Pacific events

1 June 2015

The Archives' current exhibition 'Writings from the Archives' features the archival collections of anthropologist Marie Reay and Charles Morris Woodford, the first British Commissioner to the Solomon Islands. Curated by Christine Bryan, the exhibition complemented a double book launch recently hosted by the Archives.

Wives and Wanderers in a New Guinea Highlands Society: Women's lives in the Waghi Valley was written by Marie Reay in the 1960s and the chapters of the manuscript lay 'undiscovered' in her archives which came to the Archives in 2011. Professor Francesca Merlan of the School of Archaeology and Anthropology in the Research School of Humanities and the Arts reconstructed and edited the manuscript for publication by ANU Press. Dr Martha MacIntyre launched the book and paid tribute to Reay's pioneering work undertaken fifty years previously.

David Lawrence's biography of Charles Morris Woodford was launched by Joe Foukona from the Solomon Islands, a PhD scholar in the College of Asia and the Pacific. Charles Morris Woodford was the first British Resident Commissioner in the Solomon Islands from 1897 until 1915, establishing the colonial state almost single handedly. As an independent naturalist he made three successful expeditions to the islands, collecting over 20,000 specimens, now held by the British Museum of Natural History. The Naturalist and his 'Beautiful Islands': Charles Morris Woodford in the Western Pacific was extensively researched by Dr Lawrence, now in the Resources Environment and Development Group at the Crawford School of Public Policy. Both Woodford's and Lawrence's papers are now in the Archives.

In May, John Spurway's Ma'afu, Prince of Tonga, Chief of Fiji: The life and times of Fiji's first Tui Lau was also launched at the Archives by Professor Stewart Firth in the presence of HRH Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tuku'aho, High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Tonga and His Excellency Yogesh Punja, High Commissioner of the Republic of Fiji. 

All three books are available for download or purchase from the ANU Press website.