02 September 2013

New Guinea Martyrs Day - today 2 September

Today, 2 September, is New Guinea Martyrs Day.

When the Japanese entered the Second World War, their forces swept across the Pacific with a speed that stunned the allied forces. In 1942, the Japanese were on the doorstep of Papua New Guinea (PNG)and looked ready to overwhelm that area as they had so many others. British and Australian missionaries in PNG were encouraged to leave, but many stayed, saying they could not abandon their Papuan friends, parishioners and co-workers.

Twelve Anglicans died. They were missionaries, teachers, medical workers, evangalists, tradesmen and priests. Two of those killed were Papuans. In the next few years, many other Papuans risked their lives to care for the war wounded. Altogether, 333 church workers of various denominations were killed because of their faith.

Today we remember:
  • John Barge, priest, who was made to dig his own grave and then shot by the Japanese.
  • Margery Brenchley, nursing sister, beheaded on Buna Beach.
  • John Duffill, builder/carpenter, beheaded on Buna Beach.
  • Leslie Gariardi, Papuan teacher/evangalist, died at sea when his vessel was attacked by the Japanese.
  • May Hayman, nurse, killed near Popondetta. Ms Hayman was engaged to Fr Vivian Redlich.
  • Henry Holland, priest, killed by collaborators.
  • Lilla Lashmar, teacher, beheaded on Buna Beach. Ms Lashmar was a South Australian and attended St Cuthbert’s, Prospect.
  • Henry Matthews, priest, died at sea with Leslie Gariardi.
  • Bernard Moore, priest, killed in his bed by collaborators.
  • Mavis Parkinson, teacher, killed near Popondetta.
  • Vivian Redlich, priest, beheaded on Buna Beach. Fr Redlich was engaged to Ms May Hayman.
  • Lucian Tapiedi, Papuan teacher/evangalist, axed by a collaborator as he attempted to escort Margary Brenchley and Lilla Lashmar to safety.

Service of remembrance tonight

When: Today, 2 September 2013 at 6pm. Followed by a shared supper 
Where: St Cuthbert's Church, cnr Prospect Rd and Ballville St, Prospect 
Preacher: Fr Grant Bullen from Toorak Gardens

New Guinea Martyrs window, St Peter's Eastern Hill
Artist: Napier Waller, 1946. Location: St Peter's, Eastern Hill, Melbourne

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