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Papers of Henry Evans and Honor Courtney Maude

K. ‘Miscellaneous Personal Relics’ and Biographical material

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(1) My personal Account Book, 29.10.29-1.7.33. 

This is of interest as showing how a Cadet in the British Colonial Overseas Administrative Service managed on £350 a year, most of the time in charge of the Southern Gilbert Islands District comprising six coral atolls (the most isolated district in the entire Colonial Empire).   We obtained our supplies from Nock and Kirby in Sydney twice a year, so we did without anything forgotten for another six months.  We lived in an island home which Honor designed, with a white coral lime floor, coconut midrib walls tied together with coir (coconut string) and a pandanus leaf roof.   It cost £80, mostly in wages (6d a day each to volunteers from the neighbouring villages), and we managed without wireless, electricity or a refrigerator; made our own yeast from coconuts and sea water and then our own bread baked in a coral lined umu (oven) dug in the sand; and were visited about five times a year by a small inter-island schooner, which with luck brought us some mail.   Knowing nothing about affairs in the outside world our interest was, and still is, the Gilbertese people, whose language we soon spoke as easily as our own.

(2) Honor's Household Account Book, 1929-1930

Part of the time at Ocean Island, where sugar cost 3½d a lb, salt 2d, potatoes 3½d, onions 2d).   Ocean Island was easy living as potatoes or onions were unknown in the Gilberts and Honor worked part-time as the Treasury typist for £3 a week (duly itemised at the end of the book).  The Nock and Kirby 6-monthly account seems to have varied from £30 to £50.   For contrast there are entries made by Honor covering our early life in Australia, 1958-1975.

(3) Honor's Instructions to Teikarawa, who looked after me when she went to New Zealand, where our son Alaric was born.   Without these (particularly the daily menus) I should in all probability not be alive today as on an atoll there is no fresh meat, vegetables or fruit.   I was living most of the time on Tamana, where the islanders could not remember a European ever staying before. The only fresh food was fish and coconuts, and towards the end of my stay we even ran out of matches and had to make fire by the fire-plough method.

 (4) My Divorce Register, kept for posterity because divorce in the Gilberts was a farce, and I used the Register to illustrate the fact.   The islanders, sensibly I thought, regarded marriage as a contract which could be dissolved by mutual consent; but the British Government insisted on applying English divorce law, which nobody could understand.   It seemed to the Gilbertese that the Government required them to pay a Divorce Fee of 2/6 and then commit adultery before being given their divorce, an idea which caused the younger set a good deal of mirth.   I got used to being visited by someone with half a crown in his or her hand who wished to commit adultery on a date convenient to all concerned, and the plea that I would be a witness or send someone I could trust, as otherwise the Court would be sure to throw the case out for lack of evidence.   When I became Administrator of the Colony I was able to change the law to stipulate 'incompatibility of temperament’ as a ground for divorce: and harmony reigned once more in the villages.

Biographical material on H.E. and H.C. Maude [received 1998-99]

[5] Passports of H.E. Maude and Honor C. Maude (nee King); Drivers licences of H.E. Maude; Wartime permits; Carte de Service SPC 1953; Diaries (travel, appointments) of H.E. Maude, 1946 and 1949 and of H.C Maude, 1945-46 and 1948.

[6] Miscellaneous, including Maude Library bookplates (designed by R.E. Batwick), Lodge papers, Honor Maude’s list of official dinners, guests and menus when Maude was Resident Commissioner, poems, and outline of [proposed/] H.C. and H.A. Maude post-graduate research studentship in Gilbertese history, language and custom. Various dates.

[7] National Library oral history project. Tapes and transcript of interview of H.E. Maude by Peter Biskup, Oct. 1995. 2 v. and 7 cassettes.
*N.B. Not to be made available, nor copies to be supplied, without the authorisation of Professor Maude and the National Library.

[8] Curricula vitae, lists of publications, biographical summaries prepared for publications, newspaper articles, reply to Festschrift etc. various dates c 1944-88.  Includes articles on the Maudes and their library and/or papers by John Young (Library News 1986) and Susan Woodburn (Pacific Archives Journal 1988)

[9] Collection of sketches on particular aspects of their life, prepared in 1998 to assist in the writing of their biography Where our hearts still lie, and tapes of interviews 1997-98 by Susan Woodburn. 

[10] Transcript of interview with Dr. Alaric Maude by Doug Munro (2/1/1999) on Harry and Honor Maude. RESTRICTED until publication, and then at the dscretion of Alaric Maude.

 [‘Pandemonia, or a Franco-British Fantasy,’ a farce written by Reid Cowell on the Anglo-French administration of the New Hebrides, believed to be the only copy in existence today and I feel should be preserved as an astonishingly good play which portrays to perfection the ridiculous nature of the Condominium Government, has been transferred to the collection of Cowell’s own papers at MSS 0077 Series 11.  For other papers re Cowell in the Maude papers see Series I 31, J, and M.

A Diary kept 1889-91 by H.I.N. Moouga, overseer on Flint Island in the Southern Line Group, discovered by Maude in his deserted house during World War II when I was examining the uninhabited island for possible colonization by Gilbertese [and] thought to be written in an archaic form of Tahitian, but is now considered to be a medley of Tahitian, Tuamotuan, Mangarevan and Austral Islands dialects, has been catalogued separately and is held in the Strong Room.  Copies are also available on microfilm from the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau.

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