs. 18. The Bishop celebrated ashore. We left the crater at 8.30 A.M. and were nearly outside when a cutter hailed us, on board was Mr. Nicholson from Sola, he had a bad leg & wanted a trip to Santo to the Hospital, he had missed us at Vureas & followed us to Ureparapara. We arrived back at Lehali at 10.30. land Bartholomew, & co. I went ashore, the village is a clean place all the houses in a compound surrounded by a stone wall, no pigs to be seen. Bamboo pipes carried water to the village from a spring in the cliff at the back. The church is built of solid lime cement walls & is very tidy & clean. I saw Caroline's mother and she looks wonderfully young & Caroline is just like her. John soon had numerous youngsters around him. There had be [sic] dysentery some time ago & 5 children had died, but all were well. The teacher wanted us to received back into church & to marry a young could who had lagi-ed gap; but as they had only been out of prayers 2 months & had not separated, this we refused to do. I suggested that they separate for 2 months then vatavata in front of Bartholomew & afterwards be blessed by the Bishop in September. We sailed for the Torres at 11.30. & arrived at Loh at 4.20. P.M. Adams and Agnes were landed & we set out again for Santo at 5. O'clock.
May 19th. Arrive in Seggond Channel at 1. P.M. There was no doctor so we were sent there for nothing— the whole trip was a sheer farce.
The Bishop, Cartridge, Rawson & I walked round the beach to Balland's store about 2 miles though there were several plantations on the way there was no road connecting them up. The Seggond is a wonderful place, the channel varies from about 1 to 1/2 a mile in width & extends for many miles, plantations extend on both sides all owned by the French, everything speaks well for their industry. We saw a launch & a cutter which had been wrecked in the hurricane after Xmas. We were told that 22 launches & cutters were driven ashore. Many buildings were damaged, in one place 3 men were in a hut, the hut was carried bodily away & they were left on the spot vacated!
At the time of writing 8. P.M. we are just rounding a point outside the channel & the ship is rolling in her best style. On our walk back from Ballands the tide was high & we had to wade most of the way rain added also to our discomfort however we had an enjoyable walk. I bought 2 pairs of khaki trousers at 8/- each. Cartridge & Rawson each bought umbrellas at 7/-. Ballands have a fine store & a wonderful stock of goods. Sailed at 6 P.M.
May 20 Sunday after Ascension Day. At sea all day. I celebrated at Holy Communion, we rolled rather much & the service was not easy. All night we had a rolly time to right through the day but it was quite bearable. Miss Fox was the only one to miss meals. Canon Wilton preached at evensong, he gave a nice thoughtful sermon on "joy" but he bawled rather much.
May 21 Monday. We arrived at Vanikoro at 8. A.M. The place has grown wonderfully since I was here last, all the dwelling houses are built on piles out from the shore to get away from mosquitoes & sandflies.
A big saw-mill is in working order & a railway runs into the bush for hauling out logs.
We visited the Doctor's house he has a bonny little boy of 9 months old, next door to him are two little girls 6 & 3 years old, one was amazed to see them out in the sun with no hats & little trunks on round their loins; the women folk go about bareheaded & bare leg-ed. The Dr. says their [sic] is no fear of sunstroke if one is not working in the sun. The customs could not be fixed up before dark so we are here for the night instead of going on to Santa Cruz. There is a yarn that Mr. West went up to the Duffs in his whale boat & coming back left at night & got astray & was 2 weeks & 2 days adrift before he made the Reefs again.
Tues. 22. The district officer was so slow in fixing up the customs that we could not get away yesterday; we sailed at 6.30 this morning taking Mr. Smith the Company's manager to Tulagi to meet his wife.
He has gone into the Captain's cabin as we are already 2 in ea. Cabin. Canon Wilton celebrated H.C. this morning. The ship was rather rolly as soon as we got outside the reef & rolled all the way to Te Motu Santa Cruz where we arrived a 5.20. P.M. The boat went ashore to pick up West & we went round Te Motu to Grasiosa Bay & anchored, this gave the boat about an hour's row to the ship, Te Motu is an island at the entrance to the Bay. West did not get on board until midnight he brought with him 28 men & boys for Siota & the various schools & 2 girls for Bunana. The reports of his boating experience were quite true, he spent 16 days at sea. He drifted 40 miles off his course & fortunately brought up on Lord Howe Island at the extreme end of Santa Cruz, if he had be [sic] say 3 miles further out he would have been lost for there was nothing between him & Australia. He looks none the worse for his experience, in fact looks very well.
We sailed at midnight & have rolled ever since, sleep was almost impossible last night owing to the difficulty of keeping on the settee.
Rawson was down with fever yesterday & the Dr. dosed him up with 30 grs of quinine, he is quite well today. I am as fit as a fiddle.
I have just yarned to West about his trip. They started from Taumako in the Duffs expecting to make Fenualoa in the Reefs a days run, but they struck rough wind & had to drive before it, this put them right out of their bearings they had no compass & were right out of sight of land. West had tea & sugar, meats & soups, & the boys with him had taro; they had also a little rice most of the time, they caught water in the boat with the sail. By using the lid of his canteen bucket they were able to make a fire in it & cook rice, taro, warm soup & make tea, but for 3 days there was no rain & no water & only 2 coconuts, all suffered severely from thirst. They sailed when there was wind & drifted in calms not knowing where they were going, they eventually arrived right back in the Reefs not on Lord Howe as reported. West says he got over his experience in a very short time but the boys were much longer in picking up. A Providence was certainly watching over them.
Wed. 23. Sailed at midnight for Pamua, at sea all day, rather rolly, the Doctor was sick & missed most meals, Miss Fox wasn't sick but missed dinner.
Thur. 24. No much sleep last night too much rolling & too much noise. We arrived at Pamua at 10. A.M. it is a very nice place, the boys are a jolly looking lot. Nind looked very well. I took various photos of the place. We sailed at 12. O'clock for Pawa, with 7 boys for Ulawa & Sth. Mala; Nind was brought along later by the ship's Launch. We arrived at Pawa t 1.30. P.M. Dr. Fox looked very unwell indeed, for weeks he had had bad heads & pains in his left side. He was very pleased to see his sister. The developments at Pawa are wonderful. The whole vanua has been shifted from near the beach to the top of a hill 80 ft above sea level. A first class graded road, coral covered, has been made up to the vanua; the vanua everywhere is very beautiful but covers a big area & must entail much labour to keep clean. The schoolrooms are fine lofty buildings but would be useless in the South owing to hurricanes. Fox's house is a good house spoil, it is badly built & badly designed. The roof is too flat & makes the rooms very hot.
A new Church is being built at present only the frame is up, some of the posts are wonderful bits of timber, a kind of ebony brought from Bugotu.
There are 85 boys or rather young men, labour presents no difficulties. Stores had run out a week before the ship arrived. Tomagoes formed the staple food for the boys & they ate 600 lbs ie 1/2 ton a day!
The Bishop confirmed ashore 3 boys & a woman.
Fri. 25. We sailed at midnight for Ulawa, & arrived at 6. A.M. we sailed at 8. A.M. picking up 18 natives, the total native passengers on board apart from native priests are 56. A beautiful calm day to day.
Arrived at Lepi, Sth. Mala at 11.15. & landed 5 boys. I went ashore but we could not stay the village consists of one long street with an avenue of coconuts in the middle & a row of houses on each side, the Church is at the far end so we did not see it. We left for Saa at 11.40. & arrived there at 12.45. P.M. The boat was sent ashore to pick up James Uqe, Priest, for the synod but he has a swollen leg & is unable to walk so did not come off to the ship.
We left at 1.15 for Supani, Thomson's headquarters & arrived there at 2.40. I did not go ashore, as rain came down in torrents the whole time we were there. Thomson looks thin, old but well, we sailed at 6.30. for Siota. We have now 3 whites in each of the Saloon cabins. Fox shares the Bishop's Cabin & Mr. Smith the Captain's, meals are now in relays. 4 whites second relay at Captain's table & 5 native priests second relay at other table. So we now have a total of 18 white passengers, 61 native, 9 white staff, 18 boys ship's crew, & 6 boat's crew, a total of 112. Luckily we are due at Siota early tomorrow morning.
Sat. 26. Arrived at Siota at 7.45. A.M. Tempest & Mrs. Maybury came on board. T. looks very well indeed. Mrs. M. looked very well, but complained much of the heat. We had breakfast on board, & went ashore immediately afterwards.
The most noticeable feature was the Cathedral right opposite the landing place & facing the centre of the square. It is 60 feet long & 45 feet wide & 35 feet high, another 60 feet has to be added someday to the nave. The present west front of bamboo is therefore only temporary. Some enormous pillars support the roof, one marvels that they could possibly be put into position, one at the west end taking the ridge pole is at least 3 ft x 2 ft thick & including what is in the ground must be 40 feet long— some wonderful trees have been cut up to make the pillars. The bigness of the building for a native style place is most impressive.
No inlaid work has yet been done. The entire east end (ie sanctuary) is panelled with 3 ply pine, oiled, the front of the altar is similarily [sic] panelled, a large processional inlaid all over with mother of pearl shell is fixed in the panelling above & behind the altar. There is a long re-table or gradine behind the Altar on which are 8 candlesticks of brass, two brass candlesticks & a wooden cross inlaid with beaten brass stand on the Altar.
The walls at present are all of bamboo, large openings have been left for windows, but will be fitted with reed screens, the building is very cool. The Sanctuary is floored with wood, 4 steps lead up to the Altar. The floor in the nave is covered with white sand & a strip of coconut matting runs up the middle. The sanctuary floor is covered with brown linolium & before the altar with a nice carpet. The Bishop was busy putting down the linolium when we arrived, & Forsgate was busily panelling the front of the Altar. After all our bustling to arrive up to date we were told, oh we wish now that you were 2 or 3 days later!
The warden's house is a very nice place 2 rooms with 10 ft verandah around & a bathroom. The bachelor's house has five rooms in a line with doors back & front a ten foot verandah around & bathrooms (without baths) at each end.
All the folk are very well indeed, Mr. Watkins has quite a lot of fat on him.
I have a nasty cold in my head, it started with Francis on the S.X., Miss Fox got it, the[n] Leggatt, & I have followed.
I felt heady & fevery so took 15 grs. of quinine.
Sun. 27 Whitsunday. The Cathedral was dedicated this morning, so we had what some folk would call High Mass. The Bishop was Celebrant & wore a red Chasuble & his usual cream Mitre. I acted as Deacon & read the Gospel, & Browning acted as sub-deacon & read the epistle. We both wore cream damask dalmatics with read bands. The Dalmatic is like a short smock (unsmocked) reaching nearly to the knees, with short sleeves barely to the elbow, it is open slightly at each side to the hips, the bands run in a straight parallel line, from the lower hem over [each crossed out] the shoulder & down the back, a cross band runs at about 6 inches from the bottom. I the deacon had two cords with tassels on the ends handing [sic] from my shoulders back & front.
We were lead by a cross bearer, then two candle bearers, then two thurifers (ie incense bearers), swinging their censers.
This is the first time I had seen incense used, to me it seemed silly & the smell I disliked, however I don't think it was properly done; it was only used in the procession in & the censers were placed on the floor on either side of the altar during the whole service, & were consequently out when the service as over.
I assisted with the chalice. The Bishop read the dedication prayers before the blessing.
Bishop Molyneux has a cold today & Miss Fox has kept to her bed. I have found that Milton (a weak solution) snuffed up the nose gives great relief; my throat which was rather sore yesterday & this morning is now cured with a Milton gargle.
It is most frightfully hot here, all visitors are complained, I had to change my shirt 3 times. The dining-room is a very hot place & meals are a real ordeal there.
Mon. 28. I went today with Teall, Dr. Maybury, Fox, Leggatt & Sheard in the Bishop's launch to Tulagi via Bunana. The launch runs well, a good 7 knots but can do more if pushed. At Bunana the ladies Misses Wench, Wilson, Safstrom & Clarke & all their girls were lined up on beach to meet us. T. & Miss W. embraced in front of us all, I noticed the girls looked very surprised! Mr. & Mrs. Mason & John were also there. John is a lovely boy & looks remarkably well, he is a brimful of life; he wore little breeches with braces over his shoulders, but no other clothing, & no hat. Mrs. M. is thin as usual & talks 20 to the dozen— she got on my nerves. Miss Wench looks done out; Miss Safstrom is about the plainest person it is possible to meet. Miss W. is not as stout as at last Synod but looks well. Miss Clarke is a short fair haired, stocky girl, moderately pretty, but goes into shrieks of laughter over nothing. Both her ears were covered up with plaits done in a spiral. Mason looks well. Breakfast was given to all of us we had left at 6 o'clock & had eaten a piece of currant bread, a hard boiled egg & had drunk a cup of tea each from Thermos Flasks, all in the launch; so we were quite ready for more. Eggs & bacon were on the go of which we all partook. We left for Tulagi at 9. O'clock. Teall needless to say stayed behind.
The Doctor spent all his time with the Government Dr. We shopped at B.P.S. Store & at Carpenters, & dined at a Chink dining-room, we all ate Ham & eggs! 4 eggs in one morning! The whole show is very hot worse than Siota which is saying a lot. We got away at 1.30. after waiting 40 minutes for Dr. M. called in at Bunana & picked up the Masons, Misses Wench & Safstrom & Teall, Misses Wilson & Clarke were left behind to keep the school going; poor old Teall! We got back at 5 o'clock. The cold is getting better, but Fox & Nind are now developing one (or two rather).
Tues. 29. Just a lazy day, wrote one letter, & went for a bit of a stroll this afternoon. The S.X. arrived back at 5.30. P.M. bringing Mr. & Mrs. Warren, Isom, Seaton, Rudguard, Mrs. Sprott, 3 native priests & 4 members of the Brotherhood. The Maravovo bugle band also came. Synod starts in the morning at 9.30.
Wed.30th. Synod met at 9.30.
The Bishop announced his resignation. I was elected (under protest) as secretary for the Synod. The Bishop retired & Canon Wilton took the chair. Bp. Molyneux was unanimously elected as administrator. He was then proposed (by me) as Bishop of Melanesia. But owing to a certain book printed at Maravovo & teaching the Invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, fears were felt by most that they could not now vote for Bp. M. until his position with regard to this teaching was cleared up. I urged that we could trust him. But Synod was adjourned to discuss the matter privately with Bp. Steward & the Clergy. Bp. M spoke very sensibly on the matter, felt that there was danger of wrong doctrines growing up among natives if care was not taken, he preferred to be guided by opinions of older members. A promise was made to withdraw the book from circulation & to slightly alter the wording so as to teach comprecation [sic] & not invocation of Saints.
Synod met at 2.5 P.M. & Bp. M. was then unanimously elected as Bp of Melanesia. We then went on to discuss the question of Penitential Discipline in the Diocese & adjourned at 4 P.M. Writing up minutes is an awful grind.
The Bishop gave us a very fine address after evensong on Messengers, Watchmen & Stewards. He spoke on Messengers as Servants, who must know their Master, understand his message & deliver it to the people so that they will understand it.
Thur. 31st. Synod met again at 9.30. A.M. We went on with the discussion on penitential discipline & passed various rules on the matter.
Synod adjourned at mid-day. At 1.30. P.M. photos were taken of the whole staff.
The whole staff Conference met at 2. P.M. to discuss the 'Division of the Diocese'. A Form of Procedure was agreed upon in the event of a desire to divide the Diocese. It was agreed that if the Clergy of one section of the Diocese desired to form a separate Diocese a six months notice must be given & the matter to be dealt with in the Diocesan Synod. To carry a division a majority of 2/3 of the Clergy in both parts of the Diocese will be necessary.
I moved this as otherwise it would be possible for the Solomon Island folk to carry a division over our heads. Mr. Fox moved to divide the present diocese into two, forming the New Hebrides Condominium into a separate diocese.
But owing to the uncertainty of the political position, all Southerners spoke against it, so the motion was withdrawn.
We then proceeded to discuss the Shipping problems of the Mission. Bp M. Graves & I spoke for two ships, Tempest spoke at length for a new S.X. & held the floor when the Conference adjourned.
June 1st. The Conference has been in session all day, we discussed the relationship of the Mandated Territory with the M.M. as it is still an integral part of the Diocese of Melanesia we passed resolutions to the effect that until it is formed into a separate Diocese it must come under the same canons & rules as the M.M. All volunteers for work there are Vols. For M.M. & though their [will crossed out] preferences for work there will not be overlooked they must in the first place be accepted by M.M. & perhaps commence training in Melanesia. All Lands & Properties must be invested in N.Z. Trust board.
Canon Wilton, Forsgate & Mountfort left by the launch at 1.30 to catch the Sydney Steamer. They got a great send off. The Bishop gave Canon Wilton his blessing at the end of Holy Communion this morning.
In the afternoon we discussed at length again the shipping problem. Tempest continued & finished his speech against 2 ships & advocated keeping on the present S.X. Teall supported him. West was inclined to be against 2 ships as he thought Reefs etc might be neglected with a small craft. Miss Safstrom gave Miss Wench's views & which were that the girls schools would be closed down altogether if a small ship was used as it would be impossible to carry them.
Bishop M, Graves, Nind & I all spoke for 2 ships & answered their arguments.
As we were getting nowhere a Committee consisting of Bp. Molyneux as Chairman & Tempest, Graves & Fox & Miss Wench was formed to draw up a scheme on how 2 ships could be run giving a timetable as far as possible. The Committee to report to Conference on Tuesday.
We then discussed the Constitution of the English Committee; all rules drawn up the Committee were agreed to except that in which the Com. claimed right to allocate where money should be spent in the Mission. We adjourned at 4. P.M.
June 2nd. Saturday. A quiet day. I washed out my clothes & generally loafed.
Sunday, Trinity. Leggatt & Rudguard were ordained priests. Bishop Molyneux presented the candidates & preached. Nind & Matthias acted as Deacon & subdeacon & wore the pretties. Browning was server. Fox & I were chaplains to the two Bishops. I held the Bishop's staff at the ordination. Isom was cross-bearer & wore an apparelled alb he looked very ilsey [? ilseg? Mota word? TMB]. The stink-pots were used as before & looked silly.
The whole service was really very impressive, as it lasted 2 hours we had not mattins.
We had English Evensong at 5 & Mota at 7.
Mon. 4th. The whole Staff Council met again to discuss the English Committee, we accepted their Rules except that we passed a Rule to the effect that "No action affecting the policy of the Mission could be taken by the Committee without the consent of the Bishop & his advisory council.["]
We agreed to the Bishop's Lectionary with a few alterations & Nind & Warren were appointed to revise it as recommended & afterwards report to the Council.
The Synod also met and discussed the question of hearing Confessions. The Bishop drew up various rules for guidance which were approved of by the Synod. It was made quite clear that Confession before a Priest is quite voluntary & that Confession to God in private is real Confession & Forgiveness is & can be obtained by that means.
One of the Northern Clergy came to me afterwards & said that he was never taught confession at N. I. nor anywhere else since & he could not teach it to his people, consequently he never heard confessions.
The same applys [sic] to most of the native clergy.
Tues. 5th. I celebrated in English this morning & Judah Butu assisted. Heavy rain fell all night & is still falling at 9.20. A.M.
The synod met at 9.30 & passed the various rules drawn up by the Bishop & a few little amendments to the Litany, the word earthquake is to be added to the petition for deliverance fr. lightening & tempest. George i King to be changed to, o tanun anama Geroge nomam o moe-maranaga. I pleaded for the word King & spoke against maranaga but the motion was carried.
The whole Staff met at 10. O'clock & discussed the shipping problem. After some discussion for & against the 2 ship scheme, the Bishop asked for a show of hands for 1 ship, only 10 were in favour.
As he then saw that no appeal could be made for a new ship as a considerable majority of the Staff are against it he moved that we because of the present financial difficulties are prepared to try the experiment of doing the work of the Mission with 2 small ships. This was carried nem. com. ie 37 voted for it & 3 members including the Bishop did not vote at all. We then passed resolutions suggesting the type of ship we need. We suggested a 75 ton ship for the North & a 35 tonner for the South, with engines to give them an economical speed of at least 8 knotts.
[The fin crossed out] Owing to the coming Lambeth Conference & the next General N.Z. Synod in Feb. 1931 involving the absence of the Bishop while the new scheme was inaugrated, [sic] we advised that the 1st voyage 1931 should be the last voyage of the present S.X. But that if a reasonable offer was made for her before that date she should be sold.
We then discussed the Financial position of the Mission & agreed that apart from the acceptance of the 2 ship scheme we could see no way of reducing Mission expenditure with seriously affecting the work.
There was some considerable discussion on how to keep Siota ex's down & how to keep up a supply of vegetable food for the folk there. It was suggested that an attempt should be made to start gardens on other parts of Gela. The Bishop strongly advocated 2 horses & a light plow for tilling the land, & the breeding of pigs as a source of food & revenue. We adjourned at 4. P.M. Rain fell most of the day.
Wed. 6th. The whole Staff Council met at 9.30 to discuss the medical work of the Mission.
We decided that a Hospital be established on North Mala at for preference Bitama or failing there at Suuaba, subject to the possibility of buying land at either of those places. We afterwards passed the Bishop's Lectionary with a few alterations. Bishop M. outlined his attempt to approve on our pension scheme. At 3. O'clock Farewell speeches were made to Bishop Steward by Mr Nind as Senior white priest, Miss Wench as senior lady worker & Hugo Hembala for the Native Clergy. Bishop M. also spoke. The Bishop was then presented with a cheque for £60 from the Staff & native Clergy, he was asked to purchase something with it as a reminder of Melanesia.
The poor old Bishop nearly broke down, when he gave us his final blessing at the close he could hardly get the words out.
We finished all business today.
Mr Grey the 1st mate fell down the hold this afternoon & the launch was sent post haste ashore for the Doctor; though unconscious for a time, no serious damage was done.
The Bishop announced that he had translated A Kempis' 'Imitation of Christ' into Mota & copies would be sent to each one of us free of cost. He is preparing a History of the Mission up to date, & Bp. M. asked him on our behalf if he could write up a simple Mota History of the Mission. He agreed to do this.
A Full Life of Christ prepared from the 4 Gospels is to be drawn up by Mr. Nind in the Mota language. The Bishop appointed me his commissary for Southern Melanesia & Tempest for the Solomons. Teall was elected for the Advisory Council in the South. He & I represent the Council in the South, the Commissary being ex officio a member.
Thurs. 7th. Today has seen the break up of the Conference & Synod. The S.X. took back folk to Mala, San Cristoval & Ugi.
The place seemed very quiet. The Bungana ladies were taken back in the Bishop's launch. Teall accompanied them & stayed at Bungana.
I have loafed all day. Mr. Gray feels bruised & shaken but is getting on well.
Fri. 8th. Matthias celebrated this morning & I assisted him. I spent the whole day in writing up the proceedings of the Synod & General Staff Conference for the Southern Cross Logs. A lot of the Synod rules etc was in Mota & had to be translated an awful grind. The main difficulty in writing up a report of the Conference was in condensing the material, there was too much to give verbatim.
Rain is teaming down now 9.30. P.M.
Sat. 9th. A beautiful day today. I did all my washing & got everything dry. I also finally wrote up the Staff Council proceeding for the S.X. Logs.
Sun. 10th. Just an ordinary day. Matthias & I assisted Bishop M. at Holy Communion. I wrote 2 letters. In the afternoon all the men in the Bachelor's House entertained the rest of the Staff to afternoon tea.
English evensong at 5.15. taken by Bp. M.
Mota Evensong at 7 p.m. Being the Eve of S. Barnabas, there was a procession round the Church of teachers in surplices, the two Siota Clergy & the Bishop. The Bishop wore cope & mitre, large white Episcopal gloves, & carried his Staff or rather used it as a walking stick. Any who bowed as he passed got his bow in return. Warren knelt down & the Bishop wangled his hand at him in 'blessing'. The Bishop preached on "a new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another."
Mon 11th. S. Barnabas Day, & the day of Canon Wilton's consecration. The Bishop was Celebrant, Tempest and Browning wearing the pretties were Deacon & sub-deacon. Processional Cross, Lighted Tapes & Incense were carried. The Incense did not appeal to me in the least, as before. We of course thought especially of Canon Wilton. We sailed at noon for Bunana, going round Gela on the way in order to pick up on[e] of the "brothers".
Gela is a very beautiful Island, not lofty, but a mass of sharp ridged & peaked hills & valleys, not covered with bush as in most islands but on the ridges covered with a tall grass like reed, which has the appearance of grass. The bush is mainly in the valley, & the foreshore right to high tide mark is an almost unbroken fringe of coconuts.
We arrived at Bunana at 3.30. I went ashore with the other folk & saw the happy couple. The wedding is fixed for the morning at 7. O'clock. As I am to be best man I was asked to spend the night ashore in the "guest-house" with Teall.
Of course the excitement ashore especially among the school girls is intense.
The evening was spent in preparing the table for the Breakfast.
Tues. 13th. The Wedding went off very nicely. Tempest gave the Bride away, Miss Wench & Miss Bray were Bridesmaids. The bride wore a pretty white silk frock with a flowered pattern on the lower part of that garment, her shoes match the dress, & she wore a white cloche hat. The bridegroom wore a new white suit— but the coat needed pressing badly— & his parison's collar.
Tempest & I wore just-soft shirts & black ties. I of course brought ashore a coat with only one button, but in spite of that, I think thanks to Lolowai ironing my outfit looked the sprucest! The Bishop spoke a few very nice & appropriate words to the couple. The service was completed with the Holy Eucharist.
The 'breakfast' was very nice but not in the same street with one, at which I assisted a little over 3 years ago, & certainly the cake couldn't be mentioned in the same breath with the one "Mother made".
Sad to say rain came on while at breakfast & continued afterwards, so no pictures could be taken.
We sailed for Maravovo on Guadalcanar at 9.30.
The Maravovo School Bugle Band which we have on board seranaded the pair as we were leaving. Mr. & Mrs. Teall are spending their honeymoon in the guest-chamber or rather house on Bunana.
Bunana is a pretty little island at the entrance of the bay going to Tulagi— its highest point is about 200 feet & is crowned with a beacon— it is probably not more than half a mile in circumference. It is entirely Mission owned, & the [only crossed out] population is made up of the girls school & teachers. Really a Paradise!
We arrived at Tambulivu on Guadalcanar at 2. & left at 2.30. 6 "brothers" were landed pro. tem.
Arrived at Maravovo at 3.30. I did not go ashore as one felt it unfair to the Warrens who were just returning home, & we are to call again there & put in a whole day.
Wed. 13. We sailed at midnight, the ship rolled badly during part of the trip. We arrived at Laube or Cape Marsh at 7. O'clock. It is a wonderfully beautiful place. There is the mainland of fairly high hills & some 300 surrounding islands varying from little knobs to several acres in extent. We went inside a lagoon to where is Lever Bros. main plantations, islands surrounded us in all directions most of them covered with coconuts. We landed on one little island where is a Church village of about 50 or 60 folk, there were plenty of kiddies manly girls. There is only one other village in the group.
The rest of the population consists of Lever Bros employees.
The Church was beautifully clean, even the brass ornaments were well polished.
The morning was dull & showery so we did not see the place at its best. We sailed at 9.30 for Bugotu, 7 hrs. run.
We arrive at Mara-na-tabu Bugotu at 4. P.M. in the midst of heavy rain. Mrs. Sprott went ashore. [to see crossed out] Most of us went ashore after tea & spent the evening listening to Mrs. Sprotts very tinny gramophone. Her house is on a little island about 100 yards from the main shore but is probably linked up at low tide. We all returned on board including Mrs. S. at about 8.30, I carrying a tin full of eggs which her house girl had saved up.
Thurs. 14. We had a very nice quiet night & sailed at 4. A.M. We steamed up the coast to Rev. Ben Hageria's village, Kaivanga, where we arrived at 9 O'clock.
A channel runs from Kaivanga to Mara-na-tabu which is negotiable by launch or boat but is impossible in the S.X. We were under the lee shore all the way & had a beautiful run, nice sunny day with a cool breeze. The whole district is ideal for canoes or a launch. Ben Hageria has a nice little launch which he runs without any trouble.
The Bishop had a confirmation ashore. The village was clean & many of the houses were on piles & had wooded floors. Dr. Maybury performed an operation which caused much interest— a tumour on the thigh needed opening up, he gave the patient chloroform under a shady tree & did the trick publicly. We sailed at noon on our way to Kia round the north end of Bugotu 130 miles off.
Friday 15th. We did not sail north, but came back round Sth. Bugotu thense [sic] up the coast to Kia. We were at Sea all last night. The weather has been perfect. At intervals all along the coast are [lagoons crossed out] islands with lagoons between them & the mainland. Towards midday we went round the end of one of the islands & made direct for the mainland, the colours on the reefs were wonderful. A passage opened up & we steamed inland through a most enchanting place. Bush right to the very waters edge, delightful little bays opening up from time to time on either side of us. At 12.35. P.M. we arrived at Kia our destination. The village is the most picturesque I have ever seen, the houses were nearly all on piles built over the sea front.
I took six snapshots altogether. We went ashore at 2.30. there were about 200 or so folk crowds of whom were lovely kiddies. Many of the people are red-haired & others are straw-coloured (not bleached with lime). The Church sanctuary has a most wonderful decorative design in coloured fragments & inlaid shell work. The Bishop confirmed a number of folk. Dr. Maybury did more doctoring.
There was a most gorgeous sunset this evening. Banks of fleecy clouds turned to crimson & gold & shading off to delicate tins of green & blue in the sky. All this behind bush clad hills & all the colours reflected in the waters of the lagoon.
In the village I saw gorgeous red parrots & marvellous green butterflies flying about. White cockatoo's were also in abundance.
One part of the village is on a hilly point of land the slopes are covered with our little green trifoil; among tall slender betel nut palms & prim looking kapok trees nestled several houses on high piles, it was just like a scene right from a Japanese print.
Sat. 16. We went ashore again this morning to see some dances; but they had be [sic] put on on the spur of the moment & were poor attempts. A group of young men & boys sang two farewell songs to the Bishop, one in Kia & the other in Mota of their own composing. They sang beautifully & with true harmony. All the folk bade the Bishop good-bye & gave him presents, some of real value.
We left at 2. P.M. for Buala in the Meringi Lagoon Sth. Bugotu. The weather is a dead calm.
Sun. 17. We arrived at Buala at about 7. O'clock while we were at Holy Communion. It is a very beautiful place. There are several islands on the outside of the Lagoon some of them owned by planters.
The Mission owns one of very nice size. Mrs. Sprott wanted the hospital put there. The Lagoon is many miles long & 2 or 3 wide, & deep; we anchored in 15 fathoms. The village is extremely clean & nice, most of the houses are on piles & have rough wooden floors covered with woven bamboo.
We went ashore at 9.30. for Matins & Confirmation. But the Confirmation was put off until 4. O'clock.
There were very nice lawns covered with our little trifoil & well kept paths. Hugo Hebala's house is a real palace with wide verandah all round. The Bishop was received with a song of wellcome. [sic] The singing was just astounding. Crowds of people all singing in beautiful harmony. The Church ahs walls cut from limestone, cut with saws & cemented with lime, really well done. The font is made from a log of hardwood, nicely rounded pedestal with bowl top inlaid with mother of pearl. The lectern is of full size, an eagle, all cut from a solid long & inlaid with shell, a wonderful bit of work. All behind the altar & at each side of the sanctuary is panelling with inlaid work. The seats are all well made pews with quite a large number choirwise.
Matins took one breath away. The whole service was chanted & most beautifully rendered. There was a fine big Choir, the women's voices were very sweet & amazingly high, there were treble alto tenor & bass voices, but the harmony was their own native harmony. One of the hymns sung was "Crown Him, Lord of All", it was pitched high & yet the women got the top notes without an effort. Hugo was precentor. He is also choirmaster. Really a trained choirmaster could get wonderful results from Bugotu voices. One never dreamt that such singing was possible in Melanesia.
The Doctor had a very busy time this afternoon, bandaging sores & giving injections. Some most appalling cases were brought to him, he was going hard from 2 O'clock until 6. & used up all his stock of injections.
There was again very fine singing at the Confirmation.
The canoes all round here, are the built type without outrigger, they are very graceful & vary from a little 1 seater to a 50 seater.
The weather keeps fine but rather warm.
Mon. 18. We went ashore again this morning to see some dancing & farewelling of the Bishop. Dr. Maybury opened up a tumour on the arm of a young woman. He gave her an anasthetic first. I took a photo of him opening her arm.
The most interesting dance was done with pan-pipes the dancers each played pipes, pan-pipes of various sizes were used & single Bamboo flues which made loud roars. The music was most weird.
We returned on board at 11. O'clock. The people gave the Bishop many fine presents, & farewelled him by singing in English! "God be with you til we meet again".
We sailed at 11.15. & called at a place called Tataba at 3.30. We only stayed for an hour & then went on to Singana where we arrived at 5.45. Most of our journey has been inside lagoons.
The weather still keeps beautiful.
Tuesday 19. We had breakfast at 7. O'clock in order to get the work ashore done early. As the boat approached the beach, the people sand a song of wellcome [sic] to the Bishop, Alleluia came in it frequently. Then when we landed instead of shaking hands— as rain was coming on— the head teacher led the Bishop & us visitors following to the guest-house, the people formed up on each side of us and sang in English, "In the land of Strangers [wither crossed out and added in pencil: whither] thou are gone. Come to peace & plenty, my son my son. Welcome wanderer welcome, welcome back to home, Thou hast wandered far away, Come Home come Home"!
I suppose that the words "Come Home" caught their fancy & not understanding the meaning of the rest, they regarded it as appropriate. Anyhow they sang it beautifully & they meant well. When we got to the hut we lined up inside, & the people filed through shaking hands, as there were two doors, it was a simple happy arrangement, as rain was falling heavily.
When the rain cleared the Bishop dedicated their new Church & confirmed about a dozen folk. The Church is a real gem.
Walls of [lime crossed out] stone cemented & plastered over with lime, about 7 feet high & 2 ft 6. Thick, the floor inside is all cemented. The wonder of the place is the inlaid work, all the big cross beams & post taking the weight of the ridge pole are all inlaid with shell, most artistically done. The Altar Reredos is also inlaid with a painted back-round of blue. The Lectern is made from one log, with base central post & two side posts surmounted with crosses. The book rest is topped in front with a beautiful little cross all inlaid, the whole front of the Lectern is inlaid. The Font has a wooden base, with a stone top really nicely cut, & a hole in the middle for draining away the water. A tremendous amount of loving painstaking labour must have been put into the building.
The singing again was beautiful, all in harmony.
The village is very nice & clean wh. large roomy houses. It is a canoe building centre, we saw canoes in all stages of building & of all sizes from a little 1 man canoe to a 50 man canoe. The 50 seater was built last year & is a most graceful piece of workmanship, strongly & well built. No nails are used anywhere, all the planks & ribs are laced together with cane fibre & all joints covered with putty nut. Natives say that such a canoe will last for 10 or more years.
The sale price of the canoes runs from £1 for a 1 seater to £32 for the large 50 seater.
We sailed at 11. for Mara-na-tabu.
We arrived at Mara-na-tabu (ie All Saints) at 2.15 P.M. We all went ashore after afternoon tea. The Church here built in memory of Mr. Sprott is a very beautiful place. The walls are of flat slabs of coral cemented with lime, about 2 ft. thick & 9 ft. high. The floor is also lime-cemented.
The Lectern is an Eagle as at Buala & beautifully inlaid with pear shell. The Reredos is here also very beautiful with cross & floral designs of shell.
We got a wireless from Tulagi at 11. this morning stating that the Mataram which was bringing us coal had met with a mishap & would be delayed until about July 4th.
The Bishop's Secretary also wirelessed, that, a ship had been wrecked at Gizo 185 miles from Tulagi & had been salvaged, 600 tons of coal were on board of her & could be had at £2 a ton. As [we crossed out] coal through B.P.'s costs £3.-10-0 & there is now a certain delay of over a week it was felt that Gizo would be worth trying for. We are going back to Tulagi to-night for more definite news & may go on to Gizo. However it goes we will be delayed getting back, it is rotten luck.
Wed. 20. We spent all day ashore except for meals. The Doctor was kept busy with injections, there are some frightful cases of sores & yaws, worse than Raga by far. The Bishop had a confirmation at 10. A.M. We afterwards played cricket, Ship against shore. We got 113 runs to shore's 52, but 82 of our runs were made by Mr. Cartridge. I got a 0, but saved my reputation when fielding by catching out a man!
At about 4. O'clock we all met in the Schoolroom & farewell speeches were made to the Bishop & he was given many presents. The people then all sang in English, "God be with you till we meet again," really they are full of surprises.
We are feeling pleased— or some of us are— at getting some washing done— really well done.
Thurs. 21. We sailed for Tulagi at 3. A.M. & made a stop at Gela to land a Tank, arrived at Tulagi at 10. A.M. The coal at Gizo is a frost fire had been through it & all local firms would not touch it, so we have to return to Tulagi to coal on the 5th, a full weeks delay, rotten! We did a bit of shopping ashore & sailed at noon. We called at Savo at 3. O'clock & picked up a teacher, & a girl for Bunana. We arrived at Maravovo at 5.30. Some of us went ashore after tea & had a chatty evening with the Warrens, tea with real milk was a great treat.
Isom has invited me to stay with him until the ship returns on the 1st. One is bored stiff with the ship & glad to get ashore.
Fri. 22. We left a 9. O'clock for Tambalivu with about 250 folk on board. We arrived at 10.15, getting ashore took some time. We went up to Kondavele the site which was given by Ini Kopurua for the Brotherhood House, a walk of 1/4 hour.
A nice house has been built with cubicles & a Chapel. We all processed round the building singing Hymns, & the Bishop held a short Service for Blessing the house & grounds. The Bugle Band was with us & played the general salute, it seems a bit of a nice up, the Church Militant.
After the service we went back to Tambalivu where we all had kaikai, then followed dances. There were three different lots of women, their dances were much after the style of Maori dances.
One lot of men danced with Clubs, the way the twirled the clubs about was really very clever & intricate, it was well worth seeing. We got away at 4. O'clock. I had tea on board & came ashore immediately afterwards.
Sat. 23. We walked this morning to the Maravovo village about 1 mile away. There the Bishop blessed a Crucifix which he gave in memory of two old teachers, it is set up on the seaside of the village compound. The figure is of bronze about 3 feet high, the cross is about 7 ft. high with a penthouse over it. All the school boys with their bugle band marched there.
The local people gave some dances afterwards in honour of the Bishop. They were the same performers as yesterday.
We played cricket in the afternoon whites from the ship against school— we lost by 26 to 43. Our hope Cartridge only got 2 runs.
I to the surprise of all made 3 runs, & also caught one out when fielding.
Being the eve of S. John the Baptist's day, Evensong was festal, Incense & Procession were the order of things.
The Altar, the Bishop, the assistants & the people were all incensed in turn, to me the use of incense was silly; but one cannot condemn it use for those who like it. Certainly its smell was much nicer than the smell of native bodies in a crowded building; as a sweetener of the air it has its good points.
The Bishop received 7 new members into the brotherhood.
Peter Udakoke, deacon, who was ill with pneumonia, passed away as the bell rang for Evensong. He was Warren's assistant.
Sunday 24. Holy Communion this morning was "High Mass." Personally I found the clinking and swinging of the censer during the Consecration Prayer rather disturbing. The whole service was sung, some of the boys voices would do for Christchurch Cathedral.
Peter was buried at 9.30. At 10. Isom & I went away in the ship's launch to a village 5 miles off to pick up folk for the S.X. we had a nice outing. Confirmation this evening & more high jinks.
[Wed crossed out] Tues. July 3st. There was nothing special to write about while at Maravovo, I had a very easy time & did a few odd jobs for Isom. There are several beautiful walks along shady coconut avenues, perfectly level going. We left at 8. O'clock & called at Tambulivu to put down two "brothers", we arrived at Siota at 5.30. P.M.
We were given a general invitation to stay ashore while the ship coals at Tulagi. I am the only one to accept it.
Wed. 4th. We slept on board last night & came ashore after breakfast. The ship went on to Tulagi at 11. A.M. A boy we brought here from the Reefs died while we were away. There was also another death at Maravovo from Pneumonia last Saturday, one other boy is still very ill. There is one case of pneumonia on the ship, but he was brought ashore here & is getting better.
Thurs. 5th. I repaired the front steps of Tempest's house this morning.
Fri. 6th. I celebrated in English this morning.
Sat. 7th. A very heavy thunderstorm & sheets of rain during the night.
We sailed at 12.30. P.M. for Fiu, North Mala, Mason's home, arrived at 5.30. P.M. A boy was discovered on board with measles. We left Simeon Lanlanmele at Siota with Dysentery, not seriously ill but the risk could not be taken of spreading the sickness through the ship.
Sun. 8th. Judah Butu celebrated this morning. We all went in the boat to Gworu a nearby village were the Bishop dedicated a Church, confirmed 10 persons & consecrated a Cemetry. [sic] The church is an enormous building as native churches go; about 70 feet long & 40 wide & about 40 feet to the ridge pole. The people were too ambitious as the thatch is not sufficient to last any length of time, & the roof is not strong enough. However their intentions were very good. In the afternoon we all went ashore & had afternoon tea with the Masons, their house is too cramped & is hot & stuffy. The Bishop had another confirmation at 4. O'clock & blessed a schoolroom.
Mon. 9th. We sailed at 8.15. A.M. for Manere. Arrived at Manere at 10.45. here the Bishop dedicated a church, it is a nice large building with walls covered with black & white bamboo (woven). We left at 12.15 for Bikolo. Arrived at Bikolo at 1.45 & landed a boy, & picked up two teachers for the next stop. Rain has come on & the sea is a bit choppy. We left at 2.30. & arrived at Bitama at 3.15. It is a bigger bay than Lolowai & the entrance does not face the open sea but up the coast, so that the ship runs in shore as it were & then turns at right angles into the bay.
For the ship & for boats it is an ideal place for a Hospital, but there are not many people nearby. Bp. M. Dr. Maybury & others went ashore & explored possible sites, rain fell most of the time. Various folks are now being interviewed over the question of buying land.
Nothing final was come to as the people showed no keenness in the matter, they appeared to wish to keep out the white man.
Tues. 10th. Left at 7. A.M. for Malu another proposed site, arrived at 9. This place is on the north end of Mala, the Sth. Seas Evangelical Mission has a house here & the Government has a Court-house. Villages round about appear to be divided between us & the other Mission.
We are anchored inside a reef but it would be a difficult place in Northerly or Westerly weather.
I could not get ashore having to take Matins. The weather is beautiful.
We left for Fiu again at midday to return Mason & Dr. Maybury the sea was too rough for the launch to do the trip as was intended. We arrived at 5. P.M. Dr. M. & Mason went ashore, the Bishop's launch had arrived in order to take them over to Siota. Several of us went ashore after tea & stayed until 9.30. Mrs. Mason seemed very nervy & complained of having too much to do.
She wants an assistant, the difficulty is looking after her home with one child & doing medical & other kinds of work as well.
We sailed at 10.30.
Wed. 11th. We had a good night but the ship was lively this morning, a very strong S. East is blowing we are banging right into head seas. We arrived at Foia at 9.30. A.M. The anchorage is inside the reef, in the midst of artificial islands there are crowds of bright healthy kiddies about; in spite of overcrowding the islands are very healthy, owing to the perfect sanitary conditions. The houses are very tiny & every available inch of ground is covered, there are only very narrow alleyways between them The Bishop held a Confirmation at Rev Jack Talofuila's Village, it is on a neck of land & not made up like other places. The church has an iron roof, but the walls are made of woven bamboo very artistically done. Sailed at 1. P.M. for Ulawa, banging into big head seas, the wind is very strong.
Thurs. 12th. We arrived at Ulawa at 1. P.M. after a very rolly pitchy strip. I was sick this morning & had no lunch or breakfast. We all went ashore at Madoa where the Bishop had a confirmation. The Madoa church was built in Dr. Ivens' days. It has very solid well built stone walls about 9 feet high with heavy buttresses, the floor is all stone flagged, but the roof is of iron unlined the building is very hot & quite spoilt by the roof. In the furniture Altar etc are the finest specimens of inlaid work in the Mission.
We sailed at 4.30. for a nearby village called Ahia, where we arrived at 5.15. The Bishop went ashore alone for confirmations. Sailed at 6.15. for S. Mala. Where we arrived at 12.40. P.M.
[Thurs crossed out] Fri. 13th. We had a good night. The Bishop had a confirmation here; we sailed at 11.30. for Sioru a nearby village to land Teachers Pay. Left at 12.15. for Olosuu this brought us round to the weather side & the ship began her antics again; one wave broke over the saloon our Port was open so the Cabin got a good ducking. We got to Olosuu at 3 P.M. it is a fairly quiet anchorage in a small bay. Mr. Thomson only went ashore to fix up Teachers Pay. Sailed at 4. for Port Adam, again a lively time. Port Adam is a big lagoon sheltered by a long narrow island, we got into sheltered water when the tea bell rang at 5.30.
Sat. 14. We had a very nice quite night, sailed at 7. A.M. ship lively as soon as we got in the open; fortunately a call was made at 8. O'clock in a little bay to land Teachers Pay & some passengers, so we got breakfast in peace.
We left at 9. for Pawa, Ugi. The wind was easier & the sea much calmer we made good time & arrived at 2.30; I went ashore to warn Dr. Fox that we had a measle [sic] case among boys being returned to him; as we were landing 30 boys he could not quarrantine [sic] all of them; however he isolated the sick boy. We hope the measles will not spread through the school. Most of his boys ashore have bad colds & sore throats. Dr. Fox is ever so much better than when he left Siota. The Doctors Hook Worm treatment & Miss Fox's cooking have done wonders for him. I stayed ashore for tea.
Sunday 15th. At Anchor. I took Matins in Mota & prepared an English sermon for this Evening while most of the folk went ashore. Several of us went ashore this afternoon, & had some enjoyable afternoon tea, real milk in it. I preached at Evensong & was glad when it was all over; preaching to our mixed congregation is not at all easy, we had the service on deck & it was really nice & cool there.
Mon. 16th. We left Ugi at 5. A.M. & arrived at Pamua School, San Cristoval at 6.30. A.M.
All the white staff went ashore to say good-bye to Nind. There was a swell on & plenty of surf on the beach; the boat needed careful handling fortunately the beach is all sand & slopes very gently; there is always wading to be done here. We sailed at 9. A.M. for odd calls along the coast.
We finally left a 6. P.M. for Santa Anna.
Tues. 17th. Arrived at Santa Anna at 8. O'clock just right for a peaceful breakfast, the old tub rolled & pitched all night.
Most of us accompanied the Bishop to visit to our village on the opposite side of the island about 3/4 hrs. walk. There was nothing to do there except cheer up the teachers & people.
The people are just coming over from raw heathenism; we met several women along the path & in the village without a single stitch of clothing on. Here & Malaita are the only places where men & women as heathen went entirely naked. We got back to the ship in time for lunch. Sailed at 1. P.M. for Santa Cruz, pitching and rolling from the very start.
Wed. 18. At sea all day, pitching & rolling; not at all sick but it is a tiring experience.
Thur. 19th. Bishop M. has been laid up for several days with a boil on his hip, the Dr. has already given him six injections agains[t] boils! He looked very miserable, but the B. broke to-day & he has cheered up & managed to get on deck.
We arrived in Graciosa Bay Santa Cruz at 3.15. this morning. It was a relief when the ship ceased to roll.
Crowds of people in canoes visited us to sell, yams bananas & curios. I bought 2 nice bags & a beautiful mat. We went with the Bishop in the launch at 9.30. to Nimbi, Te Motu, where West spends much of his time. The Bishop dedicated a church; all the rafters & main beams were stencilled in red white & black in all kinds of queer designs, a lot of care & work had been put into the building. There is a gorgeous view from West's house across Graciosa Bay. There are several round houses here, peculiar to this Island. I got a photo of one.
West has two wooden idols, one about 1 ft high representing a man sitting down the face is rather ape like & has the usual rings in nose & ears as worn by Santa Cruzans. It is very cleverly done; the other is a replica on a small scale being about 5 in. high. Both of these are supposed to give help when out catching sharks & offerings were made to them. West gave the small one to the Bishop & the larger one he will present to the Auckland museum both are cut from blocks of wood. They are really unique specimens. I took a snap of the two.
We got back to the ship at 1.15. P.M.
We set out again at 2.30 for villages in the bay where the "Brothers" are working.
It took about 20 minutes towing a boat-load. The Bishop dedicated two churches, consecrated a burial ground, blessed two houses for the brother & lifted the 'tapu' from a tapu spot.
The latter was rather interesting. The 'tapu' place is a patch of ground about 12 x 16 ft enclosed by a stone wall around which trees & shrubs grow. Ghosts or Evil spirits are believed to inhabit the rats which congregate there & all the people greatly fear the spot. The Bishop climbed over the wall & stood in the middle of the enclosure some of the brothers & all of us whites joined him; he then prayed that all evil spirits be cast out of the place & no more harm anyone. Afterwards asked all the people to follow him as he climbed over the wall on the opposite side. All the folk chief, Old men & women young men girls & kiddies all marched through the place knocking down the wall as they went. The Bishop suggested that the tress should be cut down & that a cross should be set up on the spot. This was a very effective way of driving away the fears of the pole for what was to them an aweful spot.
Ini Kopurua the head brother turned on afternoon tea for us, he had bought cake, cream sandwich biscuits, & some Pascall's sweets! We did not get this until 5. O'clock, when all the work was done.
Villages appear to line the bay at intervals of 1/4 mile or so; by means of the brothers we have got churches in two of them & work is being commenced in a third. All are connected up by a splendid road, 8 ft. wide, which runs right round the bay. On either side, are planted betel nut palms, crotons, fan palms, aspidistras, bananas & many other pretty & picturesque things; one thought one was going through a botanical garden. The villages are all wonderfully clean; a very strong & high stone wall continuing for miles keeps the pigs to the bush behind the villages on the opposite side of the road. All the houses are on the sea front.
The bay is a splendid place, perfectly round, (with a narrow entrance) about 2 miles across. The island Te Motu lies partly across the entrance; from the ship Tinikola towers up behind Te Motu belching smoke & steam.
Fri. 20th. We left at midnight for the Reefs & arrived there at Ndele, West's & Francis' headquarters at 6.30. A.M. It is a very interesting place, little islands dotted about everywhere & spray breaking on reefs miles out. West & Francis run a boy's school in addition to District work, all the buildings are on a generous scale built on a narrow point, an arm of the sea about 30 yds wide cuts them off from the main village. From the ship one sees a long low lying island, a narrow strip of water leading to a lagoon at the back & then another small island, on either side of the creek churches & houses are perched; a most picturesque place.
We all went ashore about 10. O'clock, the Bishop to dedicate the village church, but West turned on morning tea & all our time was taken up with that, so the dedication was postponed to the afternoon! The Reef islanders build their houses with curved rafters; the church is built on this style wh. curved principal rafters, all decorated in red white & blue with an amazing variety of designs. The build is fine & lofty & has a good lime cement floor. Francis' house is very lofty & has the same curved roof & a concrete floor. There is no privacy people crowded every door & window & every available spot in the house to see all that was going on.
Crowds of canoes came to the ship when we first arrived all bringing mats, kits, fishing lines, yams, fish & nuts for sale, we had quite a busy time. I did not go ashore again in the afternoon. We sailed at 4. P.M. for Vanikolo.
Sat. 21. Arrived at Vanikolo at 11. A.M. after a good run. We all went ashore & mooched around until dinner time. Afternoon tea over some of us went ashore & strolled up the railway line for hauling logs.
The bush is very beautiful, it was quite a new experience to be able to walk though native bush & see it clearly.
There are many fine trees but not in any great quantity. We were away about 2 hrs.
Sun. 22nd. Sailed at 10.45. for Tikopea. The Bishop celebrated this morning. We had a lovely quiet night & very cool, today the wind is so keen that one needs a coat.
Mon. 23rd. Arrived Tikopea at 10 A.M. The Bishop wanted one of us to stay ashore for Baptisms & Holy Communion while the ship went to Anuta. I volunteered to stay. We had with us a young chap named Firth a D.Ph. who wishes to spend a year on Tikopea studying the natives; he is fr. N.Z. an Aucklander but came round to Tulagi via Sydney. We picked him up there. We all went ashore and Firth's goods were landed. The Bishop paved the way for him & he has the schoolroom at one of the villages to live in pro. tem. The Tikopeans simply overran the ship, they are such big chaps & take up so much room & are rowdy brutes.
The Bishop dedicated a Church in the afternoon. At 5. P.M. the ship sailed for Anuta leaving Firth & me here on Tikopea. We have been besieged with sightseers all day, the youngsters are ripping, they crowd round us & laugh at everything we do. I took Evensong & preparation for Holy Communion.
A strong S.E. Breeze is blowing & the weather is very cool. Our hut is very low & nearly pitch dark except near the door.
Tues. 24th. I had 40 communicants this morning, they were all wonderfully reverent & knew the service, which is very remarkable seeing that Mota is unused & their last communion was 15 months ago.
After Breakfast I had to baptise, 14 babies & 23 boys & girls nearly all the morning was taken up in getting names of children & parents & finding Godparents. The service was not over until 12 noon. There were some bonny babies with almost pure white skins. After lunch I doled out the teachers' pay in a small hut crammed with giants, it was a warm job. Afterwards I bartered some fish-hooks & knives for fans, mats, a bowl, a spear & some shells.
More was actually asked than one was prepared to give but the folk usually came down in prices; they are like great big teddy bears & quite enjoying themselves.
All the youngsters are very keen on teaching one their words & also in trying to imitate all that one said.
There are several men here whom I taught as boys at Sanlang, one finds them very helpful as go betweens & one has been able to smooth things for Firth.
There is a good deal of bakua (ringworm) but practically no sores, no yaws & no enlarged spleens or limbs; the place is free of malaria.
Houses are very poor low shacks, canoes are dugouts but well to made partly decked fore & aft & hold up to 10 or so men. Gardens extend everywhere, there are acres & acres of taro. There are no dogs, pigs, fowls or rats, hardly any birds & so far I have seen no ants.
Wed. 25th. We had a practise of hymns this morning, it was rather hard work as the people have no idea of keeping up the pitch. After practice, Firth & I & crowds of boys & young men visited villages on the weather side of the island. At on[e] village is a long cleared place 200 yds long by about 6 yds wide where a game called tika is played. The game differs from the game of that name played on Raga & in the Banks in that a nose or head of hardwood is fitted to the end of the reed.
The tika is thrown as a spear is thrown, when it strikes the ground the heavy point causes it to skid along for a great distance. Many of the young men threw the tika the full 200 yds. The game is to send it furthest. There is a lot of skill in it. After the tika exhibition we went on to the main village called Rovena. Firth gave presents to each of the chiefs we found three of them here, to each he gave a tommy-hawk, a whetstone, a clay pipe & 2 sticks of tobacco. The name for chief is arike, there are four arike's on the island who are heads of the tribal divisions, the head chief is called by his division Kafika, the lowest taumaho.
The Ravena village surrounds a huge rock rising sheer about 600 feet we went right round it, & came to the shores of a lake which is in the middle of an old crater. There were two kinds of grey duck on the lake, the duck the[y] called toaroa. I got hold of a few names, Path te ara, Banyan te aoa, House te paito, path te ara, Bread fruit te me, tappa tree & cloth te mame. Coconut te niu, a young nut niu te mata. Sago palm te ota, sea te moana, water te vai. All words are prefixed with te. Every body was keen to tell one names & wanted to know the Raga & Mota names.
We got back at 2.30. for lunch. A basket of food had been given to us in the morning, we sampled some of it. The favourite Tikopean dish is a pudding made from sago & coconut milk, it is cooked in coconut shells; a little goes a long way it is very rich. Just after 3. O'clock a yell Steamer was heard. I rushed to pack things & then along came folk & said it was only a joke. Later on a lot of youngsters fooled us again. I did some more bartering, but the folk were too keen on bargaining so I gave away all my hooks & the last knife. The result was presents came rolling in.
Some men gave us an exhibition of a club dance similar to the one we saw on Guadalcanar, but more intricate & difficult. It was interesting in that we were told that the Guadalcanar dance came from Tonga, while one division of the Tikopeans came from Tonga many years ago.
After the dance Walter John Raniata who was a Vureas in my time there took me to meet his father, who is second chief, he is a find [sic] old man & the only one of the chiefs baptised & confirmed. He gave me a fine big mat, he said it was for my care of his son while at school. I was give[n] some sago pudding a taro & ate a little out of courtesy. When we got back to the church we got ready for Evensong & the ship was sighted. I went on with the service & preached. Then rushed for the hip without any tea. Got on board at 6.45. Evensong was at 7 so I had tea afterwards. I wasn't very hungry the pudding was sitting on my chest.
Thurs. 26th. Making for Santo. Rolled like blazes all nigh not a wink of sleep & rolled all day dear old ship, but Hooray Home to Morrow.