Ube Society for tbc propagation of tbe Sospcl in jForeign parts,
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According to the geography books Australia is the largest island in the world. If we describe Australia as a ‘‘continent” then the largest “ island ” will be New Guinea, or Papua. Until about eight years ago the country was called New Guinea, but since it was taken over from the Imperial Government by the Australian Commonwealth in 1906 it has been known as Papua.
Papua lies to the north-east of Australia, and at one point is but ninety miles removed from the shores of Queensland. The Anglican Mission is at work only in that part of New Guinea which is under British rule. This rule was tardily assumed at the end of 1884, when Commodore Erskine formally proclaimed the British occupation. The London Missionary Society had already been for many years (since 1871) engaged in missionary work, and the Roman Catholics were there several years before the Church of England. All .honour to them as the pioneers of missionary effort in New Guinea!
The great island is shared between the Powers of Holland, Germany, and Great Britain. British New Guinea is in the south-east, and includes about 87,000 square miles. German New Guinea is about the same size, while Dutch New Guinea is roughly twice as large.
Various estimates have been attempted as to the numbers of the native population, but there are no present means of knowing how many people there really are. On the coast it is easy enough for missionaries and Government officials to take a rough census now and then ; but inland, away up in the mountains, there are great valleys, sometimes thickly populated, of which very little is yet known, and as the white men—magistrates, missionaries, and traders—go about their business, patrolling, pioneering, and recruiting, they sometimes come to districts full of villages with considerable populations, of which nothing was previously known and of which previously no white man had ever even heard.
Some have guessed that there may be as many as 500,000 Papuans in British territory, and others have thought that there are no more than 100,000. Perhaps the general opinion would put the figure at about 250,000, of whom one-third, speaking very roughly, are now effectively within the white man’s influence. 1
The present inhabitants of Papua are a mixed people. In British territory they are for the most part of Melanesian origin, shown by their dialects and by many of their customs; but there are also tribes which seem to be almost entirely Papuan. Whence the original inhabitants of the country (the pure “ Papuans”) came is a question to which no certain answer can yet be given.
The natives vary very much in their languages and customs, though their general manner of life is much the same everywhere. They are “ born ” agriculturists, and those who live near the sea are clever fishermen and makers of nets and canoes. The men everywhere, until the white folk came, spent most of their time in fighting and in preparation for fights—shaping wooden spears, stone axes, clubs, and tomahawks—while the women worked in the gardens, bringing home the food and cooking it, and making pots and beating cloth (“ tapa” cloth) out of the bark of the wild mulberry.
It is well known that cannibalism was once common in New Guinea. Within the last year (1914) at least two white men have been killed and eaten by natives in British territory, and there is little doubt that up in the mountains fights are still followed by dreadful feasts upon human flesh. Under the influence of the Government and of the missionaries, and of the white men generally, cannibalism has ceased in the settled districts, and the natives are now unwilling even to talk about a custom of which they have come to be ashamed; but it would seem that in New Guinea, as probably in other countries where it once prevailed, cannibalism was due not only to a craving for flesh food (there are no cattle or large animals, except the pig and the wallaby, in Papua), but also to some obscure idea that by eating part of a man you might gain for yourself some of his bravery and physical strength, and also that to eat your enemy after you had slain him was a fitting finish to the battle in which you had risked your life, but in which you had been victorious. It should be remembered that the Papuan in his natural state has no sense of the special sacredness of human life, and that he would kill a man as lightly as he does a dog, and also that though the Papuans did not, as a rule, torture their prisoners, yet they were and are completely callous as to the infliction of pain. In a village you may still find a man roasting a pig alive, and when you expostulate with him he will look surprised and tell you that it is “ only a pig,” and on the beach you may see a child pulling a crab or a butterfly slowly to pieces, and though you spend your time in trying to persuade the child of its “cruelty ” you may be perfectly sure that your pupil has not the slightest glimmering idea of what you are trying to explain.
There is no one single “ New Guinea language ” known and understood all over the country. The Government has tried to use the dialect of the villages round about Port Moresby (the capital) as a lingua franca, but in recent years they have found it simpler to rely merely on pidgin-English—“What for you go kill him man ? You no savvy fashion belong white fellow ? Suppose you
kill him man you go along gaol. Government he no savvy fashion belong New Guinea man. White man he savvy good. New Guinea man he no savvy little bit. More better New Guinea man he look out along white man. New Guinea man he do what white man tell him. He no kill him white man. Suppose New Guinea man he steal him something belong ’nother fellow, you no kill him, you come talk along Government. Government ha savvy. He savvy good.”
The Anglican Mission has taken the dialect of the villages near its head station, and Wedauan” is used in many of the schools and churches; but in practice the missionaries generally need to learn two or three, and sometimes four or five, local dialects in addition. English will some day be used everywhere, and from the first it has been regularly taught in the Mission schools.
^ As to their religion it is not easy for a civilized, untravelled Religion. English reader to imagine the mental condition of savages who have, until quite lately, been altogether uninfluenced by Christianity, or even by any one of the great religions, such as Mohammedanism or Buddhism. For practical purposes—as far as it has any influence on the daily thought and actions of the people—the , religion” of the Papuans seems to consist merely of an almost invincibly strong belief in the power of sorcerers and an overpowering dread of the effects of sorcery. A recent popular writer on New Guinea says somewhere that the familiar talk of the natives consists, to the exclusion of nearly every other subject, of long discussions about their pigs and about sorcery. The writer, after seven years among the natives, is inclined to agree with Miss Grimshaw.
^Scientific men describe the “religion” of the Papuan as a form of "animism,” which means that they believe in “spirits.”
In daily life this belief shows itself most noticeably at the time of a death, and in connection with the “death feasts” that follow afterwards. The people think that the spirit of the dead man leaves his body at the moment when the body is laid in the ground.
Before burial and when the man may have been dead for some hours it is not uncommon to find the relatives shouting in the ear of the corpse, chiefly with the hope that they may be able to discover what, or more precisely, who it was that caused the death, for in Papua nobody dies a natural death or as the result of an accident. It is invariably thought that someone bewitched the sick man, or put a spell upon him so that he might fall from a tree and break his neck, or be eaten by a crocodile while he was swimming across a river.
A Papuan fears to be alone, even in the daytime, because he thinks the spirits (or devils ”) then have more power to harm him than when he is in company. He builds his house, in many parts, high up on piles above the ground, not merely to keep above the mists and the floods of the rainy season, but chiefly because he thinks he and his family will so be less troubled than if they lived close to the ground, where the “ spirits ” can so easily get into the
house. For the same reason, in many districts the houses are built without windows and with the very smallest practicable doors.
And these “ spirits ” are invariably regarded as evil; there is no conception of other and beneficent, friendly “ spirits.”
It must not be thought from all this that the New Guinea man goes about always haunted by the thought of a dreadful unseen world—as a matter of fact, he is one of the most consistently cheerful of mortals; but when sickness surprises him he falls at once into extreme depression, which in itself goes far to hinder his chance of recovery, and when he loses his way or is overtaken by darkness he soon begins to be stricken by panic fear, which sometimes produces results as mischievous to his mind and body as anything he has ever dreaded while he talked with his friends about “ spirits ” and sorcery over the fires in the village by night.
In such matters as honesty, truthfulness, purity, bravery, and so on the New Guinea man is controlled by a kind of tribal conscience rather than by any individual conscience of his own. He is honest, he does not steal his neighbour’s wife, and he does not want to shirk when there is fighting to be done, simply because the tribe will not permit the individual to behave in a way of his own that is bad for the tribe as a whole. The would-be thief or adulterer remembers that heavy punishment, possibly even death itself, will follow upon discovery, and he has found by long experience that nearly everything he ever does, or says, or even thinks becomes public property sooner or later, and so he simply has no choice but to follow the custom of his tribe and to behave himself in the way that the tribe as a whole has discovered to be best for itself in the long run.
These things are true of the native only in his natural condition,, before he has been influenced by the coming of civilized men to the country. When the white man’s Government interferes, forbidding the rough and ready tribal treatment of the thief and the adulterer, replacing it by a long process of trial and brief periods of imprisonment, thieving and other social offences naturally tend to become more common—as common, let us say, as such things unhappily are in civilized lands. It is not the fault of the Government, any more or any less than it is the fault of the missionary and the recruiter ; but it is one of the inevitable results of the gradual breaking down of native ways and tribal customs, and part of the Christian missionary’s task is to try and secure the acceptance by the natives of sufficiently powerful motives of a new and higher sort to replace the old and lower native moralities (instinctive and selfprotective) which the civilized man, not deliberately, but merely by his presence among the natives, has destroyed.
To supply the lack of this tribal conscience, which gradually but at last almost totally disappears, the Christian teacher labours to awaken and tend an individual conscience, to teach the native that he has a personal responsibility, apart from the mere collection of tribal customs and responsibilities that had hitherto, under the old simple conditions, served remarkably well.
It is to these people, and for such work as this, that the missionaries have gone to New Guinea.
A.B.M. and S.P.G.
Locality of Mission.
As soon as the Australian Board of Missions was formed in 1850 New Guinea was recognized as within the scope of Australian missionary effort, but it was not until the British Protectorate had been proclaimed that definite action was taken. Then the Bishops of Sydney, Brisbane, and North Queensland asked for help from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The Society at once offered £300 (which was not utilized), and in 1887 set aside ¿"1,000 and opened a special fund to assist the Australian Church in establishing the new Mission.
By that time the Australian Church had, through its General Synod, formally acknowledged its responsibility, and at the Session of October, 1886, the Bishop of North Queensland (Dr. Stanton) moved, “That the recent annexation of a portion of New Guinea imposes direct obligation upon the Church to provide for the spiritual welfare of both the natives and the settlers.”
From this time the claims of the New Guinea Mission were kept steadily before the Australian Church. Money was given generously, and early in 1889 it was announced that the Rev. Albert A. Maclaren had offered, and had been accepted by the Primate, as the first Anglican missionary to New Guinea. Mr. Maclaren was a man whose natural gifts and previous experience made him peculiarly suitable for the work. He had laboured for some years in the tropical Diocese of North Queensland and afterwards in the Diocese of Newcastle, New South Wales, and the news of his appointment was welcomed by all friends of the Mission.
In the same year a paper was written for the Sydney Church Congress by the Hon. John Douglas, Government Resident at Thursday Island. After reviewing the attempts and achievements of various other Christian bodies in New Guinea, Mr. Douglas pointed to other opportunities which yet lay open in other parts of the Territory. He specially indicated the coast from East Cape to Mitre Rock, describing it as “scarcely known, yet now fairly accessible from China Straits (i.e., Samarai), where there is a trading station and a Government establishment.”
It was in the locality thus described that a beginning was made in 1890. Mr. Maclaren in May of that year visited Port Moresby, the seat of Government and head-quarters of the London Missionary Society ; and after consultation with the L.M.S. representatives and with a representative of the Methodist Mission, it was agreed that each should undertake a separate sphere of work, and that the Anglican district was to lie along the north-east coast from Cape Ducie to the German boundary, while the Methodists were to go to the islands near Samarai.
Soon afterwards Mr. Maclaren was enabled, by the kindness of the Governor, Sir William MacGregor, to visit the new Mission district. In July he travelled in the Governor’s steamer up the north-east coast, and on July 24th landed in Chad’s Bay. In
memory of this landing S. James’ Day (July 25th) is kept as the Festival of the Mission throughout Australia. Returning to Australia, Mr. Maclaren obtained as fellow workers the Rev. Copland King, M.A., Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson, and Mr. C. E. Kennedy. These were the first company of our missionaries to New Guinea. Mr. Maclaren and Mr. King went first in a schooner with material for house building, and landed in Bartle Bay on August 10th, 1891. This date is kept in New Guinea as the anniversary of the real beginning of the Mission. A hill named Dogura, which had been the scene of many “ battles long ago,” was chosen as the site for the head Mission station. In October the Tomlinsons and Mr. Kennedy arrived, but by that time Maclaren and King had begun to suffer from the inevitable privations and exposure. The strain proved too great for the brave leader of the little party, and he suffered continually from attacks of malarial fever.
Good beginning was nevertheless made with the proper work for which the missionaries had come, and the natives soon began to gather at the station for their first impressions of Christian teachers and Christian teaching. With intention we have first mentioned the ‘ teachers ” themselves, because in the early stages of any such work as this it is the character and example of the visible human agents that seem to count for most. Diligent efforts were made for the evangelization of the neighbouring villages of Wedau and Wamira, and in November Mr. Maclaren made a first trip further up the coast with Mr. Kennedy and a few natives in a whale-boat. He went to Boianai, about fifteen miles from Dogura, where a large tribe lived. They had been reported as fierce and warlike, but Maclaren went fearlessly among them, and he and his party were kindly received. A further journey was made to Cape Vogel and Mukawa, where a site for a Mission Station had been chosen when Maclaren went up the coast with the Governor in the previous year.
Death of Maclarcn.
Soon after his return to Dogura Mr. Maclaren was prostrated by a very severe attack of malaria, and he was obliged to go to Samarai for treatment. Thence the Governor sent him to Cook-town, in the Government steam yacht Merrie England; but on S. John’s Day, December 27th, 1891, the brave and faithful pioneer was called to rest. He died at sea: his body was taken to Cooktowm and laid to rest there on Holy Innocents’ Day.
At the time of Maclaren’s death Mr. King was in Sydney, recovering from serious illness. Deprived of both its priests the prospects of the Mission seemed gloomy indeed, but by April Mr. King wras back at Dogura, and the work of exploring the neighbourhood and getting into touch with the natives w'ent steadily forward, and when Canon Whitington, General Secretary of the Australian Board of Missions, paid a visit to Dogura, he found that the main part of the Mission House was finished. On the first anniversary of the landing in Bartle Bay the Chapel of S. Peter and S. Paul was dedicated. This was in August, 1892, and for more than a year the two men and the one woman laboured steadily. No additional help came from Australia; but in May, 1893,
a small fourteen ton schooner, the Albert Maclaren, arrived in Samarai. She had been built by the Australian Board of Missions, had a white captain, and brought a new layman and two South Sea Island teachers for the staff.
A brighter day seemed to have dawned at last and a^ further advance was soon made. Stations were established at Taupota and Awaiama, churches were built in the villages of Wedau and Wamira, and a South Sea Island teacher (Willie Miwa) was sent northward to Menapi, across Goodenough Bay (July, 1893). This man had but a short time of active service, for he died suddenly after eating some poisonous fish. In September Mr. King went with the Governor all up the coast to Mitre Rock, and in Collingwood Bay some large populations were discovered in the villages of Uiaku and Wanigera.
In the following year it was possible to form classes at Dogura for some of the younger natives with a view to baptism. It was decided that there should be at least a two years’ course of instruction for them. Mr. King had long begun the work of formulating a grammar and dictionary of the Wedauan language, and now the missionaries were beginning to be able to teach and preach in the
native dialect. .
The first baptisms took place on Easter Day in 1896. two young men, Samuel and Philip, were the first Christians. In the same year Mr. King finished his first translations. The Baptismal Service and some portions of Holy Scripture, including S. Luke’s Gospel, were rendered into the Wedauan dialect. One great missionary difficulty in New Guinea, as has been explained already, is the large number of dialects, and a priest who travels up and down fifty miles of coast-line must learn half a dozen different languages if he is to talk to all his congregations in their own mother tongues ! Wedauan has been used as the main literary language of the Mission, and it is also the dialect of several of the southern stations. Mukawan is used on Cape Vogel. In Collingwood Bay many local dialects prevail, of which Ubir is the chief. Binandere is the language used to the north of Cape Nelson.
In this same year a memorable resolution was passed by General Synod—“That it is desirable to establish forthwith a bishopric in New Guinea, and that the Australian Board of Missions be requested to take immediate action towards this object. 1 his resolution, moved by the Bishop of Melbourne (Dr. Goe), was carried enthusiastically, and a large proportion of the Bishop’s stipend was promised there and then. Nor was it long before the energy of some of the bishops—notably the Bishop of Goulburn (Dr. Chalmers) and the Bishop of Adelaide (Dr. Harmer)—and other friends of the Mission secured the guarantee of a small but sufficient episcopal stipend for five years.
In the following year (1897) the Rev. Canon Montagu John Stone-Wigg, of S. John’s Cathedral, Brisbane, was appointed first Bishop of New Guinea, and he was consecrated in Sydney on the Feast of the Conversion of S. Paul, January 25th, 1898.
With this event the first chapter in the story of the New Guinea Mission closes. The work had been well begun and the Mission firmly planted. From the very beginning one may note a quiet thoroughness of method and careful provision for future expansion. The efficiency of the various stations gradually increased. Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson, who with Mr. King had been the first workers, went on a visit to England, and returned to labour with renewed vigour. Copland King had gone steadily on in his arduous and almost unceasing toils, and though sickness was frequent and hardships and privations many, all these things were cheerfully endured. _
Bishop Stone-Wigg spent some months in Australia, arranging the business affairs of the Mission and securing helpers and trying to enlist systematic support. He visited the chief ^Australian dioceses, and greatly stimulated general interest in the Mission.
In April, 1898, he left Brisbane for New Guinea, and he was followed soon afterwards by a number of new workers. After visiting the Mamba and Gira rivers with Sir William MacGregor, the Bishop arrived at Dogura on May 26th, and was enthroned that same evening by the Rev. C. King. Ever since the death of Albert Maclaren, seven years before, Mr. King had been in charge, with but little help from other priests, and that only for occasional and very brief periods.
In the first report issued by the Bishop (1899) the Mission staff is set down as twenty-three in number ; of these only two were priests. Nevertheless, with the help of laymen, ladies, and South Sea Island teachers, seven stations were by this time established.
Bishop Stone-Wigg made it plain from the first that the conditions of work on the Mission staff were not to be easy. It was a call to self-denying service. All who join the Mission were to give themselves in return for bare maintenance (“ £2i a year for board, ^20 for clothes and incidental expenses”), and no promises could be made about furloughs or retiring allowance.
In his resume of the year’s work the Bishop reported that the number of children boarding at Dogura had increased from twenty to fifty-six, and that new and important stations had been established on Cape Vogel and at the head of Collingwood Bay.
The first confirmation took place on July 27th, 1898, when a Wamira girl named Rhoda was confirmed. Rhoda afterwards became married to a South Sea Island teacher, and she is still “ a mother in Israel ” in the Taupota district. At the end of the year a hurricane did much damage in the neighbourhood of Dogura, and destroyed many Mission buildings elsewhere. Thus the Bishop’s first year was full of incident, and he had abundant experience of the difficulties of missionary work in a new country. To this must be added a long record of sickness from malarial fever and other diseases, mainly caused by the unavoidable privations, such as poor and scanty food and by the hardships and exposures of travel which the Bishop and his fellow workers had to endure.
An incident of this period is just one example of the various •opportunities of usefulness which come to the Mission so constantly. At Taupota twin baby boys were rescued from a horrible fate. Their mother died when they were only a few hours old. They were on the point of being buried alive in the same grave with their dead mother, according to a very common native custom, 'when a boy connected with the Mission passed by. He summoned tbe white people who rescued the children and adopted them. These little ones, known as Tommy and Teddie, have grown into sturdy youths, and they are now promising pupils at Dogura, high up in the large Secondary School established there.
The Australian Board of Missions in its Annual Report, dated June, 1899, thus refers to the progress of the New Guinea Mission, “ Cruelty has been checked, child murder stayed, and a bright future, with God’s blessing, lies before this Mission.”
Bishop Montgomery (at that time Bishop of Tasmania) was among those who urged its importance on the Church. At a meeting in Hobart in August, 1899, he said, “The missionary work in New Guinea is advancing. The Bishop rises at 5.30 in the morning with all his native teachers to work in the plantations. He is trying to get more land where the coconut could be cultivated ; every member of the community must help to show that becoming a Christian does not mean being idle.”
In October, 1899, the Bishop was greatly cheered by the arrival of a vigorous and efficient helper in the person of the Rev. Henry Newton.
The most important move in the following year was the extension of work to the northern limit of the Mission territory, the Mamba River. Such an extension was hastened by the strong appeal of the retiring Governor, Sir William MacGregor. Before he left New Guinea he urged that the Mission should establish a station on the Mamba, where the Government had been forced to shed blood.
An extract from the Bishop’s description of his first visit to the Mamba will illustrate the character of this pioneer work.
We reached the mouth of the river,” he wrote, “on Sunday evening, June 24th. On the following morning we started up the swift-flowing stream in a heavy whale-boat, laden with eight passengers and twenty-two strong natives, who were going up as carriers to the goldfields, to paddle us. We had nearly forty miles to go to reach the Mission station, and it was mid-day on the fourth day before we reached it. We camped out three nights.
I took up Mr. Ramsay and David Tatoo (S.S.I.) to reinforce Mr. King. The river is full of sandbanks and ‘snags.’ The monotony is also varied by seeing an occasional corpse floating down the stream and an occasional alligator basking on a sandbank. The spot is pointed out where the first diggers were treacherously murdered by the natives, where the speared magistrate’s grave was rifled, his head carried off", and his remains flung into the river; where in turn a native village was ‘ wiped out ’ by the police. I found Mr. King and his four native helpers well. I went through
the native villages, visited lamata, the Government station, and
rP chose a site for a church. On the morning I left I confirmed
y6) , Edgar and Gabriel. It was a touching service. Scenes of
1~*r treachery and bloodshed had given place to the preaching of the
Gospel of peace and brotherhood. There was the little log building
used for a school until the large one now in course of erection was.
ready, and before me two simple lads, who had come there away
from home and loved ones to ‘ work for God,’ were kneeling to
receive God’s gift of strength to fit them more fully to bear their
witness to dark and unbelieving hearts. We were but a little band
of eight, but with ‘ the seed in itself ’ and the harvest in God’s gift—
when He wills and as He wills.”
Another event in 1900 was the opening on November 12th of
a Church day school at Samarai. The ceremony was performed by
Mr. (now Sir George) Le Hunte, Administrator of New Guinea.
Earl Beauchamp, Governor of New South Wales, was present on
the occasion. Towards the cost of the building (£200) the S.P.C.K.
gave £20, and the work was superintended by Mr. Sage, at that
time a member of the New Guinea Mission staff, who afterwards
went to Melanesia and lost his life there a year or two ago in a
hurricane soon after his ordination.
The opening of the new century was marked by the first large
confirmation service for natives. On January 3rd the Bishop
confirmed twenty-eight candidates at Dogura, and they made their
first Communion on the Feast of the Epiphany. In the same year
the Rev. W. R. Mounsey, now Bishop of Labuan and Sarawak,
was appointed Organizing Secretary for Australia. He began his
work by visiting the Mission stations, and afterwards did much
service to the Mission in the course of a vigorous tour on its behalf
throughout the Australian dioceses.
In addressing a conference of workers on the occasion of the
August anniversary in this year, the Bishop dwelt on the fact that
the Mission had now been ten years at work. “ It is a period,” the
Bishop said, “ brief enough by the side of those 200 years during
which our co-founders, the S.P.C.K. and the S.P.G., have been
carrying on their work for Christ and His Church.” But, as the
Bishop went on to show, those first ten years had been crowded
with important incidents of Mission work. Of the fifty-three
persons who had laboured in the Mission during that period,
three—the Rev. Copland King and Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson—
had completed the whole ten years in active service and were still
The Bishop came to England at the beginning of 1902, and in his absence the Rev. Henry Newton acted as commissary. The Annual Report issued in March contained evidence of progress at the various Mission stations, which now numbered twelve. The total number of native baptisms had reached 215, and a goodly list of translation work was given.
The Bishop’s plans for work during his visit to England were much hindered by an illness which invalided him for three months.
He returned to Australia early in 1903. Notwithstanding the interruption caused by his illness, he was able, thanks largely to the help of the Rev. W. I. Carr Smith, now Vicar of Grantham, to report that the eight months’ campaign had resulted in the raising of nearly ,¿”1,200 towards the permanent endowment of the bishopric. The British and Foreign Bible Society had printed the four Gospels and the Acts in Wedauan. The valuable and long-prayed-for gift of a launch was at last obtained. Mr. Augustus Low, of New York, had offered his launch, valued at §5,000, to the S.P.G. for Mission work, and the Society bestowed it upon the New Guinea Mission. This launch did eight years’ hard work before it was lost in 1911 in a hurricane off Taupota, when Edric, a native boy, lost his life in an heroic endeavour to save it.
Progress was made during the years 1902-03. At Boianai there was a memorable baptism on the first Sunday after Easfer, 1902. The number baptized was sixty-nine; they were all adults, and among them were twenty married couples. The baptisms took place at a little stream flowing near the village. “ It was truly a grand sight,” wrote one who was there, “ to see the solid mass of people waiting to receive holy baptism, and it did one good to hear the earnestness with which they answered the questions in the service. Some of these people have been waiting for years, having first received instruction in the time of Willie Holi ; but on his death early in 1899 they left oil the classes and were readmitted on the arrival of Mr. Buchanan. While baptizing the natives Mr. Newton stood in the canoe, and Basil, a native Christian, stood beside him to hold the book and the list of names. The candidates were presented by Mr. Buchanan and Dick Bourké (S.S.I.). After being baptized they waded through the stream, crossing over to where we Christians stood, the men putting on white calicoes and the women white dresses.”
A hospital was opened on the Mamba, and it proved of much service, not only to the natives, but also to the mining community in that region. In the following year, however, owing to lack of financial support, this hospital had to be closed. This is one of the sad details of a year that was full of trial for the Mission. A policy of retrenchment had become inevitable, and in many directions expenses were cut down, with the result that for a time the Mission seemed to lose considerably in the extent and efficiency of its work. In June, 1903, the Rev. E. W. Taylor died after a long illness, which had nevertheless not been allowed to hinder him from working bravely almost to the very last. Another member of the staff, Mr. J. B. Stirrat, passed away a month later. There were many absences and changes during the year ; but the Annual Report was courageous and full of hope, and it was cause for much rejoicing that the Mission was once again free from debt.
The most important event of a spiritual sort was the Bishop’s primary ordination. Mr. Samuel Tomlinson was made deacon in August, 1903, and ordained priest in March, 1904, and thus a veteran worker was added to the little band of Mission priests.
Mr. Tomlinson had come to the Mission as a carpenter, and he and Mrs. Tomlinson had now been working for over twelve years in New Guinea. Most of that time they had been in and around Dogura, but since his ordination Mr. Tomlinson has been in charge of Mukawa, on Cape Vogel, with large surrounding districts in Goodenough and Collingwood Bays. To-day, nearly all the natives in the immediate neighbourhood of Mukawa are Christian, and one of the two Papuans recently admitted to the diaconate comes from Mr. Tomlinson’s district and was first taught in his schools.
Endowment of the Bishopric.
In January, 1904, three native students were brought to the head station as the first members of a training college. Writing of the early stages of his work, Mr. Newton, who was responsible for the training of these students, says, “ I had to explain to Robert that the Church in Australia would never be able to send enough clergy for the work in New Guinea, and that it would not really be a good thing if she could. We hoped that in course of time the Church in New Guinea would become selfsupporting in every way, but that he need not fear that the Church in Australia would withdraw her help in our time. I added that some of us hoped to be buried in New Guinea, and that when God calls our Bishop the Church in Australia would send another; but we hope in time to come the Church in New Guinea will have
a bishop from among her own people.....We must begin to
prepare, and as time goes on the future generation of New Guinea people will be better able to understand things, and so will be able by-and-by to stand alone.” Work was begun with two students on February 11th, 1904, and after four years’ training they were sent out on probation as native evangelists. These two men are still in the service of the Mission, though neither of them has yet been ordained. It will be evident to all that this important part of the work of the Mission has been very cautiously and patiently undertaken. The first native ordinations took place only last year (1914), when Mr. Newton had the happiness of presenting two of his students to the second Bishop of New Guinea for admission to the diaconate.
Meanwhile the Organizing Secretary had been working for the Mission in Australia and New Zealand. The New Zealand Church, both then and afterwards, gave practical evidence of sympathy with the Mission in Papua. Mr. Mounsey continued his work in England, endeavouring to complete the See Endowment Fund. This was achieved in December, 1904. For some time before the minimum endowment (£”10,000) had been secured there had been no income for the Bishop. No wonder that the previous Report contained the warning that “ in view of the strain of the New Guinea climate and the fact that the Bishop is now in the seventh year of his consecration the situation is not without anxiety.”
Another devoted worker, Nurse Newton, was called to rest in April, 1904, after only sixteen months of service in the Mission. In an obituary notice the Bishop wrote: “She is the first lady
worker of the Staff to be called to lay down her life in New Guinea, and now each division is represented in the list of our ‘ faithful unto death ’—priest, lay worker, lady, and South Sea Islander.”
Some extracts from the Rev. H. Newton’s Report of Easter at Dogura in this year will show how the blessing of God was upon the Mission. “ During Holy Week,” he wrote, “ we had outdoor services in the different villages. At two of the services the boys from the training college gave addresses, and I was very much surprised to hear how well they spoke. The substance was decidedly good, and the manner also. They were listened to with very great attention. .... They had grasped it clearly themselves, and they were able to present it clearly to others.” On Easter Day nearly all the confirmed were present to make their Communion. On that same morning nine men and six women were baptized. In two cases it was husband and wife; another man is the husband of a Christian woman and one woman the wife of a Christian man ; another woman is the last of her family to be baptized—four younger brothers and sisters were Christian already. One old woman was baptized with her son, a lad of seventeen. At Boianai and Vurawara, during Easter Week, Mr. Newton recorded that there were nearly eighty communicants. At Hioge, which he also visited, nearly all the communicants were present, and at Taupota there were twenty-four.
On S. Andrew’s Day, 1904, by permission of the Archbishop, the Bishop admitted Mr. F. W. Ramsay to the diaconate in S. James’ Church, Sydney. Mr. Ramsay had been well tried and tested, as the Mission Report says, by his three years of labour on the Mamba with Mr. King. Just before this event the Bishop had paid a visit to New Zealand. He took with him two Papuan lay evangelists, Peter and Gregory. Their appearance, as a practical illustration of the results of Mission training, excited the greatest interest both in New Zealand and in Australia. The climate of New Zealand did not agree with the Bishop, and his visit there was much interfered with by illness, but it elicited a generous gift of £"1,000 for the Mission funds. The Rev. C. King went to England in 1904-05, and once more the Bible Society and the S.P.C.K. helped in the printing of translations of the Scriptures, the Prayer Book, and other books into the Wedauan and Mukawan dialects.
The Mission stations at the end of 1904 numbered thirteen, Menapi having been reopened during the year. From the history of Menapi at that time an illustration may be given of another common hindrance to Mission work in New Guinea. The Rev. S. Tomlinson reported that in December, 1904, a man suspected of sorcery was arrested at Menapi. “A small netted bag containing some red stones was brought, some of them carefully wrapped in native cloth, and there was a small native figure—a charm. These things were shown to some natives, who were very much afraid of them. The collection was thrown into the sea, but in about a
couple of hours’ time a young man came in great distress and said that the stones ought to have been burned, as one of them had turned into a snake and had come up into the village.”
The Rev. F. W. Ramsay was now established at Samarai. This is not within the defined area of the Mission, but it is the first parish proper in the Diocese of New Guinea. In the school and in the church regular provision is made for the care of Church people, of the white residents generally, and of the native prisoners in the gaol. The S.P.G. had for five years made a grant of ¿'50 a year towards the Samarai Stipend I‘ und. A large and convenient rectory, the whole cost of which was borne by a friend of the Mission, was built at Samarai in 1905-06.
From Samarai supplies are sent out to the stations, and Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay entertain such members of the Staff as may pass through the place on their way to or from Australia. The Bishop has rooms in the rectory and occasionally for short periods lives there.
Following close upon the ordination of the Rev. F. W. Ramsay, the arrival of the Rev. John Hunt, who had already worked for twenty years in Australia, increased the number of priests on the Staff in 1905 to five. In this year, for the first time, a Diocesan Conference of the white Staff only was held at Dogura in June. Hitherto there had been conferences of the Staff in connection with the native Anniversary every August. There was also a Conference of the South Sea Islanders, native pupil teachers and evangelists, and representatives of the native Christians from each district. As one result of this Conference the Bishop issued a pastoral, directing the establishment of “ village councils ” in places where there were not fewer than fifty Christians. These councils varied considerably in usefulness in different districts, but that the principle was sound is shown by the fact that at the express desire of the present Bishop several of these “ village councils ” have been successfully revived.
Another incident of the same year is worthy of record. While Mr. Newton was visiting Samarai in June a missionary from the Methodist Mission on the neighbouring island of Dobu died while under treatment at Samarai. At the request of the widow, together with that of the Rev. C. W. Abel of the L.M.S. station near Samarai, the Rev. H.^Newton took the burial service. “ It seems,” wrote Mr. Newton, “as though such troubles draw us together. There, in the cemetery on a London Missionary station, the body of one who had given his life for our Lord in the service of the Wesleyan Mission was laid to its last rest with the service of the Church of England, read by a priest of that Church.”
There are interesting and touching accounts of the administration of holy baptism at Hioge and Boianai towards the close of 1904. In the former place twenty-six adults and eight children and at Boianai thirty-four were baptized. In each case the mode of administration was the same as that already described in the account of the great baptism at Boianai two years before. Of the
baptism at Hioge Mr. Newton writes: “When all were baptized we sang ‘Jesus shall reign.’ Then I gave a short address to the newly baptized, to the older Christians, and to the heathen on the other bank. All the surroundings were appropriate and full of teaching—the old life, the old associations left, the new begun. The procession was reformed, and with the newly baptized we went back to the church and sang Te Deum.”
Financial matters were easier for the Mission in 1905. The Annual Report of the Australian Board of Missions for 1904 • records that owing to the urgent needs of the Mission a statement had been drawn up and sent to the S.P.G. asking for help. “ The Society, which had always been most generous in its gifts, in reply sympathized with the work of the Mission, but considered it to be the duty of the Church in Australia and Tasmania to provide for its current expenditure.” The duty thus brought home to the conscience of the Church in Australia was faithfully performed, £2,000 in excess of the previous year being raised, and the current debt of the Mission once more gave way to a credit balance.
In October, 1905, the Diocese of New Guinea was formally granted representation in the General Synod of Australia, and the Bishop took his seat on October 4th. The Rev. S. Tomlinson and Edgar Meduedue, a Papuan, also attended as the first representatives of the New Guinea Church. The occasion was marked during Synod week by the presentation of a pectoral cross to the Bishop—the gift of some members of Synod and other friends of the Mission.
In the Report for the year ending March 31st, 1907, Bishop Stone-Wigg, though already stricken by the sickness which compelled his resignation not very long afterwards, was yet able to write hopefully of the future. “The year will be memorable,” said he, “ for the many offers of service with which the Church in Australia has responded to the Mission’s call for helpers.” Two priests, four laymen, two ladies, and seventeen South Sea Islanders had also volunteered and been accepted. The Report spoke of progress in every direction, and contemplated some possible extension. There were then seventeen stations, and the children in the schools of the Mission numbered 1,350.
In this same Report memorial was made of two South Sea Islanders “at rest.” These were James Nogar, who had helped in the establishment of Wanigera, and Willie Tari. In May, 1907, another coloured teacher, Willie Pettawa, and Miss Thomson, who had been for some years on the Staff, were also called away. The Bishop, accompanied by two native students, John Regita and Francis Tutuana, was in Australia from September, 1906, to the end of January, pleading the needs of the Mission. He attended the Melbourne Church Congress in November, and read a paper on the training of Mission workers. The Diocesan Conference was held at Samarai in May. Much business was done, including consideration of the questions for the Pan-Anglican Conference. At the native Anniversary in August there was a discussion on the
question of raising some material support for the Mission from the native Christians—not that the Papuans really have anything at all that civilized folk could describe as “wealth ”—but as a matter of principle. On the Sunday of this Anniversary there were a hundred native communicants.
I he formation of the Dioceses of Queensland and the Diocese of New Guinea into the ecclesiastical Province of Queensland was an event of 1906, and a practical result of this was a visit which the Metropolitan (Archbishop Donaldson, of Brisbane) paid to all the stations of the Mission in 1907.
Resignation of Bishop Stonc-Wigg.
Consecration of Bishop Sharp.
Bishop Stone-Wigg attended the Pan-Anglican Congress, but his resignation followed soon afterwards, and he was succeeded in the bishopric by the Rev. Gerald Sharp, Vicar of Whitkirk, near Leeds.
1 he opening of two new stations were the only deliberate advances during the interregnum, but the ordinary work of the Mission went on without interruption.
The Rev. P. C. Shaw, who had worked on the Staff as a layman since 1900, returned to Papua after reading for Holy Orders in Melbourne ; and Mr. Gill, a student from Burgh College, was admitted to the diaconate in Sydney at the hands of Bishop Stone-Wigg. ‘
During 1909 three South Sea Islanders died, including Harry Mark, who had given sixteen years of service to the Mission.
A “rush” of miners to a newly discovered goldfield at Lakekamu, not far from Port Moresby, took place, and the Government accepted an offer from the Mission to send nurses there. Nurse Combley and Miss Nowland, who had previously worked together in the hospital at Mamba, were sent to Lakekamu, where they nursed many natives and several white men during more than one outbreak of dysentery.
In a brief record such as this it is impossible to tell in detail of the services of individuals; but the records of the New Guinea Mission are full of the names of men and women, both white and coloured, who have done brave service. Among such unknown workers must be counted Amos, the half-caste engineer of the Mission launch, who died of blackwater fever at Dogura in 1909.
Bishop Sharp was consecrated in Brisbane on S. Mark’s Day,. April 25th, 1910, and with him to New Guinea came several new workers, including Miss \\ interbottom, who is now in charge of the work among women and girls at Wanigera. Mr. and Mrs. Money (Miss Ker) were obliged to resign for health reasons after ten years on the Staff.
Mr. Shaw, who was ordained priest at Bishop Sharp’s primary ordination, was placed in charge of Taupota; and Mr. Gill, on his admission to the diaconate, was sent to Boianai, where for yet another year the people had to depend for Sacraments on the visits of a priest from the head station.
Mr. Buchanan, who had been since 1899 at Boianai, was moved to Uga Point, some miles further towards the head of Goodenough Bay, where a new station was now opened.
In 1911 Nurse Combley died at Dogura, towards the end of an outbreak of dysentery, which proved too much for the strength of the devoted woman who had never known how to spare herself.
Bishop Sharp fell ill about this time, and he had to go to Sydney for a series of operations, from which he happily recovered.
The launch A. A. Low was lost in a hurricane in March, 1911, and it was replaced in the following year by the Whitkirk, a gift for the most part from Yorkshire friends of the Bishop.
In 1912 the Bible Society published the four Gospels and the Acts in the Mukawan language, two new stations were opened, and the first baptisms took place on the Mamba River.
In 1913 a carpenter joined the Staff, and he has been busy ever since with the building of the church at Samarai and a hospital at Dogura. A church has also been built at Port Moresby, though no priest has yet been found to work there.
Improved Conditions of Travel.
Bishop Sharp visited Australia in 1913 for the Church Congress at Brisbane, and he received much generous support, including the gift of a small launch for work on the Mamba River, which had hitherto been done laboriously and slowly by whale-boat. The launch can go from Ambasi, where Mr. King has his head-quarters, to the Mission station on the Mamba in a little more than a day, whereas it used to take a whale-boat nearly a week.
This is but one instance of the improved conditions of travel and of the great saving of time, which now make the work of the small and scattered Staff less impossible than it once seemed to be. Before long it is hoped that each priest in charge of a district will have a small engine in his whale-boat, an addition, of course, to the actual cost of travelling, but a great increase also to the efficiency of the men themselves by reason of the saving of much time that hitherto was spent in getting slowly from one place to another.
Two new stations were opened in 1913.
In 1914 the Rev. F. R. Elder joined the Staff. He isa nephew of Mr. Copland King, and has been put in charge of a new station at Emo on the sea coast, near to some large inland populations among the Hydrographers’ Range, which have not yet been touched by the Mission.
In the same year the Rev. J. E. J. Fisher, lately of the Diocese of Southwark, took charge of YVanigera, in succession to Mr. Chignell, who has now taken up the duties of Organizing Secretary in England.
The most important event of 1914 was the admission to the diaconate on September 20th of the first native students for the ministry. The Rev. Peter Rautamara and the Rev. Edwin Nuagoro have now received authority to execute the office of deacons in the Church of God, and as Bishop Sharp says in a letter which he wrote a few days afterwards, “ It must have been a strange
joy to the pioneers, such as Mr. King and Mr. Tomlinson, to receive the chalice in Holy Communion from the hands of Papuans. How impossible it must have seemed in those early days that such a thing could ever come to pass ! ”
Needs of the Mission.
There are now 9 priests and 2 (native) deacons on the Staff of the New Guinea Mission, 5 laymen, 12 ladies, and 24 South Sea Islanders. The Papuan evangelists number 14, and there are 8 native pupil teachers.
There are 18 churches and 22 day schools in the diocese, and the total number of Mission buildings is 168.
Sunday services are held regularly in 90 villages, and occasionally in about 50 other places.
Over 200 boys live as boarders on the different stations, and at Dogura and Mukawa there are also boarding schools for girls. At Ganuganuana, near the head station, there is a home and school for half-caste children.
The total number of children attending the day schools is about 1,300.
During last year 171 adults and 124 children were baptized; the number of confirmations in the same period was 151.
There are 1,354 Papuans on the communicant rolls and 551 catechumens, as well as 327 “ hearers ” who have not yet been formally admitted to the catechumenate.
Twenty-three Christian marriages were solemnized during the year, and 29 Christians died.
There are about 2,345 living baptized Papuans in the diocese.
The recent annexation of German New Guinea obviously suggests the possibility of new responsibility for the New Guinea Mission, which nevertheless has never yet been able to cover more than a part of the 250 miles of coast line committed to its care, now four and twenty years ago.
The need is rather for money than for men, as Bishop Sharp during his visit to England last year stated that he had recently received offers of service from at least ten suitable persons, whom he was unable to accept simply because he had not the means for their support.
Note.—Further information about the Mission can be obtained at the S.P.G. House, or from the Organizing Secretary of the New Guinea Mission, Church House, Westminster.
THE AUSTRALIAN BOARD OF MISSIONS
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Early in the course of the war—on September 25th, 1914—German New Guinea was taken over by the Australian Expeditionary Force.