Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Venus in Tahiti: 19 May – 18 June 1918

Venus in Tahiti: 19 May – 18 June 1918

By: Ardis E. Parshall - February 23, 2014

(Previous installment)

Sun. May 19, ’18

Held regular Sunday meetings.

Mon. May 20, ’18

Washed. Had the native girls commence weaving me a hat while they were waiting for one & another to finish their music lessons.

Tues. May 21, 1918

An immense three decked English transport called at Tahiti with 1500 Australian soldiers aboard, bound for France. Mrs. & Miss Edwards being Australian received all afternoon, and they asked me to assist them serve & entertain. The Red Cross Commission men, the chaplain, and a number of the officers & a few regular soldiers called. We served ice cream & cake & cocoanut macaroons which I took down. I gave a string of shells to Lt. Steffenson, cousin to Steffenson the famous Antarctic explorer. The soldiers were not given general leave & the day and a half that they were in port tons of fruit was tossed & carried up on ropes to them, which they devoured with a relish. I received some army emblems & a few English coins that the soldiers threw down at us. The Papeete & the ship’s band played alternatively & the entire population almost camped on the wharf.

Wed. May 21, 1918

The British Transport left for Panama en route to France. I bought $22 worth of embroidery materials to take to Hickueru to teach the girls how to embroider.

Thurs. May 22, ’18

Marama remained after her lesson to take dinner with us & later I taught her how to scallop. I made six new chintz pillow covers for the porch swing.

Sat. May 24, ’18

Cleaned house in the kitchen. Bought an additional $5 worth of sewing material for the islands. Received a belated letter from Ern by the St. Francois.

Sun. May 25, ’18

Held regular Sunday services. Called to see Mahana after meeting. She is going to the hospital for treatment in a few days.

Mon. May 26, ’18

Finished my letters to send on the Moana which arrived this morning. Sent check to mother to buy more music books & other articles. Ern sent $200 to Frisco to buy two new organs for the Hickueru & Takaroa branches. The Relief Society sisters are paying for the organs. The Takaroa sisters sent $2 each to Ern, Maroake & Maphui. Ern gave $8 of his to Elder Compton who was more [in need] of assistance than he. Elder Compton has been very ill but is feeling better now and picking up in weight.

Called in to see Madame Falco.

Tues. May 28, 1918

An immense English Hospital ship called at Papeete with 850 disabled Australian soldiers from the front.

Moana left for America.

Wed. May 29, 1918

A soldier on board the transport died and was buried at Papeete. Ern brought about ten of them to the house & we gave them as many shells & as much fruit as they could carry away. Some of them were terribly disfigured from wounds. One of the men showed us a shell that has passed thru his stomack. Drink has a terrible effect on those who are suffering from shell shock. Seems to render them temporarily insane.

Thurs. May 30, 1918

Gave lessons as usual all morning. Went to the dentist and down to Coles & Edwards in the afternoon. Always have a gospel conversation with Mrs. Edwards. Invited them to have ice cream with me the following day. We were called to see Panaha’s wife in the evening.

Fri. May 31, 1918

Mrs Coles, Wilson, Edwards & Miss Edwards came for ice cream. The “Tiorgyra,” Grant Millers new schooner arrived from Frisco & we were surprised & pleased to get mail by her. Received letters & some pictures from Lyda & Irene & a letter from Joe Jensen announcing his engagement to Miss Lois Wallace of S.L.C.

We received word that Mrs. Roulx [?] & Herve two strong Catholics (& traders) had complained to the Governor that Toae one of our saints at Takaroa, had made some remarks favorable to Germany & were trying to make a big thing out of it, simply because he is a Mormon, & fortunately we heard of it & Ern wrote a letter to the Governor General Mr. Julien, explaining to him that it was only a desire on the part of our enemies to injure us.

Sat. June 1, 1918

Kaua and Hikatahai were called to appear in court to testifie against Toae, but as neither of them had heard anything they were dismissed. The case was to be investigated at Takaroa so as to assure Toae a fair hearing & chance to protect himself. Went over to the hospital to see Mahana, who had gone there for treatment for consumption.

Sun. June 2, 1918

Fast Sunday. Held regular Sunday services. Maupha remained & helped me prepare dinner. I gave her two hats and some ribbon.

Mon. June 3, 1918

Another British hospital ship arrived in port. Mrs & Miss Edwards & I went on board to visit the wounded who were not able to come ashore. Some of them were pitiful sights, suffering from paralysis, unbalanced mind, loss of limbs etc. etc. It was not an unusual thing to see an artificial arm or limb lying on the cots, while the men went ashore. Ern and Elder Orton distributed tracts on board. All those who were able went for a picnic to Haapape on three gaily decorated launches.

Tues. June 4, 1918

Mended and translated hymns for the new edition which Elder Orton is printing.

Wed. June 5, 1918

Went to dentist & shopping for embroidery supplies for the divine season. Also some table clothes for the mission house. Called to see Madame Falco & in the evening Terai.

Thurs. June 6, 1918

Worked on the new song book edition most of the day.

Fri. June 7, 1918

Tevaite called to spend the afternoon.

Sun. June 9, ’18

Today the 1st one of my organ pupils, Tecopu, played for one hymn in Sunday School. She commenced studying only in March.

Mon. June 10, ’18

The Paloona arrived from America. Received a picture of the Tahitian soldiers taken in Salt Lake, also one of Rita, & a lot of snap shots from Sadie. Received letters from Mother, Sadie, Gene, Libbie, Lillie & Margarett. Mother a book of views & her picture to Hei. Also letter from Aunt M.J. Wellman.

Tues. June 11, 18

Edwards invited me to go to the cinema but I was oblidged to decline (although reluctantly)

Wed. June 12, ’18

Besides lessons & daily routine I spent most of the day translating hymns.

Thurs. June 13, ’18

Mrs. Edwards called. In the evenings we celebrated Miss Edwards birthday with a picnic in the grass down by the beach. Mrs. Edwards & I called in Fannie’s shop for ice cream & we ate our lunch on the grass in native style, squatted cross legged on native mats.

Fri. June 14, ’18

Went down to the hospital to see Mahana & take her some embroidery thread & designs. Met Mrs. Edwards there & we had a jog around town together. (Grammar to Mr. Wilson)

Sat. June 15, ’18

Stamped and sent a centerpiece to be embroidered over to the hospital to Mahana by Ern.

Mon. June 17, ’18

Elder Heslop returned from Tubuai by the Heipourora.

Tues. June 18, 1918

Gave 3 music lessons & stamped some pillow slips and centerpiece for Tecopu & Marama to embroider, also showed them some new stitches.

(To be continued)


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