Project Canterbury

The Moon and Polynesia

By C. W. Whonsbon-Aston
Archdeacon of Fiji

London: Published by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
Sydney: Australian Board of Missions, 1961.

Online reproduction by permission of the USPG.

Readers of Archdeacon Whonsbon-Aston's previous books, Levuka Days (1936), Polynesian Patchwork (1948) and Challenge in Polynesia (1956), will need no encouragement to read this one. His own biography reads like a romantic travel guide--

Levuka, 1931-34
Suva, 1934
New Guinea, 1934-39
Viti Levu West, Fiji, 1939-43
Western Samoa, with the Cook Islands, 1943-58
Levuka, Fiji, 1958--

In the S.P.G. Budget of Commitment the diocese of Polynesia represents a sum approaching £2,000. In the S.P.G. Budget of Opportunity the need stands at £30,000.

Read this book and be challenged to pray that Polynesia's hopes may be realised.


I wish that you could have the good fortune that befell my wife and me and receive an invitation to stay for a few nights with the Archdeacon of Fiji in the one-time capital of the South Sea Islands at Levuka.

You would probably take a little boat crammed with people and luggage, from the West coast of Viti Levu, at a place written Lodoni, but pronounced Londoni, although about as different from London as it would be possible to imagine. Your boat would leave from a little wooden quay where dark-skinned lads wait to carry the merchandise and luggage of passengers; a quay set on a beach where palm trees run down to the sea.

After two hours you would be approaching Levuka and seeing the very attractive church where Bede Frost spent a year of his ministry. No doubt Archdeacon Whonsbon-Aston would be on the quay to meet you and take you a short drive along the coast to his house. A peaceful attractive drive now that there are no longer the multitude of drinking places which used to line the road. With a little imagination you are back in a Somerset Maugham novel.

After a little while under the hospitable roof of the Archdeacon you would be able to understand some of the joys and sorrows, the problems and the happiness of work in the South Sea Islands; but I fear that it is a vain hope, even in these days of jet travel, that you will be able to have this experience at first hand and meet in his own home one who knows almost better than anyone else the South Sea Islands round which he has wandered in the service of his Master.

This book of his is the next best thing. It is a fascinatingly interesting account of the diocese of Polynesia and for all who want to know what the Church is doing in that distant and beautiful part of the world it is an essential introduction.

+ Mark Tanton


Who is to evangelise the Man in the Moon, or the men, if any?

That is a question that must some day come up for serious discussion. Quite probably Moonfolk have no need for evangelising, being of a later and improved vintage, with no theological problems, and with, no doubt, less lunacy than prevails here.

One can imagine, however, how thrilled many a priest would be and delighted, to be seeing his Bishop off for the Moon, and if any Bishop has a prescriptive right to plant the Church's flag there it is the Bishop in (not "of", please) Polynesia, for it is really because the moon exists that the Pacific Ocean is the greatest ocean of this earth and the diocese of Polynesia unchallengably the biggest diocese in area in the world, eleven million square miles of it, though often described as mainly "wind and water".

Some scientists aver that, at some stage of the earth's development, a huge chunk was detached and flung into space, to remain always in orbit around us as our particular moon, psychologically affecting the behaviour of us earthfolk, and giving missionaries a sort of raison d'être for their existence. The deepest part of the resultant ocean-filled gulch, the Pacific Ocean, is so deep that Mt. Everest could be submerged by at least 6,000 feet.

Generations ago, it is believed, there came down the Indian sub-continent and into the East Indies a pleasant honey-coloured people we today call Polynesians (dwellers in many islands), who later became the first voyagers to break into the silence of the lovely island groups the years had formed. After much voyaging they settled in the area from Tonga on the West to Easter Island on the East, from Hawaii in the North to New Zealand in the South. They were followed by a very dark-skinned race through Indonesia into the South Pacific, and we call these Melanesians ("black" islanders) who settled into the island groups from Papua to Fiji. The splendid Fijians live where the two streams meet, a Melanesian people with a higher culture and a tribal set-up that owes much to Polynesian influences. The [5/6] Micronesians (dwellers in "small" islands) dwell in the many groups of small islands north of the Equator.

As the generations and centuries passed along and breathtakingly lovely mountain valleys were peopled and blue lagoons fished, that same Polynesian moon, white and undimmed by continental dust or industry's murk, blood red in eclipse, looked down on, and without doubt influenced, many a superstitious barbarism, many a fearsome affray, many a scene of violent primeval passion.

The peoples all had self-government, where human rights had few considerations, and some of them were "imperialists", for Tonga and Fiji defeated the Samoans, the Tongans under Maafu almost subdued Fiji and the Hawaiians in later years sent a gunboat and a deputation to Samoa to seek an alliance to form one great Polynesian nation.

In the days of sail the first missionary contacts were with the Eastern Pacific, for one long "leg" from around Tasmania or New Zealand fetched up right in Tonga, Samoa or Tahiti. Taking advantage of this the missionary ship Duff carried the first missionaries of the newly formed interdenominational London Missionary Society (though now administered by the Congregational Union) to Tonga and Tahiti. They had the honour of being pioneers in the Eastern Pacific. Close behind them were the Methodists, who were the first to reach Fiji and Samoa. Later they took over the Tonga field abandoned by the LMS after many vicissitudes. The Marist Fathers were not far behind them, often having to fight both heathendom and sectarian bigotry. One of the marks of this missionary activity was the wholesale conversion of whole tribes and peoples consequent on the submission of their chiefs. There was no great struggling with conscience, yet it produced some remarkable individual Christians, for Tahitians took the Gospel to the Cook Island and the Tongans took it to Samoa.

Anglican pioneering was left for a little later, to be consecrated by the blood of martyrs in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea.


There are two Polynesias. One is the ethnographic division of the Pacific. The other, not just the same, is the diocese of Polynesia, somewhat misnamed, for its See centre is in Melanesian Fiji, though the bulk of its area is in Polynesia.

The South Pacific has three Anglican dioceses, where the Roman Catholics have fifteen--Melanesia, a thoroughly wellborn child of the New Zealand Church, New Guinea, equally wellborn of the loins of the Australian Church, and Polynesia. If you were to ask Polynesia of her origins, I am afraid she would unblushingly aver that, like Topsy, she "just growed up", for she came into being from a series of freak current and circumstances, originally with few friends and certainly with no money. Such a background does ensure a series of internal "mixed up" feelings.


To be perfect the Bishop in Polynesia should, among other things, be a competent linguist in Fijian, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu, with local Fijian-Indian bhat, some Cantonese, Tongan, Samoan, Gilbertese and Cook Islands languages, with some French for Tahiti. He should be conversant with the political trends, with are completely different in the various island groups. He should know just when to be tactful in matters of self government or wages ceilings. The "winds of change" in these parts are to some extent a modest breeze today, but they can always be influenced by gales from without, from "dogooders" who have no idea whatever about conditions, or from elements whose whole purpose in life seems to aim at unrest and mutual distrust. The Bishop, too, must be adept at finance, for he must run this huge diocese and open up new work on an annual budget that a Canon from New York remarked would just keep New York Cathedral running for six weeks.

Then there is the multiplicity of administrations and monetary [7/8] systems that are embraced by the diocese. Fiji is a Crown Colony administered from London, with currency 12 1/2 % below par, next door is Tonga, with currency at 25% below par, on the Australian level. Western Samoa, with its affairs emerging from New Zealand Trusteeship, with Niue and the Cooks (the latter N.Z. Territory) on par with New Zealand and Great Britain, while American Samoa, administered from Washington, deals in dollars, and Tahiti, with its deputies in Paris, deals in francs. This leads to much accountancy confusion, especially as monies, too, come to us from London, Australia and New Zealand.


The huge diocese straddles the International Date Line, which cuts it in half, so that today and yesterday are happening in the diocese at the same time. While the people of Fiji are yawning their way to another Monday's chores, the people of Samoa are getting down on their Sunday's knees. If the planes fit the schedule, it is quite possible for a priest to take a midnight service of Christmas in Suva, fly then to Samoa and take a similar service there on the same day. One leaves Fiji on Thursday, flies for 4 1/2 hours and arrives in Samoa the day before. Thus the diocese has the great privilege of taking the first services of the Anglican Communion of each new day. It then flings "a girdle around the earth in twenty-four hours" to give the priest in Western Samoa the responsibility of gathering the whole world's suffrages and handing the last offering of the same day to God.


One of the greatest difficulties is that we are dealing with minority groups. Mostly they are not sufficiently strong to be self-supporting and are either surrounded by folk evangelised over a century ago and whose religion has perhaps become less a conviction than a race habit or by great masses of Hindus or [8/9] Muslims. Then there are Europeans in various settlements closely in touch with the native peoples. Except in Suva, which is self-supporting, and in Lautoka, which is close approaching that mark, the Europeans are numerically too few to provide themselves with a priest. In the home countries these would be helped by subsidies from Home Mission Funds.

It is extremely important, from a missionary standpoint, that they are given every chance to maintain a high level of moral integrity. In view of various misrepresentations, it must be stated emphatically that there are no chaplaincies anywhere in the diocese comparable with the old Indian Chaplaincy or other such scheme, supported by missionary monies. Every missionary is involved in multi-racial work, with opportunities on a tremendous scale, but with the frustrations of carrying on alone, lacking staff and finance.


The Crown Colony of Fiji, where most of our work is centred, was ceded to Queen Victoria, for the good and better government of the Fijian people, in 1874. When the first indentured labour was brought in from India there was certainly no intention that the Fijian people should be betrayed, but today there are more Indians in Fiji than there are Fijians, and what was considered one time a wholly Christian country is today less than half evangelised.

The capital, Suva, is a fast growing metropolis and busy seaport and the See city of the Bishop in Polynesia--the second See city in the 90 years' history of work and in over 50 years as a diocese. His cathedra is in the half-built Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, which will, when finished some day, dominate the skyline. It is at present symbolic of the half measures the diocese has always had to take, through poverty of funds and shortage of staff, in this world of opportunity. One reason, too, is that no missionary funds sent for missionary purposes have been [9/10] diverted into its building. Its completion is necessary as a witness to our Faith, quite apart from our prestige in a British Crown Colony.

The Rt. Rev. Leonard Stanley Kempthorne, diocesan bishop until the end of 1961, spent over 48 years in the Tropics. He was in West Africa and Singapore, before coming to Fiji in 1923. He was faced then by the hiatus the First World War had produced, by two elderly clergy as his staff, both with domestic difficulties and no leave for years, and by no endowments. Through those cheeseparing years his wizardry with finance, together with his refusal to be hurried, showed him to be just the right appointment. Every penny has been carefully shepherded and a solid foundation built up for which the future will be more than grateful.


The parish of Suva is faced with the problems of a seaport--a centre to which hundreds of people have drifted, with new settlements, much unemployment and poverty. To these must be added the unsettlements in industrial relationships, which produced serious riots and much damage in December, 1959. The Cathedral services are a fine example of how Christian people can worship together, for at most services are to be seen Fijians, Solomon Islanders, Chinese, Indians and Europeans, the latter including those of mixed ancestry.

Two important developments over late years in Suva ate the Bayly Clinic and the Holy Trinity multi-racial Parochial School. The former was the gift of Mr. J. P. Bayly, the challenge being accepted with alacrity by Rev. Dr. George Hemmings, both priest and doctor, who immediately initiated and organised this wonderful piece of social service. Situated strategically, it caters for the free medical needs of long queues of all sorts and conditions of all nations. The Guild of St. Francis and St. Claire formed of volunteers gives voluntary service there, too. With Dr. Hemming was associated Dr. Annie Low, who has now taken [10/11] over complete charge. Her unique knowledge of Chinese, Fijian, Hindi and English is a great value. To the clinic, too, come the many indigent poor, to whom such relief is given as the limited funds can permit.

The multi-racial school is a newer venture of faith initiated by the Rector of Suva, the Rev. Herbert Figgess, in order to save the drift of our children through secular education. The Parish Hall, which was the first school room, was rather confined for both lessons and play, as well as noisy from the traffic. But it proved its need, and within a year a property was purchased ample for some years to come and a greatly increased intake started the year 1961 off there.


The Church came first of all to Levuka in the person of a single priest, the Rev. William Floyd, an Irishman ordained in Melbourne by Bishop Perry. Levuka was the original capital and was reigned over by the "King of the Cannibal Isles", King Cakabau, when Floyd arrived in 1870. His licence was from the Bishop of London. SPG in London, together with the Australian Church, made his coming possible. It was a very rough settlement, with 52 hotels and kava saloons on the one mile beach front, but it was some of the European settlers who invited him. They were his first concern.

Floyd had a strong missionary heart and he can be said to have pioneered the two great missionary fields hereabouts in which our Church works today. They are that among the Melanesian labour (a Melanesian Mission within Polynesia that has brought some confusion to many people) and the work among the Indian immigrants. The former had its beginnings in Levuka, the latter belongs mainly to Labasa (pronounced Lambasa) on the laige island of Vanua Levu, away to the North.


We are trying to wipe out something of the infamy of a serious [11/12] blot on the history of European contacts in the South Pacific. One of the most infamous pages was that of the slave trade, called in those days "blackbirding", by which some of the poorest types that ever entered the Pacific shanghaied natives from the Solomon Islands and the New Hebrides to bring them to Fiji for the cotton fields. It brought about the martyrdom of Bishop Patteson, who was on his way to Levuka to deal with the iniquitous trade when he was killed at Nukapa by the very people whose cause he was about to espouse.

As a result of the martyrdom British warships intensified the search for slave vessels and methods of proper recruitment were instituted. Then the cotton boom burst and sugar began to enter the field. This form of labour, however, proved either too slow or insufficient and Indian labour was introduced; the "black boys" were just thrown aside, no one taking any responsibility for them. The majority stayed about Levuka, some went to Rabi Island and many settled in the environs of Suva.

The state of this homeless, landless, hungry and poverty stricken remnant came to Floyd's attention through the Chief Justice in the first Colonial Administration. Since then their cause has been the Church's.

Floyd managed to get friendly Fijian villagers to give them the use of some hilltop land near Levuka. The subsequent collection of tin shacks with an almost complete lack of ideas of hygiene, with TB and leprosy as scourges, became a problem for the Church. The men worked long hours on rather meagre pay on very heavy work in trading stores, on small ships and on the wharves, for Levuka was the centre of the copra world. At the end of each long day they were too weary to be worried about being "socialised", and the Government schools would not take their children. Not many of the old folks are left, but their descendants are more than a remnant now. In these newer days they have become much more concerned about living more decently. The opening of a parochial school (which cannot be self-supporting) a few years ago helped to this end, while a scheme [12/13] to rebuild the village on a spot a little higher up, with the Church meeting them £ for £, has resulted in a very presentable new settlement of neat houses, with gardens and hedges, and TB and leprosy hardly heard of. Unfortunately, a few years ago, the whole of Levuka's livelihood was taken away in one fell swoop, when a copra mill was built in Suva. No alternative was offered and unemployment and the resultant poverty marched in for the Solomon again. The housing scheme is going through an awkward stage, only one house having been completed over the last two years. In the meantime the remainder still live on in the shacks, wondering just how they are going to raise the few shillings a week that would allow them to start building again. They need to raise about £900 over the next five years, their time limit to demolish their old homes and vacate the old site.

Those in the environs of Suva were encouraged to go into a central settlement, called the Wailoku Settlement, where they have their new church, their well attended primary school and the Lucy Bull Memorial Hospital. Those from Rabi Island have now a part in developing the Church's Campbell Estate on the island of Vanua Levu, where, at Natoavatu, they have a very pleasant village and school, with a schoolmaster who acts as layreader as well.

The one thing needful is that they might get some incentive to higher education. With the unemployment in both Suva and Levuka, there is constantly a feeling that something should be done for the youths just left school, who, it would appear, are destined to be just what their fathers have been, "hewers of wood and drawers of water".


Fiji is often referred to as the "Little India of the South Seas". This "little India" was never envisaged either by the Fijians, when they ceded the islands, or by the British Throne, when it accepted responsibility in administering the islands for the benefit of the Fijians. Sir Anthony Eden in his autobiography mentions the [13/14] position today as one of the unintentional, but dark, pages in colonial history. [The Full Circle, p. 382.] Subsequent history shows that Lord Salisbury had the goodness to offer land the Fijians had entrusted his Government with to Indians as an incentive to settle in Fiji, but the idea did not appeal to the Indian Government of the time.

By 1893 about 2,308 Indians were in the Colony and their numbers were then augmented by the arrival of "free" Indians, some of them from the West Indies. This brought in the ubiquitous Bombay tailor, the sandalmaker and the restauranteur. Further arrivals and the natural increase brought the Indian population to 85,000 in 1936; of these 71.59% were local born. Ten years later the tally was 121,000 and the Fijian population was being overtaken. Today there are many more people with an Indian background in Fiji than there are native Fijians. The great majority of these were born in the Colony, have known no other home and feel they have a right to take a leading part in the land of their birth.

Of the two hungers of the Indian population the first is for land, for most of them are farmers, many tenant farmers on sugar or rice lands, with increasingly large families. Most of the best land has already been alienated over the years, but 82% is in the hands of the Fijian owners, much of it unused, and this has become an issue. The other hunger is for education, for which they are avid and which has produced many excellent professional men, doctors, lawyers and the like. When the independent states of India and Pakistan emerged a similar cleavage came among the people in Fiji, bringing the intense nationalism that is invariably more marked among exiles or their progeny. The divisions, too, were those of religion, the State of India being Hindu, the State of Pakistan being Muslim. Those, then, who embrace Christianity are often looked upon as almost committing a national crime. Converts are few, but we get the quality.


Practically every congregation in every centre of our Church [14/15] has some Indian worshippers, but the main centre of our work is on the island of Vanua Levu, in Labasa, the cane-growing and milling area of the north. Floyd made a special visit to England to invoke SPG aid and the Rev. H. Lateward was sent out, to leave a most melancholy record behind him before he returned to England. Mr. A. T. Milgrew had joined him and was later ordained to do a rather wonderful piece of work against great odds, not least being that of European hostility. He tramped many weary miles over muddy tracks and steep hills, staying with the people in their very poor houses. Eventually TB overtook him and the work languished for some years. When a new effort was made it was found that one of the old converts, known as Mrs. John, had quietly and faithfully been taking classes over the years. The Indian Mission today flourishes at Labasa, first in its schools--All Saints for boys, with boarders and day boys 375 in number under Jwala Prasad as Headmaster, and St. Mary's for girls, about 350 in number. Both schools have many years of good work behind them. The Superintendent of the Mission and his Indian assistant, Jivaratnam, one of the old boys of the Mission, go far afield among the tenant farmers and others among the vast acres of sugar cane, doing field evangelism, and there is a book shop established in the town proper. Both our work and our opportunities continue to grow. In the big parish of Viti Levu West, on the main island, with its centre at Lautoka, there are thousands of unevangelised Indians, more than missions from the various denominations can cope with. It is hoped that a new priest will soon arrive to split this big parish, and it is expected that he will break new ground there.

We owe it to the Fijians to help their country to become wholly Christian again. The Indian work is a challenge to the whole Church. We need the personnel prepared to proclaim their Faith to the many professional folk who today are somewhat sceptical of their old religions but have to be convinced that Christianity is the answer to their searching and Christ their ideal.


Fiji is divided into two parts, one moving along quietly in the tempo of the South Seas, hardly touched by change, the other is the industrialised part in the main islands, particularly the big island of Viti Levu. The emergence of towns in worlds like this is always the beginning of evil. They gather to them first of all the genuine and decent worker and family man, but invariably he is sooner or later battened upon by the worst elements from his village, who have been too indolent to fit into the structure of their own village life and are just as reluctant to work in the city. These are often referred to as the unemployed, though they may work spasmodically, enough to make someone more genuine workless. With new legislation bringing equality in drinking, this new class has developed and are the "bush lawyers" of the proletariat.

The contacts that many Fijian soldiers had overseas, particularly in the Malayan campaign, brought some enlightenment on labour and wage conditions overseas, enough to awaken a feeling that labour generally was due for a new deal. It was unfortunate that these two elements, the genuine advocate of a new deal and the so-called unemployed, became involved in a strike that burst into rioting and violence in December, 1959. Unfortunately some of the disturbances seemed to be a replica of similar events in other countries inspired by subversive interests from outside the country. With poverty and unemployment such activities can thrive. One of the greatest difficulties is the economic position of Fiji, with few industries to thrive on (practically all of them, by the way, in the hands of Australian companies). The question of wage ceilings, taking these economic factors into consideration, is a difficult one. Disaffection, too, in the canefields among the tenant farmers has also become an issue. Missionary work has new implications.


Here is the real Polynesia, the "Friendly Isles", with its very [16/17] lovely Queen Salote, whom all the world knows, and her son and heir to the Throne, HRH Prince Tungi, who certainly knows a great deal of the world, for he is a constant traveller searching for new fields and ideas that will keep the kingdom's economy stable.

It was through the association of Bishop Willis, the last English Bishop of Honolulu, with Tonga that the diocese came into being. It was never certain quite as to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Melanesia over Fiji on the one hand, while Bishop Willis felt he had a duty to the other groups in the Eastern Pacific. He took confirmations in the King's Chapel in 1897. When the United States annexed Hawaii he felt that, as an English Bishop under the Archbishop of Canterbury, he could no longer function in what was now American territory. He accepted the invitation of a body of Tongans and our Mission came into existence there in 1902.

The St. Andrew's School, with about 350 pupils, has been a great asset to the kingdom; quite a number of Tongan officials were educated there. There is also a congregation in the Haapai Group and another in Vavua. For some years the work was in the hands of the Rev. (now Canon) Sang Mark. In latter years a Maori priest from New Zealand did excellent work there. Today it has its own Tongan priest, the Rev. Fi-ne Halapua, in charge and it is hoped that some overseas teachers will volunteer to help keep the school's tradition unsullied. A young Tongan is in St. John's House in Suva preparing for ordination.


In December, 1960, a young part-Samoan was admitted to Deacon's Orders in Suva. That is, one hopes, the beginning of an indigenous ministry in what is at present the Trust Territory of Western Samoa, soon to have a plebiscite to see whether they desire self-government or not. As far back as 1886 Bishop Sutor of Nelson, N.Z., sent as a Commission from the New Zealand Church, reported that we must have a priest in Western Samoa. This could not be implemented until our work was [17/18] opened in 1932, after a roving priest had discovered many Anglicans unshepherded and unbaptised. To avoid titles that could offend the sensitive, the incumbent was dubbed "chaplain", but as the years have gone by the church has certainly found its niche. For some years its youth work has been of great value, a work far greater than its numbers or finances would have suggested. The emphasis today everywhere in the diocese must be on youth in this strange transitional period. Old missionary concepts must give way to the new era.

One evidence of our growth and influence was the consecration of the first permanent parish church in Apia. Every penny for this building had to be given and there arose one of the loveliest churches in the South Seas opened free of debt. As these notes are being typed there is a desperate need for an incumbent, now dubbed "Vicar" there, among a very likeable people. The priest in Western Samoa has the most refreshing experience of a visit from time to time to American Samoa, for though but 80 miles divide the ports of Apia and Pago Pago, it is 3,000 miles to their Bishop, the Bishop of Honolulu. He, in turn, attends to the spiritual ministrations of the hydrogen bomb base at Christmas Island, which belongs to Polynesia, an excellent quid pro quo. The priest from Western Samoa, too, goes when possible to Aitutaki and Rarotonga in the Cook Group, where we have a Rarotongan Maori congregation, which, between visits, worships with the LMS congregation.


In hosts of scattered islands are isolated Anglicans, often without the ministrations of the Church for years at a time, for the process of getting to them is a costly one. In the case of the Gilbert and Ellis Groups the Royal New Zealand Air Force has been good enough to give the Bishop opportunities to visit there, while there is always an opening for a priest volunteer, taking three months off from his parish, to minister to the people [18/19] in the Nauru and Ocean Islands under the Phosphate Commission.


Recently, St. John's House was opened in Suva for the purpose of training ordmands. Before this, the diocese had already produced the Rev. Durgha Prasad Misra, now in Chota Nagpur, and the Rev. Fi-ne Halapua of Tonga, while the Rev. Jabez Bryce, trained in New Zealand, is from Samoa. At present one Indian and one Tongan are in residence. It is hoped that through the prayers of the faithful many others will come forward for the Ministry.


The isles of the Pacific cannot remain isolated forever. The "winds of change" blowing mainly from without are ushering in a new era, for which the new missionary must be prepared. This brochure is too short to allow more than a mention of the movements today. They are, in Western Samoa, self determination; in American Samoa, a move to give greater civic responsibility to the people there; in Fiji, new proposals for legislative reform; in the industrial world, limited mainly to the bigger centres, moves towards wage increases and better conditions, accompanied in a few cases by strikes and unrest; in the realm of health, newer methods of hygiene and treatment, which have led to the increase in population. In many cases nearly 50% are of school age, and this brings in its turn the problems of educating them. In all these new phases of life the Church has its part to play. It can be seen just how diverse and complicated the affairs of the diocese have become, with opportunities forcing themselves on us at every point and with all the frustrations that come from our real poverty of resources, both in money and staff. There will be no "crying for the moon" for ages to come, there is still too much to do in Polynesia.

[20] Addendum

In April, 1961, a Conference of missionary bodies from throughout the Pacific was held, under the guidance of the National Missionary Council in Western Samoa. It can be said to have completely revolutionised missionary contacts in the Pacific, shaking many from a sort of sectarian isolationism that has partitioned off the various bodies for many years. This, followed by another conference, this time with reference to theological training and education, has had the very natural result that Suva, at the crossroads of the Pacific and the See city of Polynesia, assumes a new importance as the centre of much discussion and negotiation on Church Unity and in maintaining the landmarks of Catholic theology and worship. This adds to the responsibility of the Bishop in Polynesia. The series of "coconut curtains" has been suddenly torn apart.

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