Page:Picturesque New Guinea.djvu/371

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153
REPORT BY G. S. FORT.

been mainly supported by the Congregational Churches of the British Isles and Australian Colonies. The Mission districts are as follows:—(a) The Western begins at the Baxter River, embraces the Fly and the Katan Rivers, and ends at the Aird River. This is under the care of the Rev. S. McFarland and the Rev. — Scott. The head-quarters of this district are not situated on the main land but at Murray Island, where natives are instructed and sent to the coast to open Mission stations. In the institution many industrial arts are taught, and a schooner for Mission purposes has been recently launched which was built by the students under the direction of an English boat-builder. (b) The Central District begins at the Aird River and ends at Orangery Bay, having Port Moresby for its head-quarters, and the Rev. W. G. Lawes, F.R.G.S., and the Rev. J. Chalmers are at the head of this district. (c) The remaining district extends from Orangery Bay eastward, and is under the care of the Revds. Savage and W. Sharpe.[1] At Port Moresby is a college and school, whereat native teachers are trained for the purpose of carrying out Mission work.

There are thirty South Sea Island and ten New Guinea teachers, located at as many stations. These stations form a chain from East Cape to Maclatchie Point, and then again on the Fly River, and to the west of it. Although the whole of that coast line is not actually occupied, the gaps are being rapidly filled up. Between the two places mentioned above, there is only one gap, namely, Cloudy Bay, where the natives are not on friendly terms with the teachers. At each station the Mission teacher has a large house and a garden, also a whale boat; at the majority of stations there is also a church built. It would be impossible to define the area over which the influence both of Mr. Chalmers and Mr. Lawes as well as of the native teachers extends. One positive result of the labours of the Mission is that they have succeeded, not merely in opening up communication with the natives along nearly the entire littoral of the Protected Territory, and far into the interior as well, but, what is more important, they have inspired those natives with confidence. Had the result been reversed, and the natives rendered aggressively hostile or suspicious, none but armed bodies of men could have ventured into the interior, nor could single individuals have cruised from point to point along the coast in fair security. Under the present conditions, a single white man, unarmed, can go fifty miles into the interior from any point between Port Moresby and Hula in perfect safety.

The successful results attained by the Mission in this respect are due, partly, to the special qualifications for the work possessed by the Revs. W. G. Lawes

  1. Since writing this the Rev. W. Sharpe has died from fever in New Guinea.