Religion and Proto-Nationalism:
Apelis Mazakmat and 'traces of mild sectarian strife' in New Ireland
When, in January 1950, a young acting district officer reported
"traces of mild sectarian strife" in the Nalik and Noatsi tribal areas
of New Ireland, he was partly correct: the trouble was secular, as much as
sectarian, in nature.[1-3] Forces of social and political change were being felt on the island, and the
status-quo was endangered. European missionaries who had for a generation
exerted their authority at village level in matters of education, leadership,
transport, communications, religion and morals, were being challenged by
semi-literate, and vaguely discontent New Irelanders, who, having seen a wider
world during the years of World War II, knew what they opposed, even if they
could not always articulate in English their world-view and aspirations.
Colonial administrators, for their part, held differing views on how best to
guide and control the processes of social and political development. This paper examines the quest of missionaries, administrators, and New
Irelanders, for power and influence in the affairs of Madina village, New
Ireland, during a period of rapid social change that saw the decline of
hegemonic colonial interests, and the emergence of the desire for self-rule by
an indigenous, proto-nationalist class.
Religious strife was not new to New Ireland. Separate Christian
communities had developed in the first decade of the twentieth century. The Methodists established their first stations on New Britain and New Ireland in
1875, and Catholic stations were established soon after, in 1881 and 1901. Rivalry between the missions was so intense that the German
administration (1899-1914) had attempted to "zone" mission activity on
New Britain, and on New Ireland it prevented Catholic settlement at Kavieng, the
only port for the island, until 1912. In 1949 New Ireland's population of 33,274 was almost equally distributed in
Catholic and Methodist membership, except for the St Matthias population of
several thousand Seventh Day Adventists. In the 1950s, five of the eleven villages in the Nalik census division had only
Catholic adherents, and six had only Methodist. Thus, just like other areas of Melanesia, missionary societies had developed
potentially "theocratic" environments, in which belief was prescribed
by location, and correct allegiance secured access to such mission facilities as
schools, clinics, and wage labour on mission plantations.
This arrangement suited the Australian administration. According to
Hasluck, minister for External Territories, the government preferred that missionary work be carried
with the backing of recognized churches or well-established missionary
societies, which have the resources and the organization to ensure that the
mission work will be continuous and well-supported, and that it will be carried
out by qualified and experienced staff,
and that it cater for
the material welfare of the people by conducting schools, clinics,
gardens or similar activities, as well as preaching the Gospel to them...
The larger, well-established Catholic and Protestant mission societies
executed this government policy effectively. At Lemakot, the Catholic mission
had schools, medical facilities, a nursing school, primary school and vocational
and technical training (male and female), and a trade store. In addition the
mission sold fuel and sawn timber, and employed trained nurses, drivers,
storekeepers, and general labourers. At Noatsi, the Catholic station consisted of the Priest's house, a church, trade
store, copra drier, and lighting plant, which provided village street lighting. Mission plantations
employed more labour in Nalik division than did commercial plantations.
Medical facilities were provided by the Catholics at Lemakot, and by the
Methodists at Kimidan, and both missions provided welfare clinics which toured
the villages. The Catholic education system on New Ireland included nine expatriate staff and two hundred and twenty five indigenous
teachers. Students who showed promise at village schools went to Vunapope on New
Britain for further training. Similarly, the Methodists employed four expatriate
and eighty indigenous teachers, and their best students graduated to area
schools at Liga or Kimidan. Without the missions on New Ireland, the burden of providing such services in
Kara District, according to one Patrol Officer, would have been 'intolerable'.
Government education facilities on New Ireland at that time were minimal.
The District School (Utu) at Kavieng had fifty boarders, and four Area Schools
(including one at Madina) schooled approximately two-hundred day students and
boarders: government school facilities for just 250 students was indeed meagre
infrastructure for the island's population of some thirty-five thousand people.
With the administration so dependent on mission schooling, colonial
officials generally co-operated with the numerous mission societies, and
listened sympathetically to complaints by missionaries about interference in
their work. Thus, when discontent appeared in Nalik division, patrol officer Downs was commended for dealing with
"sectarian strife" by supporting the "official group of each
mission" and maintaining the "status quo". But whereas the Australian administration recognized the inevitability of
sectarian episodes, it refrained from establishing "zones", or spheres
of influence for missions to work in. It intended that missionary influence be
pervasive but not absolute: it knew that the religious rivalry led to the
expansion, through competition, of mission-sponsored educational and medical
facilities, and that rivalry also helped to erode the "theocratic"
atmosphere that had prevailed in some regions of Papua New Guinea since the
beginning of the twentieth century.
To the European missionaries in the Nalik area, Apelis Mazakmat
(1920-1986) epitomized the post-war "native trouble-maker". Neither
Ben Chenoweth, at the Methodist station at Liga, near Kavieng, nor Kevin
Fleming, one of six Irish priests who arrived in the Territory in July 1947,
recently posted to the Catholic station at Logagon, could claim control over
Mazakmat, head teacher at the government's area school at Madina: he had a
Catholic mother, Bolames, and a Methodist father, Minisaup, and had relatives in
both Logagon and Munawai villages. After education at Utu Intermediate School at
Kavieng, 1932-38, and teacher training at Malaguna 1939-40, Mazakmat taught at
Madang Government School, 1941-42. At the outbreak of World War II he joined a
group of soldiers and missionaries who escaped the Japanese by trekking for six
months from Bogia to Mt Hagen. He then joined the Police Force, and was a
clerk-in-charge of an ANGAU stores and supplies branch at Goroka, 1943-June
Following the war, Mazakmat had further teacher training under ANGAU's
education program at Sogeri, 1944-46, and again (under the new Department of
Education) in 1948. In that year he proved his ability by being one of the few
students to achieve top marks in a clerk's test at Sogeri. While in the colonial capital he also attended lectures on local government by
John Black, whose role as Director of Policy Planning and Research included
acquainting "emergent native leaders" with the administration's
welfare and development policies. Although a "nationalist"
consciousness had not yet surfaced among Melanesians - arguably, even the most
educated struggled at that time to identify with their fellow Papuans or New
Guineans, much less with the population of both Territories - there existed a
kind of "proto-nationalism", a "nativism", which included an
increasing sense of individualism, and a strong desire to retain tradition while
stripping from it laws and customs that hindered social and economic
advancement. Mazakmat was most probably introduced to Black by Advent Tarossi,
whose role, as Black's assistant, was to convey to such people as Mazakmat
innovative plans in such areas as local government, the establishment of
co-operatives, small businesses, cash cropping, and facilities for expanded
Mazakmat returned to teach at Kavieng, 1947-48, with knowledge of a wider
world, and an enthusiasm for development and change. With the aid of the booklet
Notes and Instructions of Native Local Administration in the British Solomon
Islands, given him by Black, Mazakmat introduced the idea of local government to
the Nalik speaking villages of Munawai, Laraslaba, Logagun and Madina. He also
reported to Black, in December 1947, such village-level improvements as
decreased levels of gambling, more knowledge of how to bank, and to use money,
and more obedience to government officials, especially paramount luluais,
tultuls, and village headmen. Black believed that Mazakmat, if given the right advice, and the right
environment, had the same leadership potential as Tarosi, and continued contact
with him. Other New Irelanders felt similarly, and voted Mazakmat first
president of the Tikana Local Government Council. But not before Mazakmat's disputes with first the Catholic,
then Methodist, missionaries, resulted in a period of virtual "exile"
in Rabaul, Lae, and on Manus, an island to the north west.
In about 1949, the priest at Logagon, Hoffmann, refused to allow Mazakmat
to marry a Catholic woman, unless he became Catholic. This was, to the New
Irelander, "truely against" custom, and evidence that the Catholic
mission had "overpowered the native people" to the extent that
"...the true ways of native marriages [had been] muddled up". Angered by this episode, Mazakmat evidently commenced a campaign against the
Catholic mission. He claimed that the mission had not paid for the land it
occupied, but was proven wrong. He then asserted that if all the Europeans had
to leave, the mission land would be his. He stated that the early departure of
all Europeans was desirable, and was possible, if demanded, and supported this
argument with his knowledge of the recent attainment of independence by the
Indonesians from the Dutch.
Several years previously, Mazakmat had written to Black of his concern at
the reception he received when visiting Logagon:
The Catholic people have no feeling whenever they meet or talk
with me...The black and white missionaries of the Roman Catholic mission are
starting to impress the young natives to hate other kinds of religions (the
Protestants). How do [sic] we going
to abridge the native belief of different religions to one common point when
this sort of idea is happening?
island certainly had a history of antagonistic relations between Methodist and
Catholic adherents, and a series of incidents that began late in 1949 rekindled
simmering animosities. A meeting of the Madina School Council was disrupted by
"disorder arising out of sectarian strife", and a pulpit in the
Methodist church at Munawai was demolished. Publication by the Catholic mission of its catechism in Pidgin, in which other
religions were referred to as "Lotu Gamon", had not helped. Downs identified "discontent within the Methodist congregation ...at one or
two villages ...said to be based on lack of service by the mission", and further nominated a group of men from Madina village who were the "most
able natives in the tribe", but who had been expelled from the Methodist
Mission, and were now "both anti-Catholic and anti-Methodist".
Of these, Mazakmat was identified as the prime malcontent. Chenoweth and
Fleming asserted that the recent troubles had arisen only after Pelis Mazakmat's
arrival in the area, and were directly attributable to him. He was, reported
Downs, a man of overwhelming personal ambition who exploited his position for
his own advancement:
...his bad influences in the Nalik area are deep and profound. He has a
personal hatred for Father Fleming associated with a mixed marriage affair
dating back over twelve months...Much of his attitude stems from his conviction
that he has a destiny as a nationalist leader and he seems to draw a great deal
of this misplaced zeal from an association with Mr John Black when that person
was in a position of some authority in Port Moresby... Local imprisonment for
spreading false reports giving rise to trouble would not have any strong result.
He only fears corporal punishment along the lines of Japanese Imperialism...
Why did the patrol officer complete his report by recommending that
Mazakmat - New Ireland's "prime promoter of sectarian strife" - be
removed to another island? Did the events at Madina require imprisonment, or
deportation? Finally, were Mazakmat's "bad influences" in his home
district in fact "deep and profound"? Analysis of colonial records and
missionary correspondence suggests that, far from sponsoring pre-meditated
attacks on entrenched missionary interests, Mazakmat was by chance positioned at
the centre of far-reaching social changes that were beyond the control of any
one individual. His "misdemeanor" was to identify them, and voice his
concerns. But there were several actors in the piece, principally Ben
Chenoweth, who supplied an inexperienced and zealous patrol officer with
"evidence" of Mazakmat's "sectarian activities" to divert
the administration's attention from its newly established area school at Madina;
and Ian Downs, who used the Methodist missionary's intrigues against
Mazakmat to mask his own feud with officials of the Education Department - an
island of discontent was simmering before Mazakmat returned from his war-time
travels on the mainland.
For the Methodist mission, recovery from the war remained incomplete and
a general "post-war restlessness" that appeared in its Nalik villages
concerned both the mission and the administration. Not only was the
"weakness of the grip" of the Methodist mission on its adherents
considered "a dangerous factor in the Nalik villages": the high level of alcohol consumption was a particular problem; and the size of the district to be covered by the Methodist missionary at
Kavieng another. Ben Chenoweth, whose
service with the mission dated to 1923, and who was described by Bill Groves,
Director of Education, (perhaps unkindly), as "distinctly limited, his
tendency being to pay rather too much attention to other people and their fields
of work rather than to concentrate upon his own", was credited with helping re-establish war-ravaged church properties, and
communities; and for initiating meetings with village headmen to answer their
questions about post-war developments. Yet he epitomised the pre-war missionary
style, and, capable of an occasionally patronizing temperament, was unable to
adapt to the social changes and new attitudes of the post-war period.
Perhaps the most important factor in Chenoweth's apprehension about the
Madina school was the rumoured placement there of Gil Platten. Referred to by
Downs as "a former Methodist missionary in New Ireland" Platten was in fact the former chairman of the Methodist district, whose service with
the mission dated back to 1927. His resignation from the mission in September 1949, just one month after the
opening of the Madina school, and his immediate employment with the department
of education, (but not necessarily to Madina school) amounted to no less than a
startling defection. The mission was concerned at the dangerous precedent set by
Platten. Gribble, secretary of the Methodist Overseas Mission, commented to
Chenoweth that it was "not a helpful thing with the present mood of the
people as it is to know that the leader of our church has turned to the
government, chiefly because of the higher emolument". As it was, Chenoweth felt that government was too involved in education, and
believed that its recent "outrageous philanthropy" had adversely
affected the district. Lewis, Platten's successor as district chairman, shared this view, and resented
government grants to the mission, and the ties to the colonial state which he
believed came with them. "If the village schools are not in mission
hands", Lewis warned Gribble, "then in less than a generation there
would be little or no Christianity among the young people".
Here was the heart of the matter: the Methodist mission relied on its
network of village schools to confirm the young in their faith. With the
introduction of the government schools, villagers in various parts of New
Ireland were torn between loyalty to their mission, whose education syllabus was
designed before the war, - essentially to meet the needs of the church; and the attractions of a more
secular education in English rather than in the vernacular. Thus, it was
important for the mission to continue its school system, lest the familiarity of
young Methodists with the mission's lingua franca, Kuanuna, be jeopardized. It remained the case, in the 1950s, that few of the church's leaders, apart from
Saimon Gaius and Eliuda Laen, who were sent to Australia for further training,
were fluent in English. Because Methodist village schools provided education in locations where
government schools had not been established, and played a vital role in the
recruitment of the young, the establishment of English-language government
schools came as a blow to the mission's educational interests. Consequently,
failure by the Education Department to consult with the mission as to the timing
and location of new government schools created considerable tension, and led to
instances of competition for student bodies.
In this context, the events surrounding the opening of the government
area school at Madina in August 1949 signified to Ben Chenoweth his fading
authority in the district, and prompted him to action. When Downs shared with
Chenoweth a draft report titled "Sectarian Strife, Nalik Area", dated
19 December 1949, the missionary reconnoitred the villages Munawai, Madina and
Lauapul on 21 and 22 December and reported back to Downs in a letter dated 29
December. It was on the basis of this letter that Downs wrote his despatch of 8
January 1950, requesting Mazakmat's deportation.
Although Chenoweth had supplied Downs with the "evidence" of
Mazakmat's sectarian activities, and of the rumours surrounding the expected
return by Gil Platten, the evidence of the district officer and the missionary
differed on several vital points. Whereas
Downs suggested the Catholic and Methodist missionaries were "helping each
other with common sense", and that both "blame the native school
teacher Mazakmat for the trouble", Chenoweth wrote a day later to his
the recently appointed Roman
Catholic priest to Lugagon some three miles from Madina is a young man very
ignorant of Protestantism and especially so of Methodism. He has said a few
upsetting things and has been considerably upset himself. The R.C. "katekisms"
in Pidgin English really began the disturbance recently reported to the D.O.
On other vital points Downs was also shown to be misinformed. The Department of Education had no plans to employ Gil Platten, a former
Methodist missionary, at the newly established Madina area school. Religious education in schools, far from being a Methodist intrusion into
the government school system, (as asserted by Downs) was to follow a syllabus of
"Ethics and Morals" called for by the missions themselves in their
Port Moresby conferences with the administration.
For several reasons, the recommendation that Mazakmat be exiled to the
Western District of Papua was, after careful consideration by the Directors of
the Departments of District Services and Native Affairs, Planning and
Development, and of the Government Secretary, not implemented. Evidently, the
heat of clashing personalities on New Ireland did not reach the Directors'
offices in the Territory's capital, and factors believed important at district
level were tempered by the assessment of diplomatic and legal perspectives.
Firstly, the danger that deportation might transform Mazakmat into a
"minor martyr" was recognized -especially as Hasluck, Minister for External Territories, had instructed the
administration to ensure that malcontents were given no cause to petition the
Visiting Mission of the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations, which was due
in the colony in May 1950. Significantly, Lonergan, the Government Secretary, saw no evidence that
Mazakmat had incited the sectarian trouble, and interpreted the events as
"a series of misunderstandings of the intentions of the
administration" which banishment would not have corrected, and the Secretary of Planning and Development, who agreed that there was not
enough evidence to administer exile, suggested Mazakmat "be made aware of
the limitations of his duties as a teacher and the undesirability of any actions
on his part ... against the peace and good order of the area."
Eventually, an experienced officer was despatched to New Ireland to
conduct a full investigation. The report, filed in April 1950 by then acting director of District Services and
Native Affairs Ivan Champion, similarly found no evidence supporting charges of
sectarian strife, and identified clearly a feud between the two government
departments - Education, and District Services and Native Affairs. Champion
recommended that the troubles surrounding Mazakmat be allowed to "die a
natural death": the people in Madina denied that Mazakmat was causing any
trouble, and Mazakmat was advised to confine himself to matters of education
rather than religion.
On balance, Champions' report favoured Downs' position rather than
Groves. Champion shared Downs'
"mild contempt" for the Education officer Gibson; and questioned
Groves' initial decision to allow Mazakmat into Madina "against his better
judgement". In an illiterate country, he felt the task of the Education
Department was to teach the three "R's", but noted that in this case,
it seemed more concerned with social development. The concept of area education
centres, Champion felt, might work in about fifteen years hence, "when the
native peoples would be in a better position to appreciate them".
Initially unsuccessful, Downs second opportunity to remove Mazakmat came
after renewed clashes with the Catholic priest at Logagon, Browne, who had
replaced Fleming in March 1950. The issues were land, and race relations. Browne
reported his confrontation with Solomon, the teacher from Madina, to the
He told me that I had no claim to this place and no right to be here, and
assured me that I would not be here much longer. He intends to get rid of me -
by what means I do not know. He is
of the opinion that the natives are sufficiently educated now to manage their
own affairs. Our services are no longer necessary.
Concerning the same incident Gibson, the education officer, filed with
the district office his own report:
Solomon was then asked to come and was informed of the accusations of
Father Browne against him. Solomon said that he came to the Mission on the
evening of Thursday 18th May, 1950, and said to Father Browne quite pleasantly
"Good evening Father". "What is your name?" asked Father
Browne, gruffly. Solomon replied, "Solomon, I am a teacher at the
school". "Get away, it is my property", said the Father. Solomon said that he then became angry because the Father spoke to him
sharply. "It's not",
replied Solomon. "This place belongs to the Kavieng people and not to you
and me". Father Browne said that he was annoyed with Solomon because he was whispering
with another native outside the house and that he did not approve of that kind
of thing. He desired natives to
come to him and to state their business, not to be whispering together outside
his house. A native called Bruno
said that he had heard Solomon say to the Father that this was not his land and
that after a while he must leave. Solomon said that he meant that white men
would leave this country later when the native people had received sufficient
education. His statement was a
general one applying to some time in the future."
A further charge followed. Browne complained that Solomon forcibly
removed a student from his school. In separate investigations Downs and Gibson
found that Solomon had retrieved the student from Logagon at Mazakmat's request.
When Gibson, angered by the affair, attempted to transfer Mazakmat away from
Madina, the teacher resigned his post. Neither backed down, and Mazakmat's
resignation was accepted the same day, 3 June 1950.
Twelve days after resigning his teaching post at Madina, Mazakmat applied
for work at Downs' office, Kavieng. He was accepted for employment as a
post-office clerk, so that Downs could "keep watch on him". Mazakmat later worked at Kerevat Lowlands Experimental Station, on the
Gazelle Peninsula (November 1950-November 1951); then as a labourer for B.P. at
Rabaul from then until June 1952; before returning to Munawai, his home village,
to plant cocoa, and act as clerk to the newly elected thirty-eight-member Nalik
Area Council. He taught once more for the Education Department in Lae in
1953-54, and in Manus, 1955.
The European missionaries and government officers were right, in one
sense, in considering Mazakmat to be the source of discontent in the area. He
had written of himself to Groves, "I, being one of the tongue-less parrots,
have determined to give a voice." Undoubtedly, the issues he raised, particularly land ownership and preservation
of traditional culture, were genuine concerns of New Ireland societies, and
therefore continuing concerns of the administration and missions.
Throughout Melanesia, the number of disputes concerning alienated land,
including land occupied by missions and commercial plantations, quite apart from
disputes over traditional land ownership, had rapidly multiplied in the post-war
years. In the 1960s, and 1970s, claimants to alienated land on New Ireland
pressed the government for recognition of their claims. In 1952 and 1962 the
colonial government in Papua New Guinea established legislation to record
customary ownership of land, and under the 1962 act, the entire colony was
divided into five hundred "adjudication areas", to which Demarcation
Committees were appointed.
Although mission-held lands were less extensive than those of other
European interests, they were expanding in some districts in the Territory at a
rate that alarmed the administration. In 1952 the chairman of the Methodist New
Britain District, of which New Ireland was a part, informed the Missions'
general secretary that identifying titles to mission lands, in preparation for
the requirements of the Native Land Registration Bill soon to go before the
Legislative Council, would be a full-time position. Subsequent investigation
showed that titles to at least one hundred and twenty free-hold blocks had to be
secured. In 1962, Nusalawa plantation in the Tigak Islands was returned to local
owners and, in 1968, the people of Logagon and Panafaua contested ownership of three
separate areas of the Mongop and
Touias Catholic stations. Two of
the claims were invalid, but Bishop Stemper agreed that the third area be
returned to the claimants. In the Nalik division, a movement to reclaim parts of mission and
European plantations continued into the 1970s.
Apart from land issues, difficulties with marriage regulations were
widespread on New Ireland. Complaints that Catholic priests refused to recognise
divorces were reported to Patrol Officers from New Hanover in the north, to the
Nalik District on New Ireland in the south. In November 1952 villagers from Madina and Larasaliba complained to
Patrol Officer Fitzgerald about the Catholic priest at Logagon:
The people said that they could not understand the Government attitude to
divorce. They said that if they were married by church law they had great
difficulty in obtaining a divorce, whereas if they were married by native custom
it was much easier to get a divorce.
Similarly, the suppression of cultural practices, and the contribution
this was believed to be making to the slow rate of population growth, was a
third issue of widespread concern. Since at least the 1930s, Methodist
missionaries had attributed low morale in the circuit to the "gradual, but
nonetheless obvious decline in population". Groves had long expressed his concern at the missions' attempts to suppress the malanggan,
a cycle of ceremonials which bound New Ireland societies together and
replenished the membership of clans depleted by death. He considered that neither the administration nor the missions had
provided any satisfactory constructive substitute for the custom, having studied
the subject extensively as a Research Fellow in Social Anthropology with the
Australian National Research Council during the period 1931-33.
Groves felt that the possibility of Malanggan's extinction had "a
melancholy significance", and that the people of Madina, who were attempting to preserve it, were the only
community ready for guided development who were still conscious of their
cultural status. Far from taking a neutral attitude toward this struggle to
retain Malanggan, Groves suggested that the Administration keep
a close and sympathetic watch on developments with a view to preserving
the ethos and social self-esteem of the people who have the guts to stand up for
Countering depopulation was the first topic discussed at the initial
meeting of the Nalik Area Council, established in 1952. Tomasetti reported that,
...pride of place was taken by depopulation (on which all villages had
already been addressed). One member (MAGAWONG of LAUAPUL) saw a connection
between depopulation and the cessation, under Government and Mission
disapproval, of the conventional periods of ritualised feasting and sexual
licence which, he averred, really took place and were responsible for enough
births to maintain the population at a satisfactory level...MAGAWONG went on to
ask what was the legal position and to suggest a return for one year to the old
custom described above. The writer [Tomasetti] asked the meeting to consider
what would be the reaction of the Missions to such a step. The matter then
Although missionary influence on New Ireland at that time remained
strong, some changes were occurring. The challenge facing Chenoweth in his later
years of service with the Methodist mission was the appearance of several
smaller religious movements into a society familiar only with Methodism and
Catholicism. Migrating plantation workers, Europeans, and educated New
Irelanders introduced the beliefs of Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's
Witnesses, Bahá'ís, and the Four Square Gospel, to New Ireland. Far from the
village, and the protective watch of the village pastor, the Melanesian away
from home became the principal agent of religious change.
Concern at the entry of so many religions to the territory was expressed
by the mainline missions to the administration, and at ecumenical mission
conferences, and other church and mission meetings. The missions were not, however, to be satisfied in their quest to limit the
entry of the new groups. Whereas individual government officers may have had
denominational affiliations (Groves, for example, was an Anglican), and even
though there may have been instances of partisan rulings, the colonial
administration, in its stated policy, was impartial in matters of religion.
colonial state withheld such action on three grounds. Legally, the Territory of Papua New Guinea upheld freedom of
religion, whether Christian or traditional. Furthermore, freedom of entry for missions was upheld by the terms of
No restrictions are imposed on missions or missionary authorities, other
than the right of the Administering Authority to exercise such control as may be
necessary, for the maintenance of peace, order and good government, the entry
into restricted areas, and for the educational advancement of the inhabitants.
As various small religious groups applied to enter the territory, the
administration felt unable to refuse. Once a certain number had gained entry, to
ban others could be interpreted as religious discrimination. Politically, the administration wished to remain in good standing with
the international community, while a final consideration was entirely pragmatic:
mission societies brought to the colony much needed personnel and resources.
Since the administration judged mission societies in terms of resources, rather
than theology, it tolerated religious rivalry so long as the result was greater
social development. The social cost of sectarianism, Administrator Murray stated
several times, was less than the material gains.
Downs' prediction that Mazakmat would promote either athiesm or a new
religious movement was fulfilled when the New Irelander became the first Papua
New Guinean Bahá'í. While teaching at Bumai school, South Manus, in 1955, Mazakmat met Vi Hoehnke, Matron at Nonga Base
Hospital, and one of two Bahá'ís who entered the territory in 1954. Elliot
Elijah, who worked for the administration's cooperatives section, was similarly
interested, but did not join. Mazakmat was attracted by the Bahá'í teaching of
racial equality, and joined the movement early in 1956, after learning more
about it from Rodney Hancock, a New Zealander, and businessman in Rabaul.
Mazakmat took Hancock to some New Ireland villages, and introduced him to
friends he thought would be interested in the Bahá'í teachings. Of the several
villages Hancock spoke in, the response in Madina, site of the "sectarian
strife" of several years before, was the most immediate, and several people
joined the new religion.
Although the converts were drawn from several of Nalik's seven clans,
they included, significantly, the area's supreme malanggan carvers, Michael
Homerang, (Mohokala clan) and Sinaila (Mohomaraba clan). Early in 1958 there were a further 10 conversions, and some 30-40 over the next
four years. According to Hancock, the
Methodist mission had "given up" the Medina people, as many were
"drunkards who had their own brews and stills", and many responded
simply because he, by staying in village houses and eating off the same plates
and with the same spoons as the villagers, broke with the traditional
"missionary" habit of eating and sleeping separately.
When Chenoweth learnt from Newman, (district education officer following
Gibson) early in 1957, that some administration teachers had accepted the Bahá'í
movement, he enquired as to its nature (from mission secretary Gribble). In May
1958 he visited Madina to conduct services, and to assess the impact of the Bahá'ís
on the Methodist congregation. Concluding that the movement would "not take
on" and hoping that the rumour that "the Bahá'í boys were
anti-European", could be proven, Chenoweth reported to
Gribble that three administration teachers and their wives had become Bahá'ís,
and submitted an article on his patrol to his mission's journal.
While Newman felt that the teachers involved were merely finding out what
the Bahá'í teachings were, and "what tangible benefits it could
offer", Chenoweth planned a revival to "off-set the invasion of the
other religions", and increased his patrols to Government schools. Government officers had long noted the endurance of traditional belief
within mission congregations, and when new religions entered the Territory, Chenoweth claimed, bitterly, that
they took "little or no trouble over the matter".
In fact, patrol officers watched the impact of Bahá'í closely. An excerpt on the Bahá'ís from the District of New Ireland's half
yearly report, (October 1958), was placed in a "Native Thought File", and patrol reports monitored the impact of the new religion. Later reports observed that only Methodist villages in both the Nalik and Kara
divisions had been affected by the new groups. Unlike the Christian mission practice of placing European missionaries amongst
local converts, the Madina Bahá'ís elected their own leadership, a nine-member
"Local Assembly", in 1957. Hancock visited periodically from Rabaul,
and other Australian Bahá'ís made intermittent visits.
Although Mazakmat had been the first Bahá'í, he did not lead the
converts, and maintained a low profile amongst them. For one thing, he was
resident in Munawai, and the Local Assembly was based in Madina. It is not clear
the extent to which he subsequently engaged in local politics, rather than in
religious activities. Certainly, his relations with the colonial state were
alternately productive, and punitive. In 1957 Groves supported his application
for entry to the auxiliary division of the public service, and described the
teacher as "a man of strong personality with marked qualities of
leadership" whose intellect and attainment merited his appointment. However, such qualities did not protect him later that year when, in ignorance
of a law preventing the accommodation of single European females in villages, he
gave hospitality to Thelma Perks, an Australian Bahá'í travelling on New
Ireland. Despite the innocence of the visit, Mazakmat was temporarily jailed in
Kavieng, and was advised to not organize such visits.
Mazakmat's fortunes were more severely reversed after visiting Canberra
as part of a Public Service Association delegation in 1962. When convicted in
1964 for misappropriating £41 from funds he had collected to pay for activities
at Lemeris Primary School, Mazakmat maintained that other villagers had
intrigued against him, through jealousy. Undoubtedly, a degree of culpability remained, because of his inability to keep
accurate financial records.
Although Mazakmat had the patronage of Johnson, Director of Education
following Groves, just as he had enjoyed that of Groves previously, there is no
indication that he contemplated candidature for the House of Assembly, first
elected in 1964. The non-political nature of his Bahá'í commitment may have
been a factor, and his consequent lack of mission patronage another. The
election of fellow New Irelander Nicholas Brokam of Lokon to the Legislative
Council in 1961, with the assistance of "vigorous, but perfectly
legal", support from Kelleher, the Catholic priest at Karu, had no doubt
pointed to men such as Mazakmat the worth of mission patronage.
In this analysis of sectarianism on New Ireland several ironies of the
colonial period emerge. First, one
strategy to cope with change involved suppression of emergent leaders by more
powerful, yet quite transient, Europeans. Whereas Mazakmat remained on New
Ireland until his death in 1986, many European missionaries and administrators
came and went. In March 1950 Fleming was replaced by Browne, and the Catholic
mission was moved from Logagon. Downs left New Ireland in August 1950 to move
upward in the Territory's administration. In November 1950 Gibson, the District Education Officer left the island.
Chenoweth returned to Australia in 1960.
Whereas Mazakmat had been characterized as a trouble-maker, he made his
career in administrative departments, and within the emerging local government
system. He was not involved in such movements as the TIA or TKA, and initiated projects to develop copra and cattle through the appropriate
government departments. At the time
of his retirement from teaching in 1970, he was described as "the only
intelligent man in the area with a wide knowledge of the world around him". In the 1950s, when
Mazakmat began to speak his mind, administrators and missionaries alike held a
negative view of nationalism. Downs had perceived a "premature
nationalism" in Mazakmat's personality, which amounted to 'misplaced zeal', a result of his earlier contact with
administration officer John Black. Yet all that had been unusual in Mazakmat's approach was his boldness in
expressing his concern at the "lack of proper education" among the
"poor natives" of New Ireland:
A man is born white and he is well of[f]. Although he realizes what a
native is, but he does not feel much of the differences. I bet, if one well
experienced white man were a native of birth, he would feel much of the great
differences and definitely he ought to be a nuisance just as much as any New
Like so many Papua New Guineans, Apelis Mazakmat struggled to come to
terms with entrenched attitudes of racial superiority, and (pre-Vatican II)
religious intolerance. Although a man of promise and ability, the colonial
apparatus limited his career to school teacher, and peasant. His struggle for
recognition typified the proto-Nationalist phase of colonialism in Papua New
 This paper is based on work carried out as a research
scholar at the Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National
University, 1987, and as visiting lecturer in the History Department, Papua
New Guinea, during 1988. I wish to thank Joe Molita and Gabriel Jerry of the
Archives of Papua New Guinea, the staff of the New Guinea Collection,
University of Papau New Guinea. I have relied on records of the Australian
Trust Territory administration (hereafter TPNG), and papers of the Methodist
Overseas Mission (hereafter MOM) in the New Guinea Collection (UPNG) and the
Mitchell Library (ML). I also wish to thank John Black, Rodney Hancock, Vi
Hoehnke, Jenny Homerang, and Jack Sharp their interviews and correspondence;
and Mariette and Hosan Leong for making available their interview with
Apelis Mazakmat and Michael Homerang.
 Author's affiliation: Landegg International University.
 Ian Downs, District Office, Kavieng, to the Director,
District Services and Native Affairs (DDSNA), Port Moresby, "Sectarian
Strife - Nalik Tribal Area, New Ireland, East Coast", 8 January 1950.
13913 - 51/1/9. (TPNG)
 For a brief
description of the attempt to settle "The Free Colony of New
France" on southern New Ireland and the Gazelle Peninsula, see Georges
Delbos, The Mustard Seed, (Port
Moresby 1985), 42-4.
Williams, The United Church in Papua,
New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, (Rabaul, 1972), 108-127. Williams
points out that Catholic entry to the Duke of York Islands, in 1905, also
led to bitter disputes with the Methodist Mission. ibid, 121.
III:15, 27 August 1949, 4. (ML)
Reports Kavieng 1951-52. Nalik Census Division. W.E. Tomasetti. June 1952, I
Missions, 4. (TPNG)
 Seventh Day Adventism, which had first taken hold in the
St. Matthias Islands in 1931, had spread in the 1960s to Tabar and Djoul
Islands. In these cases, St.
Matthias canoe-builders had converted their clients, and thus made inroads
into what had been, on Djoul, a Methodist "theocracy", and on
Tabar, a Methodist-Catholic community. In the case of New Hanover,
Adventists were invited by the luluai Singaru, a Catholic, apparently
seeking some advantage by admitting a rival mission.
 Paul Hasluck, "Policy re Missions to the
Territory", 11 March 1957. Confidential Memoranda J2 - 1987. (TPNG)
 Patrol Reports. Kavieng and Konos 1972-73. Patrol Report
2 of 1972-73. Kavieng Sub-District. Tigak Census Division. P White, 43. (TPNG)
 In 1970 25 labourers were employed on 5 mission
plantations, and 20 on 4 commercial plantations. Patrol Reports. Kavieng
1970/71. New Ireland - Nalik Census District. Patrol Report 3 of 1970-71.
November 1970. A. Wellensky and M.O. Towa., 13. (TPNG)
 Reports. Annual. D.C. New Ireland District. Annual
Report 1961-1962, 18. 5517 -
 Patrol Report 1 of 1971/72. New Ireland. Kara. R.G.
Saker, Missions, p 12. (TPNG)
 Graham Gibson, "Native Education by the Methodist
Mission in the New Britain
District 1875-1950 with particular reference to New Ireland and the coastal
areas of the Gazelle Peninsula of New Britain", M.Ed. University of
Melbourne, 1961, 181. Gibson
does point out that government schooling had, at least, improved from the
situation in 1940, when it consisted of one school with just twenty-five
 Downs to Director, DDSNA, 8 January 1950. Jones, Acting
Secretary, Planning and Development, wrote "Mr Downs has handled the
matter quite capably to date and, provided he had the assistance of
experienced staff, would no doubt maintain adequate control of the
situation". Jones to Govt. Sect. 25 February 1950. New Ireland
District. 13913 - 51/1/9 pt 1. (TPNG)
 A.109. Office of the Public Service Commissioner.
Mazakmat, Apelis. 10,503 -399. (TPNG)
 "Just before the end of the year 1948, a test to
classify the Native clerks in Port Moresby was made by Mr Roscoe. A special
copy of the same paper was sent to Mr Unwin at Sogeri. It was I among a couple of others who got full marks." Mazakmat
to Groves, 4 March 1951. 13913 - 51/1/9 pt1. (TPNG)
 John Black, pers. comm.
 Mazakmat to Black, 7 December 1947. poss. John Black.
 ibid. Later, Mazakmat married Lime, but the couple had
no children. They adopted a boy from Munawai village.
 Downs to Director, DDSNA, 4 February 1950. 13913 -
51/1/9 pt 1. (TPNG)
 Mazakmat to
John Black, op. cit.
 Downs to DDSNA, 4 February 1950. op. cit.
 This being the Pidgin phrase for "false
religion" - church - lie.
 Mr C.P.O. McCabe, 1 February 1950, cited in Groves to
Govt. Sect. 15 March 1950. New Ireland District. 13913 - 61/1/9 pt 1. (TPNG)
 Downs to Director, DDSNA, 8 January 1950. op. cit.
 Downs to the Director, DDSNA, 5 June 1950. 13913 -
 "After the war...money took on a new importance and
had a new status. Gambling and drinking were also reported as causing strife
and trouble.", Williams, op. cit., 156. In 1958 PO Blomfield compared the comparative lack of alcohol
consumption on New Hanover with the "Native drinking and illicit
stills" which had become a real problem along the east coast of New
Ireland." Patrol Reports Kavieng. No 4 of 1958/59. New Hanover. P.O.
Blomfield, 4. (TPNG) In October 1958 Chenoweth had attacked the existence of
illicit stills, in the New Ireland District Advisory Council. MOM. 275. (ML)
In 1965 the most serious crime in the Nalik District was the posseession of an illegal still, for which two men
were prosecuted. Patrol Reports. New Ireland - Nalik - Kara -Tigak. No 2 of
1965-66. A.R. Beard. (TPNG)
 "The Catholic Mission has a large station at Mongop,
which is staffed by several American clergymen who tend to all mission
interests in the area. The
Methodist mission has no such field headquarters in these census divisions [Nalik-Kara-Tigak],
the work of the mission being supervised by Methodist Catechists from within
the village, and also patrolling clergymen operating from Kavieng and the
Methodist school Kimidan." P/R 2 of 1965-66, ibid.
 Groves to Government Secretary, 10 March 1950. 13913 -
51/1/9. (PNG) Champion agreed with this view, suggesting Chenoweth was
"inclined to be a busy-body." Champion to Government Secretary, 13
April 1950. ibid.
 This being the view taken by Neville Threlfall, One
Hundred Years in the Islands: The Methodist/United Church in the New Guinea
Islands Region 1875-1975, (Rabaul, 1975), 181-2, and consonant with the
view of Jack Sharp: Interview, Windsor, 27 January 1988.
 Platten had returned to New Ireland in January 1946, and
was Principal of George Brown College and superintendent of Ulu Circuit, as
well as being appointed district chairman early in 1949: "His
resignation has left a gap in the ranks of the mission staff not easily
filled, and his going is deeply regretted", Missionary
Review, October 1950, 12.
 Gribble to Chenoweth 25 January 1950. (MOM - UPNG)
 Chenoweth to Gribble 9 January 1950. 471. PNG, New
Britain - Corresp and Papers - General - 1944-60. (MOM - ML)
 Lewis to Gribble 21 December 1951. (MOM-ML)
 The Methodist education system consisted of village
schools under the charge of pastor-teachers, Head-station schools (circuit
training institutions) under superintendents, teacher training, and women's
and girl's schools. see Gibson, op. cit., 169.
 Ronald Williams, op. cit., 161. Prominent Methodist
pastor Hosea Linge was fluent in several New Ireland languages and their
dialects, Kuanua, Pidgin, and some German, but disclaimed knowledge of
English. S.M. Geddes, "Hosea Linge as I knew him", in Hosea Linge, An offering Fit for A King: The Life
and Work of the Rev. Hosea Linge, told by himself, United Church, New Guinea
Islands Region, (Rabaul, 1978), 145.
 Rev. Wesley Lutton, Chairman, New Britain Circuit, to
Gribble, 15 February 1957. Lutton had written: "For a long time now our
New Ireland men have been pained by the way the Department was upsetting our
work. The administration would visit an area, arrange for a school, demand
that our children attend and all this without a single approach to our
missionary in the area...". 64. (MOM-UPNG) A 1957 conference between
mission representatives and District Education Officer Newman resulted in
to Gribble 9 January 1950. op. cit. For his part, Fleming reported to PO
McCabe "happy relations between Methodists and Roman Catholics".
Kavieng Patrol Report 11, Nalik Sub-Division, 1 February 1950. (TPNG)
 Groves to acting Govt. Sect. 10 March 1950. op. cit.
 Jones to Government Secretary 25 February 1950. op. cit.
 The U.N. Commission's New Ireland itinerary for 19 May
1950 included Utu District School, Lemekot, Logagon Mission, and the Kara
and Nalik (Medina) Area Schools, Lagasai,
4:5, 13 May 1950, p 1. The administration's concern was real. The arrest of
Paliau, the Manus leader, in December 1949, resulted in protests by his
followers to the UN visiting mission, in May 1950: see Ian Downs, The
Australian Trusteeship: Papua New Guinea 1945-75, AGPS, (Canberra,
1980), 64. Hasluck, Minister for External Territories, had requested that
indigenes be prevented from presenting petitions to the mission: Edward P.
Wolfers, Race Relations and Colonial Rule in Papua New Guinea, Australia
& New Zealand Book Company, (Sydney, 1975), 126.
 Longergan to Secretary, Planning and Development, 21
February 1950, New Ireland District. 13913 - 51/1/9 pt 1. (TPNG)
 Jones to Govt. Sect. 25 February 1950. op. cit. Rich,
acting director of District Services and Native Affairs, while agreeing that
Mazakmat was capable of 'causing considerable inter-mission friction', had
pointed out that removal to Western Division would have been illegal, and so
suggested Talasea, New Britain. Rich to Govt. Sect. 20 February 1950. New
Ireland District. 13913 - 51/1/9 pt 1. (TPNG)
 Government Secretary to Secretary, Planning and
development, 21 February 1950. 13913 - 51/1/9 pt1. (TPNG)
 Champion to Govt. Sect 13 April 1950. New Ireland
District. 13913 - 51/1/9 pt 1. (TPNG)
 ibid. For Hasluck, Groves was the "chief
impediment" to expanding the village school system: Paul Hasluck, A
Time for Building. Australian administration in Papua New Guinea 1951-1963,
(Melbourne, 1976). 85. Groves, on the other hand, viewed the work of his
department in a wider perspective. School Councils had been established in
Madang, Rabaul and Buin, in association with Area Education Centres. Since
cooperative relations between the two departments had been successfully
established in these places, he refuted the idea that the Education
Department was "trying to carry the ball away from District Services in
native affairs": Groves to Government Secretary, 10 March 1950, op.
 A. Browne to Downs, 29 May 1950. New Ireland District.
13913 - 51/1/9 pt 1. (TPNG)
 Solomon David was a Papuan teacher at Utu school, before
transferring to Medina in July 1950. Lagasai,
4:12, 22 July 1950, 3.
 Graham Gibson to Downs, 3 June 1950. New Ireland
District, 13913 - 51/1/9 pt 1. (TPNG)
 Downs to DDSNA, 15 June 1950. According to Downs,
Mazakmat was employed "to keep this native under observation as the
native situation in the Nalik area is still very delicate", and he did
not want him to be free to "get mixed up in Sectarian Strife in his own
area". 13913 - 51/1/9. (TPNG)
 Mazakmat to Groves, 4 March 1951. op. cit.
 see Peter Lamour, "Alienated Land and Independence
in Melanesia", Pacific Studies,
8:1, Fall 1984. That the issues of most concern to the mission were land
ownership, the U.N. visiting commission, and its impact on the
administration's language policy is confirmed by Gribble's letter to the
Govt Sec, dated 26 September, 1951, seeking the latest information on
"the question of the alienation of lands in Papua and New Guinea and
native rights generally", and asking whether the commission's proposal
to speed up education in English "is going to work to the disadvantage
of the vernacular". The secretary's reply, that vernacular teaching was
to remain with the missions, and that the administration's contribution
would be English teaching answered the question, but evaded the point. The
administration said it valued vernacular teaching, but did the pupils? 309 -
 Lewis to Gribble, 15 February 1952. 471. (MOM-ML) In
Milne Bay District the Methodist Mission was advised by the Department of
Lands, Surveys and Mines that no further leases could be acquired there
until the mission declared that its existing 100 mission leases and 17
agricultural leases were being fully utilized. A.T. Timperly to Rev. R.V.
Grant, MOM, Samarai, 14 June 1956. ALX3/159.
 Tigak Census Division. Patrol Report 11 of 1968/69.
David C. Elkins. January 1969. Economic, 2. (TPNG)
 ibid. Demarcation Committees and Land Problems in
General, 19. The disputed land at Logagon may account for the statement in
1952 by Tomasetti "For reasons not apparent to the writer the LOGAGON
people are in bad odour with their mission". Patrol Reports. Kavieng 1951-52. op. cit., 4.
 Patrol Report. Nalik. Patrol Report 3A 1972-73. P.M.
Reports. Nalik. Patrol Report 6 of 1952/53. November 1952. K.L. Fitzgerald.
Missions, 4. (TPNG)
op. cit., 136.
 Phillip Lewis, "Malanggan", Encyclopaedia
of Papua New Guinea, 675. Billings and Peterson describe Malanggan as
"similar in general to Melanesian feasts, featuring exchanges of pigs
and shell currency, distant visitors, dancing, and singing.", Dorothy
K. Billings and Nicolas Peterson, "Malanggan and Memai in New
Ireland", Oceania, 38:1, Sept 1967, 26.
Despite mission opposition, Malanggan traditions have endured: see Phillip
Yayli, "Some Aspects of Traditional Dance within Malanggan Culture of
North New Ireland", Bikmaus 1983, 4 (3):33-48.
 W.G. Groves, "Report on Fieldwork in New
Ireland", Oceania, III:3
March 1933, 351.
 Groves to Government Secretary, 10 March 1950, op. cit.
By the 1970s, Malangan carving was still being done, but "good carvers
are fast becoming scarce". New Ireland. Kara. Patrol Report 1 of
1971/72. R.G. Saker, Social Groupings, 12. (TPNG)
 Patrol Reports Kavieng 1951-52. op. cit., 8. As recalled
by Rev. Jack Sharp, Methodist missionary at Namatanai:"[the mission]
had an annual meeting for the whole of New Ireland and when the statistics
were going up this particular year on the blackboard with births and deaths,
the whole meeting the people became more and more silent, and then there was
a great shout at the end. For the first time there were more births than
deaths. Some villages when we
first went there didn't have a live infant. I went to one village in a
filariasis area and a child was brought to me to be baptised which was very
newly born, because, if we had waited until the next visit, it probably
would have died. They were so
fatalistic. I sat down with a family that had just lost a child and the
mother said not to worry, there were plenty more where it came from..."
Interview, Windsor, 27 January 1988.
 Only a few from the vast variety of examples need be
mentioned: The problem of the sects was mentioned in the preparatory
document for the 1961 meeting of missions, leading to the establishment of
the Pacific Conference of Churches. Anti-sect literature was produced by the
Christian Literature Crusade, and the activities of "sects" were
often referred to in mission literature, and mission reports, eg: The Synod
report of the Methodist New Guinea Islands Region, 1970, mentioned Jehovah's
Witnesses as being 'very active', especially on New Ireland. In 1970 the
Pacific Islands Christian Education Council published a booklet by P.N.
Wellock, P.N., & G. Aseta, Sects
at Work in the Pacific (Pacific Bible Studies), Pacific Islands
Christian Education Council, (Suva, 1970).
 "Missionary Activities", Report to the General Assembly of the United Nations on the
Administration of the Territory of New Guinea. 1953-54, Canberra 1954,
 Thus, when the Hundred Nations Crusade wished to
establish a base in the eastern highlands, the Director of District
Administration wrote: "We would not be enthusiastic about these smaller
splinter groups operating here without extensive resources or proper base
support and establishing further divisions among the indigenous people. On
the other hand, nothing is known which would justify a refusal to register
the group. So many similar ones have already been registered." J.K.
McKarthy, 20 January 1966. 9370 - 40/2/12. TPNG
 Downs had predicted in his letter of 5 June to the head
of District Services that Mazakmat would either "make his peace"
with the Catholic priest, and intrigue against the Methodists and the
government; promote atheism and/or a new religious movement; or "merely
embarrass the government by intriguing at the village level against all
natives and Europeans in any kind of authority". Downs to the Director,
DDSNA, 5 June, 1950, op. cit.
 Jenny Homerang, interview, Port Moresby, 6 November
 Koala News 24:April 1956, 2; 62:April 1959, 3; Australian
Bahá'í Bulletin May 1956, 4; July 1958, 2; May 1959, 2; September
 Interview, Kimbe, New Britain, 12 December 1986.
 Chenoweth to Lutton, 1 May 1958. 64. (MOM-UPNG)
 Ben Chenoweth, "Another Sect in New Guinea: Bahá'ís
and their teachings", The
Missionary Review, December 1958.
 Chenoweth to Lutton, 8 May 1958. 64. (MOM-UPNG)
 "Because of certain of the Administration Native
Teachers swinging towards the Bahá'í cause -- three with their wives have
signed as members of the nine forming the Local Assembly -- and their
constant supervision of scholars who are all Methodists, I am taking regular
patrols at five or six weekly intervals when religious instruction is given
the scholars in eight schools reaching fifty seven miles from home."
Chenoweth to Gribble, 1 July 1958. 64. (MOM-UPNG)
 "It would appear many villagers ...have a foot in
each paddock so one will be ready when the day arrives." Patrol Reports
Kavieng and Konos 1972-73. Kavieng sub-District, Togak C.D. P.M. White. In
Mandak, "every person attends church, but local beliefs are still
evident, especially on the Lelet Plantation." Patrol Report 1 of 72/73. D.C. Ruediger. (TPNG)
 Chenoweth to Lutton, 1 July 1958, op. cit. According to
Mazakmat, Brashford, the District Education Officer, discouraged his
involvement in a new religion, but Collins, the New Patrol Officer,
encouraged him. Newman, education officer at Kavieng, told him that the
United Nations allowed "freedom of worship" "so no-one should
stop you from believing in what you want." Interview, 1986.
 T.G. Aitchison, "Native Thought File", 18
February 1959. New Ireland District. 13913 - 51/1/9. (TPNG).
 Patrol Officer Peter Edwards reported the view in 1968
that of the faiths practiced in the Nalik area, Bahá'í was "the most
practical and most reasonable one to adopt", as it placed no
unreasonable restrictions on everyday life, and seemed to be based on
"common sense, common decency and respect for the law". Patrol
Reports Kavieng 1968-69. Nalik Sub Division. Patrol Report 2 of 68/69.
September 1968. Peter S. Edwards, Missions, 14. (TPNG) Abernathy, reporting
a patrol in April 1969, suggested that "the reason why 'not one Bahá'í
had any complaints regarding money, pigs, or women' during the previous
patrol is because their numbers are very small and in relation to the law of
averages they would not be expected to have many complaints as a
group". Furthermore, Bahá'ís had lodged complaints during the latter
patrol. Patrol Report 15 of 1968-69. Nalik. J.I. Abernethy, April 1969,
Missions, 12. (TPNG)
 By 1972, the Nalik district had in addition to the
Methodists and Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, Bahá'ís, and the Four
Gospel Movement, although the numbers involved in the new groups was small.
 "I have to say this that I am feeling innocent of
the theft which I was accused. I am afraid that this was just a jealousy
organized by certain people to abuse my name in public", Apelis
Mazakmat to Director of Education (L.W. Johnson), 26 June 1964. A.109. op.
 J.K. McCarthy, Director, DDSNA, "Native Situation -
Lokon area", 14 June 1961. 13913 - 31/1/9. (TPNG) There were reports
that expectations of cargo surrounded Nicolas Brokam's first trip to Port
Moresby in 1961, as an elected member of the Legislative Council.
 In 1952 Downs was appointed Assistant Director of
District Services and Native Affairs. See Pacific
Islands Monthly, February 1952, 49.
 The Tutukuvul Isukal Association and Titikuvul Kapkapis
Asociation were religio-economic organizations established on New Ireland in
the early 1960s, for uplifting both the religious and economic sides of
village life. Because they were
established without reference to any of the colonial administration's
departments, and appeared to have the backing of individual European
missionaries, they were treated by the administration with some suspicion
 Patrol Reports Kavieng 1970-71. P/R 3. Nalik Sub. Div. November 1970, A. Wellensky and M.O. Towa. (TPNG)
 Downs to Director, District Services and Native Affairs,
4 February 1950. op. cit.
 Downs to Director, District Services and Native Affairs,
8 January 1950. (TPNG)
 Mazakmat to Groves, 4 March 1951. op. cit.