Page:The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.djvu/200

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DICTIONARY OF AUSTRALASIAN BIOGRAPHY.


his way. For one fearful stretch of 325 miles the party found no water for seventeen days. After a struggle of six months, during which they had traversed some 2400 miles, they made the outlying settlements of Western Australia. Mr. Giles departed on his return journey several hundred miles to the north of his former route in Jan. 1876, and arrived at the telegraph line in August. In 1889 Mr. Giles, who is a gold medallist of the Royal Geographical Society, published a narrative of his explorations in two volumes entitled "Australia Twice Traversed."

Giles, William, was born at Great Staughton, in Huntingdonshire, on Dec. 27th, 1791. Having obtained an appointment under the South Australian Company at the start of its operations in 1836, he arrived at Kangaroo Island, where its headquarters were at first fixed, in the following year. He was appointed a Stipendiary Magistrate shortly after his arrival, and in 1840 succeeded Mr. McLaren as manager of the South Australian Company. In 1851 he was returned to the mixed Legislative Council in Yatala, and took part in framing the present Constitution Act. He belonged to the Congregationalist body, and was a strong opponent of State Aid to religion, which was finally abolished in 1851. He died in Adelaide in 1861.

Gill, Rev. William Wyatt, B. A., LL.D., was born in December, 1828, at Bristol. He became a student of Highbury College in 1847, and graduated B.A. at London University in 1850. The perusal in early life of the martyr Williams' missionary enterprises interested him in the conversion of the heathen world. In 1851 he was introduced to the late Rev. A. Buzacott, who was about to return to the Pacific in the mission barque John Williams, along with five other missionaries. Finding the young man sympathetic, Mr. Buzacott asked him to take the place of one of the young men, who at the last moment was obliged to stay behind on account of ill-health. Dr. Gill offered himself, was at once accepted by the directors of the London Missionary Society, and was set apart for the work at old Spafields Chapel, London. In fourteen days from the offer of service he was sailing for the Pacific. For upwards of twenty years Dr. Gill laboured on the island of Mangaia (peace) in the Hervey group. In 1872, accompanied by the Rev. A. W. Murray, he located teachers for the first time on the mainland of New Guinea, Loyalty Island teachers in the neighbourhood of the Fly river, and Rarotongan teachers in the south-east peninsula of that vast island. Some account of this appeared on his return to England, in a volume published by the Religious Tract Society, entitled "Life in the Southern Isles." About the same time was published his "Myths and Songs from the South Pacific," with an introduction by the well-known Professor Max Müller, of Oxford. In 1876 Dr. Gill again left England for the Pacific, this time for the island of Rarotonga, with a printing press, and contemplating the education of a native Gospel ministry. His hands were full, as he had largely the care of the outlying islands, where no European missionary had ever been stationed. His residence at Rarotonga enabled his friend the Rev. James Chalmers to join the New Guinea Mission, where, in conjunction with the Revs. W. G. Lawes and Dr. McFarlane, he has done such excellent work. Whilst Dr. Gill was at Rarotonga the New Zealand Government published his "Historical Sketches of Savage Life, with Illustrative Clan Songs." This was intended as a sequel to "Myths and Songs." At Rarotonga overwork began to tell very seriously upon the missionary's health. Some nine years ago therefore he bade farewell to the Hervey Islanders, and was succeeded by the Rev. J. J. K. Hutchin. A band of thirty-three native pioneer teachers and their wives, destined for New Guinea, was entrusted to Dr. Gill's care. These he had the satisfaction of landing in good health in Port Moresby in Feb. 1884. A pleasant stay of seven weeks in New Guinea enabled him to see the marvellous progress made during the eleven years which had elapsed since his first visit to that vast country. Soon after his return to Sydney was published "Life and Adventures in New Guinea," by Messrs. Chalmers and Gill. In 1885 appeared the last volume from the pen of the veteran missionary, entitled "Jottings from the Pacific." On leaving active mission service, the revision of the Rarotongan Scriptures was entrusted to

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