Project Canterbury











Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and late Bishop of Melanesia.





Partridge Printer, 58, Broad Street,



Transcribed by the Right Reverend Dr. Terry Brown
Bishop of Malaita, Church of the Province of Melanesia, 2008

[2] Letters concerning Mission Work, &c. Should be addressed to the Secretary:--


Subscriptions, Donations and Offertories to the Treasurer:--


Orders and Subscriptions for Occasional Papers to:--


Subscriptions and information concerning the Island Scheme, to:--



The Secretary hopes that the friends of the Mission will make a note of the persons to whom to send their various subscriptions. If sent to him, he has to write two letters, and the Treasurers have also to acknowledge the receipt to him and to the Donors, thus necessitating four letters instead of one.

[3] The Bishop's Commissaries in England:--

Master's Lodge, Selwyn College, Cambridge


The General Secretary for the "Island Scheme" is Miss Wilson, Glenholm, Southborough, Kent.


RAYMOND GOSLING, ESQ., Cheverells, Beckenham, Kent, has kindly offered to receive and dispose of for the benefit of the Mission, any STAMPS, English, Colonial, or Foreign, which may be sent him. Rare and high-value Stamps more especially wanted.

Mr. Gosling made good use of the Stamps which were kindly sent him, and the Mission profited considerably. I hope that many will help the Mission in this very efficacious way.

Mr. Raymond Gosling has also discovered a market for rare postmarks. A large margin should be allowed in cutting these, otherwise they lose their value.--ED.

[4] The Bishop's Letter.

Southern Cross at Sea, off Mae,
S. Matthew's Day
, 1897.


We are expecting to make Vila to-morrow and I shall get a chance of sending you news. We have had an exceptionally good voyage in every way; wonderful weather, and great encouragement ashore.

In the New Hebrides, Raga is going ahead under Tom Ulgau. The school district has now reached the Bay about 4 miles from the north End, and goes right across the Island. At Steep Cliff Bay and its neighbourhood, there are 5 schools, and one still at the south End. Altogether there must be over 20, In Opa we are moving a little, but there is much fighting and killing. This year they have killed two traders, one on the North Side near Duidui, and another a fortnight ago at Lanana, our Christian Village. In Maewo there are two new schools at the South End, and one revived one.

In the Banks, the people seem to be going on as usual. Mota is building itself a new Church at Kohimarama. Everywhere, in fact, that is going on, you would be surprised at the good Churches, with high raised altars, in the Banks. The Vava people are shewing some enterprise in the canoe building way. They have two afloat now. Both came to pieces though by the ship's side, and had to be carried ashore in a boat. Trade is making the Natives of Santa Cruz very much quieter. There has been no fighting at Te Motu for a year. . . . The Reef Islands are splendid, all very keen and friendly. We visited Nukapu, and got a boy, a nice fellow named Govile. The Cross is excellently kept; we took paint ashore, but found it did not need it. After a service under it, I talked to the Natives about the old times and prospects of a trader. There are only 40 people in the Island now. Siota is flourishing; there are about 50 people, there now, and the building and clearing have gone ahead marvellously.

There is no difficulty in getting boys to go there from different islands, and scholarship is up to Norfolk Island. Welchman was at Bugotu. I confirmed Soga, and nearly 100 others. Welchman will have told you how Soga conquered a party of 60 head-hunters on Pirihadi Beach, making them fire off their guns into the air. Hugo has the people in Guadalcanar going to school now, and we have one little fellow on board from his school. Ivens has done well in Mala, and the teaching is spreading up the coast. There are eight schools now. Clement's Church is finished, except for the roof, and is really a remarkable building. It is designed after the Norfolk Island Chapel pattern, with round apse. The stones are beautifully squared, and the walls well built. He lost his little boy, Mark, to his terrible grief, but he was bright and charming when I saw him. I ordained Joe Wate at Saa. He was much in earnest, and the people seemed impressed. There were nearly 300 of them present. Wilson was left at Heuru. His people were much brighter than usual, and seemed very pleased at having a white man to themselves. Three villages in Ugi are asking for schools.

[5] We had a splendid voyage back South. We left Bugotu on Wednesday, September 7th, spent a night at Gavotu (Florida), and reached Mota, not calling anywhere, on Monday, the 13th--642 miles in 6 days. We had calms all the way, with a very slight fair wind--of course the run was done under steam. You know what it means to cross the "Sea of Growls" in six days instead of 12 or 14.

Cullwick was well at Mota. I confirmed there and at Mosina and Merelava. Now we are getting near Norfolk Island and I am beginning to think about England. This year has been a wonderful one for us, and I am very thankful I decided to stay, though it meant missing the Lambeth Conference.

I expect to reach England about the middle of April, before Buchanan leaves, if possible. My plans are not very clear yet, but I think I shall go to Auckland in December by the Southern Cross, visit Sydney, New Zealand, and Tasmania before the General Synod, which is to be held, I believe in February. However I may not be able to do all this. Comins, Welchman, Wilson, Williams, Ferrall and Cullwick are left in the Islands, and Ivens and I are together going to Norfolk Island. Palmer, Edgell, Browning and Robin are at Norfolk Island; the last two will go to the Islands now for the summer.

J. Williams is leaving us, I am sorry to say. He came chiefly to help us medically, and he says there is little or nothing to do. We are all fond of him, and he will be a great loss.

Yours affectionately,



The Rev. Henry Welchman sends the following description of his journey into the heart of Bugotu.

3rd. 1897.


It is as I expected a little slow up here at times, with intervals of rowdy trading, when the house is simply crowded with men and boys and everyone tries to talk loudest, though I own that their manners are gentle to a degree when compared with our friends at Santa Cruz. They are extremely friendly and boisterously pleasant, and so present a contrast to the Cruzians.

But after my last letter I ought to explain how I come to be here. I ought not, and I rather doubted the wisdom of the journey, but I felt bound to make the attempt, for some of the Kakatio people had been down to Pirihadi to see my two bush lads, we fell in with others at Saile and they all said that Figirima was expecting me, that he had built a decent house at Kakatio in which he wanted me to stay, and the opinion was that there was now an opening for a school. In addition, my lads said they should wait for me, and if I did not go they did not care particularly about going; they would go if I sent [5/6] them, if not they should stay in Bugotu. Everything seemed to point to my going, and I could not exactly say I was too ill to go, but I was a bit under the weather, and my legs, an important factor, were not quite what they ought to be. I told them I would spend a week at Vulavu, and on the Saturday I would tell them if I would go or not. I thought I could get up the river in a Keda and so reserve myself for the final struggle at the end. On the Saturday they appeared, nine of them, in a biabina (a kind of canoe), the tenth place was left for me and beautifully arranged with a back to the seat that I might take my rest. They were all as excited as they knew how to be, and I had to make up my mind to go.

On Sunday I had a Celebration with 33 Communicants, with a Churching first. Then we had School and I admitted before Matins three repentant backsliders. During Matins I baptized 10 infants, most of whom howled miserably, and then I was pretty quiet for the rest of the day. I don't know whether it was your custom, but I always preach twice on Sunday. It is true that morning school makes it rather long with matins following, but the evening congregation is always thin and is generally the most intelligent, so that 1 have two distinct classes to consider, the multitude and the more select, and I think I can do more with a short address to them than I can do in the morning. I am urging the teachers to press the evening attendance, but so long as they remain scattered in the hills there is not much hope of improvement. Some of those at Vulavu came across from Lokiha, near Muro, so they had a long journey over the hills and could not have got back home before dark if they had stayed for the evening Service, and even a mile among the hills just after sunset is no joke even for a Bugotu man.

I have got away a bit from Kakatio. Everything was ready on Saturday night, except the blankets and a few small things, and on Monday morning we were up and had done breakfast before sunrise. I think I told you 1 had a returned labourer looking after my cooking and belongings. He was up betimes, for by the time I was dressed he had a dish of hot yam pancakes and a pot of tea ready for me; those I could not finish he wrapped up for my lunch on the road. He is a good boy but a bit forgetful at times. By six we were on our way, and at Lilihigna we were to wait for the rest of the party: they ought to have waited for us really, but it was the other way about (you know their little ways) and we were bound to wait, for in addition to our own extra carriers, a canoe which was to come with the food for the whole party had not arrived. It cost us half an hour, and that, as it happened, just spoiled our plans for the day, as we were not able to reach the place we had fixed upon for our night's rest. Moreover there was no 'Keda' for me and I was booked for the whole tramp. The men who knew the ropes said it was no good for me to think of it. It was true I could go, but what between the frequent shallows, when we should have to get out and drag, the strength of the stream, especially if there happened to be a bit of a flood, and the very frequent windings, it would take me a week to get up. That, I took it, meant three days, but that was more than I could spare and so we went on our way. By half past nine we were at Tananadi, which is about as far as the eye can reach up St. George's Island, another two [6/7] hours brought us to the mouth of the Kaipito. Here we had a bit of fun; a smart surf was running, but there was a chance of getting up the mouth of the river which was open for a wonder. If we did not get up it we had no other choice than to carry the canoe over the bar. Trust a Bugotu man for carrying anything that he can float. We looked at the surf and the bar and the just open mouth and then made for it. Twice we nearly got spilt but the steersman was strong and everyone shouted "Paka" (back water), then a few hard strokes and the head of the canoe was inside the opening with the surf lifting our tail. The river was running out pretty briskly for the opening was narrow, once or twice we scraped but now everyone was shouting "Heta, heta!" (Hard, hard!) at the top of his voice, the last one did it and we got inside with much joking and laughter. We floated into the still water and chaffed the other biabina which was struggling through in our train. Then we had a bit of a rest while some of them went to plant taro and cocoanuts for future use. The river was low so that they had to drag the canoe over some of the shallows and this delayed us again; it was one o'clock before we reached Kolotubi where a place had to be made to stow the canoes in, the old ' kiala' (canoe house) being down. In half an hour all were ready with their burdens, I humbly took a "paraka" (small bag) with a few personal belongings, but I had not taken half-a-dozen steps before it was seized and appropriated, half-a dozen voices alternately scolding that I was allowed to carry anything and protesting that no one had seen me take it. The first hour was pretty successful, then it got dark, thunder rolled and for two hours it came down rather heavily. 1 don't know how it was, whether we did not hit the right crossing places, but several times we were up to the waist though the river was low and the flood had not yet reached us. But after climbing over one hill we got down to the water's edge again to find the water, which had been quite clear when we last crossed it, was now a swelling muddy flood, so quickly had the storm disturbed it; crossing was out of the question, so we had to follow the windings, but luckily we were not far from our goal. Only two or three months ago the Albatross, (Austrian training ship) had anchored off Kaipito and had sent an exploring or practising party up the river. Some seventy men were in it and they seem never to have wetted their feet, but kept al1 the way on the right bank of the river; we found their path and followed it and a very bad one it was. However it brought us to Kolomola all right. I had sent on five boys to get on with the house and by the time we got there it was half roofed in, and we soon finished it. My boy Hageria set to work to make me comfortable, put a wall of plantain leaves at my back, spread a leaf carpet for me and my blankets on the top and put the kettle on the fire while another lad brought me a leaf bason full of water to get a wash. But that kettle! When we started at Kolotubi it was missing, and, on enquiry I found that Douglas had forgotten to put it in, the only thing he did forget. Great consternation prevailed and much mutual questioning as to whose fault it was, but it was mine for not having looked after things myself. They suggested a bamboo and on the way cut a good-sized one which has since served for my kettle and tea pot in one; it makes a capital substitute, for it boils up quicker than a kettle and [7/8] when it is burnt out we can make another. What a blessed country this is where you have only to go into the bush to get anything you want, from kettles to umbrellas or a bathing suit. A candle stuck in the ground served for prayers and lighted our supper, and then we talked in the dark.

Next morning I was very stiff, but after a light breakfast we started again. The sun came out, and, though the river was still flooded and we had to make some détours to avoid bad places, we had a really very pleasant time. About noon we had an off-time and lay down for half an hour and then started again. At Farigai (the meeting of the waters) we came on a party of Kakatio people who had come out fishing, they were stolidly friendly, and said they had waited for us a fortnight at Kakatio and then had given us up, so that some had gone one way, some another, after their business. Most of them started back at once for the village and some followed us. I began now to feel rather done, and was more than half inclined to stay where I was and call the people down to me. But I saw the idea was not acceptable, the more so that Figirima was reported to be lame and not able to leave the village, so I went on. At last we came to Seasela where we left the water and followed a long ridge. It is a different route from that we took before, and my boys assured me it was much easier. And they were right; after the first climb of two or three hundred feet we ascended much more gently and had a fairly good road, but the upward pull told on me and I had to take frequent rests. At last I made a fool of myself and my legs refused to carry me any further, after two or three vain attempts which only carried me a few yards I went faint and had to lie down altogether. Now I remembered what a mistake I had made, breakfast was a mere snack and I had forgotten all about having anything to eat on the way and had not even had a drink of water. But there I was and I could not go. The boys set to work to cut a couple of poles and in less than half an hour had improvised a rather rickety stretcher, and they carried me up to a house not more than a quarter of a mile away. I was ashamed to think it was so near, but I did not know it and I could not make my legs go where I wanted, and that quarter of a mile was just about like the ascent of Tanrig. It was getting towards sunset and we were only a few hundred yards from Kakatio which I could just see above us across a gully which we had to circumvent, but we went into the house and the people gave us fire, all thirteen of us chumming down in a space about fifteen feet by ten. How they slept I don't know but I had a sleeping place to myself. They soon got me a meal and I got to bed.

In the meantime, Figirima had heard of our arrival and sent down word that on the morrow he would send down two of his men to carry me up, he was sorry for us staying down there and was afraid we should be hungry, to obviate which he sent three large nets of taro ready cooked and my hungry crew played havoc with them. We did not get a very quiet night, for I could hear children crying or coughing all night long, and fires were being continually blown up in the main part of the house.

Next morning I thought I had got into an infants school or a crêche, only two or three grown-up people were there, and there was [8/9] quite a crowd of little things from five years old and downwards. They were very amusing and I had some time to watch them for the rain was coming down pretty heavily. There was one little couple about four and two, who were busy making a toy 'qaranis-um' (native oven) I should say, for it did not get any farther in consequence of a difference of opinion between the artists; they had got a fire-stick, and the fire was fairly alight which so pleased the operator that she proceeded to light another stick, blowing two together, and taking special care to blow the sparks over the naked body of her smaller helper. This upset the arrangements, for the injured person seized a weapon, only a clubbed piece of cloth, and going behind proceeded to belabour the back of the elder one as she squatted blowing up her stick. Operations came to an end and they retired to their several corners of the house. And all this without a word passing between them.

As the rain did not seem inclined to stop, we made the best of it and went through it, and with the help of a friendly hand up the very steep bit (for I was too proud to be carried any more) we arrived in the renowned village. It seems to be my lot always to get into this country wet through. Figirima had put half his house at our disposal, and bye and bye he came out. Poor old man, he is very dilapidated. He has two shaky legs and a pair of bad eyes; but he was very friendly and I believe he was really glad to see me. He certainly was to see his two boys again, and it was really worth the journey to know on the spot the joy they brought with them. Tagraeita's father and mother crooned over him and they were quite the heroes of the day, as men who have seen the world and have been among white men and stores and men-of-war.

The old man for the first time, did not at once fix my return, but told me to stay as long as I liked and he would see that we were not in want of food. Of course there is the prospect of a quid pro quo but I don't think that is altogether the motive with him. We talked about his return to Kakatio, and about two men whom the head-hunters had recently killed at Kaipito, which event has finally decided him to stay where he is, and not go down to the beach as he was thinking of doing. Then he retired, and, as usual, I sent his tribute after him, remembered his son, and then trade set in. We had just finished the first instalment when I began this letter.

But now I am in a better position here. I can begin to feel my feet and moreover I can talk Bugotu more easily so as to avoid the extra Mota interpreter. I really did not feel able to do more than talk very general ideas, not knowing how my words would come out after passing through Mota and Bugotu to Kakatio. Now I can do with people who understand both Bugotu and Kakatio, and I told them I did not come here merely to trade (as I had told them before) but that, if they liked to hear, I would tell them about our religion. They did like, and last night after supper when pipes were alight the old man came out and several of his people came in and I told them about God and the creation. They listened very quietly, every now and then the old man repeated the last two or three words as you know their habit of doing when they are interested, and occasionally [9/10] gave a low chuckle. When I had done he said "It is all very nice and I never heard anything like it before." This morning I gave them Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden, and I mean to go on as long as I stay, which will be two or three more days, for I want to make the most of my time now I am here. The Chief's comment might be equivocal, but in the night I woke up hearing voices, and heard two of them answering his questions, and from what I heard I gathered that he was getting information about our teaching. During the day I took constitutionals about the place, which is about 100 paces on one side and about eighty on the other. They have been back here from Kolododone about three months only, so the place is by no means as trim as it was and the stockade, is very delapidated, but they are going to clear it all up by degrees. They have eight houses here and a ninth is being built, and there will be more bye and bye. Of course we had more trading but they do not make much here except the net bags and lime boxes. I have enough to stock a shop. In the evening I asked them if they would like to hear more, and as they would, we put out the light, and I told them of the Deluge and the Tower of Babel. Oddly enough I had to expand the local theory of the Deluge, for my interpreters all agreed there was no word to express the whole world, their word only expressing the idea of the village and the immediate neighbourhood. With the Tower of Babel they were much taken, as appealing directly to their sympathies, and the women were much tickled by the idea of men building a tower of stones and 'muke' when they could have done it so easily on the top of a hill. At the end, Figirima said, "This is all very new, but I believe you are telling the truth, make haste and teach our boys so that they can come back and tell us some more." Alas! I don't see my way to their coming back for another four or five years to settle. But I must devise something for the interval as I can't leave them alone so long.

Friday, August 8th.--I have fixed to-morrow for our return, there has been no rain to speak of for two days and I must make the best of the time. I think I shall take two days on the way though that will mean one day of travelling on Sunday which I dislike, but it is risky to stay another day, the season is so wet. I am the more reconciled to my early departure, for I have been able, thanks be to God, to make arrangements for the first steps to a school here. As I told you, my boys will not be ready for some time, but I have in my train a very good lad who has twice stayed with me at Siota. He is eager for learning and has picked up Mota well, and I never had occasion to find fault with him but once, and that was for a rather too energetic defence of a boy who was being bullied, though he got no further than words. I consulted Moffatt Rodi and then left him to propound my scheme to Nathaniel, which is that he should spend six months here and instruct the people in the rudiments of religion, and then come to me at Siota for more instruction, while someone else took his place here. To my astonishment, Moffatt offered to come as well, but I cannot spare him from Bugotu where we are already under-manned, and I do not like separating husband and wife. Isabella could no more come up here than she could fly, her legs are so bad. Nathaniel consented readily to come [10/11] here and asked for Reuben Pou as a colleague. This I liked, though Reuben is only just baptized. He is the man with the "face of an angel" I spoke of and it is his own offer to come. It is better to have two of them together, for the village is far away from their homes, and it is hard for a man to be alone.

When I had got our plans ready I sent word to the Chief that I wanted to talk to him, and he came out of his sanctum, and I told him what I proposed to do. He seemed pleased and so we settled that after the ship had been and cleared out, Nathaniel and Reuben should come back here and settle for six months and begin to teach, and that Moffatt should come up now and again to spend a week or two and strengthen their hands and comfort their hearts, and that, if it please God, I will return next year and make a longer stay with them. He was evidently pleased, and said to me "what you say is very good; they shall stay with me, and we will listen to them, and when you come back you shall hear the report, and if we have not behaved ourselves, and done well, I shall have deceived you." May God grant His Blessing, that it may succeed. I am glad I came, I can hardly say how glad; it repays all the trouble to find such a reception, and a crowning of our hopes.

This afternoon I had an amusing little scene. Two days ago, a man brought me a fine "dala," for which he wanted 100 radi. I was not prepared to spend all my fish teeth at once on a single object and offered him trade, which he did not want. This afternoon, after we had fixed our departure, I counted up my balance and found I had 80 left, so I sent him word I would buy his dala, if he liked, for those and two fathoms of calico. He did like, and so did his friends, for while he went to fetch it, his friends came trooping in one after another till about 20 were squatting round. When he arrived he was accompanied by as many more, and with those in the house, about 60 were assembled to witness such a portentous deal as 80 radi (8/-) at one fell swoop, helped by two fathoms of calico. I did not disappoint them, but solemnly spread a sheet of The Spectator on the ground and deliberately counted the treasure one by one into heaps of ten, and then left them to gaze lovingly at them. Of course in such a serious transaction I had to add a box of matches, but as the "dala" is perfect I did not grudge it. Now there is a pig squeaking outside, first signal of our departure. If it had not come I think our company would have been disappointed, not to say sulky. But its alright now, and the boys have already settled where the pig is to be killed and eaten.

August 9th.--Once again I am sitting under the shade of the cocoanuts at Vulavu, very thankful I have accomplished my journey, and the more so, that it has, thanks be to God, been successful beyond my expectations. I am horribly stiff, and my legs ache a bit, but I don't believe I am a bit the worse for it--albeit if one of my patients had done it, I should have read him a severe lecture. We wanted to start early on Saturday morning, so as to get through if possible without sleeping on the road. But by one of those curious coincidences, which I believe are manifestations of Divine direction, we were prevented: we could have done it, it is true, but I know now that I should have broken down at the end. We were up early and 11/12] breakfasted by candlelight, so that we might start as soon as we could see the path. The night had been fine, and everything was promising, when down came the rain. The bundles were all packed ready to each man's hand, and we sat and waited, but we could not start for a couple of hours, and this spoilt the chance of journeying through. Then our party got scattered, and it was only when I got to the bottom of the ridge that I found we had no guides. I saw four men in front of me, and supposed the guides were before them, for in these winding paths, one can only see four ahead, You will guess what the climb was like from the fact that it took us an hour and a half of steady tramp downhill, to get from Kakatio above to the water below. Then we were in a fix. It was easy enough to follow the water which must of course, bring us to the sea, but we did not know the short cuts across tongues of land, and the safest places to cross the water. The bottom is very stoney and slippery, and even then it was often knee deep. Moffatt was with me, and we managed to strike a line, and by the time we reached Farigui three hours further on, all our party had assembled. By this time the rain had ceased, so the pig was killed and cooked--the boys cut it up into shares, and very soon bits were roasting on the fire for immediate consumption, and bamboos full of cubes were stewing for future use. They made me a shelter with two or three branches of trees tied together, and stuck into the ground, and I lay luxuriously on the dry stones, with my rug bundle for a pillow, and smoked a pipe of Bugotu tobacco, and read my very last number of The Spectator, while they made me some tea. We spent a couple of hours at this place and got fairly dry, and then set off once again.

At sunset we came to a dry place in the river, and after scanning the sky, having decided that the river was not likely to rise in the night, we decided to sleep there rather than have the mosquitoes ashore, and soon had our houses up. The night turned out lovely, and the river and its bushy banks looked quite beautiful in the moonlight.

On Sunday morning we were up betimes, and as soon as we could see the paths we were off again with light hearts, for we had only two hours' walk before us to reach the canoes, and no high hills to climb. As soon as the canoes were ready, we floated rather than paddled down the river, which was very low, and we had to turn out occasionally to get out of the shallows. About noon we reached the sea. While our clothes were drying in the sun, and the kettle boiling, we had Matins, and for probably the first time in its existence, the Kaipito heard the Venite and the Jubilate. I read the 107th Psalm by way of a Lesson. Then we had a short lunch, and ran out of the river and through the surf in a masterly manner. We had nothing but straight forward work before us, so I lay back in my place, and tried to get the kinks out of my joints. At 4 o'clock we went ashore, and I had Evensong on a little Island in the Bay; and then I read the Thanksgiving for our safe journey. At 7 o clock we were ashore at Vulavu, and, in an hour I had enjoyed the renewal of my acquaintance with rice, and most delightful of all, salt and sugar. Sunday travelling is not at all to my mind, but I think it was better than hanging about the Bush all day; and wishing the day gone. [12/13] It is quite amusing to think what an event such a journey is. The whole population turned out to greet us, and we were quite a band of heroes, come back from unknown regions. Next morning, I paid off my men and sent them home, and during the afternoon we took the boat and came down to Sepi, where I shall remain altogether till the Southern Cross comes. I have called four or five teachers together here, and I intend to give them daily school until I go. One of them is the man destined for Kakatio. While I was away, the Chief of Mede died, Pogo by name, and the people were in a state of unreasoning terror. His successor is a youth of 16, one of the school. Soga went down to set their minds at rest, and left them comforted with the knowledge that they would be in no way molested.

I think things will turn out alright; they like and trust Capel Oka (our teacher, Ed.) and he will guide the young Chief. Pogo himself was rather a stumbling block in consequence of his many wives, but now I hope for good things in that place. Talking of Capel Oaka reminds me of a strange thing that happened just before I came. Soga took some 200 men down to St. George's Island to hunt for turtle. They had a pretty good time, and got between twenty and thirty full-grown ones, and there was a great feast in celebration. What came over them I don't know, but a lot of them took into their heads to have a sort of heathen dance. I believe it was merely by way of a joke to begin with at least, but they rather lost their heads, and with shield and spear they went in for "the shouts of them that triumph" over a sacked village. Capel and some of the teachers were looking on, and protested, but in vain, and at last he said to them "what is all this? are you turned heathen again, and want to call down judgment on yourselves?" and with that he left them. Within a week, several of them were ill, and within another, no less than four of them were dead. Two Chiefs--Charles Vou, one of them, and two men of rank. It seems to me to be rather more than a coincidence.

I shall have about 70 candidates for confirmation, among them your old friend Soga, and I have everything now in train for the Bishop when he comes, which may be any day now.

There is to be an Assize Court here this week to try two or three offences, one being a case of child murder by a heathen woman on a heathen's child. We are advancing when even the heathen have to bow to Christian Law. When the fact was known, it made rather a sensation in the place. Hugo is pretty fairly settled now at Vaturana (Guadalcanar) I hope, and is not likely to return here for some time.


We make the following extracts from "The Southern Cross Log" of September.

The Southern Cross reached Norfolk Island on S. James' Day, having been away just three weeks. She sailed again for her second island trip on the 29th of July, taking the Rev. T. C. Cullwick, for Banks' Islands; Rev. W. C. Ferrall and Dr. Williams, for Santa Cruz; and Rev. R. P. Wilson, for the Southern Solomon Islands. A [13/14] large number of Melanesians-between fifty and sixty-were on board also, including five newly-married couples, and two girls who were returning home invalided.


Report of Queensland Branch of the Melanesian Mission.

To Friends and Subscribers.

BUNDABERG, March 31st, 1897.


In my opinion a Report should be as short as possible. I hope, therefore, not to weary you. Since November last the "Bundaberg Mission to South Sea Islanders" has ceased to be, except for a debt, and the "Melanesian Mission in Queensland" has taken its place. The work here is now definitely connected with that in the Islands, though it will be, as far as management and finance are concerned, separate and self supporting, This is, I think, a matter for some congratulation.

Until November last, in spite of much to hinder her, Mrs. Clayton did her best to keep the work going, and I am sure we all very highly appreciate what she tried to do and did. She was ably assisted by her family, and Mr. Thorburn drove out Sunday after Sunday, to take the services, and kindly gave every other assistance in his power.

In this report I shall only deal with the work that has gone on since I took charge in November last.

I found a debt of £150. This is a terrible hindrance, and must be paid as soon as possible. Some of it has been cleared off, and a number of ladies are endeavouring to still further reduce it, and a Sale of Work for this purpose will shortly take place. If it was a debt of honour, before Mr. Clayton's death, surely much more should we consider it so in the altered circumstances of his family. The doctors consider that Mrs. Clayton's ill-health renders it imperative that she should discontinue all teaching for a considerable period of time. This is a great misfortune, and it is to be hoped that her recovery may be more speedy than seems at present likely.

With regard to the Isis, Archdeacon David has recommended a gentleman who is ready to come, and I hope to be able to place him there before very long. I have been to the Isis almost every week, and have had fine classes, but very much more might be done if a man was permanently stationed there.

The usual classes have been held on Sundays at Christ Church, and a new one has been begun by Miss McIntyre. This is held on Thursday evenings. The Mission and the boys are much indebted to the ladies who take these classes.

With regard to finance, I hope that we have no reason to be discouraged. Indifference on the part of some to whom we might naturally look first need not crush us. I feel sure much more money might be raised outside Bundaberg if only I could find more time to go away and raise it. I have lectured and preached in and about Brisbane, and more money has come in than hitherto. If it had not been for some delay up north, I should probably have heard by this time of the result of my appeal to the S.P.G.

[15] An appeal to the church people of Queensland is now being printed. The Government has placed £500 on the Estimates for distribution among schools, and the only question now is the basis on which grants shall be made.

I do not as a rule place much faith in statistics, but the following are the averages at the services and classes since I came:

Sunday Morning matins Average 90.
Attendances at all services and classes on Sunday Average 272 Average per week 272
Classes (3) held weekly in Mission Room Average 32 Average per week 96
Classes on the Plantations Average 23 Average per week 69
Class at Doolbi Average 42
Service at Childers Average 30 [Doolbi and Childers] Average per week 72
Class at Christchurch Average 40
Class in town, Thursday Average 28 [Christchurch & Class in town] Average per week 68

This makes the average attendances at all services and classes held during each week, 577.

In conclusion I should like to thank you all for many acts of kindness and much help. Especially, if she will allow me, would I thank Miss Tarner, whose goodness seems to have no end; and also the Rev. T. Ashburner, who is always ready to take my place at Childers when his own work will allow him to do so. I hope we may all continue to work together and feel inspired to make yet greater efforts to advance the glory of God and the well-being of His Melanesian Church.

Yours faithfully,



The Island Scheme.


Very many thanks to you for the good result of the Scheme this year.

Last year our total was £463/9/11 for 1897. We have taken a good step forward and I was able to send to the Treasurer £527/32. The further particulars of the sums collected will appear as usual in the Summer Report, but meantime, I thought you would be interested to know the total.

There are now 54 Chiefs, some providing for a whole island, some for half, and two who look after scholars. Next year, we hope to have the Bishop home, when we shall learn more about our respective islands and boys.

I am,
Yours truly,


[16] Sale of Work in aid of Home and Foreign Missions, at the Church House, Westminster, November 17th and 18th, 1897.

It was suggested that this year Melanesia should be represented by a stall at the above Sale of Work, which should take the place of the little Sale hitherto held at the annual April Meeting in London.

As it was a new venture some anxiety was felt as to whether the stall would prove as profitable as the April Sale. But owing to the kindness of the friends who covered the Stall with an abundance of useful and pretty things, and of those who came and bought so generously, the result was £59, a great improvement on former years, and the fourth highest sum realized by any of the Stalls.

It was a great disappointment that several of the stall-holders, including Mrs. J. R. Selwyn, the head of the stall, were kept away at the last moment by illness and other causes. Their places however were kindly taken by other friends at very short notice. Everyone was greatly impressed by the excellence of the arrangements made by Miss Grace Murray for this large Sale of Work, where there were twenty-five stalls each representing a Home or Foreign Mission; it certainly was stall-holding made easy, and, so far from being handicapped by heavy expenses, each stall received back its guarantee of thirty shillings with five shillings added to it, the proceeds of the entrance money, refreshment stall and parcels stall.

The stall has been bespoken for next November, when it is hoped that, by the help of friends, Melanesia may head the list.


Bishop and Mrs. Selwyn desire to thank most gratefully all those friends of the Mission--and they were many--who contributed so largely, by their gifts and by their money, to the success of the Melanesian Stall at the Church House. Without this kind help nothing could have been done.


The following sums were realized by the different Stalls at the Sale of Work in the Church House, Westminster, Nov. 17th and 18th, 1897.

Women's Mission Association, S.P.G. £37 14s. 7d.
Diocese of Calcutta £19 15s. 0d.
Diocese of Natal [and] Indian Work in Natal £34 6s. 0d.
Diocese of Bloemfontein £30 5s. 10d.
Diocese of Zululand £67 15d. 2d.
Diocese of Lebombo £23 3s. 2d.
Diocese of Rockhampton £40 0s. 0d.
Diocese of Melanesia £59 0s. 0d.
Universities Mission to Central Africa £35 15s. 0d.
and Coral League £23 15s. 0d. [total] £57 10s. 0d.
Cambridge Mission to Delhi £53 10s. 9d.
Oxford Mission to Calcutta £27 0s. 0d.
Winchester Diocesan Mission to Rangoon £24 0s. 2d.
Archbishop's Mission to Assyria £89 14s. 7d.
Jerusalem and the East Mission £32 16s. 3d.
S. Peter's Home, Grahamstown £34 9s. 0d.
[17] Fort Beaufort Mission, Grahamstown £10 0s. 0d.
Sisterhood of S. John, Maritzburgh £9 15s. 6d.
Mission Work in Japan supported by G.F.S. £50 11s. 0d.
St. Augustine's College, Canterbury £25 5s. 0d.
Christchurch Mission to Poplar £30 5s. 0d.
St. Peter's, Bethnal Green £50 5s. 8d.
National Free Home for the Dying £80 5s. 0d.
Army Guilds Home £42 5s. 0d.
Entrance money, Refreshment Room, etc. (see below) £96 11s. 6d.
Total £1052 17s. 4d.

Statement of Working Expenses.

To Entrance money £57 9s. 6d.
To Refreshment Room £28 14s. 1d.
To Provision Stall £6 17s. 1d
To Parcel Stall £3 10s. 10d.
[Total] £96 11s. 6d.

By Hire of Hall £35 7s. 6d.
By Erection of Stalls £21 3s. 2d.
By Detectives, Porters, etc. £10 13s. 0d.
Printing £13 10s. 9d
Advertising £3 14s. 6d.
Conductor of Band £1 1s. 0d.
Postages £2 15s. 1d.

Paper and string £2 1s. 6d
Balance handed to Missions £6 5s. 0d.
[Total £96 11s. 6d.

Examined and found correct, E. M. OXENHAM.


Robinson. Fund.

Bishop Selwyn gives below the account of the money sent him for Mrs. Robinson's School at Mackay. He sent Mrs. Robinson £35 on account, last January, but as there was some little difficulty as to its application, which he could not well solve without knowing more of the case than he could ascertain here, he has asked the Bishop of North Queensland to administer the fund. The Bishop takes great interest in Mrs. Robinson's School, and is himself helping it, so we may feel sure that the fund will be disposed of to the best advantage. Our thanks are due to the Bishop for kindly consenting to act. Bishop Selwyn is most grateful for the help which he now acknowledges--

* [* Payable in New Zealand.] Bishop Selwyn, £10; Rev. A. T. Coore, £5; Miss Stanton, 5/-; Rev. W. Selwyn, £5; Miss E. A. Carter Smith, £1; Mrs. G. Palmer, L5; The Lord Bishop of Newcastle, £5; Miss Wood. £20; Mrs. Clayton, £5; Miss Penrhyn, £2; Mrs. Atkinson, £1/1/0; Anonymous, £5; Miss E. L. Gardner, £2/2/0; The Misses Moore, £2; Canon and Mrs. Moore, £2; Per Miss Payne, 10/-; Miss Frere, 10/-; R. H. Blades, Esq., £2/2/0; Mrs. Blades, £2/2/0; Miss Blades, 5/-; Anonymous, £10; Mrs. F. Poynder, £1/1/0; Miss Poynder, £ 1; A Guadalcanar Islander, £1/1/0; Mrs. Houghton, £3/3/0; Mrs Cooke-Yarborough, £1/1/0; Miss Durnford, 10/-; Anonymous, per Miss Durnford, £5; Miss Wenham, 5/-; Miss Lander, £2/2/0; Miss Cass, £5; Mrs. J. Ludlow, £1/1/0. Per Mrs. Wench:--Miss Beale, £1/1/0; Mrs. Mead, 10/6; Anonymous, 5/-. Miss Hardcastle, Total £109/5/6.

[18] Bongard Fund.

Bishop Selwyn also acknowledges with hearty thanks the receipt of the following sums which have been sent him for the family of the late Captain Bongard. The money will be forwarded to the Treasurer of the Melanesian Mission in Auckland, where it will be dealt with as the authorities there determine. Bishop Selwyn believes that a similar fund is being raised there.

Received by J. R. S., Bp.:--* [* Payable in New Zealand.] Bishop and Mrs. J. R. Selwyn, £50; Bishop Abraham, £5; Rev. C. H. Brooke, 2/6; Mrs. Wilson, £10; Rev. F. P. Parker, £.1/1/0; Miss Parker, £2; Rev. A. Penny, £10; A. S. Hamilton, Esq., £5; Admiral Clayton, £2; Reader, 5/-; Rev. Dr. Codrington, £5; Mrs. Allbut, 11/-; Rev. J. Stapleton Cotton, 10/6; Mrs. Cooke-Yarborough, £1/1/0; Rev. A. T. Coore, £5; Miss Penrhyn, 10/-; Miss Sanders, £2/2/0; Mrs. Balston, £10; St. Stephen's, Willenhall, per Rev. J. Whiteley, £5; Miss Payne, 10/.; Miss Millard, £1/1/0; A Thank-offering, £5/5/0; Miss Walton, £5/-; Rev. W. S. Kilpack, 10/-; Mrs. Mead, 10/-; Mrs. Selwyn, £50; P.O., 10/-. Total £179/9/0.


Received by Rev. W. S.:--Rev. and Mrs. Selwyn, £25: Mrs. G. Horsley Palmer, £3; Geo. Marsham, Esq., £5; Miss B. Marchant, 10/-; A. B. Abraham, Esq., £2; Miss Arrowsmith, £1; Rev. Jas. H. Moore, £ 1; Miss Churchill, £ 1; Mrs. E. L. Gardne, £2/2/0; Miss Braneten, 5/-; Miss Parker, £2; Per Ml. E. S., £5; Bank Interest, 7/11. Total £48/4/11.



The Editor apologises for a very short and somewhat belated number this Christmas, which he hopes his readers will attribute; first, to his own illness which has prevented him till very lately from attending to any business; and secondly to the dearth of news. Beyond the letter from the Bishop and the interesting letter from Mr. Welchman, which gives a graphic account of pioneer work in the heart of Ysabel, he has received nothing from Norfolk Island.


He is however able to print an account of one or two funds committed to his charge, and also to give a few incidents of home work which are helpful.


Miss C. M. Yonge, in forwarding the proceeds of the Sale of Miss G. Walter's Album, says:--

"Our friends may be interested to know that Miss Gertrude Walter, whose life of invalidism and suffering ended in great peace on the 20th of May, had taken much pleasure in a collection of postage stamps, which she bequeathed for the benefit of the Melanesian Mission. The proceeds amount to about £109 deducting the expenses of sale."

[19] This legacy, is most touching. The Album was collected during long years of hopeless suffering and weakness, but it comes to the Mission with the might of a loving purpose, and shows how much God can effect, when His strength is made perfect in what is to human eye utter weakness.


It will be seen that the Sale of Work in which the Mission took part in London was a great success. It is intended, God willing, to hold a similar sale in 1898, and the friends of the Mission are requested to bear this in mind. The overplus of things help similar sales in various parts of the country, and Mrs. J. R. Selwyn will again be glad to receive and store contributions whenever they are ready.


It will be seen that the Bishop of Melanesia hopes to arrive in England about April. The Editor does not yet know what plans the Bishop has formed for his stay in England, but it will be well if the friends of the Mission will begin to consider how best to utilize his presence during his stay.

The Editor knows well, by painful experience, how much a man's time may be wasted and his strength exhausted, by engagements which are fitted in at haphazard, and which cause him to fly from one end of England to the other and then back again, and such an arrangement is inevitable if the Bishop has not some definite idea when he reaches England of the places to which he has to go.

The dates cannot be fixed absolutely, but it would be an immense help if those who think they can arrange for meetings or sermons would write to


and suggest one or two alternative dates, or, if possible, ask the Bishop to suggest his own. If this could be done by the end of FEBRUARY, a list could be sent to meet the Bishop on his homeward voyage, and he would be able to make out his plan quietly before reaching England.

Note.--It is particularly requested that these letters may be addressed to Miss Wilson, and NOT to Bishop Selwyn, as the latter will probably be absent from England.


The Island Scheme has been most successful this year, having produced over £500 for the Mission Funds. We heartily congratulate Miss Wilson on such a result.


The S.P.C.K. with their usual liberality have made a grant of £5 for maps and wall pictures for Siota. Such things are exceedingly useful in the Mission, if anyone has any to spare.

[20] As we go to Press we receive the 'Southern Cross Log' of November, with the Bishop's last letter to the Editor. We must wait for fuller details, but the Bishop's words are of great comfort as to the past, and of good augury we trust for 1898.

Letter from the Bishop.

"Southern Cross at Sea, near Epi.
S. Matthew's Day
, 1897.


I am sending you some "copy" from Vila, because a mail from Norfolk Island is problematical.

We have had a most remarkable voyage. The hand of God seems to have been constantly with us, and we have had encouragements everywhere. All the clouds of last year have been dispersed, and we have gained much ground through the casting out of the evil. There
is much more spiritual life, earnestness, and missionary spirit than I have seen before. And, my dear Editor, we have had such delightful weather for our cruise. It has been a real pleasure-trip throughout. Blue skies, smooth seas, surfless landings, glorious sunsets and rises, and moonlight nights. Add to all this the greater gladness still which comes from seeing the Church going forward with greater courage into the midst of heathendom, and you will understand what a grand voyage it has been.

You will notice that we were frequently at islands on the days appropriated to them in the Cycle. Perhaps this accounted for the sensation of sympathy with us, which helped us forward everywhere ashore.

You will rejoice to hear that Welchman is very well, and is very happy about Bugotu, and also about Siota.


All being well, I shall be in Auckland for a day or two in December, I expect.

[21] In Memoriam.

From time to time in the natural course of events we have to mourn the loss of those who have been connected with the Mission. During the last few weeks one has passed away--unknown personally to most of its members and contributors, but well known to its executive officers--who for the last twenty years or so has had charge of all the printing and publishing business of the Mission in this country. CHARLES ADAMS PARTRIDGE, of Ludlow, died on November 9th, after a somewhat protracted illness. The Treasurer and Secretary desired to put on record their sense of the services he has rendered to the Mission, and of the courtesy and kindness he has always shown to those with whom he was brought in contact. All who have read the "Island Voyage"--"The Annual Reports"--and more recently the Occasional Papers now called "Melanesia" will unite with him in offering their sympathy to his widow and the rest of his family in their sorrow. W.S




ALMIGHTY GOD, for whom the Isles do wait, send down Thy blessing on the Bishop and Clergy of the Melanesian Mission and all who teach or are taught in its Schools, that they may set forth Thy Name upon earth, Thy saving health among their people. Comfort them, O Lord, in every sorrow, protect them in every danger, strengthen them in every temptation, and give them such a sure trust and confidence in Thee that they may serve Thee without fear.

O Lord of the Harvest, send forth Thy labourers into Thine Harvest. Guide by Thy Holy Spirit those who are fitted for this work, that they may willingly offer themselves unto Thee--and by Thee may be enabled to set forth Thy glory, through JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD. Amen.

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