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But if it portrays radio sketches of men and women whose lives illustrate times and places south of the equator in the Pacific. Dr. Grossman of the Solomon program 13 in the series of Pacific portraits produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the
National Association of educational broadcasters. Now speaking to you from Auckland New Zealand here is the planner and writer of the series Professor John Reed. With this program we come to the end of our portrait gallery of Pacific notables and surveying the lands of the South the nation from the discovery to the present day. We recall the daring of the early navigators like Cork and Bly. The dedication of missionaries like Father Damien and social workers like Daisy pace the achievements of scientists like Darwin and Peter back the fortitude of administrators like you but Mary and the vision of artists like Polgar and of writers like Stevenson Melville and Catherine Mansfield. Through the dynamism of such men and women the Pacific Islands have moved during the past century or so into the orbit of western civilization and yet have retained their identity breeding a spirit of enterprise and freedom which often
stirs the envy of European lack in Australia and New Zealand. Fourteen million white people have built to fight all Southern democracies hardened in the crucible of war and confident of the future. The Maoris of New Zealand the summer's the pgm have fitted themselves into the new pattern. But there are still areas where life remains primitive relatively untouched by white man's culture where there is yet a much more devoted hearts and hands to do one such as the Solomons. Little known to the Western world until 1941. But now as the last resting place of thousands of American Australian and New Zealand soldiers indelibly scored on the pages of history. Let us take a white man who we put to my eyes as those who sacrifices the solemn and still the mind. It's a medical missionary we should call him Dr. Grossman. And through his eyes we will see the Lost Islands of the Pacific past
present and future. My name is Eugene Grossman. For 30 years I have been a medical missionary in the Solomons and here. God willing I should die. I have come to love this dark on again Lake rain drenched land but it was not always so. I can remember my introduction to the Solomons in the early 1920s. I was young and then my head floating with missionaries. I had given up research work because where because I felt that there was a job for me in this forgotten corner
of the world. Where Dr. Grossman What do you think of the Solomon so far those mountains read blind in the sun and those who know me and they were right in the land blackens the heights of the headhunters. Live here in these parts long as I know. Up and down this cursed 300 miles long I thought the days of it don't even get a bulletin went over in the main all the other still parts of the island where white men dare not go alone and on ARM but you can't wipe out an evil history in a generation and you know history and evil history. Think what these mountains you admired have seen when the Spaniards landed here in the 16th century. To his horror I suppose the savages gave him a happy child to be. Then after the Spaniards the Solomons were lost for two centuries and your cook book
invented the rest day. Yes but that didn't end the problem. Semen descended on the island like locusts broke seeking bashed a man or whales tortoise shell sandal wood they stripped the hill massacred a village made tracks for the slaver and the black birders there wrenched the natives from their villages and scattered Haven disease everywhere while what chance do you think the blacks a man with their traditional Savitri overlaid by the example of that white scar yet Captain. There are white men who have lived in these lonely island among such people. But you're crazy if you ask me for anything. I was depressed and apprehensive as I stepped
up to meet me was what I took to be a group of black men with big flat faces their heads made bigger and some had bones threaded through the throng. It was the Rev. Mr. Morrison Grossman more welcome here than such. Morrison kept up a continuous chatter pouring out the waters of his loneliness in a torrent. Grossman you're not afraid of being alone. We see white men there only There's a whites only later to fifty thousand.
Hey hope you play chess. The first morning I knew that to survive in the Solomons you needed not only great physical stamina but the will to endure the solitude for 10 years almost alone. Morrison had preached run a school and tended to natives ears. He almost wept for joy to have me there you see it isn't just the new disease we have to cope with. There are never these horrid open sore quote of yours. Malaria Blackwater amoebic dysentery but the diseases of the white man are worse. Children's complaint here becomes a mini clawed monster devouring whole villages. So too with influenza which destroys the natives like Fridays as I listen to this man whose enthusiasm had survived to Solomon's decade.
He silently resign come to know the islands and their people to make it my own. I soon found out how right he was. The days were not long enough nor my resources wide enough to deal with the needs of the sick. I had the help of a Fijian dresser to Noah. Together we set ourselves to win the confidence of the Malaysians and break down their suspicions of hypodermics soaps and medicine. Pickaninny 26 Goddo you have black water fever. This water in bottle. Hear him make pickaninny well know make better blackballing him cursed pick out any bad smell him magic you Farnow can take this far magic away. My task stretched before me as formidably as the sparring mountains to the Islanders almost every illness was the result of sorcery and could be
cured only by appropriate space. You know society riddled with disease where timber rots in the damp peat where pigs and pests destroy the crops. Magic seems the only explanation. As I worked on military and in other islands I saw that I must understand the nature of mind. Before I could heal their bodies I learned much from the district offices I met on to lug the small island housing the Solomons capital. You see Grossman we work under more disadvantages than any other Pacific administration. The climate has fouled the population dispersed and the field officers view elsewhere a group loyalty and a kind of colonial spirit can be encouraged. But here it's almost impossible because of the small community units you mean. Exactly. The Solomon Islanders live in insulated homesteads. They're bound in various localities by the most complicated webs
of kinship mothers line fathers line true second damned near kin after years I've only begun to understand some of the different kin bonds yet on them depend many of the district's laws and customs. Delicate matters over which it is foolish to blunder. I had been hurt by what seemed to me the administration sluggish and unimaginative policy but I gradually came to see the difficulties imposed by climate distance and lack of economic resources. The more I learnt of the natives the more I found to learn years of lensing poisoned limbs binding infected wounds calming the malarial past in hospitals in crude huts in coastal towns and sweating jungles all of this made me the familiar of copra plantations Nickel Mines native gardens the squalor of some villages the proud brightness of others a hundred dialects buzzed in
my ears a thousand different customs drew my eyes. And the missionary modestly kept helping me fit the puzzle together. We do it with care and Grossman but the laborers are few. The missions have pioneered education and medicine here. We are still the only ones who provide schools for the natives and we merely scratch the surface. Many of our converts come to the mission not to hear the Word of God but to learn to read and write. Listen to this. Guy like us you white men you have only two eyes two hands two feet. How are you different. Because you can read books. That is why you can buy axes knives clothing ships and motor cars. You buy a passage on a boat and visit places which we have never heard of where people live in stone houses one on top of the other. You don't have to work hard.
We work hard for you for a little money. All you know comes from books. If we understood books we too would have money and possessions. Yes I see but Morrison how do they take to Christianity. Here it depends largely on the mission. Some early missionaries were intolerant with many native customs. They did not understand it but others especially today make slow progress in a spirit of compromise and I think we know recognize the need to interpret Christian ideas in terms of what the need to have is familiar with. Here's an example. You say a white god have got great power to reward good fella. We say each blackfella have a spirit. ARCANO who have great mana or power for this rewarding. So we make sacrifice to our carnal. We say that God has all the money and when
we pray to God we do as they do when they sacrifice to a CO. When I have sickness it is because an evil man make magic on me or because I have done wrong thing. If I do wrong thing I make better only if I tell what I do wrong. You Christians you tell wrong things too. Is it true that you get well you mean Morriston that to the native confession is thought of as he thinks of the connection between disease and rate. I remember the case of the gastric malaria which there were quinine didn't do him much good I made him as comfortable as I could but when I returned a fortnight later he was quite well. Do you know what happened after you left. My assistant Peter went to see him. Peter said we're to have you been doing that you're still sick. He said I have done much wrong. I mean golly I had some fine coconut palms that I wanted and so I claimed them as my
own. I have done so and I am being punished for it. I'm a big forgiveness. Next Sunday the Christians in prayer for forgiveness and recovery. In a few days it was well they all are certain that the confession was infinitely greater effect than your quinine Grossman. And so my experience convinced me that Morris in the old missionary was right that existing native customs so many of which make more sense than I had first realized can serve as bridges to a new civilization. I remember the words of the great anthropologist Vesta mom Christianity comes to a strange civilization not to work its destruction but to fulfill it to bring to a full flowering the seeds of humanity that lie all unseen in primitive ways.
In such a hard won lessons in learning the contours of these brooding islands inch by inch as a blind man learns they face the hot steaming years of my life you operated. Even at the height of some victory over disease and ignorance I felt it centuries must pass before much happened here. These lands I thought are too on glamorous too daunting for the West to take much interest in them to a remote. Set your very one. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor March 1942 the Japanese abandoned the Solomon May 1940 to Canady capital of the Solomons falls to the Japanese while all cannot be. We had heard by radio that the Japanese were near. A need to have rushed in to
tell me there was a Japanese boat in the bay. And then in a nightmare voyage in the hold of the Japanese ship. Hundreds of men and women priests planters Parsons connected from the Solomons and other islands were sent to read. These two years of imprisonment I would cheerfully forget what I did not Dan. I saw such heroism as I scarcely believe could exist. The charity of aged and frail man of God shone out like beacons in the camp. In 1945 there were only wreaths like beings to
greet the liberating Australians. The iron fist unclenched. And as I recovered some of my strength in Australia I learnt something of what had happened. The might of the United States had been poured out on these lonely islands huge naval bases and airfields built on land that had never known a white man's tread. Titanic navies had torn at each other's throats there'd been the swept blood and terror of jungle warfare in the Solomons history had been shaped. Never again would they be the unknown islands. Perhaps after all we had achieved a little in the Solomons. For all our frustrations but the war had had a shattering impact not only had the natives seen whites concentrated as never before but they had also seen fabulous wealth in the form of prepared food and machines. What is more this wealth seemed to be treated lightly by its owners.
There are things that make me so surprise for the looking at all sorts of things I do not hear any news from my fathers of these things and this is my first time that I saw it. These things make me so surprise. The airplanes ships motor cars bombs the ships It calls on land as on Sea. All the American works. Plenty of people all kinds of food piles and piles of food to the sky tins of food. There were many. A new way of life before all the black men and not white men rule.
Every one of us tractors automobiles refrigerators that one ships would arrive laden with all the produce of the West sent by America for the natives. It was so strong that forty seven all the expected goods to date. Even if he does not believe in the millennium he wants a higher standard of living and more access to western goods. One day it well-spoken native came to learn. He told me
he had served in an American labor and I asked permission to use the school house for a political meeting. We gave it and afterwards one of the boys told us what he had said this he said a black man badly treated by white men not enough money for what him do black men should have ships and tractors black leaders what come to show other fellas how to send men home. He tell blackfella not work on white man's land. I pay taxes. It. Was my first contact with the movement. Some Europeans said that my single means Marxian but Indian dialect means brother was a direct and disturbing result of contact with the soldiers.
At first a single ruling showed itself as passive resistance. Refusal to work then it took the form of demonstrations often involving thousands of black bodies of natives drilled under ex-slave of color man. Flags were made and distributed. But we were spared violence in 1947 several British naval vessels appeared in Malaysian waters and armed constabulary arrested over 100 more single leaders without resistance. It was not on arrival of the expected loads of American goods in my single room. That same time the natives retained a sense of need. Before the war plantation wages were enough compensation for the loss of
village life. Not now evidence of native unrest has greatly spurred administrative reform. We have worked and are working hard to inspire an economic revival of the democratic kind. And to extend education a new training college is being built at the new capital of the Solomons Guadalcanal the South Pacific commission agencies are very active in the area. I do not exaggerate when I say that a spirit of enlightened progress is forcing its way through old ways and important though they may be politically and economically to the world. The Solomons are important to us who live and work here. This this then is the pattern of the Pacific. As I have learnt it in his waiting lifetime. Work to do. And he's in it's value. Today the harbors that sheltered the great ships. The wrecks of many boats lie hidden under the green waters. Bridges
have collapsed the docks of crumbled the remorseless jungle and wild animals have reposed Quonset huts and abandoned barracks. The Americans have gone home. But didn't Egypt remain in one of the worst backward areas. Many painfully from the. Two men of goodwill the Solomons still often exciting challenges. Here I am content to see Mike go to rout. For there will never be a time when somebody does not need the support of another man. Right. And now here is Professor Reid to say a few closing words with Dr. Grossman.
We take up the Pacific and it's that vast stretch of tumultuous blue dotted with the island homes of many tongues and many ways of life. The scene of bloody battles with XM club and with planes and warships. The background to dramas of avarice courage brutality and Christian charity cradled beneath the equator swinging in the center of an icy any plane in the Pacific lands through world checkered history have remained for most of the world. Remote romantic places. In these programs we've tried to show you that Oceania is not travel close to glam barbaric cultures and beachcombers haven but a community of people working out their destiny in one of the world's most important strategic and economic areas. United in a great experiment in racial cooperation. The Pacific is an ocean. The Pacific is a way of life. The Pacific is an idea but above all the Pacific is
people men and women white brown and black with a vital part to play in a great golden tomorrow. Pacific port rates radio sketches of men and women whose lives
illustrate times and places south of the equator in the Pacific Ocean. These programs are produced by radio station WAGA of the University of Wisconsin under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center. PROFESSOR JOHN REED of Auckland University Auckland New Zealand is the writer and planner of the series production is by Karl Schmidt and music by Don vaguely. These programs are distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the national educational radio network.
Pacific portraits
Dr. Grossman of the Solomons
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
Dr. Grossman, a medical missionary, is a fictitious character used to highlight postwar developments in the Western Pacific.
Series Description
This series explores various aspects of the Pacific region through dramatization, narration, commentary and music.
Broadcast Date
Missionaries--Solomon Islands
Media type
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
Production Manager: Schmidt, Karl
Speaker: Rains, Claude, 1889-1967
Writer: Reid, J. C. (John Cowie), 1916-1972
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 58-41-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:48
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Chicago: “Pacific portraits; Dr. Grossman of the Solomons,” 1965-06-07, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024,
MLA: “Pacific portraits; Dr. Grossman of the Solomons.” 1965-06-07. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <>.
APA: Pacific portraits; Dr. Grossman of the Solomons. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from