Sesquicentenary of the Melanesian MissionPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The plaque commemorates sesquicentenary of the founding of the Melanesian Mission in 1849. 

The Melanesian Mission was founded in 1849 by Bishop Selwyn, of New Zealand.  The concept applied by the Melanesian Mission was to persuade adolescent boys (and a few girls) to leave their islands to be trained at mission schools, where teaching combined evangelism, education and industrial skills, with the aim of returning young men to their villages to establish their own schools. Bishop Selwyn wanted to create 'a black net' (the Islander teachers) supported by 'white corks' (white mission workers), that spread throughout the Pacific Islands. The students after two years away were returned to their homes for six months, and on their return to school were allowed to bring the girl to whom they were betrothed, and to undergo baptism. If all went well, students remained for about eight years.

The first year of the Melanesian Mission was 1849 when five Loyalty Islands youths were brought to St. John's College, Auckland. The school moved in 1859 to St. Andrew's College at Kohimarama in Auckland, and then in 1867 to St. Barnabas' College on Norfolk Island, where it remained until 1920 when it transferred to Siota in the Nggela Islands.




Address:Douglas Drive, St Barnabas Chapel, Norfolk Island, 2899
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -29.033808
Long: 167.928279
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:1849
Approx. Event End Date:1999


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 10th October, 1999
Front Inscription

in celebration of the Sesquicentenary of the founding 
tThe Melanesian Mission
which had its Headquarters in Norfolk Island 
  between 1867 and 1920

This plaque was dedicated 
Right Reverend Charles W. Ling Bishop of Banks and Torres 
in the Province of Melanesia 
Sunday 10th October 1999

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au