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] 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.



Melanesia will be represented by a Stall at the Annual Sale of work, in aid of Home and Foreign Missions, to be held at the Church House, Westminster, on November 17th and 18th.

Special contributions for this stall are much wanted, that Melanesia may not fall below the standard of the other stalls, which are certain to be good.

It will also be a real help to the Missionary cause, if those who read this notice will make the fact of the Sale as widely known as possible among their friends and induce them to come to it.

[3] 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.

[4] From the "Southern Cross Log."



On Wednesday in Rogation Week we had a special out-of-door service for the Norfolk Islanders, which was well attended. The first part of the service was held opposite Mr. Charles Buffet's house, and consisted of a short Litany, followed by a hymn, a short lesson, a psalm, and prayer for (a) the fruits of the earth, and (b) against pestilence. The clergy and people then moved to another site, where a beautiful view of the sea was procured, and there the second part of the service was held, being in form similar to the first part, the subjects for intercession being (c) the coming whaling season, and (d) Home and Foreign Missions. The people joined heartily in the service, and so it cannot fail to have a beneficial effect. It is hoped that it will be a precedent for future years.

On June 8th, Anniversary Day, the usual cricket match was held in the town, and a picnic given by the Norfolk Island community. They most kindly invited all the Mission party, giving special attention to the Melanesian scholars. We all enjoyed the day thoroughly, and the weather was fine, though cold.

A fortnight later there was a still larger gathering in the town, when we assembled to do honour to our beloved Queen, on June 22nd, the Record Day. A thanksgiving service was held in the church at 10 a.m. The congregation joined most heartily in the service, and in the singing of the National Anthem. Then with warm hearts we went forth into the glorious sunshine, and the sports which followed were entered into with great spirit, after the royal salute of twenty-one guns had been duly fired from the Government House, under the direction of Colonel Spalding.

On Friday, July 2nd, the Southern Cross arrived from the Islands, having made the first voyage in nine weeks and four days. The general report is good from nearly all the island stations. Bishop Wilson is well, and very happy in his work in the New Hebrides. Mr. Comins and Mr. Ivens are both in good health. But the account of Dr. Welchman is not so satisfactory, and he was unable to go on to Bogota at once as he had hoped to do. No wonder that there should be a reaction after the terrible strain of the past six months.

Our dear Archdeacon has been warmly welcomed home, with Mr. Robins and Mr. Edgell. The latter has been suffering from fever for some time and is still very unwell.

The school here is flourishing, and, with very few exceptions, the scholars are in good health.


The news brought back by the Southern Cross after her first voyage is reassuring and good. There is a wonderful awakening in Raga; Christianity is being received by village after village, and it is believed that there are now twenty villages were heathenism has been abandoned, and the people are seeking baptism. In Opa there is also much to encourage us. On Trinity Sunday the Bishop baptised fifty persons; he might have baptised as many more, for from all sides people came confessing their sins and asking to be received into the Church of Christ. These were allowed to wait until next year, that their enthusiasm of the moment might be tested. A number of chiefs were baptised, and also many old people; several were asked why they were so anxious to be baptised, and answered, "We are afraid to die."

A teacher was asked why all the people had suddenly become so anxious to be Christians. It was suggested to him that they were tired of wars and quarrels; he said, "No, they are seeking eternal life in Christ Jesus."

A Melanesian boy in Queensland writes home in pigeon-English to his friends in Opa: " You tell B------ and T------ he must go long school and learn good fellow about God; suppose he no go by-and-by he finish (die) he lose his life belong him." It is a firm belief in the resurrection from the dead and a life in a world to come which is turning the people of the New Hebrides from darkness to light in such numbers just at present.

Archdeacon Palmer has been staying for six weeks in the Banks' Islands. The work goes on steadily. We are quite sure that his visit has given encouragement to all the teachers in the district. The Torres Islands have been visited by a hurricane; none of the Mission property was damaged, but a trader's cutter was completely wrecked in Hayter Bay, and Mr. Robin had a shipwrecked party as his companions during his stay in this island.

Santa Cruz news is disheartening. A very great effort will have to be made there to recover the ground that has been lost. Dr. Williams did excellent work last year; he will now have Mr. Ferrall working with him. The prayers of all who love Melanesia are asked particularly for Santa Cruz. The lives of Bishop Patteson and of four others were given to win it; the prayers of the Church may well be given that we may hold it.

Mr. Ivens reports cheerily from Saa and Ulawa. In Mala, many people are preparing for baptism and confirmation. Those who know the reputation of the island will thank God for the numbers in this island who are turning from darkness to light. In August, the Bishop hopes to ordain, at Saa, Mala's first native deacon, Joe Wate; Mr. Comins is preparing him at Siota.

The Rev. C. Marau's church at Matoa, Ulawa, is approaching completion; he only now wants the roofing. A trader in Guadalcanar happened to visit him a short time ago, and shortly after his visit sent Clement a promise of half the iron required, and the remainder at [5/6] cost price. This is a great encouragement, and we take this opportunity of thanking Mr. Ivensen for his generous gift. It is not always that missions and trade go so happily together in these out-of-the-way parts of the world.

Clement has written about his work as follows:--"The people have had sickness; some have been very sick and are dead, but they trusted in their Saviour, and did not think of death as men without hope. Some are still lying sick, and when they have already suffered long they have said to me that I should ask God to release them and let them die. Then again, you will be glad to hear that they think as they should about the life to come. Some are already well. But they thought only about rising again. We will thank God almighty about it, that He is able to put a thought like that into our hearts, because in old days their hearts were not like that, there was rebellion only. I went to Saa in the boat at Christmas and baptized seven children and an adult. I visited the schools, and they wished me to help them by preaching; therefore I did as they asked, and they were very glad to hear the Word. I stayed a week and some days, and then returned. And they gave me gifts--food, pigs, and money. The money I did not take from them, but the food--a boatful of tomagoes. I thought the boat would sink, but we arrived safely. That also is as though love had begun with them, because in old days there was no fellowship with them. They could not love anyone they did not know. They see that the love of God has been born in them. I plainly saw it myself, father, like this, that in some years there was nothing but fighting, but now perhaps, if God goes on helping that country, the people will all become Christians."

Dr. Welchman is still at Siota. "When the ship left him he was suffering severely from a strain. He spoke cheerfully of himself, and expected to mend soon. Mr. Comins says that the doctor has done a great deal of work at Siota: new houses have been built and the church enlarged. A new and very awkward quarantine regulation makes it necessary for us to go to Florida, the Resident's headquarters, before visiting the Solomon Islands nearer home. This prevented new boys being picked up and taken to Siota on this voyage. It is very troublesome that we cannot now visit Bugotu, which is German territory, and return to our other Solomon Islands without doing three weeks' quarantine. This regulation made us unable to visit Bugotu. The ship went to Guadalcanar, and found that the Narovo people further north had raided our new school-village, Vaturina, and had driven the people back into the bush. The Rev. Hugo Gorovaka and David are still with them, and have sent their first Guadalcanar scholar to Siota. Basile has gone to Bugotu for a rest.

To sum up. Everything is well except in Santa Cruz. From all other districts the news is good. Let all good Christian people thank God for His goodness in having preserved the many native Christians in the Faith during very troublous times, and pray for a blessing upon Santa Cruz.

[7] It will be gratifying to all who watch the Mission's work in Queensland to know that many 'boys' hearing of new schools in their own island have returned home and joined the schools, some as scholars, some as teachers. Some, again, have built schoolhouses, and have sent messages asking for teachers. More and more the Missionary working in Melanesia prays that the hands of all Christian workers in Queensland may be strengthened.


Rev. R. P. Williams tells of his work in Queensland.

With "Our Boys" at Bundaberg.

I was obliged to leave Norfolk Island the beginning of January on some personal business of my own, which I expected would detain me in Sydney for about a month. My intention was to return at the end of that time, if possible. But when once I had left Norfolk Island it was not so easy to obtain a return passage, and week after week passed without a ship of any sort leaving for the Island.

In consequence, I thought I could not do better than take a run up to Bundaberg, and see how Percy Williams was prospering in his work among the natives employed there on the sugar plantations. I arrived at Bundaberg on Wednesday evening, the 24th February, and was sorry to find that he had had an attack of ague, from which, fortunately, he had nearly recovered. Mrs. Clayton, too, was unwell--pulled down, probably, by the heat, which was considerable. There is a large field for work here, and Williams finds his hands fully occupied. The following notes will help the readers of the Log to understand the nature of the work carried on here.

On Thursday evening we drove over to Mr. Turner's plantation, for school, which was attended by eleven boys. Two hymns were sung, followed by prayer, after which they received instruction in reading and arithmetic. The reading was taught through the medium of the sheets published by S.P.C.K., so as to include religious instruction in the lesson. The school closed with more hymns and prayer.

On Friday we went into Bundaberg for a committee meeting, to consider the advisability of having a sale of work so as to clear off a back debt on the mission. There were six members present, and they decided to hold a sale of work sometime after Easter, and there seems every probability of its being a success. In the evening, Williams went to Barolin, and held school there, while I stopped at home and taught the boys who attended the school at the head-quarters' station at Mrs. Clayton's, being helped by her daughter. There was an attendance of forty-eight.

[8] On Saturday there was an attendance of fourteen at the communicants' class, after which Williams exhibited, to a large audience of boys, some lantern views of the Islands and some English cathedrals.

The time on Sunday was fully occupied. We began the day by Celebration at 8 a.m., the fourteen boys who had attended the preparation class the previous night being there. Unfortunately, Mr. Morris, the pastor of Bundaberg, was unwell, and Williams had to take Matins in town instead of being with the boys. At 10-15 we had school, in two classes--the Christians, which I took, 63 being present, while Miss Clayton took the "Hearers," 48 boys. At 11 o'clock there was Matins, in English, which I took, and also preached; 131 attended. At 1-45 we had a singing class, and at 2-15 Williams took the baptismal class, 22 attendances. Then at 3 p.m. we had a Gela-Mota Evensong, which was taken by Williams, partly in Gela and partly in Mota; I preached in Mota, and John, a Gela boy, translated it for the benefit of his compatriots.

I seldom enjoyed a Sunday more than that one; the boys were attentive and most reverent in their behaviour, and seemed very anxious to learn. I fear that there is a great deal of immorality amongst the boys working on these sugar plantations, and probably some of those who attend the Mission services are not blameless in the matter. There must, however, be many who by their lives set a good example of purity and godliness to those with whom they live--the seed sown must take root and bear fruit.

We had intended to go on Monday to the Isis Scrub, where there are a good many boys, but owing to the rain we had to give up the plan, because the boys won't turn out in wet weather. We had school instead at Duncraggen, about a quarter of a mile away, at which there was an attendance of 31 boys. Tuesday and Thursday in that week were occupied in very much the same way, school being held at Mrs. Clayton's and at Windermere respectively.

On Ash Wednesday we had Evensong and a sermon for the boys, as they can only get away in the evening. Considering the length of time that they work in the heat each day, it is wonderful how well they attend the classes and services. The teaching is carried out in small, stuffy rooms, often most inadequate for the purpose.

In conclusion, I would say that from what I have seen of the boys here I am quite convinced that the work amongst them is peculiarly that of the Melanesian Mission, and it is only fair that the funds should be provided locally, seeing that the planters are benefited by their labours, and the Mission teaches them to do their duty both to God and man. Also, anyone who is from time to time appointed as priest in charge, should, if possible, have the opportunity of first paying a visit to Norfolk Island, and of going round the Islands in the Southern Cross--the knowledge thus acquired will give him an enormous advantage in dealing with the boys.




Dr. J. W. Williams.

The Southern Cross arrived at Santa Cruz on St. Mark's Day, 1896, and it was discovered that Mr. Forrest was leaving the Mission immediately. So the Bishop put me in temporary charge of the district, instead of taking me on to Guadalcanar as had been originally proposed.

Sunday, April 26th.--The Bishop preached in the large and beautiful church at Nelua, the head station. He introduced me to the people, who were very sad at losing Mr. Forrest.

April 27th.--We visited the Reef Islands in the ship, and paid the teachers at Pileni and Nufiloli. At the former place we had to report the death of a boy at Norfolk Island. The father and mother were quite overcome with grief, and everybody seemed sorry. They are an affectionate people.

On the 28th we called at the Duff group, and landed at Tomako, the biggest island, to visit the school started by Forrest in 1895. The teacher, George Domo, gave a fairly good account, but said the people were very fond of fighting, a failing common to all Cruzians. The people gave us a boy to take to Norfolk Island, a great, big boy of about 16 or 17. He was to stay with me at Nelua till I went south again in August, but, as it happened, he got tired and made off home very soon after I got back to Nelua.

Wednesday, 29th.--The ship arrived back at Nelua, and after putting me ashore, sailed for the Solomons.

April 30th.--The people started building a new schoolhouse, as the old one had collapsed. The men spent the time they would otherwise have given to schooling in cutting timber in the bush. James Goodenough Meluakana, the head teacher, gave them a good lead. This building occupied some time, as the work was rather desultory, and we did not begin to use the new schoolhouse for some weeks.

The following week I went to Te Motu, the other school, which is situated on a small island off the Santa Cruz mainland. We sailed the eight miles before a nice trade wind, and reached our destination early in the afternoon, I was introduced to Daniel Melmakaule and Bertie Baton, the two principal teachers. There is a nice house here also, but the great want of the place is good water.

On Saturday, May 9th, we returned to Nelua, halting half-way to wait till the trade wind had moderated a bit.

One morning, at Nelua, I was "sent for" to go and see the big man at Taape, a neighbouring village. As it would have taken some time to get the boat down and manned, I went in a small canoe, with [9/10] two natives to paddle. Taape is about three miles by sea from Nelua, and we soon got there. I saw the patient and prescribed, and then we set about returning, loaded up with fees in the shape of yams, and mats, and native money. All went well until we were about half-way home to Nelua, when suddenly, without the slightest warning, the canoe canted up and upset us and our belongings into the sea. My immediate thought was "Sharks," and I climbed on board that canoe again in record time. The two Cruzians thoroughly enjoyed the joke, and swam about collecting our goods and chattels. I utterly ruined my hypodermic case with the salt water, but I saved everything else, including my only pipe, which, with great presence of mind, I kept in my mouth all the time. Our arrival at Nelua was the signal for roars of derisive laughter at my expense.

Ascension Day was observed just as a Sunday, and the people decorated the church very nicely with palms and greenery. Decoration in Santa Cruz is very easy to accomplish; you have only to go twenty yards from the church to get abundance of material.

On May 19th, the Southern Cross came back from the Solomons and left again for the south the same day. The next day it rained in torrents, and continued to do so for several days, blowing very hard at the same time. The Southern Cross had a very rough trip, as I afterwards heard.

Sunday, May 24th.--Whit Sunday; as it was also the Queen's Birthday we hoisted the flag. The weather was much better. On the following Wednesday I made my first trip to To Motu. It was rather a lively experience, as the boat's crew didn't know a word I spoke, and I was equally unable to understand them. However, by dint of much yelling, we got along all right and reached Te Motu in three hours. The landing here is a little exciting. You have to take the boat right in through the surf on to the reef. If you don't seize the right moment, or if a big roller catches you as you go in, you will certainly upset. I had been in several times but had never myself held the steer oar. Now it was quite a different affair. However, we got through and landed without mishap.

Next day I had a full muster of the school. The people here are much keener than at Nelua, and the outlook is promising. The difficulty is the women teachers. There was only one Christian woman at Te Motu at that time, Clara, the wife of Daniel, who had only had three months' schooling at Norfolk Island. The women are keen to learn, but there is no one to teach them. However, I have arranged to put Simon Manotea in charge, and he is about to marry a girl who has been three or four years at Norfolk Island, and is well spoken of by Mrs. Colenso, so I hope things will improve in this respect. Her name is Mary Inavlo, and she is probably going down to marry Simon in April. I visited a heathen village close to the school, and was hospitably entertained in the Club-house. There was a man weaving a mat, and I watched him a long time. They are very clever at it. This village swarms with small boys, with whom I tried to make friends, but they fled in all directions. I returned to Nelua on the eve of Trinity Sunday, and we had two good services next day, besides school.

[11] During the following week, a large number of Pileni people arrived in their big sailing canoes. Among them came the father of the boy Sipa, who died at Norfolk Island in the beginning of the year. He was most demonstrative in his gratitude to me for taking care of his boy. He brought me a big fish as a present, and told me when I again visited Pileni his wife was going to make me a large present. The affection shown by this man was most striking. The Pileni people are almost purely Polynesian, and their language is closely akin to Maori, so much so that I was able to make myself understood by speaking to them in that language. They are very keen on school, and are anxious to have a book in their own language, but I told them they would have to wait. We shall get some reading sheets printed for them this year, I hope.

About this time I had a morning call from Natei, the big chief of Nelua. He brought me a basket of bananas, with a request that I would go and see his wife, who was sick,--that is, one of his wives, for he has six or eight. I accordingly paid her a visit and found the poor woman very ill with pleurisy. She got well again in about three weeks. I attended Natei himself, and various members of his family, at different times, but the old man was very mean, according to native ideas, and only gave me a dirty betel-nut bag. The school people said he ought to have given much more. On the other hand, the Taape chief, who had speedily recovered from his indisposition, was most generous in his gratitude, and was constantly bringing and sending me presents.

St. Barnabas' Day was marked by a family feud in the school village, which it took some little trouble to quell. Some of them got out their bows and arrows, which had to be taken from them. The culprits professed great repentance and sorrow when it was all over, and I believe it was genuine, at any rate they didn't offend again while I was there. I had to employ myself as mediator between man and wife in two cases, and succeeded in reconciling them, though with some little difficulty in one case.

On Tuesday, June 16th, I again went to Te Motu, this time taking Fanny Itamia, the head woman teacher at Nelua, to stay a few weeks at Te Motu and teach the women there. It blew pretty hard, and we had an adventurous journey, and, to wind up with, we nearly upset on the reef while landing. I stayed at Te Motu a week on this occasion, and was very pleased with the way the people attended church and school. We had a fine weather passage back, and arrived to find the place full of Reef Islanders, who had come to buy provisions. My friend, the father of Sipa, was again very much in evidence, and renewed his protestations of gratitude. The weather, which had been very fine, changed at this time, and they were windbound with us for a fortnight. I employed the time in trying to pick up their language. On Thursday, July 2nd, the Taape people gave a great feast, to which I received a pressing invitation. But the rain stopped my going, so in the afternoon they turned up in swarms to my house, bringing quantities of food and presents of all kinds. Of course it was my bounden duty to give equivalent presents, so everybody was pleased. On July 9th 1 paid a flying visit to Te Motu in the boat to bring back Fanny, whose absence was badly felt at Nelua.

[12] She had done good work during her short stay in preparing some women for baptism. I found Clara, Daniel's wife, very ill with rheumatic fever, and in great pain, which I was fortunately able to relieve somewhat. We returned to Nehia for Sunday. The following week there was a large native dance at Nelua, a most extraordinary spectacle. They began at 3 p.m., and kept it up until daylight next morning, in consequence of which they were all very sleepy and did not want to school. A man pricked himself with an arrow and the point broke off, He would not allow me to extract it, and I was anticipating a case of tetanus, but he got well with no more than a small abscess, from which the arrow tip was discharged. On Sunday, July 19th, just as we were going to Matins, the cry of "The ship" was raised. She had been away nearly nine weeks, and was not due, but I was none the less glad. Consequently my disappointment was great when I discovered that it was a false alarm. Some of the heathen were having a joke with us.

During the following days, another fleet of sailing canoes arrived from the Reef Islands. The whole male population of Nufiloli, and a great number from Pileni, came over. They knew the Southern Cross was due, and that Mrs. Welchman was expected to be on board, and so they came to see a white woman. Some of them had seen Mrs. Selwyn when she visited Santa Cruz with the Bishop some years ago, but the majority were all agog with excitement. I found my teachers in the Reef Islands had all come, too, and when I scolded them for leaving their schools they replied that there was no one left to be taught.

On Wednesday, July 29th, the ship did come, and I was never before so glad to see a white face, and hear my own language again. She stayed twenty-four hours with me, and then went on to the Solomons. She brought back Monika, James Goodenough's wife, and her baby, as well as Benjamin Menimata, Nelson Banina, and Samuel Tuena, so there were great rejoicings. James had built a new house in honour of his wife's return, and it is really quite a civilized dwelling, having two rooms, which is a distinct advance in Cruzian architecture. But there was much disappointment on all sides when it became known that Dr. and Mrs. Welchman were not on board

I spent a week more at Nelua after the departure of the ship and then went to Te Motu to await her return there. I went before I had intended, owing to the illness of Daniel Melmakaule's little girl. They sent a message begging me to come quickly. I found the poor child suffering from inflamation of the brain, and was only able to soothe its pain, for the case was hopeless. It died on August 8th, and there was great crying and grief. They agreed to send the body to Nelua for burial, as there is no cemetery at Te Motu, and we could not allow a Christian child to be buried in heathen fashion. So next day they took it in a canoe, two others following in procession. I offered to lend them my boat, but they said it was too heavy to pull [12/13] against the strong trade wind. The heathen relatives did not much like the idea of taking the child away, but they did not oppose us actively. The poor mother was only just recovering from rheumatic fever, and could not go, which distressed her very much; so Daniel stayed with her, for he said, "It would not be good for one of us to see the child buried, and the other not," so he got his friends to go instead.

I spent three weeks at Te Motu waiting for the Southern Cross and the Bishop, and we were busily occupied in getting the new church ready for its dedication. The ship was ten days overdue, and my supply of provisions ran very short. I visited the neighbouring village, called Nimbi, several times, to see a sick man, but the people there do not yet want any teaching.

Things went on quietly till August 26th, when there was trouble that might have ended badly. A heathen man living in the village near the school got embroiled with the people of a village on the other side, and everybody prepared to fight. I found our people were in the wrong, and told them they must pay up a fine, as the alternative to having a fight. After some demur they consented to do so, but now the question arose: Would they pay enough to satisfy the aggrieved party's demands? We were in the middle of the discussion when the Southern Cross hove in sight, and I was very thankful to see her lights coming round the point. It was 10 o'clock at night, but broad moonlight. I went off to the ship and brought the Bishop ashore. The people had not yet settled their differences, and for some time it was an open question whether we should have a fight in the morning or a dedication and baptism. After waiting till 3 a.m., we were at length informed that milder counsels had prevailed, and there would be no fighting; so we went to bed in peace. Next day, the Bishop dedicated the beautiful new church to St. Andrew, and baptised twelve adults (all women) and five infants. We went on to Nelua the same afternoon, and on Friday, August 28th, the Bishop baptised one infant and married a couple. That was the conclusion of my stay in Santa Cruz. We left that evening, and called the next day at the Reef Islands, landing at Nufiloli and Pileni. At the former island we found one of the teachers, Samuel Telimbla, very sick indeed. It was doubtful whether he would recover. We did all we could for him, but it was not very much. At Pileni, the people were very enthusiastic. We settled a site for the school-house, and brought Alan Mele back with us to Norfolk Island for further training putting Samuel Tuena in his place. My friend, the father of Sipa, and his wife, were most generous, and overwhelmed Mr. Wilson and myself with gifts. It shows a very good feeling. We left the Santa Cruz group finally at noon on August 29th, for the Banks Islands.


[14] The Island Voyages, 1896.



After a busy time distributing the teachers' trade, the ship put me ashore at Vureas, where the people were awaiting my arrival to help them in completing the interior of the new church. They had burnt two big kilns of lime, and were thoroughly in earnest, so that the work commenced without delay. The people were told off for their particular work according to their villages, and when the work began they vied with one another in friendly rivalry to get their work completed.

Benjamin Virsal, who, since being here, has twice been taken back to Mota to die, appeared to have become quite a young man again, and heading a band of workers, stimulated them to continuous hard work. Marion, Benjamin's wife, looked after the women, who were told off to prepare food for all the workers. Raymond Woqat and Philip Mumeg picked out the young men who were the most apt at carpentering, and undertook to adze the boards for the seats.

The Wasaga people, who were about four miles up the coast, with Joseph Sovlumagav at their head, came and finished the front of the church, the upper part of which was very neatly done in bamboo work. The floor of the sacrarium was laid down in concrete, the chancel and altar steps being formed by laying down boards, making a sort of trough to be filled in by a mixture of lime, sand, and rubble; this secured smoothness and evenness of surface and straightness of lines, so difficult for the native workers to accomplish.

Besides the work of church building, a large class of catechumens had to receive constant attention. The same degree of earnestness, which characterized those baptised by the Bishop last year, seemed to he present with them. There were a great number of elderly and middle-aged people among them, and the praiseworthy way in which they knew their catechism testified to their constant attendance and earnestness.

Having spent a week at the work on the new church, we started on a round of visits to some of the other islands. Rowing up the coast we reached Mosina, and spent the night. Unfortunately our visit clashed with a big dance that was on the following day, and this means, as a rule, a general holiday, the work of cooking food and the preparation for the dance demanding all their time.

It was gratifying to see most of the elders turn up to prayers and school, only a few remaining to fulfil some indispensable duties connected with the cooking. The general attendance of the children was very unsatisfactory, and they had very little to show for the past year's teaching. This school is one among the many isolated places, and the teacher labours under a good many disadvantages, one of them being the inability of receiving the requisite amount of help from the white Missionary.

[15] Manlea, a Mota man, is here, and has certainly improved the appearance of the school inclosure. It is now very nicely kept, and they are building a school-house, so that the building in which they now assemble may be used exclusively for a church. Next year it is hoped the Bishop will dedicate this and confirm a class of candidates.

From Mosina we went our way to Motalava and Ra. The Rev. Henry Tagalad had been helped during the summer by the Rev. Sogovman. He was taken back here at the end of the last trip, last year, in a very delicate state of health, from Vanua Lava, so here he remained for some time and did very good work visiting the more distant places. This had done a great deal of good, and the people of Motalava proper spoke warmly of the regular pastoral work he had carried on among them.

At Saa, the church building was nearly completed. They had been left to themselves, and had failed somewhat in the straightness of their lines, and the general work was less satisfactory than it ought to be, considering that they had the other recently-built churches for a guide.

The school at Narenigman had made very laudable progress since last year, under the head teachership of Benjamin Qorig. Last year it was arranged for the Rev. Walter Woser to go to Norfolk Island for a change. He had been down the islands for the last ten years, and had begun to show some signs of slackness in his work. It was thought that a trip to Norfolk Island would enable him to recruit some spiritual energy, as the helpful associations of the life there is the common experience of both black and white. Benjamin Qorig was chosen to take Walter's place. He was quite a junior teacher, but had shown signs of much trustworthiness, which placed him above some of his seniors, and the satisfactory results of his work have thoroughly justified the choice. The rapid way in which some of the youngsters learnt to read was astonishing. He appears to have gone out of the ordinary way and to have helped the little ones out of school hours. It was told me by some of the Ra people, how enthusiastic these youngsters were, and how they were to be seen in the gamals and houses with their reading books, making them out by themselves.

This visit to Motalava was only intended to be a very short one, but I was detained through stress of weather, and had to spend two days to get a possible passage to Mota. I got there on Saturday and found the people all away in the gardens; there wasn't a single soul to receive us, which was a marked contrast to our receptions of old. At one time the sight of a boat caused great excitement, and a crowd was generally found waiting our arrival at the landing place; but boats have now become very common, and have ceased to cause any sensation. There are no less than five boats at Motor which have been bought with copra, and as these, as well as the traders' boats, are continually going about, the people are not able to distinguish the Missionary's boat from among them. Of old, the sight of a boat meant the Missionary for a certainty, and that meant in turn the only chance of getting some small portion of a commodity, which, at times, [15/16] used to run very short, and they had, as it has often been plaintively stated, to make use of the taro leaf as a substitute for the fragant weed.

Most of their wants are now supplied by the trader, and the Southern Cross, as well as the Missionary's boat, fails to create the sensation it used to, very few people frequently taking the place of the big crowd that used to invariably greet us. One cannot help but feel these receptions very chilly compared with what they were, and there is a proneness to feel that the means of trade has in parts estranged them; but looking at matters in their natural light, it is nothing but what must be expected, and the way in which they respond to do anything that is necessary, shows most of the people to be still the same.

This visit to Mota was only intended to be a short one, and was made with the object of following up the work of the Rev. R. P. Wilson, who made a long stay here at the beginning of the season.

He had worked very hard to amend the irregular attendance, and, from what the teachers told me, they had appreciated his help, and that the people had responded to his efforts. This seemed to be an opportune time to stir up the people to build a new church.

On the Sunday, I spoke very earnestly to the people upon the absolute necessity of beginning to build in earnest, and on the expediency of building a church worthy of the early associations of their islands, and, after the service, I went the round of the island with the same object. All the districts round the island agreed to take their part, and so we arranged for a service on the following day with which to begin the work. It took place round the first tree to be cut down, and representatives from all the villages round the island stood near with axes to drive in as the tree was set apart for the sacred purpose.

This seemed to impress them greatly with a sense of the responsibility of their undertaking, and it is hoped that the same spirit of earnestness which seemed present at the commencement will characterise the whole work.

Unfortunately, this took place at a very busy time in the yam gardens, but another visit to Mota being uncertain, it was thought better to take advantage of the present opportunity notwithstanding.

After the service we sailed to Gaua, and reached Masevunu just as night came on. Here George Matagaro and his wife, Ropistuka, had taken up their work. The people, through the bad conduct and indifference of past teachers, have become very lukewarm.

Their solicitations for a Mota teacher led one to believe that they would come together and begin school in earnest, but there was nothing but disappointment, and they had to be given to understand that the teacher could not possibly remain if they did not become more regular in their attendance.

From here we rowed up to Tarasag, and found the greater part of the district unsettled. The people had broken the taboo on firearms and poisoned arrows, which were very much in evidence.

[17] The cause of all this was traced back to a charm procured by one man over another. The two had at one time been fast friends, and they together had helped greatly to restore order and keep the peace for a comparatively long time. For some reason one of the men got tired of their friendship, which eventually ended in dislike. This led him to seek the aid of a renowned charmer, living some distance away, to charm away the life of his late friend, and procured a small portion of the stick of tobacco from which he had filled his pipe. After this had been passed on to be professionally dealt with, it came to the ears of the unfortunate man, who immediately began to feel a little "off colour," and this increased his determination to avenge himself. He dogged the steps of his enemy for a favourable opportunity, and managed to waylay him coming back from the taro gardens. The marvellous way in which the man escaped shows the alertness of these in getting out of the way. The man heard the click of the hammar, twisted himself round, and escaped with only a flesh wound in his shoulder, in spite of the fact that he was shot at by a man only a few yards away. The school village became deserted, the people themselves divided for and against the wounded man, and the whole place was in a ferment of excitement, and, the sad thing of all, the teachers showed their utter incapacity to help the people. Walsham Wagolu made some efforts, but they were met by failure in the first instance, so he gave it up in despair, and went back to his own village. This state of things in Gaua generally drags out for a long time, and instead of having a good pitched battle to settle their grievances, they prefer to let it stand over and murder somebody of the opposite side in cool blood; thus keeping the whole district in a state of fever while any outstanding trouble exists.

Robert Pantutun, who was to have gone here last year, became very ill and could not keep to this arrangement; thus the teachers are still without a leader, and the work remains in the same unsatisfactory state. Peter Wowut, at Vilis, appears incapable of attracting the people around him; there seems to be very little earnestness among them, which, in a great measure, can be traced to the fact that there is so little existing among the teachers themselves.

The best way of relieving the present disturbed state of things was discussed with the teachers and other responsible men, and it was thought that if the firearms were collected, it would in a great measure restore the public confidence. Accordingly, the teachers and some of the head men, with myself, set out on an expedition, taking each village in turn. We made first for the man who shot the other; knowing very well that if he didn't give up his musket in the first place, our efforts would be fruitless. He still claimed to be a great friend of mine, as, in his own mind, he had shot the man in self defence, and so had forfeited my friendship; and, during our interview, he stated that those who died by the musket were few, while those who died by means of the charm were many; thus showing the strong belief these people have in the power of charms. When asked for his musket, he agreed to give it up if the other side gave up theirs, and on our promising to return it in case they didn't, he gave it up straightaway. On our arrival at the bush villages, we were invariably met by the question, "Have you got Wekir's musket," and when [17/18] they were told we had, they seemed pretty willing to give up theirs. We were nevertheless frequently deceived, and it was only by persistent efforts we managed to get them all in.

In this matter one village policed the other, and in several instances we had not got all at the village just left. After much trouble we succeeded very well on the whole, but a few still remaining in possession of their owners the question of dealing with these had to stand over for a future visit.

From Gaua we had to return to Vureas to await the return of the Southern Cross from the north, and to prepare for the consecration of the new church. We got out of the lagoon, as the tide was falling, very early in the morning, and by daylight we were well on our way to Vanua Lava. They hadn't done very much since we left them, as there was an accumulation of garden work after the busy time we had had there.

We commenced again at the concrete work still left to be done, and to provide for the seating in the body of the church. The people once more responded, and the work went on apace. A big clam shell from the Solomons had been procured for a font, and this was mounted on a pedestal of concrete, with a big base of the same material. The ship was a little late, so we were enabled to have everything ready for consecration some days before the Bishop arrived.

The excitement of welcoming the vessel came at last, and the day long desired and looked for to crown the hard and continuous work of the past two years brought with it many feelings of thankfulness.

The church was dedicated to S. Peter, and the village is now called S. Peter by the people. It is none too large for the congregation, as it was more than full at the consecration service, and also at Evensong, when a large class of catechumens with their families, numbering sixty, were baptised. Raymond Woqat has begun very well indeed in his work here. He is enthusiastic himself and inspires others, but he is very sensitive and often impulsive, and has a great deal to learn of how to work in spite of difficulties.

On leaving Vureas the ship put me on Merelava. The Bishop on his way down on his first voyage had consecrated the church and confirmed seventeen people, and this, I am sure, had very much gladdened their hearts.

The first thing to be told on settling down was the contemplated marriage of the Rev. William Vaget. He had become engaged to the lady on the condition that it recommended itself to the whole people. He had searched for a wife to go to Norfolk Island to be educated, but had searched in vain; consequently, he had to choose a partner much below the standard which is so requisite for such a position. From what he told me he seems to have been guided in his choice by a consideration for his work, and to have chosen a very good woman. On the day of the wedding the whole of the Merelava people came together, most of them having arrived the day before with food of various kinds as wedding presents. The wedding feast was prepared the night before, ready to be opened after the return from church. The grating of yams and nuts, and the cheery prattle of the busybodies throughout the night made things very lively.

[19] After the ceremony was over all the relations and friends made a sort of pool for the bridegroom. One after another came in and threw down their piece of money as a sort of present, in addition to what they might have given before, the whole pile amounting to about forty fathoms of native money. This, however, turned out to be a sort of lucky bag. It has now become a custom, and seems to be made with ulterior motives, to make, as the people say, the money jump (circulate). If anyone receives a present of money on his wedding day, he must return the compliment when the giver's happy day arrives, and many of these gifts are made by already engaged young people who will expect it back with interest in the not very distant future. The people had finished the school-house at Sarei, so I was enabled to get the school into better order, for lack of which it had suffered considerably.

At Leqil, Samuel Sagler and his wife, Emily Roget, were helping the head teacher. All their people are very fond of him, and are very sorrowful about his having taken up work on Gaua. The first class of middle-aged people is not so strong as it used to be, and its present members are irregular in their attendance. Samuel Sagler undertook to work them up specially, and, as he failed to get to Gaua, they will have the benefit of his teaching for part of a year.

At Matlewag, Joseph Qea is doing very good work, but he has lost his second teacher through bad conduct. It is hoped that Joseph will come up to Norfolk Island next year, as he has shown himself a capable teacher, and is likely to become a rising man.

At Lewotnok, Arthur Dimboe has not been successful in his work. The school is unsatisfactory, not so much on account of any negligence as the want of tact and system.

Towards the end of my stay the weather became very bad, and we were unable to leave for Merig, fearing our inability to land on getting there. After a few days it became better, and we determined to try. On reaching Merig, we found rather bad landing, but managed to get the boat ashore with the help of the whole population; but the following day we found ourselves surfed up, and were obliged to stay for four days.

The Bishop had dedicated the church and confirmed three people on the way down. They were delighted to find that we could not leave, and seemed to think that it was a very good thing for them in spite of our expressed disappointment. Line Esu, the teacher's wife, is the life and soul of the women folk, and has taught them to sew very nicely.

After spending four days here, and being behind time, we determined to try and get the boat out in spite of the surf, which had subsided since the day before. We succeeded, and got away for Gaua early in the morning. Things had quieted down here, and all the muskets, excepting two, had been collected; these we got in on the following day, which really settled the business of this particular visit, and we set sail again for Lakona after three days.

[20] At Lakona, the work seems to have a bright future. There is an earnest band of workers, and the education of the people is progressing rapidly. John Qilgaltok has been in charge, and has since come up to Norfolk Island for a change. At Vurein, Mesak Sisis and John Lin, from Motalava, seem to have taken the work up permanently. They very much wanted to return to their own island during my visit, but it required very little argument to show them how selfish it was to ask it, and I think they have now made up their minds to make this their work. The people there are all very fond of them, and this is so well known that all the other villages are asking for Motalava teachers. "Give us Motalava men" is the request everywhere. The school had made good progress since last year, but it did not come up to our expectations; perhaps it is the natural inaptness of the people.

The people at a village called Qetemaru had built a school-house, and the head man, with all his people, were most enthusiastic about getting a Motalava teacher. We paid them an unexpected visit--the people were all away in their gardens, but a vigorous drumming called some of them together. As they didn't all turn up so quickly as they might have done, it was suggested that the drum signal for a fight would have an instantaneous effect, but this I wouldn't allow, so we waited patiently as they returned in their own leisurely way, not knowing who it was that was there. At last the head man arrived and gave directions for another vigorous drumming, which brought the people together in no time. He is a powerful muscular fellow, a well-known fearless warrior, and also a rich man. He has more power among his own people than any chief I know about here. Very generous in many respects, and most hospitable, he is given to a great deal of boasting, which is apt to create a prejudice against him on first acquaintance. Ho proffered his hospitality very lavishly, which meant their devoting the whole day for cooking, and is expressed by the phrase "to light a fire." This was declined, and caused so much disappointment that we submitted to be entertained with a fowl and a roasted yam. While this was being cooked, we got the people together in the schoolhouse. I spoke to them on their apparent earnestness in building a schoolhouse without any prospect of getting a teacher, and also on the eagerness with which they asked for one.

I told them they must not ask for the Gospel simply because it was something new, but because it would help them when they had received it to live better and happier lives. An opportunity had been given me that morning of seeing the influence of a school extending far beyond the limits of its own sphere proper. We came across a man and his wife in their garden without a weapon of any description, far away from their own village, working in the security of the peace which a neighbouring school guaranteed. Twelve months ago such a thing was never heard of, and this served to show them the dreadful yoke of every man's hand being against his brother, from which Christianity delivered them.

I am very glad to say that my appeal for help to the Motalava teachers was responded to by Rupert Dinisem, and that he is now at this particular village (Qetemaru) as teacher.

[21] My visit to Koru was a very painful one. During the earlier part of the year, Edmund Qarat, the teacher, had disgraced himself, and afterwards so incensed the whole people by procuring charms to charm their lives away, that he barely escaped with his life with the aid of some sympathisers belonging to a neighbouring settlement. On my visit in the ship, I found the people much scattered, the building of the church at a standstill, and the people still very much disgusted with their teacher. I was apprehensive of their saying that they did not want the school again, but this was far from the case; and I was entreated to try and find another teacher, but not a Mota man. A youth, named Arthur, from the Ulrat school, on the other side, had done his best to keep the people together, and had prayers regularly, but the greater part of the people kept to themselves.

On my visiting the place from Lakona, the people seemed to be in real earnest about commencing school again, and begged me to ask Edgar Darag, of Motalava, to come to their rescue. He had helped here for a year some little time ago, but had returned, and was teaching at his own island. He seems to have endeared himself to many, and as we came away the teacher who was with me was charged to write a most urgent letter, and the last words of them all to me were, "Bring Edgar back." At the end of the year we put him ashore here with two boys from his own school, and a very warm welcome the people gave him.

During my next stay at Mota a, good many things came to light which showed a very unhappy state of affairs. Much unfaithfulness to their Christian calling was evidently existing, and by the lax way in which some of these cases were treated there seemed to be an inclination on the part of many to condone sin; or a not sufficient interest in the cause of righteousness to try and remedy the evil. Several of these cases remain for the Bishop to deal with next year.

The time spent at Motalava and Ra was full of encouragement. The schools here, with one exception, are very good. At Ra, Caleb Wotan is assisting his father-in-law, the Rev. Henry Tagalad. He is an earnest sort of fellow, but as he did not receive much teaching at Norfolk Island he is unable to take a very prominent place. In all probability he will come up next year to Norfolk Island for further instruction.

The church here is very well looked after, and it is very gratifying to arrive and always find the same care and attention bestowed on it, and the same routine of school work going regularly on as if the white Missionary was present. An old French trader, not by any means partial to missions, who spent some time here, expressed himself very much surprised at the systematic round of prayers and school which went on day by day.

At Motalava, I am sorry to say, there appeared some show of slackness in the work of the Rev. Walter Woser, the success of the teacher who was left in charge during his absence at Norfolk Island making it all the more noticeable. The growing needs of a growing Church increase the necessity for thorough pastoral work. The people had, in some instances, been neglected--especially the sick--and were [21/22] loud in their complaints about it. A change has been made in the assignation of the pastoral work, which, it is hoped, will ensure the people being properly visited.

At Totoglag, Bartholomew Malolno had worked very well as the assistant of L. Wevhog, the head teacher; a certain amount of friction had taken place between them, about the ringing of the bell for prayers before some of the people arrived, and prayers had been said twice over on one or two mornings. This, however, was soon put right, and the state of the school testifies to good teaching.

On the Valua side of Motalava, there is an absence of earnestness on the part of the people; excepting at Leharlob, where the people had made a fair amount of progress with the building of their church in spite of the difficulty in procuring materials. It is much too low for a model, which is greatly to be lamented, as, with a very little more labour it would have made a good building.

At Pek, the Rev. Sogovman was busy with his people building a new church which they had commenced in earnest. They have been making copra for some time to get an harmonium, and have sold already 1,536-lbs., representing about £4 in cash, towards it.

At Ureparapara, the Rev. Simon Qalges has been successful in reviving the work at Tekel. He told me the people commenced in earnest on his return to attend regularly, and had made up their minds to live down at the school village. He had also gained some victories over the "Suqe," which had been reformed by the apparently free consent of those responsible.

On the other side we met with very bad news. George Nara, who had done such good work, and is really a good fellow at heart, had fallen under temptation. Pelham Tutun, a Mota man, is now in charge of the school, which will require a great deal of labour to repair the misfortune which has overwhelmed it.

At Rowa, William Qasvar has made some good progress with his new church, which is of a most fantastic architecture. This small community was very much troubled at the appearance of a crocodile, a visitor almost unknown in these parts, and the people are still much concerned about their safety. It has to some extent spoiled their industry, for he has taken up his abode very near to their fishing ground, and they are all frightened out of their lives at the sight of him.

At Tes, Vanua Lava, the people have migrated to a more healthy spot, and have completed their church, built of stone, but were awaiting the appointment of a teacher. Arthur Qules, their late teacher, died at Ra after a long and trying sickness. He stayed at his post among his people as long as he possibly could, and would not have left them only it was thought that he might benefit by the change. We have also lost two other Motalava teachers: Esnun and Muriel Salrig. They are very much missed at their respective villages, for they have both done good work in the past.

[23] During the past year many disappointments have been experienced, but, surveying the work as a whole, we can readily find an abundance of encouragement and many reasons for thanksgiving to God for giving us assurances that He is working with us.



Archdeacon Palmer writes me a long and delightful account of the visit he was able to pay to his old district in the Banks Islands. I give full extracts, as he gives a graphic account of the state of things in that group, and as the Archdeacon has not been able to visit the people for some years, it gives his judgment on what has gone on during his absence. (Ed.)

JUNE 5TH, 1897.

"We had a nice, pleasant, fine-weather voyage down, and called in on *Tom [Footnote: * Tom Ulgan is a native of Mota, but has been working for many years as head teacher on the Island of Pentecost.] Ulgan a week after leaving N. I. The Bishop, with Edgell, work this district the first part of this season, and we left their properties to the south of our old place of call, new to me, where Louis Tariliu worked. The climb is quite as long to get up to the village, but not so steep, as the old place. Tom looks older, but has the same pleasant and good face. I have tried hard to persuade him to be ordained, but he cannot get over his modesty and shyness. We were glad to see each other. Leaka (Tom's wife) looks as young as ever, but Tom says he feels he is getting old, and cannot get about as freely as he used to. We stayed but a short time on the beach, as the Bishop intends being back again in a week's time.

We called in at Tavalavola (Opa) for a book left there. I did not land. William Lili is the head teacher, and I think things are in the usually depressed state. Across to Maewo, where we anchored after dark. Next morning, watering and bathing as usual. We have [23/24] found a far better bathing place than the one we used to use a little higher up. Walter Gao, Harry Aregi, and others, came down: all well, and a good report as far as I could hear. The engineer had some repairs which would detain us, so the Bishop and I intended a journey to Tasmate, and then across to Tasmori, where J. Arloli is. However, something detained him in the village next morning, and he came down too late for our expedition together, so he started in the afternoon for these places, and in the evening we got up steam and were off Merlan at daybreak. Our whistle woke them up, and they came down one by one, looking very sleepy, to meet us. William Vaget was there, and anxious-looking as usual, but well. I was not introduced to his new wife. . . . I did not go up to the village, as we had not much time to spare, but pulled on to Letra, where I scrambled ashore, the landing being very rough. Samuel Sagler looked well and gave a good report of things.

We then made for Lakona, and anchored when it was nearly dark. I went ashore and climbed up that horrid steep path by torchlight, and remembered the fellow who tumbled down it with your medicine chest.

We had a nice little congregation, and it was pleasant to say a few words to them.

This part of Lakona is worked now chiefly by Motlav teachers. At Koro, there are Edward Darag, George, son of Lili, at Motlav, and another lad. Mesak Sisis and John Lin are at Vureu, and Rupert Dinisem at another place inland. They say the people are very good to them, very earnest in learning, and there are other villages asking for schools. Legat itself is in charge of a Lakona boy. Joseph Velmeren, of Ureparapara, is at a village near the South point, and George Nara and his wife are with him. They looked rather miserable, as none of them are very well, but I think my short visit did something to cheer them up.

This part of the Island is very promising, and with good earnest teachers as some of these are a great deal of good should be done. I had not time to call at Gaua proper except at Masevonu, to pick up George Matagoro. Do you remember bringing some spice plants from Ceylon? I gave Wan two or three which he planted here. Only one grew, which is the Cinnamon. It is a fine tree and they have planted many others from the seedlings. I was put ashore the same evening at Mota. Fine weather, and the place looking nice and clean. I found George Sarawia weak. Robert Pantutun also, who the Doctor hardly expected I should find alive, is better, and living at Luwai as arranged. Many old friends glad to see me. They think me very stout and my hair very white. I was amused at the remarks they made, which I was not supposed to hear. They have a larger school house, built in the same shape as our N.I. hall--a good assembly room for a meeting. I spent a week here and went to the different schools, but it was wet off and on the whole time. There is a fair amount of teaching going on, but not much energy anywhere I fear.

I put off on Saturday for Vureas. Plenty of wind and more sea. I could not help shipping some water, and we were drenched; but salt [24/25] water does not feel cold in these parts. We had a very warm welcome from Benjamin Virsal and his wife. He is another who has become young again, and is more lively than he was 20 years ago.

The Church is really an excellent building and very church-like. The east end raised, and six steps with broad spaces leading up to the altar. Two steps lead to the first space, on each side of which are seats for the choir, prayer desks for the clergy, and a lectern. All is in proper order. The chanting is antiphonal. The whole effect is very good, and should, and I am sure does, tend to reverence.

The vestry is at the west end, and the congregation rise as the clergyman and reader walk up the aisle. The new churches are all built in much the same style. The outside looks rather Japanese' to my thinking. The square upright thatched vestry at the northwest corner and the native ornamentations give it this look. The ground is enclosed by a good stone wall, within which are the teachers' houses, as well as the parson's lodgings. The latter is very comfortable of its kind, with a verandah all round, but no doors or windows. There is a nice path leading up to the house lined with cocoa-nut trees, crotons, hybiscus, and other pretty plants.

The pretty Ceylon hybiscus in your old garden is all over these islands now, and flourishes wonderfully.

Next day (Sunday) was a pouring wet day. We had 20 communicants and 195 at the mid-day service.

I was detained here a week by bad weather, but managed to get away on the Saturday, as I was due at Mota for Sunday.

I called on the way on Mrs. Whitford at Qakea. She is the daughter of Ford, and married to a Captain Whitford, who does all the trading in the Banks Islands. They seem to get on well with the natives, dealing fairly and honestly with them; and the copra (dried cocoa-nut) industry is now quite to the fore. The natives make the copra and sell it for all sorts of things. Boats have been the mania of late. I think there are four or five boats at Mota now, bought with copra. When I called, he was at Port Patteson painting his schooner. He speaks well and kindly of the natives. What we want are decent, sober, and honest traders now. The people will work at copra, &c., and their needs will then be supplied.

Next day we had Holy Communion and the usual services, which were fairly well attended, but all seemed to want life and interest.


The Archdeacon then tells of an interview with Maros-tamata the deacon, whose fall was one of the great sorrows of my Episcopate. I insert the account as I feel sure that our readers will pray with me that this last repentance may be real and enduring.--ED

In the afternoon, Maros came to see me. Lealul had told me that he wished to see me, so I said that I would be at home. He is quite a wreck of his former self, looks old, face drawn, with deep furrows in forehead and cheeks. Lealul had told me that he is living very quietly, and keeps in the background, and often urges the children to go to School and the people to prayers.

[26] He said he wished to repent and reform, but that no one helped him. I reminded him how we all had sought him, and strove to help him, and how he had always deceived us, and then I reminded him of your last letter to him when you told him, that if he wished to come back from his evil ways he must come to you as you had gone in vain again and again to him. This, I said, was what we all felt that he must make the first move now, and so I was glad that he had come to me. We had a long earnest talk ending with prayer. He wished very much to come back to prayers, and so I told him he must come to the Bishop and ask him. I have told the Bishop, and I hope some good may come. He seems utterly broken down, and, I hope, sincerely penitent, but that of course remains to be seen.

Later on, when I called in on our way back, he came down amongst the crowd. I asked if he came to talk to me. He said, No, only to say "Good-bye." That I think looks well; he must be much softened to do that.

On Tuesday, the Motlav lads came across in Cullwick's boat for me. I found all well there. Henry Tagalad and all of his age beginning to get grey. Everything going on well here. The schools are capital: all the children well taught, and answer well. Their catechism and repitition they learn capitally and keep up their interest in the school.

One day at Ra, I was told that there would be no school, as John the head man was to hold a court. It appears that there was a disputed ownership of a bread-fruit tree. They all assembled and went into the matter; explanations showed where the difficulty had arisen, and the matter was settled amicably. In old days it would have been sufficient matter for a good disturbance.

I was here for Whit-Sunday, and the Celebration was at Var. They most religiously keep to the rule you laid down that one of the three great feasts should be held in each church. The church is a new one, not quite so large, perhaps, as the old one, but more substantially built. I was afraid our congregation could not get in, but by making use of the vestry they managed to do it. There were 200 communicants, and as Sogovman was over here, there were four of us to assist. It was a very good sight, and made one's heart glad to see the church crammed with communicants, when one could look back to the time when there was not a Christian on the Island.

The Nerenigman Church is the largest here, and arranged like the Vareas one. They certainly have shown great energy and zeal in building these three churches, considering the time and labour they have given to it.

. . . I was pleased with my stay at Motlav and with all I heard and saw. There seems to be real earnestness and life, and their Christian faith is a real power in their hearts. It is a good sign that they recognise the duty of teaching others. Lakona and Vanua Lava are their fields of work. They like the former place especially, and it seems to suit them. They like the people and the people like them.

After waiting some days for fine weather, I got off at last to Pek (in Vanua Lava).

[27] Sogovman, who had been ill and whom I found at Ra, came back with me. I am sorry to say the place does not suit either himself or his wife. He was better and was anxious to get back to his work but his wife was still poorly and had to remain. The place and people are as nice as ever, and Sogovman gets on well with them and looks after them well.

The day after I arrived the Southern Cross came in but stayed over Sunday, as there were some repairs to be done. It was Trinity Sunday, and Robin came ashore for the early service. We had 40 communicants who had all come in on the Saturday from various places for the preparation Service. The old Church has been improved but is dilapidated. The new one has been begun. I was very glad to meet the people again for I like them much, and the whole place is full of memories of dear old Edwin (Rev. E. Sakelrau) and Andrew, two as good Christian workers as ever lived. One is tempted to cry out "Why are the good men taken and the inferior ones left." His memory is held very dear here, and I never fail to have a talk about him. He was like a father to his people.

It has been a happy visit in many ways--seeing old faces and seeing, moreover, that the spirit of God is a living power in the hearts and lives of these people here. They show it by their earnest and consistent lives, for I believe that most of them--men and women--try to live up to the knowledge they have how a Christian should live. They need a good deal of help both teachers and people, and it is more than one (white) man can satisfactorily do. There should be two active men in this group to really supervise and help on the work. Gaua and Lakona are enough for one man.

I was sorry not to get to Ureparapara, but I could not do more. I don't find it as easy work to knock about as I did 20 years ago, though I enjoyed my boating and thought of you many times and our pleasant days together."

On his return homewards, Archdeacon Palmer heard at Opa of Captain Bongard's death, which filled them all with sorrow. They arrived at N. I. on July 3rd.


Mr. Comins continues the account of the voyage up to Florida. His account of the quarantine and port regulations in the Solomon Islands forms a curious illustration of the march of civilization.

"At Santa Cruz we heard that Nate, a great chief, was dead, and everybody had been to a great heathen funeral at Nelua only a few days before we arrived. The Santa Cruz custom of smearing their faces with black, followed even by the school people, and some of the teachers were a long time appearing to greet us, having so much black to remove, before they were presentable. I am afraid there is not much school work being done here now, and Ferrall, who has been appointed to this district, will find plenty to do. He and Dr. Williams hope to make a stay here next voyage. Coming on to the Solomons, [27/28] we were unable to call anywhere, before we reported ourselves to the seat of government, which, for the present, is Neilsons' island, Gavutu. There we found stringent quarantine regulations, especially with reference to German territory in the Solomons and New Guinea. Small pox is raging at New Britain, and the death-rate is fearful. The Southern Cross may not call at Bugotu, without putting in 3 weeks at the quarantine station before going to any of the other Solomon Islands. This meant a serious detention, so Welshman, who was well, and full of zeal for a stay in his district, was to be dropped in his boat a few miles off the land, and get ashore as well as he could. Whenever he returned, he had the three weeks quarantine before him and his boat's crew. We heard of Welchman's welfare at Gavutu, and were thankful to find him less pulled down than we expected. They have been ever so industrious here. They have set up substantial marks on the reefs, marking the Channel up to our anchorage. There is a nice lot of tomagoes and yams planted, also a reserve qeta garden. The chapel has been enlarged and a new vestry added; a new boys' house has been finished and opened for use, and about 40 boys can be accommodated in it, leaving a room at the end for a teacher or person in charge. New married quarters are nearly finished and will soon be occupied. We have Joe Wate here now with his family. He is reading with me for deacon's order. I find him very attentive and decidedly thoughtful in his answers. I am sure he is a power in his own island, and I believe that he will be a great source of help to the other teachers in Malanta, who are now fast increasing in numbers and importance. Ivens, my successor there, is full of energy, and has made great strides towards acquiring the Saa language. He spends most of his time on that coast, and hopes to make boat voyages a good way down on either side. . . . I have here with me David Margay, a Tana man, who has been many years in Queensland and in Sydney. He was one of Dr. Corlette's boys at Ashfield (Sydney), and has been a couple of years at Norfolk Island. He is most anxious to teach, so he has been put here. He is very painstaking, and plays the harmonium and reads music, and speaks very fair English (not Pidgeon). Next voyage I expect his friend, John Mou, a Fate man, also to join us. He also was at Ashfield. Lindsay Buffett, junior, one of the 4 Norfolk Island lads who helped me to build the house here, has come down again to make himself useful. He will be our carpenter and mechanic. We are a fairly strong party now, and under God's blessing, things ought to advance. We are quite looking forward to having 60 boys in residence here next summer. Then, if all be well, R. P. Wilson will be here with Welchman, and Browning is to be to and fro in Florida. We shall be thankful to get the maps for our walls."


The Editor has a letter from Dr. Rev. H Welchman, at Siota, dated May 27th, 1897. He tells of the accident which Mr. Comins also mentions.

"Two or three days before the Southern Cross turned up I cricked my back or did something or other inside, but it did not stop me getting about. Then there was a great deal to do, and when their loads were off and ours in we went off to Vaturana.

[29] I went ashore there and not feeling very brisk lay down while I talked to Hugo.

Then I could not get up again and had to be lifted on board, and instead of going to Bugotu I came back to Siota. I don't know what happened, but the least movement was agony. Now I am having a touch of ague and feeling rather worked out. But on Monday I hope to get away to Bugotu in the boat. I cannot get Nielsen to run me across, as he is afraid of the quarantine."

This is not the only mark of the spread of civilisation. "Siota, Florida, Solomon Islands, South Pacific," is now a recognised address, and we get all our letters thus by steamer, Waterhouse or Hawkins. We have not had a bad string of mails at all. This year till now--3 by steamer, 1 by Chilboor, 1 by Lark, 1 by Rapid, 1 by Albatross, and then Southern Cross. 8 in five months. That beats Norfolk Island. [I was nine months getting a letter when there in 1880.--Ed.]

Now let me take the situation at Guadalcanar. It is not so bad as it sounded, or as I feared.

Hugo had gathered round himself and George a nice little band of people from the bush, and though teaching was at a discount, there were signs of advancing work. I had strongly enjoined on him the virtue of "keeping quiet," and they followed it out well; they were getting the people's hearts who were beginning to "want to know." Then came the raid. A party of New Georgia people, reinforced by the Russell Island folk, whose chief is a woman, landed close to their village, killed a man and a woman, stole a boy, and decamped. Of course the village dispersed, and Hugo and party were left on the beach. For some days they tried to rally them, but the people said they were not safe there, and would stay on the mountain, so Hugo and company followed them and lived in the bush with them till we came. I was ready to remove them all, but they had arranged their plans beautifully, and I had no need to change anything, it suited so well. Isabella and the children were to come to Siota, George was to go to Bugotu, Charley Sapi was to come home, and David Suaaro, a returned Queensland labourer, was to stay and help Hugo. Next voyage, George will return from Bugotu and replace Hugo, who will come to Siota and, I hope, begin to prepare for priest's orders.

The people do not blame Hugo or the teaching for the catastrophe. They besought Hugo not to go, and one man, a petty chief, who was three or four miles further up the mountain, ran back as soon as he saw the Southern Cross to forbid Hugo to go away.

Thank God the rushlight still burns, and may be there will be a bigger light before long. For my part I am glad the work is going on in the bush rather than on the beach. I think they will come in contact with more people, and they will have a better chance of evangelizing some of these wild inland tribes."


[30] I append the Rev. Hugo Gorovaka's simple account of the events of which Mr. Welchman gives so clear a resume. I do not think that it is possible to show truer devotion or more earnest missionary zeal than that which this simple native deacon is displaying in the Island of Guadalcanar. He is almost alone in the midst of men who are practically strangers, though they are of his own kin; he alone stands firm in the midst of a head-hunting raid, and when that raid drives his people into the bush, he sends his wife to a place of safety and then follows his flock. Laus Deo, Who is no respecter of persons--[Ed.]

MAY 16TH, 1897.

"Father, I write this letter to you. In the past year ('96), Welchman and the Bishop placed me and George Basile at Vaturana. Our wives stayed on at Bugotu. After six months, my wife and children joined me, but George's wife remained at home. For those first six months the heathen in this place annoyed us; but after six months they kept quiet and did not do much to us, but they still refused our teaching, and did not let their children come well to school, two or three at most, as we were able to induce them. But we had as yet no place which we could well stop in or work well in. In this part of the country there are not many people, and we then stayed rather unhappily among the heathen in this place. On January 18th, the people from Pavuvu and Marovo paddled here and killed three people close to the village we lived in. They carried off their heads and their bodies and stowed them in their canoes, and went back.

And now the whole of this is in great terror of the enemy, and also of spirits (witchcraft, etc.), and they are scattered in all directions in the woods. For 12 months we have lived very unhappily at Vaturana, near the place where you and Mr. Penny put down Mr. Ruddock and myself a long time ago. But George B. and I have determined to try for one year, or two, or three; and then if they still utterly refuse, to go away from them to some other place. The Bishop and Welchman will come and decide about this.

But alas for my wife and me. My child Alice died at Norfolk Island at the house of her grandfather, J. Palmer, and we two are very sad. In your love, my father, think of us two, your true children who are living in the midst of wild beasts on this Island so much larger than all our other islands."



Bishop Selwyn returns his most grateful thanks to the subscribers to the fund for Mrs. Bongard and her children. It now amounts to about £200. A full list will be published when the account is closed, but the Bishop ventures to hope that additions may still be made to it. A full account of Captain Bongard's most faithful services was given in the last issue of Melanesia.




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.

Project Canterbury