Louis Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811), French naval officer and navigator sent to explore the seas between the East Indies and the west coast of America in 1767. In 1768 he sailed in Solomon Islands and Louisiade Archipelago waters. He was the first European to sight Rossel, Choiseul, and Bougainville islands, all of which he named. He investigated New Britain and New Ireland and returned to Europe via the Dutch East Indies. His journey is recorded in A Voyage Round the World, 1766-9, J.R. Forster (ed), published in Dublin in 1772.
Nora Vagi Brash (1945- ), playwright and poet. Born into a Motuan family, Brash was educated at London Missionary Society schools, Port Moresby High School and Port Moresby Teachers’ College. She graduated from college in 1965 and wrote her first performed play while teaching at Kila Kila primary school. She received a Diploma in Teaching Techniques from the East-West Institute of Technology Hawaii Center in 1966 and taught at the Goroka Demonstration School from 1967-69. She obtained a Diploma in Journalism from UPNG in 1980 and a B.A. from UPNG in 1982. In the 1970s Brash lectured in puppetry, dance and drama at the Creative Arts School in Port Moresby and became Artistic Director of the National Arts School. She has also been an actress and directed plays. She has toured with the National Theatre Company in New Zealand, Nigeria and England, served on the board of the Theatre Company and the National Broadcasting Commission, and participated in writers’ conferences and literary selection panels at the University of Singapore, the Australian National University, the Commonwealth Institute in London and the Universities of Canterbury and Christchurch in New Zealand. Brash has lived in Nigeria, England, Singapore and Australia. Her plays include: High Cost of Living Differently, Which Way Big Man?, Black Market Buai, Sold Outright and Taurama. Her plays and poems have appeared in journals and anthologies.
George Brown (1835-1917), Methodist missionary in New Britain from 1875-80 and General Secretary for Foreign Missions of the Australasian Board of Missions of the Methodist Church from 1887-1908. After 14 years of missionary work in Samoa Brown established a station on York Island, New Guinea, where he landed with a group of Samoan and Fijian teachers in 1875. Until the arrival of Rev. Benjamin Danks in 1878 he was the only European missionary in the region. Between 1875 and 1880 he established stations in the Duke of York Islands, the Gazelle Peninsula and New Ireland. In response to the killing of a Fijian minister and three teachers in 1878 he led a punitive expedition in which a number of the local (Tolai) people were killed and villages burnt down. Investigations of the incident by the church, the British and German authorities, and the Western Pacific High Commissioner, cleared him of criminal charges. In 1880 he rescued many of the survivors of the abortive settlement scheme of the Marquis de Rays in New Ireland. The first three local preachers in his area were appointed in 1880. From 1887 to 1908 he was based in Sydney, Australia, as the General Secretary of Missionsa body concerned with Methodist activity in the South Pacific.
In 1890 Brown visited PNG in response to a request from Administrator MacGregor for Methodists to undertake missionary work in Papua. He was a party to MacGregor’s scheme to divide Papua into missionary “spheres of influence”the London Missionary Society (LMS), the Anglicans and the Methodists. In 1891 he supervised the foundation of a mission at Dobu Island. During three further visits to Papua he guided Methodist mission expansion and discussed missionary activities with leaders of the LMS and Lutheran missions. An Autobiography, based on his anthropological and natural history observations as well as his missionary experiences, was published in 1908.
James Chalmers (1841-1901), London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary in British New Guinea from 1877-1901. In 1865 he was ordained a minister of the Congregational Church in his native Scotland. In 1877, after working in Cook Island missions for ten years, Chalmers moved to the Port Moresby station in PNG. Between 1877 and 1886 he traveled extensively on the coast, particularly in the southeast, organizing LMS activities and recording the customs of the people. He explored areas which had not been contacted by Europeans. His experience contributed to the establishment of the British colonial Administration in 1884. In 1887 he began work at the Motumotu station, near the Lakekamu River, west of Port Moresby, and developed LMS activities in the Gulf of Papua region.
Chalmers believed that the mission should provide secular as well as religious instruction and teach the English language. In 1892 he set up headquarters on Saguane Island near the mouth of the Fly River. He established stations along the coast, guided and supported the teachers he introduced, and maintained close contact with the people. In 1900 he was joined by the Rev. Oliver Tomkins. In 1901, against advice from fellow missionaries and Administration officials, he and Tomkins visited Goaribari Island in the Gulf of Papua. When they landed at the village of Dopima on 8 April, they and the ten Papuans who had accompanied them, were killed by the local people. The colonial Administrator, Sir George Le Hunte, led a punitive expedition against the Goaribari in May 1901.
Percy Chatterton (1898-1984), London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary and parliamentarian. Chatterton was born in Lancashire, England, and educated at the City of London School and London University. He was an LMS missionary in PNG 1924-64 and chaired Papua Ekalesia at its inception in 1962. From 1964-72 he represented a Port Moresby seat in the House of Assembly. He was a member of a number of official advisory boards both before and after Independence and was knighted in 1981.
More about Percy Chatterton: http://pib.anu.edu.au/biography/chatterton-sir-percy-12308
Julius Chan (1939- ), Parliamentarian and businessman. Born on Tanga Island, New Ireland District, of mixed Chinese and Melanesian parentage, he was educated at Marist Brothers College, Ashgrove, Queensland, Australia, and graduated with a B.Sc. in Agricultural Science from the University of Queensland. From 1960-62 he was a Cooperative Officer with the PNG Administration and from 1963-70 he operated a merchandise and shipping business. In 1968 he was elected to the national parliament to represent a New Ireland seat and from 1972-76 was Minister for Finance. In 1970 Chan was founder and parliamentary leader of the People’s Progress Party (PPP). He was Deputy Prime Minister (August 1977-November 1978), Prime Minister (March 1980-August 1982), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance and Planning (November 1985-August 1987), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade and Industry (August 1987-July 1988) and Deputy Prime Minister in the Wingti Government (July 1992- ). In 1976 Chan was a Governor of the International Monetary Fund and in 1977 a Governor of the Asian Development Bank. Chan has represented PNG at a number of international conferences. He was knighted in 1980.
Donald Mackinnon Cleland (1901-1975), Australian Administrator of Papua and New Guinea. Born in Coolgardie, Western Australia (WA), and educated at Guildford Grammar School, Cleland became a barrister in 1925. He served in the Australian Army (including ANGAU) 1939-45, attaining the rank of brigadier. In 1945 he chaired the Australian New Guinea Production Control Board which was mainly concerned with the production of copra and rubber. Politically conservative, he chaired the State Executive of the National Party of WA from 1936-39, and was Vice-President of the Liberal Party of WA in 1945. He was Assistant Administrator PNG in 1951 and Administrator from 1952-67. From 1951-64 he was President of the Legislative and Executive Councils of PNG. In 1967 he became Chancellor of the Anglican diocese of PNG and from 1969 he was Pro-Chancellor of UPNG. Cleland was an honorary Colonel of the PIR (1958-67). He was knighted in 1961.
William Dampier (1651-1715), British naval officer sent by the British Admiralty to explore the east coast of Australia and New Guinea in 1699. He sailed along the east and south coasts of the island of New Ireland and through the strait, which now bears his name, between the main island of New Guinea and the island of New Britain. His detailed description of New Britain aroused the interest of both the British and the French.
Edward (Ted) Ramu Diro (1943- ), soldier, politician and businessman. Diro was born in Boku village, CD, and educated at Boku mission school, Kila Kila High School, Sogeri High School and Slade School, Warwick, in Queensland, Australia. In 1963 he entered the Officer Cadet School in Australia from which he graduated as a 2nd lieutenant in the Australian Army. Diro served as a commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Regiment and the Pacific Islands Regiment. In 1967 he became a captain, and in 1971 he was the first PNGan to attain the rank of major. In 1972 he commanded the C Company, 1st Pacific Islands Regiment, and in 1975 he became a Brigadier-General and Commander of the PNG Defence Force. Diro resigned his commission in 1981 and formed the PNG Independent Group (actually a Papuan bloc) to contest the 1982 House of Assembly elections. He was elected in 1982 and took his Independent Group into the National Party of which he was the leader for a period in 1982-83. Diro defected from the National Party in 1986 and his group became the basis of the People’s Action Party (PAP). In 1987 he was the parliamentary leader of the PAP.
In 1987, a Forestry Enquiry found that Diro had been party to a range of fraudulent activities while Minister for Forests (November 1985-December 1986). The Enquiry also found that, when Foreign Minister (December 1986-August 1987), Diro had received substantial sums of money from the Vanuatu government and an Indonesian army commander for his election campaign. In November 1987 he was charged with perjury and resigned from the cabinet. In January 1988 the perjury charges were dismissed. He was Minister for Internal Affairs (April-June 1988) and Minister for State, May 1989. In 1991 the Leadership Tribunal found Diro guilty of 81 counts of misconduct. Diro was not a candidate in the 1992 national election because under the Constitution those found guilty by the Leadership Tribunal are ineligible to stand for election for three years.
Ian Farley Graham Downs (1915-2004), Administration officer. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and educated at Geelong Grammar School, Australia, and the Royal Australian Naval College, Downes became a patrol officer in the Australian Mandated Territory of New Guinea in 1936. He explored the country west of Mt Hagen with James Taylor and John Black in 1938 and served in the Royal Australian Navy from 1940-45. As a District Commissionar from 1946-56 he mobilized villagers in the Eastern Highlands to begin the construction of the Highlands Highway. Downes retired from the Administration in 1956 to became a coffee planter in the highlands. He became President of the Farmers and Settlers Association and editor of its New Guinea Highlands Bulletin. He represented the Eastern Highlands in the Legislative Council from 1957-63 and in the House of Assembly from 1964-68 and retired to Australia in the early 1970s. Downes’ published works include The Australian Trusteeship, PNG 1945-1975 (the official history commissioned by Australia’s Department of External Affairs), a novel, The Stolen Land, and his autobiography, The Last Mountain.