On June 12, 1912, the first Seventh-day Adventist missionaries arrived in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu). Today, the Church in Vanuatu has 18,000 members around the country, including the small island of Atchin, where the first permanent base of operations was established in 1913.
Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman ... [announced] a donation of one million vatu (about A$10,000) and the granting of a HopeChannel television licence for the Church in Vanuatu.
Early missionaries: Andrew Stewart, Jean Stewart, Naomi, Ross James, Mabel James, Norman Wiles, Alma Wiles, Jope Laveloa and Torika Laveloa (with son).
Pioneers: Americans Pastor Calvin and Mrs Myrtle Parker, who established a mission station on Atchin together with Australian newlyweds and Sydney Sanitarium nursing graduates, Harold (below) and Clara Carr.
Not forgotten: Atchin believers care for the grave of Harold Carr Jnr, who died of acute bronchitis on October 6, 1913, at eight and-a-half months old.
Rescued: Alma Wiles with baby Naomi, who would have been killed when her mother died if the missionaries hadn’t intervened and raised her to adulthood.
Vanuatu Mission president, Pastor John Leeman is flanked by tribesmen in traditional dress, a contrast of old and new.
“Wimella of Tenemet”: Photo taken by Alec Thomson in 1950 at the Big Nambas village of Tonmaru on the island of Malekula. The support of chiefs and other community leaders was expressed in donations of land.
Services featured historical sketches, prayer and enthusiastic singing in Bislama, English and French. Here, “Pastor Parker” teaches Atchinese “tribesmen” about God.
Downtrodden: While women in the South Pacific continue to face serious issues today, their lot is much improved from a century ago, when women of the Big Nambas tribe were not permitted to stand or walk upright in the presence of a man.
Centenary organisers performed a number of traditional re-enactments, echoing what the early missionaries would have seen when they arrived in Vanuatu.
Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman spoke warmly of the contribution of the Seventh-day Adventist Church to the nation, and took the opportunity to announce a donation of one million vatu (about A$10,000) and the granting of a HopeChannel television licence for the Church in Vanuatu.