Project Canterbury

Golden Jubilee, Diocese of Polynesia, 1908-1958

Transcribed by Dr. Terry M. Brown
Retired Bishop of Malaita, 2010




Staff and Diocesan Appointments 2
Greeting from Archbishop of Canterbury 3
Greeting from Archbishop of New Zealand 4
Celebration of Golden Jubilee 5
Formation of Diocese 7
Centres of Work:
Levuka 11
Suva 14
Labasa 17
Tonga 20
Lautoka 22
Samoa 23
Melanesian 25
Vanua Levu South 29
Distant Islands 30
Buildings erected 31
Plans for the future 32
Message from Bishop 34
Current News 35

[2] Church + Gazette





The Rev. H. W. FIGGESS, Rector of Suva, Fiji.
The Rev. M. E. BASDEN, Suva.
The Rev. J. DODD, Vicar of Levuka, Fiji.
The Rev. W. W. ROBINSON, Labasa, Fiji.
The Rev. C. W. WHONSBON-ASTON, Chaplain of Western Samoa, Apia.
The Rev. J. T. TAMAHORI, Nukualofa, Tonga.
The Rev. L. GREENSIDES, Superintendent of Melanesian Mission, Wailoku, Suva, Fiji
(on leave).
The Rev. C. G. BURGESS, Vicar of Viti Levu West, Lautoka, Fiji.
The Rev. K. APPASAMY, All Saints' School, Labasa, Fiji. Licence to officiate.
The Rev. Dr. G. R. HEMMING, Suva, Fiji. Licence to officiate.
The Rev. FINE HALAPUA. Nukualofa, Tonga.
The Rev. R. H. J. LESTER, Deacon in Auckland.


Miss D. Stephens and five Assistants, St. Mary's, Labasa.
Rev. K. Appasamy, and six others, All Saints', Labasa.
Mrs. Tamahori, Miss E. Goldsmith, Mrs. V. Sandys, Sekitoa Pelaki, A. Halapua. S. Koli
and A. Vi, Misses A. Tuitupou, F. Motamoana, S. Alai, St. Andrew's, Nukualofa.
Mrs. Saunders, Luke Seruvatu, St. John's, Wailoku, Suva.
Tome Enikosuna, St. Paul's, Naviavia, Savu Savu.
Meke Samisoni, St. James,' Levuka.


LABASA: Jivaratnam (Lay Evangelist).
TONGA: Viliami Kaulave, Neleseni Tuitavake.
LEVUKA: R. Kaad, Maika Brown and J. F. Wilson.
SAMOA: A. F. W. Gordon.


STANDING COMMITTEE: His Lordship the Bishop. Rev. H. W. Figgess, Rev. W. W. Robinson, Rev. L. Greensides, Mr. K. A. Stuart, Mr. N. G. Cassidy, Sir Ragnar Hyne, Mr. W. R. Wiggle.
DIOCESAN TREASURER: Mr. Harold Crane, Suva.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES: His Lordship the Bishop, Messrs. L. C. Bentley, J. M. Hedstrom, J. H. Tennant, J. B. A. Wisdom.
CATHEDRAL CHAPTER: Dean, the Bishop, Rector, Rev. H. W. Figgess. Precentor, Rev. L. Greensides. Lay Members: Lieut.-Col. A. H. Stafford and Mr. V. R. Abrahams (Cathedral Wardens); Mr. L. C. Bentley, Mr. R. B. Ackland and Mr. A. P. C. Warren.
LEGAL ADVISOR: A. D. Leys, Esq., LL.B.


IN AUSTRALIA: Ven. Archdeacon A. N. Williamson, Diocesan Registry. Tyrrell House, Newcastle, N.S.W., Rev. F. W. Coaldrake, A.B.M., 14 Spring St., Sydney, N.S.W.
IN NEW ZEALAND: Ven. Archdeacon W. S. Southward, St. Luke's Vicarage, Oamaru Revd. L. O'S Beere, All Saints' Vicarage, Ponsonby, Auckland, W.1., also for Auckland Pension Board.
IN ENGLAND: Rev. Canon Dr. Leonard Hodgson, Christ Church Oxford; Rev. R. L. Crampton, Gt Gonerby Rectory, Grantham, Lincs.; Rev. G. H. Strickland. 15 Buckerell Avenue, Exeter, Devon.


Hon. Secretary. Polynesia Association in England:

Dr. R. Kelson Ford, 43 Lavington Road, Worthing. Sussex.

Hon. Secretaries, Friends of Polynesia in New Zealand:
Miss E. Bassets, 3 Mason's Avenue, Herne Bay, Auckland, W.1.
Miss L. G. Cameron. 173 Cashell Street, Christchurch.

Subscriptions should be sent to the nearest Secretary or to the nearest A.B.M. State Secretary.

All Communications regarding the "Gazette" should be addressed to Box 35, Suva, Fiji.

[3] Lambeth Palace,
8th November, 1957.

My dear Bishop,

If it is not too late, may I send to you and to the Diocese of Polynesia my affectionate greetings as they celebrate the Jubilee of the founding of the Diocese in 1908.

Though this Church of the Islands is far from Great Britain and now properly looks to the Church of New Zealand as its Mother Church, The Church of England still preserves its close fellowship with you and upholds your clergy and people in its prayers. It is a special joy that you who have so faithfully and lovingly led the Diocese as its Bishop for the last thirty-four years, stand before it in its offering of praise to Almighty God for His Glory and His gifts, surrounded by the love and trust of all your people. May God richly bless you and them now and in the days to come.

Yours sincerely,

The Right Reverend,
The Lord Bishop of Polynesia.

[4] Letter from the Archbishop of New Zealand to the Bishop in Polynesia on the occasion of the Jubilee of the Diocese of Polynesia.


My dear Bishop,

On behalf of the Church of the Province of New Zealand, I send to you and to your Diocese affectionate greetings and warm congratulations in this Jubilee year. You in Polynesia rightly rejoice and the rest of the Province rejoices with you that for 50 years the work of your Diocese has been richly blessed.

Polynesia holds a very special place in our affections because it is one of the two Missionary Dioceses of the Province. Moreover, I know well the importance of the chaplaincy work. A High Commissioner in the Pacific said to me recently, "We officials and merchants have as great need of the help of the Church as the native people."

You yourself have played a notable part in the history of your Diocese, for 35 out of the 50 years of its life you have presided over it as Bishop with devotion and distinction. It is a record of service of which we are all very proud. We in New Zealand have a deep admiration for the way in which you have never lost heart, although your Diocese has often been understaffed, but have laboured on in this important and difficult work to which God has called you.

I have most happy memories of my visit to you in 1953, when I saw for myself both the importance and the difficulties of the work. I made new friends among your Clergy and Laity, and some of those friendships have continued'. I wish that I could have visited you again this year, but the demands made on my time by meetings both of the Lambeth Conference and the General Synod of the Province prevent me, to my great regret, from coming to you. I hope that your Jubilee celebrations will be very happy.

I am sure that at your Jubilee you and your people will look back with a generous gratitude to those who have worked faithfully in Polynesia in these 50 years, and I am sure, too, that you will face the future with a lively hope that God will continue to prosper your work.

I greet you all, Bishop, Clergy and Laity, whose work is in the Islands of Polynesia, and I pray that God will enable you to fulfil your part in the working out of His great purpose of redemption through Jesus Christ. May God's blessing be upon you all.

Yours very sincerely,
18th January, 1958.

[5] Celebration of Golden Jubilee

The special celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of the Diocese will take place in the Diocese from May 28th to June 4th, inclusive. Each District in the Diocese shall arrange its own local celebrations, both liturgical and social, to suit its own local conditions and requirements, especially within the eight days of the Festival.

The Bishop has appointed as the special Collect, Epistle and Gospel for the Octave of the Festival those set for the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.


O Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

EPISTLE: Colossians 3:12-17.
GOSPEL: St. Matthew 13:24-30.

At the special Evensong during the Festival the following shall be said, and as used by the Diocese of Liverpool:

Then shall the Minister say:

Let us rejoice in the fellowship of our Faith, saying together:

We believe in God the Father who made us and all the world.

We believe in God the Son who redeemed us and all mankind.

We believe in God the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us and all the elect people of God.

We rejoice in that we have been made members of Christ and of his mystical Body, the blessed company of all faithful people.

We rejoice in the fellowship and communion of the saints, and we look for the promise of a glorious resurrection with them in life everlasting. Amen.


For the light of the glorious gospel shining throughout the world, whereby we have been brought out of darkness and error into the light of the liberty of the Son of God.




For missionaries, known and unknown, who first brought the Gospel to these shores;

For the innumerable company who now praise thy Name out of every kindred and nation and people and tongue;

For our fellowship with them and with one another in the Gospel.



[6] Minister:

For the work of thy Church in Polynesia, and for thy presence with her from the first until now.




For the faithful pastors of thy flock, for the labours of all other thy servants, teachers, Church officers and Church members, by which the Church in this Diocese has been nourished and built up.




For the increase of corporate life within the Diocese whereby our fellowship bears fruit in mutual labour and service.



Then shall the minister and the people kneel to say the following prayer:

Let us pray.

God of our fathers, who by thy Spirit has builded up this Diocese within thy Holy Church, we give thee humble thanks for all, whether known to us or unknown, who in these fifty years have herein wrought for thee. We praise thee for treasures of truth and love, for fruits of faith and work, through them bestowed on us. And we beseech thee so to renew in us thy Spirit that we may steadfastly seek thy will for us and for our children, and both in life and worship show forth thy love and magnify thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father . . .


As the Lambeth Conference is being held this year, it has proved impossible for any Bishop from New Zealand to bring the greetings of the New Zealand Province at the time of the Festival, but the Bench of Bishops has accepted the offer of the Bishop of Christchurch to visit us at the Cathedral as he returns from Lambeth. We hope to welcome him on Thursday, 11th September, when he will bring the Diocese a message from our Archbishop and Primate. Details of this visit will be given nearer the date.

The Jubilee celebrations will be preceded by a meeting of the Synod of the Diocese, opening on 11th May, 1958, with the Service of Evensong in the Cathedral, and this again will be preceded by a gathering of all the staff of the Diocese in Retreat. The Home Secretary of the Australian Board of Missions, the Revd. T. B. McCall, will conduct the Retreat and preach the sermon at the Synod Service.

[7] Founding of Diocese


When the first priest, the Revd. W. Floyd, came to the area it was "with the sanction of the Bishops of Melbourne, Sydney and Melanesia--neither of whom possessed jurisdiction there." This was in 1870, but after the cession of the Fiji Islands to Queen Victoria these became a British Colony, and so came ecclesiastically under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London. A suggestion that the area should come within the Province of New Zealand in 1889 was resisted, as the local church people felt it would loosen the ties with England. Various Bishops did visit the Islands--G. A. Selwyn of New Zealand, John Selwyn of Melanesia, A. B. Suter of Nelson, E. C. S. Gibson of Gloucester, and H. H. Montgomery of Tasmania. It was Bishop A. Willis who, while Bishop of Honolulu, visited Samoa, Tonga and Fiji in 1897, and after his resignation in 1902, when Honolulu became a missionary Diocese of the Protestant Episcopal Church of U.S.A., felt free to go South and establish himself in Tonga. His presence there gave rise to many perplexing problems of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and the Bishops of New Zealand became increasingly involved in these.


[8] The appointment of the Revd. T. C. Twitchell, Rector of All Hallows', Poplar, as Bishop in 1908 seemed to solve these, but he was sent out with totally insufficient support, and after surviving the difficulties caused by the 1914-18 war and having used up much of his private capital, he resigned in August, 1921. After his appointment he was involved in a complex legal action about the Campbell Bequest, an estate which had been bequeathed under the will of the Hon. John Campbell for the establishment of a Bishopric of Fiji of the Church of England. This estate produced an annual income of never more than £230, and it fell as low as £75. He knew little of New Zealand or Australia, and only towards the end of his term as Bishop did he begin to receive support from Australia.

The status of Bishop A. Willis was regularised when in 1913 Bishop Twitchell appointed him Assistant Bishop in Tonga.


The present Bishop, who has had experience of work in Nigeria and Malaya, was from New Zealand, and his father, Archdeacon J. P. Kempthorne, had been very well known. Through the Bishops in New Zealand his name was placed before the Archbishop of Canterbury, and in 1923 he was consecrated in Lambeth Palace Chapel and proceeded to the Diocese. After making a survey of the Diocese and acquainting himself with some of its problems, he then made a tour of both New Zealand and Australia and secured promises of support and much encouragement. Too soon, however, the rising hopes were disappointed when the new grants were drastically cut through the days of the financial depression in the early 'thirties. Most serious was the closing of our school for Chinese in Suva.



In 1925 the Diocese became associated with the Province of the Church in New Zealand, and in the same year the Archbishop of New Zealand (A. W. Averill) was present in Fiji when the first Synod of the Diocese was constituted. The succeeding Archbishops have each visited the Diocese--the Most Revd. Campbell W. West-Watson in 1948 and the Most Revd. Reginald H. Owen in 1953.

SYNOD, 1956

[10] The Bishopric has been supported by an annual grant from the S.P.G., and only in 1930 were steps taken in England for the permanent endowment and an appeal was launched for an Endowment Fund. In 1937 the S.P.C.K., S.P.G., and the Colonial Bishopric Fund made grants, and gradually the Fund was completed with help, too, from New Zealand, so that in 1943 annual grants from S.P.G. for the Bishopric ceased and all capital being vested in the Colonial Bishoprics' Fund, who made quarterly payments to the Bishop.


A Prayer of St. Augustine


O LORD, Who, though Thou wast rich, yet for our sake didst become poor, and has promised in Thy Gospel that whatsoever is done unto the least of Thy brethren, Thou wilt receive as done unto Thee; give us grace, we humbly beseech Thee, to be ever willing and ready to minister, as Thou dolt enable us, to the necessities of our fellow-creatures and to extend the blessings of Thy Kingdom over all the world, to Thy praise and glory, Who art God over all, blessed for ever. Amen.


Revd. W. Floyd 1870-1909
Revd. E. H. Wyatt 1910
Revd. A. E. Frost 1911-1913
Revd. A. Phimister 1913
Revd. G. A. Forrest Sale 1914-1928
Revd. S. F. N. Waymouth 1928-1930
Revd. C. W. Whonsbon-Aston 1931-1934
Revd. A. Stackhouse 1934
Revd. E. G. Bucknill 1935
Revd. R. L. Crampton 1937
Revd. E. R. Elder 1938-1944
Revd. E. G. Bucknill 1945 (L.T.)
Revd. W. E. Moorhouse 1946-1948
Revd. A. C. Hobson 1948-1949 (L.T.)
Revd. D. Wallace 1949 (L.T.)
Revd. W. H. P. Hartley 1950-1953
Revd. F. C. Bastian 1953-1956
Revd. J. Dodd 1956

A body of Church of England folk in Levuka in 1868 met for the purpose of securing a clergyman to minister to them, and a committee was formed in Melbourne to forward this purpose. The Revd. William Floyd was a member of this Melbourne Committee, and eventually he offered his services and arrived in Fiji in 1870. He proved so acceptable to the Church members that in 1874 they applied to the New Zealand Bishops to consecrate him. The application was met by a request for further information and a suggestion (which proved impracticable) that the Bishop of Melanesia should undertake the episcopal oversight.


[12] Unfortunately almost all Mr. Floyd's papers and records were lost soon after his death, and so too little is known of his work. It was 10 years before a second clergyman arrived in Fiji, and another 20 years before the third one arrived--Mr. Poole to Suva in 1880 and Mr. Lateward to Labasa in 1902.

There is extant a document granting a small piece of land in the centre of Levuka, where a small church was built, but soon destroyed in a hurricane. The second church remained in use for many years, until Floyd's dream of a building in permanent material was realised and the present church in concrete consecrated in 1904.


Meanwhile Levuka in 1884 ceased to be the capital of the Colony when the central Government offices were transferred to Suva. However, Levuka continued to be a central trading port until between 1914-20, or even a little later. Its main importance at present is as an educational centre for a wide area.

From the earliest days Floyd had regarded as his first missionary responsibility that of ministering to the Melanesian immigrants from the Solomon and New Hebrides Islands, and this has been maintained by all those who have succeeded him. During the decade after 1870 there seems to have been a considerable body of these people in Levuka, and there are reports of the voluntary help of very many lay people giving their services to helping in their education. By 1923 the numbers had become very small, and in addition to the church services a mere handful came to the Vicarage and on its verandah received elementary teaching for one or two hours daily. This became more regular in 1938, .and finally in 1952 a school was built and a regular registered teacher appointed.



These Solomon Islanders had no land, and they had insecure tenure of any land they occupied until the Diocese managed through their Trustees to secure more permanent leases of land and to help them in improving their conditions of living.

The Vicar of Levuka has the cure of a wide area beyond the island of Ovalau, on which Levuka is situated. This includes the planters and Solomon Islanders on the island of Taveuni and over the Windward Islands or the Lau Group. Transport difficulties, however, make visits to these very rare. The island of Makogai, only 15 miles distant, is visited occasionally, and there seem always some church members being treated there for leprosy. Only recently the Bishop visited the island to confirm two Solomons afflicted with leprosy.

Some of the regular worshipping Congregation of the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Levuka, taken on the occasion of the christening of Aubrey Stewart, son of the Rev. and Mrs. John Dodd.

[14] SUVA


Revd. A. Poole (Deacon) 1880-1884
Revd. J. F. Jones 1886-1898
Revd. T. Eykyn 1890 (L.T.)
Revd. J. F. Moran 1897-1898 (L.T.)
Revd. H. Packe 1899-1907
Revd. R. T. Mathews 1907-1924
Revd. W. J. Hands 1924-1932
Revd. F. P. de L. Willis 1932 (L.T.)
Revd. C. Houchen 1929 (L.T.)
Revd. R. F. Geddes 1933
Revd. C. W. Whonsbon-Aston 1934 (L.T.)
Revd. H. Mayo Harris 1934-1944
Revd. H. Irving (Deacon)
Revd. W. E. D. Davies 1941-1942 (L.T.)
Revd. E. G. Bucknill 1943 (L.T.)
Revd. G. R. Hemming 1939-1946; 1948- (Hon.)
Revd. R. A. Donne 1945-1948
Revd. H. W. Figgess 1948
Revd. J. J. N. Taylor 1954 (L.T.)
Revd. W. W. Robinson 1952-1955 (Assistant)
Revd. J. Dodd 1955-1956 (Assistant)
Revd. M. E. Basden 1957- (Assistant)

The Revd. R. A. Poole (a Deacon) arrived in the Colony in 1880 and was stationed on the Rewa River, and used to walk into Suva (14 miles) to conduct services. Then in 1884, when Suva became the capital, services were held in the Court House until soon after the arrival of the Revd. J. F. Jones in 1886, when Holy Trinity Church was dedicated by a visiting Bishop, A. Suter, of Nelson, New Zealand. This church continued in use until the end of 1952, when the first part of the new Cathedral was ready for use.

In 1896 a second church had been built to serve the Melanesian people, but this is described under the Melanesian work.

Suva had been growing slowly until just before the second world war, [14/15] when it increased in size more rapidly, and still more rapidly after 1945. While the Cathedral was building, another church in Laucala Bay was being erected with the voluntary help of our church people and others.


Both buildings were consecrated in 1953. By then the first portion of the Cathedral had been completed, and the Consecration Service brought to Suva the Archbishops of New Zealand and Sydney, and the Bishop of New Guinea.

[16] The history of the Church in Suva would be incomplete without mention of the work of Dr. I. Hamilton Beattie. He arrived from London in 1924 and immediately associated himself with every facet of Church work. He was appointed a Lay Reader in 1926, and as an offering presented the Cathedral with a gold chalice and paten. In 1930 he married Miss Thelma Shaw, who came from New Zealand as Headmistress of our St. Paul's Chinese School. He was a member of all our Diocesan committees until he withdrew on account of advancing years. He is responsible for the fine organ in the Cathedral and was intimately connected with the building of the Cathedral. All his varied talents were immediately available whenever required.

Mention of the Chinese School indicates another service which the Church gave to the community. It was Archdeacon W. J. Hands who was responsible for its inception in 1927, and the fame of the school spread widely, and it performed a great service for a time until it was found impossible to obtain satisfactory teachers and the financial support became impossible to sustain. One of the very sad items in the Minutes of Standing Committee on 14th May, 1936, reads: "That in view of the unsatisfactory condition of the Chinese School and the unsatisfactory state of Diocesan finance, the St. Paul's Church School shall be closed."



Revd. H. Lateward 1902-1909
Revd. A. T. Milgrew 1907-1918
Revd. W. M. Woods 1921 (six weeks)
Revd. H. A. Favell 1924-1929
Revd. E. R. Elder 1930-1938
Revd. A. N. Williamson 1935 (L.T.)
Revd. D. P. Misra 1937-1947
Revd. R. L. Crampton 1938-1944
Revd. J. A. G. Day 1940-1941 (Deacon and Teacher)
Revd. G. H. Strickland 1945-1951
Revd. W. E. Moren 1946
Revd. L. Greensides 1951 (L.T.)
Revd. D. Wallace 1949-1952 (Priest and Teacher)
Revd. W. A. French 1952-1957
Revd. W. W. Robinson 1956

Sir Arthur Gordon, while Governor of Fiji, in 1879 had written to the Archbishop of Canterbury appealing to him for the Church to undertake work among the Indians beginning to come from India, and in response the S.P.G. set aside funds for the purpose. No one arrived until 1902. Mr. Lateward, a missionary from India, came to survey the field, and finally settled at Labasa. He obtained a recruit from New Zealand, Mr. A. T. Milgrew, who after two years returned to New Zealand to prepare for ordination. He returned as a Deacon in 1907, and in 1909 was ordained Priest by the new Bishop, T. C. Twitchell. He continued working steadily till 1918, when his health gave way and he had to return to New Zealand, and the work lapsed until 1924. Since then considerable progress has been made, chiefly through education, but there have been great staffing difficulties, which still continue, and opportunities for expansion have been missed through lack of personnel.


Our Mission was the pioneer body in the matter of education at Labasa, but when the school closed in 1918 the building remained closed until 1923, when the present Bishop found it recently reopened with an Indian and her young son as teachers and a very few children. Meanwhile the A.B.M. had sent Miss I. Cobb to India for two years to gain experience, and she arrived in Fiji at the end of 1923. After spending three months with the [17/18] Methodist Indian Mission work, she took charge of the school at Labasa, after very primitive arrangements were made for her accommodation. The Revd. H. A. Favell began his long years of service in the Diocese at Labasa in 1924, and in 1925 took over charge of the school, in addition to the work as Vicar of the Parish. In 1927 a school for girls was started in what has since grown to become the township of Nasea. The boys' school was completely blown away in a hurricane at the end of 1929, but with magnificent support from schools in New Zealand and Australia it was rebuilt in 1930.


Miss P. Rowe in 1931, joined by Miss H. Debbage in 1934, began her long association with the St. Mary's Girls' School which was to last until the end of 1955.

Efforts were made to extend our work of education, and in 1934 a school was established at Vunimoli and at Wailevu in 1937. But the management of these was given up at the end of 1947 owing to the fact that we could not secure enough Christian teachers to staff them.

Five years later, at our Synod in 1952, much of the time was given to a report on our Indian work presented to the Synod by Archdeacon Hands and the Revd. L. Greensides. The result of this was a determination to maintain our two schools with greater efficiency and improved equipment, and in addition to increase our staff for the purpose of undertaking a greater amount of direct evangelistic work. A priest-evangelist was to be appointed and one Indian Catechist set apart. The Revd. W. W. Robinson came from New Zealand, and after spending two years in Suva and one at Lautoka, took up the work of Priest-Evangelist. One of our teachers, [18/19] Jivaratnam, accepted the post of Lay Catechist, and after a short period of training took up the work under Mr. Robinson.

Unfortunately the health of the wife of the Superintendent of the Mission compelled him to resign at the end of 1956, and no one has yet volunteered to fill the vacancy, and Mr. Robinson has been compelled to spend much of his valuable time in administrative work.



A Prayer For The Indian Peoples

Eternal Father,
Source of all perfection,
Who, by thy Holy Spirit,
Hast given to the Indian peoples
Many excellent gifts,
Grant, by our prayers,
That they and their gifts
May be brought to the sacred feet
Of thy dear Son,
So that, in thy holy church, and
Through her faith and sacraments,
They may find their fulfilment,
Rest, and peace.
Through the same thy Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
Who liveth and reigneth with thee
And the same Holy Spirit
Ever one God world without end. Amen.

[20] TONGA

Bishop A. Willis 1902-1920
Revd. E. H. Strong 1920-1922 (Archdeacon)
Revd. Y. Sang Mark 1907-1928
Revd. E. R. Elder 1929
Revd. H. A. Favell 1929-1946
Revd. E. Webber 1946-1949
Revd. F. C. Bastian 1949-1952
Revd. J. T. Tamahori 1952
Revd. Fine Halapua 1953


Again the report of Bishop Suter is referred to, for he visited Tonga also in 1886. He wrote: "We should protect our own people, few and isolated though they be." Bishop A. Willis, when he resigned the Bishopric of Honolulu, responded in 1902 to a petition to shepherd a group of Tongans who had asked for his ministrations. There in Tonga he ministered to these people for the next 18 years, till in 1920, after attending a Lambeth Conference, he died at the age of 80.

He established a school and printing press, and at his age was continually moving about the widely-scattered Tongan Group. A Chinese student, Y Sang Mark, who accompanied him from Honolulu, was sent later to Berkeley Divinity School and was ordained Deacon, and' returned to assist him. Ten years after his death a fine church of concrete was erected as a memorial to him. Later still, the old school was replaced by a permanent building of concrete blocks erected by voluntary labour of the Tongan people. Only in 1956 was there a Tongan, Fine Halapua, ordained to the priesthood. Another Tongan has been accepted as a postulant for ordination. It is interesting that at present the priest in charge in Tonga, the Revd. J. T. Tamahori, is a Maori priest from New Zealand.

[21] Bishop Willis started the practice of sending boys to New Zealand for education, and from 1951 onwards older girls have been welcomed by the House of the Sacred Name in Christchurch. They have received training in teaching, and those training as nurses find there a home from home. One of the teachers volunteered for service in the Diocese of Melanesia and has given most acceptable service.





Visiting Clergy from 1890: Revd. W. Floyd, J. E. Jones, H. Packe, H. Lateward, R. T. Mathews, A. Phimister.
First Vicar--Revd. A. Stackhouse 1928-1935
Vicars- -
Revd. A. N. Williamson 1935 (L.T.)
Revd. C. S. Bull 1936-1939
Revd. C. W. Whonsbon-Aston 1939-1943
Revd. E. G. Bucknill 1943-1944 (L.T.)
Revd. J. G. Titus-Rees 1945-1948
Revd. B. Oxenbridge 1948-1954
Revd. W. W. Robinson 1955-1956
Revd. H. Ellson 1956-1957
Revd. H. K. Vickery 1957-1958
Revd.C. G. Burgess 1958

Until 1928 visits of clergy to this area were few and far between. Only in that year, on the appointment of the Revd. A. Stackhouse, were services regularly instituted. Previous to this the Methodist body offered occasional help, and even after 1928 it was their church building in which we were allowed to hold our services. Services were also held in buildings set apart by the Sugar Company (C.S.R.), in clubs, schoolrooms and private houses, until in 1943 the first church (St. Peter's) was consecrated in Lautoka.


The parish at first included people almost exclusively connected with Government, business, and the staff of the sugar industry, and our Church's work was mainly in ministering to our own people. The Methodist had long established work among the Indians in the area. 1934 saw the beginning of a new industry with the opening up of gold mining, and after the war the airfield at Nadi was developed into an airport of international standard. Practically the whole parish is within reach of the circuminsular road round the island of Viti Levu, along rather more than 150 miles of its length, with six main centres where services are held. It is hoped that this parochial district will become entirely self-supporting in a few more years. It is proving evident, however, that there is need for two priests to work in the area if the work of our ministry is to be really effective and some missionary work undertaken.

[23] SAMOA

Revd. ---- Malden 1915
Revd. A. C. Hobson 1929
Revd. J. L. Grier 1929
Revd. W. E. Moren 1932-1943
Revd. F. Riley 1937 (L.T.)
Revd. E. G. Bucknill 1943 (L.T.)
Revd. C. W. Whonsbon-Aston 1943
Revd. F. F. C. Bastian 1953 (L.T.)
Revd. A. C. Hobson 1947 and 1957 (L.T.)

APIA--to be consecrated October, 1958

The first missionaries to Samoa were Methodist from Tonga, who were confronted very soon by the arrival of London Missionary Society missionaries in such strength that they accepted the plea that they should allow the L.M.S. the field. The Samoan Methodist converts were by no means happy about the scheme, so the Methodist missionaries returned to work beside the L.M.S. Since those days the Marist Fathers, the Seventh Day Adventists, the Assembly of God, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Brethren, and the Ba'hais have arrived, with a new wave of strength of the Mormons floating in on a sea of dollars and American youths. Through all this there has been a smallish band of Anglicans with an influence often greater than their number could suggest.

In 1886 the New Zealand Church, at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, sent Bishop Suter, of Nelson, as a special commission to study the needs of the Anglican Church in the South Pacific. He reported that "here, I may state at once, there is a clearly-defined sphere for a clergyman [23/24] of our Church," and "I do not think the S.P.G. has on its lists a more distinct claim than this."

It was a British Consul, Mr. Cusack Smith, who arrived in Samoa in 1890, who used a room in the Consulate as a Chapel and held regular services and gave instruction so that the Bishop of Honolulu (A. W. Willis) was able to baptise eight persons and confirm eleven when he visited Apia in 1897. Bishop Twitchell paid but one visit to Samoa, and it was not till 1923 that regular yearly visits were started. A local resident promised a site for a church if the building was erected within a certain period, and another, Mr. T. Trood, bequeathed a small site. In 1929 the Revd. A. C. Hobson was sent for a limited period of six months, and on the Bishop's visit presented 15 candidates for Confirmation, which took place in a building belonging to the Seventh Day Adventists, who declared they did not use it on Sundays. The first permanent Chaplain was appointed in 1932, and regular ministrations of our Church have continued to the present.

After the arrival of the Revd. W. E. Moren, Sunday services for some time were held in a cinema until the house of a trader (his wife was a daughter of the man who had offered a site for a church) became available and was finally purchased. The house was remodelled, and the main portion served for many years as a church and the remainder became the extremely cramped quarters for the Chaplain. However, in 1950 the house was restored to its original purpose as a dwelling and a new church commenced, and it is hoped that this will be completed in 1958 and consecrated. The Revd. C. W. Whonsbon-Aston has accomplished a wonderful "miracle church," as he calls it, and has won confidence in his ministry.


Revd. C. S. Bull 1940-1946
Moffatt Ohigita 1940-1946 (Assistant)
Revd. W. J. Hands 1946-1952
Manoah Tepa 1951-1952 (Assistant)
Revd. L. Greensides 1952

The story of how and why these Melanesians come to be in Fiji at all will be familiar to most of the friends of Polynesia. Briefly, in the 1860's cotton plantations both in Fiji and in North Queensland required labour, and there not being sufficient labour locally, men of extremely low character, and using incredibly brutal and treacherous methods, proceeded to lure natives from the Solomons and the New Hebrides. This "slave trade," since it can be called nothing else, led directly to the martyrdom of John Coleridge Patteson, first Bishop of Melanesia, for when he visited the island of Nukapu he was put to death as a reprisal for the blackbirding of five native boys from the village. Captain Markham, of H.M.S. "Rosaria," who was sent to make an investigation, writes: "The deeds perpetrated by the lawless and unscrupulous ruffians who infest these beautiful islands for the work of procuring natives, of both sexes, to work on the Queensland and Fiji cotton plantations, are unequalled for cruelty and treachery. The stories related of them sound almost incredible, yet the evidence of their truth is too clear and distinct to admit of doubt."

Meanwhile the Revd. W. Floyd pioneered the work amongst the Melanesians in Fiji. In 1876 he was joined for a short period by a native teacher, Wogale (afterwards ordained), who was sent from Melanesia to minister to his own people. At various times throughout the history of the Mission we have had native clergy and Catechists from Melanesia, and it is a great pity that this truly valuable piece of missionary work from Melanesia, started over 80 years ago, should be discontinued at this present time. It is the conviction of the present Superintendent of the Mission that native missionaries from Melanesia to help us in our work, until we can train up our own Fiji-born Melanesian clergy and Catechists, would be an invaluable asset to the Mission.

Meanwhile in Suva in 1886 the Revd. J. F. Jones, first Vicar of Suva, erected the first Melanesian church in Fiji. It was situate in Suva. The church had only been completed eight months when it was blown down in a hurricane. Nothing daunted, a short time afterwards, he erected a second larger and stronger church, and it is a testimony to the thoroughness of the early pioneers to know that that same church building, considerably rebuilt, is still in use today at Wailoku, serving as both a church and school.

As time went on, the work amongst the Melanesians increased, and as they became scattered throughout the whole of the Colony, and with the ever-present shortage of clergy, the work of ministering to them [25/26] became increasingly difficult. For many years our work amongst them was concentrated around four centres:

(1) Suva, where the Vicar, assisted by native Catechists, notably Tevita Qereniu and Beni Tavoida, carried on the work both in Suva and its environs, and centred around St. John's Melanesian Church.

(2) Levuka. Here the Vicar and Thomas Ravica ministered to the Solomons in their little hill village of Wailailai.

(3) Vunilagi, on Vanua Levu. As there was no resident priest here, the work evolved round Davis Kedai, who ministered to his own people in between the visits of the Bishop and other visiting clergy.

(4) Viti Levu West, where the Vicar shepherded the Solomons at Navutu, Sigatoka and Waikatakata.


In 1924 the Revd. (later Archdeacon) W. J. Hands was appointed Vicar of Suva, and, reading through the old records, it is obvious that this marks the beginning of a new era in the history of the Melanesian Mission. Almost immediately the Revd. Hands, assisted by his wife, started a class for Melanesian lads who were working during the day but who were anxious to learn English. Early in 1925 St. John's Melanesian School was opened in Ellery Street, Suva.

In 1926 a move was made by the head boys from the surrounding villages to provide educational facilities for children who lived outside Suva. The idea of a residential hostel was born. It is pleasing to record that £45 was placed on the alms dish by the Solomons as an earnest of their good intentions to provide a hostel.

[27] Mrs. Hands remained, and Dudley Bale and Moffatt Ohifita, members of the Brotherhood of Melanesia and old boys of Dr. Fox from Ugi, in Melanesia, not only ran the hostel, but taught in the school and did evangelistic work in the nearby villages.

1940 is another landmark in the history of the Mission. Under the wise leadership of the Bishop, the Standing Committee of the Diocese gave general approval for application to be made for a block of land at Wailoku, 254 acres in extent, some seven miles out of Suva, with the object of bringing together into one large settlement all the Melanesians from the surrounding districts. In January of that year Moffatt was made Deacon, and the Revd. C. S. Bull, after working in Viti Levu West, was appointed as Superintendent of the Melanesian Mission and Precentor of the Pro-Cathedral. On the first Sunday after Easter in 1941 the first service was held "on the hill which is to form the centre of activities connected with the new station" at Wailoku. Appropriately enough, the Revd. Moffatt preached the sermon. Earlier in that same year the Revd. C. S. Bull, accompanied by the Revd. Moffatt, had made an extensive tour of Ovalau, Vanua Levu, Rabi and Taveuni, in order to seek out the Solomons dispersed abroad.

August 1st, 1942, was the date of the formal opening of the new settlement at Wailoku, to be known as the Patteson Settlement. A meeting and feast was held on August 1st, to be followed on the 2nd by a service of blessing. The hostel from Suva had been moved out to Wailoku and rebuilt as a Mission House, and a school was built out of materials obtained on the spot.

The wife of the first Superintendent, Mrs. Lucy Bull, was stricken with a tragic illness and died in Australia early in 1945. Mrs. Bull was herself a trained nursing sister, and the work of ministering to the Solomons in their sickness was one which was close to her heart. Following her death in 1945, a very fine mission hospital was erected in her name which over the past 12 years has been of incalculable service to the settlers, stands as a memorial to her interest in, and care for, the health and well-being of the Melanesians.

During the 1940's frequent visits were made by the Bishop and other clergy to Vanua Levu, and in particular to Natoavatu Estate, a property belonging to the Church. Solomons scattered all along the coast as far east as Vunilagi have been encouraged to start a settlement at Natoavatu, and in 1947, 29 settlers were reported to have made their homes on the estate. By 1950 the numbers had increased, and in January of that year Tome Enikosuna left his work at St. John's School to pioneer the work of teaching the children in a very fine native-type school building, put up by the villagers themselves. In 1951 the settlement was formally recognised as the Campbell Settlement, Naviavia (in memory of the original donor of the estate), and since then the number of settlers has gradually increased. Today they number 130-140 souls, live in three villages, and for their livelihood work on the copra estate, which is managed for the Church [27/28] by Mr. R. K. Haynes, a member of an old and respected Fiji family. The present Superintendent visits here regularly from Suva, and Tome still continues his faithful work as school teacher and Catechist.

Mention must also be made amongst the "dispersion" of a small but faithful group of Melanesians at Cawaira, near Labasa, on Vanua Levu North. They have their own native church and receive the ministrations of the Vicar of Labasa, the Revd. W. W. Robinson.

In 1952 a new settlement was started at New Town, Nasinu, to house Melanesians who formerly lived at Kaunikuila, in the Flagstaff area, Suva, and who lost their all in the hurricane. With material help from the Mission and the Government, these people, close on 200 in number, have built up a really fine settlement with over 30 really well-built houses and good food gardens. Plans are now afoot for the building of a new church at Nasinu, and it is hoped that the building will be completed and dedicated during this Jubilee Year.

Matata, a smaller Solomon village on the banks of the Lami River, is yet another village (it can hardly be called a settlement) which comes under the care of the Mission. The Superintendent started regular visits and oversight of the village in 1954, and in 1955 services were started. A village co-operative store was opened in 1956, and at a recent meeting the Superintendent was told by the villagers that if we are given a long lease of the land the first thing to be done will be the building of a church, "even if it has thatch roof and walls," as they said. These two latest additions to our Melanesian family are proving to be very healthy infants, and both give the Superintendent much joy in caring for them.

It is our earnest hope and prayer that the building of our long-awaited church at Wailoku will be commenced within a short time, and it may not be too much to hope that the church will be both started and finished during this Jubilee Year, as a token of thanksgiving to Almighty God for His blessing and His goodness to the Melanesian Mission in Fiji over the last 87 years.


Vanua Levu South is the most recent of the Parochial Districts to be created within the Diocese of Polynesia. For many years, in fact before Polynesia became a Diocese, visits were made by clergy to the southern coast of Vanua Levu, the second largest island in the group. This is a particularly pretty coastline, sparsely populated with Fijian villages, European and part-European planters, and a small Government station. Most of the planters are Church of England, and the bulk of the second generation, who are now actively engaged on the copra plantations, received their education at Levuka Public School, and so were brought into contact, as servers, choir boys and worshippers, with the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Levuka.

With the establishment of the Campbell Settlement at Naviavia for Solomon Islanders, and the consequent regular quarterly visits (if indeed quarterly can be called regular) of the Superintendent of the Melanesian Mission, it was felt that the time had come for Vanua Levu South to be constituted as a separate parochial district. This was done at the Diocesan Synod in 1954, and the Superintendent was appointed priest in charge. He visits the Campbell Settlement at intervals of three months, and, whilst in the district, visits and ministers to as many of the planters and residents as is practicable. The Bishop also visits at least once every year.


As yet, we have no church building in the district, services being held in the local hotel and in plantation houses, but plans are afoot, indeed the building plans have been completed, for a new church-cum-hall to be erected in Nakama, Savu Savu, the only township of any size. Our Church has tremendous scope and opportunities in this district. Numbers will never be large, but a very real and effective ministry can be exercised amongst these hardworking and rather isolated folk, who over the years have [29/30] remained faithful to us, in spite of our inability to give them a priest of their own.

The church building in Vanua Levu South will, it is hoped, be completed ere long, with the efforts and co-operation of the planters themselves, but the stationing of a priest permanently in the district is consequent upon our being able to find a man who will tackle this tough but rewarding piece of work, and of our ability to pay him.

Vanua Levu South is one of those districts, and there are many of them both in Fiji and overseas, where by sheer force of circumstance, namely a sparse and scattered population, which is deprived of the frequent ministrations of our Church. But we here are ever mindful of the problem and of the needs of these people, and it is to be hoped that the creation of a separate parochial district will be the first step towards meeting that need.




No more difficult task could be found anywhere than that of ministering to the members of the Church living on the scattered islands in the mid-Pacific. For the most part they are too few in number to allow for a resident priest. The distances involved and the irregularity of travelling facilities render frequent visits impossible and far beyond the financial resources available.

During the years 1925-39 the Commodore of the R.N.Z.N. welcomed the company of the Bishop on any of his ships (two cruisers and two sloops) during the cruises made through the Pacific during the winter months; but since 1939 there have been no such regular cruises. The British Phosphate Commission has been also outstandingly helpful, and has given a free passage to a priest from Australia to visit our people on the islands of Nauru and Ocean. This started in 1925, and has continued to the present with only a long interval during and after the war.

For some years it was possible to make arrangements for a priest from New Zealand to make yearly visits to Rarotonga, the chief island of the Cook Group--a Dependency of New Zealand. However, the mail steamers were withdrawn from the service and this ministry was discontinued. For a time there was a regular air service with Samoa and the ministry of the Chaplain from Samoa was possible. Then the regular air service was discontinued, and it has been very difficult to provide any ministration.

Tahiti was visited on warships regularly during the period 1925-39, but the cost of air travel and the irregularity of shipping has prevented regular visitation since then.

The Bishop is looking forward to a visit to the Gilbert Islands in the near future through the kindness of the R.N.Z.A.F., but it will be but a flying visit.

[31] Buildings over the Years

In 1902 there were only five church buildings in the area now within the Diocese--two churches and one vicarage in Suva and a church and a vicarage in Levuka. In 1908 there was no residence for the new Bishop, while a newly-acquired vicarage for Suva had involved a considerable debt and the buildings were all in a poor state of repair. Labasa, with help from S.P.G., was able to secure land, and a residence and school for the Indian Mission work; and in Tonga, Bishop Willis secured old buildings for a residence and a school. After the arrival of Bishop Twitchell, a small church was erected at Labasa with donations from the local people and a grant from the Marriott Bequest through S.P.G.

Since 1923 almost every year there is a record of some building operation. So far as schools are concerned, this has generally been with the aid in Fiji of a 50% building grant from Government and the remainder through local efforts and generous grants from outside the Diocese. Grants from the Marriott Bequest (S.P.G.) have been made for almost every building erected. Time and again the H. and W. Williams Memorial Trust (N.Z.) has given generous grants, and the Boards of Missions in New Zealand and Australia.

Suva. A Parish Hall was built through the influence of Archdeacon Hands in 1930, and the mortgage finally cleared in 1941. The old Vicarage was condemned and was pulled down and a new building erected in 1934. The Bishop's house was erected in 1930, and the Cathedral built over the years 1950-52, and donations were received toward them from all over the Anglican world. A house for the assistant priest was completed in 1952. The Church of St. Luke at Laucala Bay was completed and consecrated in 1953.

Levuka. Constant repairs have been required on the Vicarage and major repairs are now being effected to the church building.

Lautoka. A Vicarage was purchased in 1928 and a church built in 1940 and cleared of debt by 1943, when it was consecrated.

Labasa. There has been constant building and expansion. The original church was very small, and was moved to a more central position and enlarged in 1942. A Vicarage was built composed of a former building owned by the C.S.R. Co. with very considerable financial assistance from the same Company, as indeed there has been with almost every building erected.

Our earliest school, destroyed in 1929, was replaced by a concrete building, and two further school buildings have been erected and a headmaster's house.

A hostel for girls was destroyed by fire in 1945, and a building from Army sales purchased and re-erected in the same year.

St. Mary's School, first built in 1928 with money from a bequest given in Australia, a "Nigel Lysons" memorial, has been enlarged three times.

Tonga. The Willis Memorial Church was built in 1930, and the permanent school in 1952. The Vicarage needed to be almost rebuilt, and this was done in 1956.

[32] Samoa. The grounds and building were purchased in 1936, a Parish Hall built in 1941, and the Chaplaincy rebuilt in 1949 and the church first used on Christmas Day, 1952, and it is hoped to consecrate it this year free of debt.


Plans for the Future

Ordination School. In 1952, in very humble and unpretentious buildings at Wailoku, the Ordination School was born, and it fell to the lot of the Superintendent of the Melanesian Mission to train the candidates. The Revd. Fine Halapua, native priest in Tonga, completed his training there, as has Jivaratnam, our Indian Catechist. Two other boys came to test their vocation. From their 250th Anniversary Thanksgiving Fund the S.P.G. had made a grant of £1,000 towards building costs, and New Zealand added £500, but shortly afterwards there seemed a possibility of a central school for the S.W. Pacific being established. This, however, proved to be a premature ideal, and only at the end of 1957 did it prove necessary to proceed with our own school.


Plans have now been completed, approval given, and the actual building commenced of the new Ordination School, with accommodation for the Warden on the top floor. The Superintendent of the Melanesian Mission is to combine his duties with that of the Warden of the Ordination School, and the site chosen for the School is in Church Street, Suva. By a happy coincidence, the Superintendent will reside on the site of the old St. John's School and Hostel, and he looks forward to the day when he will accept [32/33] for training for ordination an old St. John's boy. Two students, a Tongan and an Indian, will be the first two candidates living at the new School.

Already there are two others who are undergoing training--a retired Civil Servant, the Revd. R. H. J. Lester, is serving in a parish in Auckland after spending nearly 30 years in the service of the Government of Fiji. The other, Jabez Bryce, from Samoa, was accepted at St. John's College, Auckland, and the end of the year 1957 brought a very good report of his work and a successful result in his examinations.

Indian Mission Work. Two years ago it was decided that we would limit our educational work. We had for many years pioneered in education in the Labasa area, but now the work had been assumed by Government, and after a very full enquiry and a long discussion in Synod we felt our main efforts should be shifted and that we should develop our evangelistic work. A priest-evangelist was appointed, and a lay Catechist, formerly a master in our Boys' School, set apart. Shortly afterwards the Vicar was compelled to resign owing to the illness of his wife, and no replacement has yet offered. Thus, the Priest-Evangelist has had to occupy much of his time in administrative and pastoral work, instead of being free to concentrate on his proper work. Already the number of Catechumens has increased, but if the staff could he increased the contacts could easily be multiplied many times, for there is a spirit of enquiry abroad. The Priest-Evangelist is anxious for a second priest to be set apart as an Evangelist. The new church building which should be erected this year will help to bring together many under more worthy surroundings of worship.

We are still hopeful of obtaining a woman evangelist from India, and the Bishop of Barrakpore is hoping to be able to help us.


[34] Message from the Bishop

Our Primate and Archbishop of New Zealand and the Archbishop of Canterbury have sent very generous messages of good wishes for this year of the Golden Jubilee of this Diocese. We do recognise that we belong to a great family of Christian people. It has been my privilege on two occasions already to have been called as your Bishop to the deliberations of bishops at Lambeth, and during this year for a third time to be summoned to a further meeting. It was also possible to represent you at the Anglican Congress in 1954 and the General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. in Honolulu in 1955. For very many years I have been occupied with the drawing together for consultation of Dioceses in the Pacific which began with a meeting of some of the Bishops as long ago as 1940 in Sydney. These finally culminated in a meeting including bishops, priests and laity in the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of New Guinea at Dogura in May, 1957.

During the years of my Episcopate I have received so many kindnesses and help from so many people that I find it impossible to begin to acknowledge them. It is these things which have sustained me to keep on trying to do my best to serve you. I am conscious of many failings and failures, and of being unworthy of the trust you have given me, but I am conscious too of the support given in innumerable ways by prayer and friendship.

We have during all these years been receiving assistance of all kinds from outside the Diocese, and it is my hope that this may spur us on to a determination, as a special mark of this jubilee, to increase our self-support and to accept our responsibilities and opportunities. There are too many members of the Diocese who are willing to allow other people to bear their burdens.

Suva has shown what can be done, and they have proved that they can, to their great good, assume all their responsibilities and more. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" is printed on their weekly offerings envelopes, and I appeal to all our members to remember this, and to make their offering a worthy one so that we show that we are not ashamed of the Church of which we are members and are determined to do our part.

Suva, too, has shown what a difference it makes when the parishioners themselves take their full share in the active work of the Church. I am hoping that many more in every district will find that there is work for each of them to do. We need many more Lay Readers, many more who are willing to learn the real message of their Church, and who will become not mere receivers, but sacrificial givers.

We must become a more friendly people bringing into a live fellowship of servants of God--the lonely, the stumbling and, above all, many fine characters among us, who stand aside as onlookers only. God is calling us: let us be obedient to His call.

In the service of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Your friend and Bishop, + L. S. POLYNESIA.

[35] Current Work


Board of Trustees. After service of many years, Major W. E. Willoughby-Tottenham since 1937, Mr. H. Crane since 1940, and Mr. G. K. Roth since 1941 on his retirement and return to England, have resigned. In their places the Standing Committee has appointed Messrs. J. M. Hedstrom, J. H. Tennant and J. B. A. Wisdom, all of whom have consented to serve on the Board of Trustees.

The Revd. H. W. Figgess, Rector of Suva, is on leave at present in New Zealand, and has left the parish in charge of his assistant, the Revd. M. E. Basden, who arrived from England in the middle of November. There has been a great awakening in the Cathedral District as a result of a canvass under the direction of Mr. Rex Williams, from the Wells Organisation. Plans are now completed for the erection of a residence alongside St. Luke's Church at Laucala Bay, and further building should soon commence when a start is made on the Institute for the Missions to Seamen.

The Revd. L. Greensides returned at the end of October, and has already visited Vanua Levu and taken up his work among the various Solomon Settlements around Suva at Wailoku, Nasinu and Matata. He expects to take up his residence at the Ordination School when it is completed in June.

The Revd. H. K. Vickery shortly returns to New Zealand after coming to our rescue at Lautoka and undertaking the work in that area most acceptably for six months. The Diocese is greatly indebted to him.

The Revd. C. G. Burgess arrived at the end of January from Cobram, Victoria, and has accepted the charge of Lautoka. The building of the church at Nandi Airport proceeds apace, with our local churchmen giving their voluntary help, assisted on occasion by both Fijians and Indians.

The Revd. W. W. Robinson tells me of the marriage of Miss J. Coley, now Mrs. Norton, and her departure with her husband to live at Hawera, in New Zealand.

Miss D. Stephens, also of Queensland, arrived at the end of January to take her place as Headmistress of St. Mary's Girls' School. The Vicarage is still vacant, and our work is suffering through insufficient staff.

The Revd. J. Dodd reports from Levuka that the repair bill on the depredations of white ants and dry rot on the church will be much higher than at first expected. The cost is likely to be £700. He has sent a list of donors who have responded to his appeal, towards which he has happily received a total of £324/11/5.

The Revd. A. C. Hobson left Suva on 14th December, and after spending some weeks in New Zealand and Australia will be found at St. Thomas' College, Mt. Lavinia, Ceylon. His fourth visit to this Diocese has passed all too quickly, and very many of us thank him for coming.

[36] Miss M. Young, who gave us such invaluable help at Labasa, both at All Saints' Boys' School and St. Mary's Girls' School, during 1953-56, has agreed to continue helping us as our representative on the Auckland Diocesan Missionary Committee.




The following donations and gifts are gratefully acknowledged:--

Levuka: Previously acknowledged, £230/17/4; St. Peter's Ladies' Guild, Lautoka, £25; Solomon Islanders at Taveuni, £11; Anonymous, £10; Mr. Sidney Smith, proceeds from produce, £6/9//-; Mr. and Mrs. George Patterson, Mr. Max Mackenzie, Mr. E. Douglas, Mr. A. E. Kennard, £5 each; Mrs. Frank Petersen, £4; Mr. and Mrs. H. Witts, £3/3/-; Mrs. C. Chambers, England, £2//4/4/; Mr. L. E. Clayphan, £2/2/-; Mr. W. Mackay, Mrs. A. Gardiner, £2 each; Miss A. Harmer, England, £1//2/2; Mrs. F. Edwards, England, Miss P. N. Johnson, N.Z., Mrs. C. Neville, England, £1/2/- each; Revd. L. Crampton, England, 16/6; Mrs. M. C. Wood, England, 11/1. Total, £324/11/5.

Labasa: Archdeacon Lush, Invercargill, £5. Clothing: From Miss L. Cameron, Church House, Christchurch; St. Mary's Ladies' Guild, Geraldine, per Mrs. R. M. Haywood; St. Mary's Senior Women's Club, Timaru, per Miss F. Sunaway.

Melanesian Mission, Fiji: St. John's, St. Louis, U.S.A., £9/16/-; the Revd. L. M. Ferguson, Dallas, U.S.A., £11/15/4; the Misses Joske, £20; Nga Tawa Girls' School, £18/13/6; Miss M. C. Berger, U.S.A., £9/16/-; Anonymous (for the Bursary Fund), £2/10/-; Christmas presents from Christ Church, Little Rock, U.S.A., and Holy Trinity Cathedral, Suva; Books from Miss M. C. Berger, U.S.A., and St. George's Periodical Club, Flushing, U.S.A. For St. Paul's School, Naviavia, books from the Comrades of St. George, St. Thomas, North Shore, Sydney.

Suva Cathedral Fund: *Mr. and Mrs. C. Best, £3; *Mr, and Mrs. J. Price, £10; Mrs. Kempthorne, proceeds of sales, £150; Mrs. E. R. Hawksley and Mr. L. Hawksley, £5; Anonymous, £3; *Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Gatward, £5; *Revd. Dr. and Mrs. G. R. Hemming, £20; Mr. and Mrs. D. V. Tarte, £10/10/-; *Mr. J. Fenton, £5; *Miss Joan Livingston, £3/3/-; Bishop Collins, Dubbo, N.S.W., £2; Mr. A. Tennaat, N.Z., 15/10; 3d. pieces, £3; *Miss Enid Houng Lee, £3; *Miss Mavis Houng Lee, £2; *Mr. and Mrs. A. Houng Lee, £2; Interest, Fiji Government Loan, £35/15/; ditto, £35/15/-; Colonel and Mrs. Sanders. £5/5/-; *Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Stinson, £10; *Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Stinson, £10; Mr. M. M. Brodie, £10/10/-. (*=Covenanted subscription.)

Ordination School: Mrs. Kempthorne, proceeds of sales, £278.

Project Canterbury