# 40974

Photographer unknown.

Portrait of a Fijian man probably associated with the Wesleyan Methodist mission. Fijian Islands, circa 1907.

$120.00 AUD

  • Ask a question

Large format silver bromide print photograph, 290 x 245 mm, on its original board mount, 450 x 385 mm; the print is a little over-exposed but is in good condition; the verso is annotated in pencil by a picture-framer with the customer name ‘Danks’, and the instruction ‘1 pol[ished] oak, at once’; the print was removed from its frame at some point.

It seems reasonable to speculate that this photograph belonged to Australian Wesleyan Methodist missionary Benjamin Danks, who is best remembered for his pioneer missionary work in New Britain. In the early 1900s he served as general-secretary to the Wesleyan Methodist mission in Australia, and it was in this capacity that he visited the Fijian Islands as part of a Wesleyan delegation in 1906-07. From the Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 14 February 1907:

‘FIJI AND ITS FUTURE. AWAKENING OF THE PEOPLE. THE SPREAD OF EDUCATION. A STATE OF GREAT PROSPERITY. “We found the colony in a state of the greatest prosperity,” said Rev. J. E. Carruthers to a “Daily Telegraph” representative last night. “All the products of the place are commanding big prices, and commercially it has never before been in the state of prosperity it is in to-day.” Mr. Carruthers is one of a commission recently appointed to visit Fiji in the interests of the Methodist missions there. His colleagues on the trip were Revs. Benjamin Danks (the organising secretary of the missions), Henry Bath (Victoria), J. N. Buller (N.Z.), and Mr. T. H. England (Sydney). The party returned by the Suva yesterday….’