Pioneer Missionaries – Rev John & Helena Goldie

In the second half of the 19th century, the sugar cane industry was developing in central Queensland. The main problem was the lack of labourers, so ships would sail to Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. On arrival at a convenient place, the sailors would conduct a fake church service on the beach, after which they would round up the man and take them back to Australia for several years, a practice known as Blackbirding.  Many of these people came under the influence of the Christian gospel and were keen to see this established in their native lands. It was in this way that the young Australian Methodist Minister John Goldie and his wife Helena came to be invited to the Solomon Islands. According to the records of the church, they were not in a great hurry to come here, but after much prayer and preparation, they arrived on a small island off Munda Point – the very centre of head hunting in the country. They were not sure how welcome they were, so they spent some time on the island. When they did come ashore, John was put to the test by being strapped to a tree overnight on Kokeqolo Hill. The arrangement was that if he survived the wild dogs, then the people would believe that his God had saved him. He did survive the night, but the locals were rel