Project Canterbury

"The Brothers"

By Bishop John Manwaring Steward

Star Office, Auckland, 1928.

Transcribed by the Right Reverend Terry Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2013


In publishing this account of "THE BROTHERS" of Melanesia, as a separate booklet, I hope to provide not only some information about the purposes and work of the Brotherhood, but also the story of a most interesting experiment in missionary methods of work, and one quite new in Melanesia at any rate.

Especially would I commend to the reader the account of each Brother and of their spheres of work given by Elder Brother Ini; and ask your prayers that GOD'S Blessing and guidance may rest upon and continue with the work of the Brothers of Melanesia.

Note.—The letters in this book are all translations from the Mota.

Auckland. N.Z., August. 1928.



INI KOPURIA, who may be called the Founder of the Brotherhood, was born about the beginning of this Century at Tabulivu, a village on Guadalcanar, not far from Maravovo. While still quite a little boy he was Baptised at Maravovo, where he was living with some fifteen or twenty other little boys in a school for small boys which was established there at that time. He was named after an early King of Essex, one of the first converts of S. Augustine.

From Maravovo he went to Norfolk Island, where he did well in school, and was a general favourite.

A clever and attractive boy, he probably was rather spoilt by being made too much of; with the result that, when he returned to his home, he was unwilling to settle down to the humdrum life of a village Teacher, and, in a fit of pique, enlisted in the Native Armed Constabulary.

The new life of strict discipline and training was very uncongenial to him at first, and he begged the Mission authorities to get him his dismissal; but when that was shewn to be impossible, he quickly settled down, and made a very efficient Policeman. He had a very good character from those [1/2] under whom he had served, and left the Service in 1924, when as the result of an accident and sickness he was slightly lame.

By this time he was about 22 or 23 years old, and a letter in the Mission Paper, the "Sala Ususur," which suggested the possibility of a life consecrated to GOD'S Service, had appealed strongly to his mind.

Then Ini himself wrote:—

"To the Bishop, J.M.S. of Melanesia.

My Beloved Father,

The Will of God towards me concerning the declaring of His Kingdom above any other work that I could do on earth.

Before now I have often thought, 'What is to be my life's work here?' and I was convinced that it was certainly that of one of the Police, but I was mistaken:

God has called me from following that manner of life, and in my pain and sickness God has shewn me that I should see clearly that it is not (my duty to live) as a Policeman, but to declare the Kingdom of God among the Heathen.

He made me remember, 'Your life is Mine, and God can do as He wishes with His own.'

So I made this promise to God, 'My God, Thou has created me, my body is Thine, the life therein is Thine. Receive this vow of mine. If Thou wilt restore to me that life which is Thine; in my body, which is Thine, I will be through all my days, the servant of Thy Kingdom on earth among the heathen of Guadalcanar.

Soon after I promised also that I would remain unwed till death. All I possess shall be the property of Christ, all my substance shall be to feed the flock of Christ.

Then soon afterwards again I sat and thought, How shall I begin to labour in God's Kingdom?

I thought of the Kingdom of God as a Garden.

There is only one Garden; and only One Lord of the Garden, but the Workers who are wanted in the Garden are many.

I thought in my heart, I need fellow-workers besides myself to help me; it is too hard for me alone.

Your loving son,


[3] The Bishop was convinced of his sincerity and encouraged him, and agreed that he would do much more effective work if he could find some others like-minded with himself who would join with him in his attempt to reach the heathen of the Island.

Ini had some property at his native village, and declared his wish to make that over to the Mission as a Headquarters for the projected brotherhood.

In 1925 he cleared and prepared the site of a Community-house there, and, under a large tree close by the site of the future house, he made his "Profession" before the Bishop, Bishop Molyneux and Mr. Hopkins (of the College at Siota), with whom he had been studying for a time, in the following form, which he himself had written:—

"In the Name of The Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Ghost. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy,
Lord, have mercy,

"Our Father..................."

Trinity, All Holy; from to-day until the day of my death, I promise in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and before Archangels and Angels, Spirits and Saints, and before the Bishop, John Manwaring Steward, Bishop Frederick Merivale Molyneux, and the Reverend Arthur Innes Hopkins, representing the Church here in Melanesia, I promise three things:—

(1) I give myself and my land, together with all that is mine, to Thee.

(2) I will take no payment from the Mission for the work to which Thou sendest me.

(3) I will remain Thy celibate always till my death.

Strengthen me that I may remain firm, remain peaceable, remain faithful therein all my days till death: Who liveth and reigneth, Three in one GOD, world without end. Amen."

This Promise was made on S. Simon and S. Jude's Day, 1925, and the day has been taken as the date of the Foundation of the Brotherhood, and for the Annual Chapter, under the presidency of the Bishop, who is the "Father of all the Brothers," whenever possible.

Directly after his "Profession," Ini went on the "Southern Cross" looking for others who would join him, so that the work might be begun as soon as possible.

[4] Probably all readers of this know that, for the people in the Islands, the year is divided by the two voyages of the "Southern Cross," and will understand how it was that no definite beginning could be made until the first voyage of the Ship in 1926.

It was, therefore, not till Whitsuntide, 1926, that the Brotherhood actually came into being.
Ini had found six other young men ready and eager to make the attempt with him: Moffatt Ohigita, Dudley Bale, and Cecil Logathaga, of Bugotu; Maurice Maneae and Hugo Holun, of Laube; and Benjamin Boko, of Guadalcanar.

The seven met together at Siota; the first tentative rules of the Brotherhood were drawn up, and the name was chosen. A good many suggestions were made before we came to the conclusion that, as they were to be a band of brothers, there was no more suitable name by which they should be known than simply "The Brothers," which is the literal translation of the name by which they are known throughout Melanesia, "Ira Retatasiu."

After Evensong on Whitsunday, they were all solemnly admitted "Brothers," and made the three simple promises of remaining unmarried, receiving no payment, and obeying those "set in authority over them," and the Brotherhood of Melanesia was formally constituted.

The Brotherhood has now been in existence just two years, and it is, perhaps, not too early to attempt some survey of what they have done, to venture on some prophecies of the future, and to set out plainly what the purpose of this Brotherhood is.

The primary purpose of the Brotherhood is set forth in the first Rule, which runs as follows:—

'The Work of the Brothers is to declare the Way of JESUS CHRIST among the heathen; not to minister amongst those who have already received the Law."

There are still many places, especially in the interior of these Islands, which are very difficult of access for Europeans, and where the first steps towards introducing Christianity are more effectively made by means of Native Pioneers. It is to visit such places and to persuade the people to accept a duly qualified Teacher, that the Brothers are specially sent out. When they have sown the first seeds of the Faith, then is the time for the European Missionary to follow up and to try and establish a young Church there.

[5] A second purpose of the Brotherhood is to ascertain whether a vocation to the Religious life exists among our people or not.

Many people hold that a Celibate life is impossible for them; but this view would seem to limit the power of the Holy Spirit, and, should such a Vocation exist, the Brotherhood will provide a place where it may be followed.

It is still much too early to declare definitely whether such a Vocation does exist or has an appeal to our people; but should it prove to be the case that such a Vocation does exist, there is now an opportunity provided for the Devoted Life.

A further purpose is to provide an occupation for young men who, having passed through our Schools, are not yet ready to settle down as Teachers in a Village School. There are many things that make it hard for such young men. In the first place, the life of a Village Teacher certainly does lack incident, and is likely to prove very dull to one who has just finished a course at a School, with its companionship, games, and organised occupations.

Another very important factor is that as soon as these young men have left School, the first thing their relations and friends think about is getting them married. Probably the majority of them are by no means as anxious for matrimony as their relations are on their behalf; but it is very difficult for a young Melanesian to stand out against the persuasions of his people. In consequence, many of our promising young men in the past have either been hurried into matrimony; quite unprepared, sometimes definitely unwillingly, with, too often, lamentable results; or else they have "recruited" for labour on plantations to escape the pressure put upon them, and so are lost to the Mission—at any rate, for a considerable time.

The Brotherhood offers them an occupation away from home, with a certain spice of adventure; and, as the promises are only binding from year to year, there is no sense of an irrevocable decision at too early an age.

Most of our young men leave School with a very real affection for the Mission, and a very real sense of gratitude for what it has done for them. Given a year or two of work on a Trading or Recruiting Ship, or on a Plantation, this sense of gratitude will naturally cool down; while a few years' work as Second Teacher, under an elderly and sometimes uninspiring Senior, with perhaps a wife growing more and more uncongenial, will have much the same result.

[6] Desire for change and adventure, natural to every young man, and the monotonous existence of a native village life, after the fun and interests of School life, rob us of a considerable number of promising young Teachers.

It is greatly hoped that the Brotherhood will provide an outlet for youthful energies, and that the hardships of such a life will make our young men more willing to settle down to the dullness and comparative comfort of village life, when they are of an age to start life as Teachers; while the experience gained by seeing Heathenism as it really is will make them more quick to see and more eager to extirpate such relics of Heathenism as still exist, probably even amongst the best of our people.

A summary of the Rules of the Brotherhood will give an idea of its methods of life and work.

As has already been said, the primary object is the preaching of the Gospel to the heathen in places where otherwise even indirect Christian influence has not penetrated. The "motto" of the Brotherhood is: "I am in the midst of you as He that Serveth." The Brotherhood is divided into groups of from four to eight members, and each group is called a "Household." Each Household chooses one of its members as "Elder Brother," whose duty is to supervise and direct the individual work of his "Younger Brothers," and they promise to obey him.
Each Brother, on his reception, makes a three-fold promise: to remain celibate, to ask no payment, and to obey his elder Brother and his Father, who is the Bishop. This promise is renewed each year, on S.S. Simon and Jude's Day, but any Brother is free to leave the Brotherhood by giving notice of his desire to his Elder Brother, who tells the Father of his Brother's wish.

Each Brother is encouraged to write regularly to the Father, and each Elder Brother is obliged to send a yearly Report to the Father.

Each Household meets four times a year, to discuss their work and any matters connected with their life. If any dispute arises in the Household which the Brothers themselves cannot settle, it is referred to the Father, whose decision cannot be questioned.

The Brothers itinerate, two by two, in the district which they serve, and it is against the Rule for any Brother to be alone.

When there is a Priest or Missionary in charge of the district in which the Brothers are working, they must not act [6/7] in any way against his wishes. Though they are not "under" the District Missionary, technically speaking, they are expected to work in with his plans for the District.

As soon as a village which has been visited by the Brothers (who are not to spend more than three consecutive months in anyone place) is ready to receive a regular Teacher, the Elder Brother is to inform the District Missionary and the Father, and as soon as a regular Teacher is provided for that place, the work of the Brother there ceases.

Each Household can make its own "By-Laws," but they have to receive the approval of the Father .before they are binding on the members.

No change can be made in the Rules of the Brotherhood except at a Chapter under the Presidency of the Father.

As far as possible, the Brothers are free to choose the area in which they wish to work, but the Father has the last word in the matter; and if he should think fit to send a Brother to any particular place, the Brother must obey his directions.

If any Brother wishes to change from one Household to another, he has to tell the Elder Brother first, and the Elder Brother forwards his request to the Father for his approval before the change can be made.

Every Brother is bound to pray daily for the Brotherhood and the Heathen, and a short form of Morning and Evening Prayers is provided.

If any Brother should see or hear anything in the conduct or words of another Brother which seems to him to be wrong or undesirable, he is not allowed to speak of the matter to others outside the Brotherhood, nor to keep the matter to himself and brood over it; but, if he cannot bring himself to speak privately about the matter to his Brother, then, at the next meeting of the Household, he must bring the matter before his Brothers.

The set procedure is as follows:—

Before any other business is discussed, the Elder Brother asks each Brother, beginning with the most junior, "Brother, have you anything against any of the Brothers you wish to speak of?"

Then, if there is any complaint or question in his mind, he speaks out. The Brother concerned makes his reply, and then the whole Household (if necessary) consider the matter, and finally the Elder Brother says anything that he has to complain about. Should the Household be unable to settle the matter, it is referred to the Father.

[8] The Brothers address one another and refer to one another as "Brother So-and-So," and sign their letters "So-and-So, a Brother."

On Whitmonday, 1926, the newly enrolled Brothers went on board the "Southern Cross," and that evening were put ashore, just before sunset, to sleep the night at a nearby village, and, next morning, to make their way inland to the scene of their first attempts.

After a few prayers and a hymn, the Bishop gave them his Blessing and returned on board the ship.

The results of their venture are told in the first Report of their Elder Brother:—

First of all the Brothers went to Sunagi, and asked the Chief Ligoti if he wanted them, and, if he did, two of the [8/9] Brothers were to be left there. Ligoti, however, had changed his mind since Ini had last seen him, and now did not want them.

Accordingly, the whole party went on to the next place where they had been promised a hearing; but here, too, the Chief refused his consent. Once more the party went on again, only to be met with another refusal. The Chief was willing, but his people were afraid to desert their chief god "Vunidou."

Yet another journey into the hills met with yet another refusal, and, disappointed and somewhat dejected, the Brothers returned to their Headquarters to discuss what their next move should be. Here they were cheered to receive the news that Ligoti was going to make a final Sacrifice of pigs to his god, and then would receive two of the Brothers; but this, too, proved only another disappointment.

The people of the place appealed to the District Officer for protection! and the district officer, in accordance with that queer form of "neutrality" which is the tradition of our Empire, said they were not to be worried!

The idea of Heathen "gods" having to invoke the aid of a foreign Government to protect them against the One GOD so amused the Brothers that some of the bitterness of their repeated disappointments was forgotten, and they went with a Native Priest to a bush village for the dedication of a Church there and to receive the Sacrament.

The Brothers made another attempt, but found that there was no opening for them in the district where they had hoped to make a start.

Ini left some of the party at Headquarters, to be ready to go once more if a real invitation came from the people; but there was no call, no opening, and the attempt must be written down as a failure.

In the meantime, Ini and one other went to the farther end of Guadalcanar, to talk over things with the Priest in Charge.

Here he made two or three expeditions, and found that the people of the neighbourhood were more ready to listen to him than those whom he had first visited.

Some six or seven villages offered to receive them, and Ini promised to return there if he could get permission from the Bishop.


A Diocese over Two Thousand Miles in Length

The Islands marked in black are those of the Mission Field

The Melanesian Mission is working over an area of territory more than two thousand miles in length. The Diocese includes a part of the New Hebrides Group, the whole of the Banks Islands, Torres Islands, and all the territory included in the Solomon Island Protectorate, with the exception of about a quarter of this area, which is worked by the Wesleyan Mission; and. in addition, all such parts of the Australian Mandated territory which are not occupied by the Roman Catholic or Wesleyan Missions. Besides this, the Melanesian Mission is responsible for ALL ENGLISH CHURCH PEOPLE from New Zealand to the Equator, except those resident in the Diocese of Polynesia.


[12] Very many other villages were willing to "Come in" if their neighbours did so first; but not a few were terribly alarmed at the news of the near approach of the "new customs."

Ini and his companion then returned to the Headquarters with their report. Two of the party had made another attempt on Ligoti's village, but all the people had fled at the mere news of their approach, and shortly after this all the party went to Vera-na-aso, where the Bishop had appointed a meeting with them.

The Bishop was not able to reach Vera-na-aso in time for S.S. Simon and Jude's Day, but on All Saints' Day the First Chapter of the Brotherhood was duly held.

From the reports of Ini and the other Brothers, it was quite plain that it would only be a waste of time to continue trying to make an impression on the people to whom they had gone first, and the Brothers were still full of zeal, in spite of their first failure, and ready and eager to make a fresh attempt in another part of the Island. To this the Bishop readily agreed, and the "Southern Cross" transported them to the new ground.

Here a really good welcome awaited them. In the neighbourhood of Aola and Tasimboko were many places whose people were glad to receive them, and soon an invitation from the farthest end of Guadalcanar was sent, and a party visited Marau Sound, arid a start was made there also.

In 1927 a Chapter was held at Pawa, and many promises were made of recruits from the School there. At present only two of these have actually joined the Brotherhood, but that has been enough to justify a quite fresh move on the part of the Brotherhood.

Ini and Basil Tavake, a Reef-Islander, have gone to Santa Cruz to try and rebuild the Church there.

They report a very encouraging result of their enquiries and attempts. A very considerable number of the people round and about Graciosa Bay are not only willing, but eager, to receive Christian teaching and influence.

As a result of this report, and owing to the very great difficulty that has been found in the past in providing Teachers to take up the work inaugurated by the itinerating Brothers, we have decided to try a change in our methods, and to make the experiment of giving up certain districts to the Brotherhood where, when they have secured an opening, they themselves shall settle as teachers, but still be reckoned as on the Brotherhood roll and living according to its rules.

[13] We are hoping to make a start with six Brothers in Santa Cruz and six on Guadalcanar; while next year we hope to begin, in a very small way, a school in connection with the Brotherhood at Tambulia, the site of Ini's self-dedication, and on land belonging to him.

The number of Brothers at present is about sixteen, though some have not yet been actually admitted, and some of the elder Brothers are retiring at the end of this year.

As far as one can venture to prophesy, one would estimate the probable numbers of the Brothers for the near future as from sixteen to twenty. I do not expect that for some years to come the total of twenty Brothers actually at work will be exceeded, even if it is reached, nor that the sphere of their work will extend at present beyond Guadalcanar and Santa Cruz.

Much depends on the number and type of young recruits in the near future, but we may feel certain that, if this shall prove to be a work in accordance with the will of GOD, the supply of recruits will not fail either in numbers or in character and capabilities.

Personally, it is with great hopes and good confidence that I commend the future of the Brotherhood movement to GOD, and into the hands of my successor in the position of their Father and to the rising generation of Christian Melanesians.

Bishop of Melanesia.

[14] The Brothers and the Father
By Elder Brother INI KOPURIA ~ Translated from the "Mota."

You have heard how the Bishop began this "Brotherhood" with seven young men in 1926 on Whitsunday in the Church at Siota.

He laid his hands upon them, blessed and empowered them and sent them, in the Power and Name of Jesus the Saviour, into the midst of the heathen; to proclaim and to teach the heathen about GOD Who is Love, Jesus the Saviour, God the Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity, Three Persons and ONE GOD.

He Who made all men and all living things; the whole world, the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.

Then, in November, 1926, one young man volunteered for the work of the Brotherhood for a time, and the Father, Bishop J. M. Steward, received him on board the "Southern Cross," and sent him forth to help the seven original Brothers.

Again, on October 28th, S. Simon and S. Jude's Day, in 1927, five more young men volunteered for work in the Brotherhood, and the Father received them, too, in the Siota Church, and sent them to join the first eight.

Then in June, 1928, on S. John the Baptist's Day, five more again wished to join the Brotherhood, and the Father received them in the Chapel at Vera-na-aso, and sent them out in addition to the other thirteen.

The following are the names of all who have worked in the Brotherhood. Some have left us, some remain with us, and I will give some account of them from the beginning till to-day.

These are the first five.

I myself gave myself to the work since I left the service of the District Officer at Aola in 1924.

Brother Moffatt Ohigita.—Has been in the Brotherhood since May 26th (Whitsunday), 1926. He was resting in his own home on Bugotu from October, 1927, till May, 1928, and is one of those who went ashore for work among the heathen on Santa Cruz this voyage of the "Southern Cross." He started his work in the Brotherhood among the heathen of Guadalcanar, and is now on Santa Cruz.

Brother Cecil Logathaga.—He, too, has been with us since the beginning in 1926. He began his work on Guadalcanar, and is still working there. He is Elder Brother of the Household that is working among the heathen on Guadalcanar, but is meaning to leave at the end of 1928.

[15] Brother Dudley Bale.—He was working In the Brotherhood at Guadalcanar from 1926 to 1927. In October of that year he resigned from this work, and went back to his home in Bugotu. He has found another to take his place, and sent him to join the Brotherhood in May, 1928.


Brother Maurice Maneae.—He remains with us since the beginning; still working to help the heathen on Guadalcanar with Brother Cecil. He, too, is thinking of resigning from his work at the end of this year, 1928.

Brother Ben Bokoe.—He was one of those who in the beginning went to the heathen of Guadalcanar. He only helped for a time, and in May, 1927, he left the Brotherhood, and has looked for work on a plantation. He has now "signed on" for two years at a place called Rere.

Brother Hugo Holun.—He, too, was amongst the very first of the Brothers from the beginning in 1926, and is still working with them. He has only been away for a trip on the "Southern Cross" to see his home and relations on Laube, and has had no other holiday. He is still of two minds whether or not to leave at the end of this year.

The Bishop (the Father) and the Brothers have placed him at Tambulia, near Tambulivu, with another Brother, of whom he is the Senior.

[16] These two are living at Tambulia to look after the Brotherhood-house there, the gardens, and the village of Tambulivu, and they will collect and prepare some young men from heathen villages, beginning a small school at Tambulia.

In the beginning the Brothers will manage this school, and later on we shall see what will happen, and Brother Hugo is staying there to get things ready.

I myself shall go there in October, 1928, and shall begin by gathering together some young men, not more than five at first, and shall begin the school.

Pray for us that this idea may prosper to the Glory of GOD.

Brother John Patteson Nana (pronounced Gnang-a).—When those first Brothers had served for six months, Brother John Patteson joined, but he did not help for long, but left us and returned to his own people.

He only worked from November, 1926, to October, 1927. When he had finished in the Brotherhood he offered for work as a Teacher at Vera-na-aso, but the Headmaster did not accept him, so he looked for other work, this time in the Printing House, but the Head Printer did not want him.

Then he went and proposed for marriage with the daughter of a Priest, but the girl's father forbade it.

He then returned to his village, and wrote to one of the Brothers that he would wait for the "Southern Cross" there and return to the Brotherhood.

However, when the "Southern Cross" arrived, he saw the doctor first, changed his mind about rejoining the Brotherhood, and told the doctor that he wanted to go with him.

Dr. Maybury accepted him to help with the sick people, and so Brother John Patteson is at Siota now with Dr. Maybury.

What of the next five Brothers?

Brother Ben Pupulo.—He took the place of Brother Ben Bokoe when Ben Bokoe left the Brotherhood. For three months he followed the Brothers here and there in the work on Guadalcanar.

The Father-Bishop admitted him in the Church at Siota on S.S. Simon and Jude's Day, 1927. He worked with the Brothers, under Brother Cecil, on Guadalcanar.

He had now returned to his own home at Tambulivu for a time, to take the place of a teacher who is always ill, but he is still counted as one of the Brotherhood.

[17] Brother Basil Tavake.—He is a Reef Islander. His wife died, leaving one small child, and during the short time since this he remained unmarried. He came with me to Santa Cruz the first time I visited the heathen there. Our Father Bishop found us there, and sent us to enquire about work among the heathen there. Accordingly we went there, and returned to report to the Father what we had seen, and he then sent eight of us to Santa Cruz this voyage of the "Southern Cross."

Brother Basil joined the Brotherhood on October 27, 1927, and is still with them among the heathen of Santa Cruz. He does not think that he will remain long with the Brothers on account of his child, who is still quite small and has lost his mother.

Brother John Selwyn Kodovu.—He is from Guadalcanar, from a village called Takoserangga. He had been to school at Vera-na-aso, and after that was sent to school at Siota, and helped on the Bishop's launch, and then made up his mind to join the Brotherhood. The Bishop, our Father, admitted him in the Church at Siota on S.S. Simon and Jude's Day, 1927. He was sent to help among the heathen at Guadalcanar. He is still working on Guadalcanar under Brother Cecil, but just now he had been ill, and is at Siota.

When he recovers he will be sent back to the Brothers on Guadalcanar to help in the work among the heathen there.

Brother Frank Gon.—He is the son of Clement Gon, who was teaching at Ulawa. He was from Merelava, but is now dead. Frank's mother was an Ulawa woman, and his father a Merelava man.

Frank was at School at Pamua, and afterwards at Pawa, where he finished his schooling. He was there when the Brothers met in Conference at Pawa, and the Bishop heard his promise to join the Brotherhood in October, 1927, and on S.S. Simon and Jude's Day admitted him in the Church at Siota, and then sent him to work among the heathen on Guadalcanar.

Now he has changed his "Household," and is one of us who have gone to Santa Cruz.

Brother James Gerevora.—He is from Guadalcanar, and his village is Veuru. He, too, was at school at Pamua and Pawa, and finished his schooling there. He was among those who promised at Pawa. The Father, Bishop J. M. Steward, admitted him in the Church at Siota at the same time as Brother Frank. He was sent first to work among the heathen [17/18] on Guadalcanar, and afterwards he stayed at Tambalia to help Brother Huga Holun. These two Brothers decided to offer for the work together, and are staying there to get the school for heathen lads ready at Tambulia, near Tambulivu, on Guadalcanar.

And now about the last five recruits.

Brother Harper Hugatia.—He is from Gela, was educated at Pawa, and after finishing his schooling there, has joined to help this work.

He, too, was one of those who volunteered for work in the Brotherhood while the Bishop was at Pawa. Bishop J. M. Steward, our Father, received him in the Chapel at Vera-na-aso on S. John the Baptist's Day, June 24th, 1928. He has been sent out among the heathen on Santa Cruz.


Brother John Pita.—Is a Savo man. Was at school at Pawa, and was also one of those who volunteered for work in the Brotherhood among the heathen while at School. He joined the Brotherhood on S. John the Baptist's Day, 1928, was accepted by our Father, the Bishop, and was sent to Santa Cruz.

He will not stay long at Santa Cruz, but will return to help among the heathen on Guadalcanar.

He thinks that he will not remain long in the work, as his relations and friends are worrying him to get married.

[19] Brother Wilson Suarere.—He, too, is from Savo, and has schooled at Pawa, and was one of the boys who volunteered there.

The Bishop, our Father, admitted him into the Brotherhood on S. John the Baptist's Day, 1928, and he has been sent to work among the heathen on Guadalcanar. He is in Brother Cecil's Household, and is now working on Guadalcanar.

Brother John Pihavaka.—He is a Bugotu (Ysabel) man. He went to school at Bunana in the time of the Rev. R. P. Wilson and his sister, and has joined the Brotherhood to take the place of Brother Dudley Bale, who chose him some time ago, when he (Brother Dudley) left to work elsewhere.

John Pihavaka was admitted on June 24th, 1928, and has been sent to work among the heathen on Santa Cruz.

Brother Bice Aritiva.—He comes from the same village as Brother Moffatt Ohigita—Longahija, near Buala, Bugotu. He has not been to any of the larger schools in other islands, like Pamua or Vera-na-aso, but he has been sufficiently instructed about our Heavenly Father, whom we preach, in his own country. In his heart he knows that he is able to help others who do not yet know GOD, which should put to shame many others, more learned, who do not want to help the ignorant.

Bishop J. M. Steward, the Father, admitted him in the Chapel at Vera-na-aso, on S. John's Day, too, June 24th, 1928.

He has been sent to work in helping the Heathen in Guadalcanar, among the Brothers over whom Brother Cecil is Elder Brother.

A list of the Brothers and their Stations.


Brother Cecil Lujagathaga, in the Village of Aola.
" Maurice Maneae, in the Village of Aola.
" John S. Kodovu, in the Village of Aola.
" Wilson Sauareare, in the Village of Aola.
" Bice Aritivu, in the Village of Aola.
" Hugo Holun, in the Village of Tambulia.
" James Gerevora, in the Village of Tambulia.

The Brothers also now are beginning on Santa Cruz, at Graciosa Bay: Brothers Ini Kopuria, Moffatt Ohigita, Basil Tavake, Frank Goa, Harper Hugatia, John Pita John Pihavaka, *Michael Ouou. [*Michael has not yet been formally admitted, but is included among the full brothers.]


The Rule and Custom of the work and association of the Brotherhood stands as follows:—

"The Bishop shall be the Father of the Brothers." That is the Bishop of the Melanesian Mission, that is the Bishop over the whole Diocese, and this was Bishop J. M. Steward, for he was the chief Bishop, with Bishop F. M. Molyneux as the second.

He it was (Bishop Steward) who founded the Brotherhood, and was the first father of the Brothers.

Now, whoever is the Bishop of Melanesia in the future will be "Father" over the Brothers.
Bishop J. M. Steward was not Father for long, as his work in the Melanesian Mission was nearing its end. His work as Father began in 1926, and he has been "Father" for 1926, 1927, and 1928—three years.

On October 28th, 1927, all we Brothers were assembled at Siota, and we asked him if, when his work as Bishop of Melanesia was ended, he would remain as Father always for us Brothers.

Our question was a hard one, and he could not give us an answer to it at once, but in May, 1928, got a reply to our petition in the following letter:—

"March 5, 1928. Siota.

For Ini Kopuria.

My Beloved Son,—

I have thought very much about what you Brothers spoke to me about—that is, that I should remain as your Father.

I have consulted others on the matter, and I have decided that it is impossible for me.

I find that my body is not strong down here, and I do not want to begin a work I cannot complete.

So, my son, when we meet in June here, I shall say good-bye finally to you. But if my body is far away, remember always that my heart will be near you always.

Your Father,
+John, The Bishop."

Brother Ini Kopuria.

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