Item 145/26 - Ceremonial spear

Identity area

Reference code

AU AU-MTC 145/26

Title

Ceremonial spear

Date(s)

  • 2007 (Creation)

Level of description

Item

Extent and medium

1 carved wooden spear, approx. 1.2m; 1 manila folder

Context area

Name of creator

(1943-)

Biographical history

Peter Jensen was born in Sydney and completed the Licentiate of Theology at Moore College. He also has an MA from Sydney University, a Bachelor of Divinity from the University of London and in 1979 he completed a PhD from Oxford University. After his ordination in 1970 he served as curate at St Barnabas' Church, Broadway. From 1973-1976 and 1980-1984 he lectured at Moore College. He was Principal of the College from 1985-2001, when he was consecrated Archbishop of Sydney. He held this post until his retirement in 2013. He is the author of 'At the heart of the universe' (1991) and 'The revelation of God' (2002).

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Scope and content

This carved stick was a personal gift to the Archbishop of Sydney from the catechist in the village of Lowainasasa on the island of Ambae in northern Vanuatu, on the occasion of the centenary celebrations in October 2007 marking the death of Rev Charles Christopher Godden. This village is the closest one to the site where Godden was shot by the aggrieved Alameamea, who had been 'blackbirded' to the Queensland canefields, badly mistreated and then repatriated to Vanuatu.
Part of the chiefly paraphernalia in Ambae and other islands in Vanuatu is the carved wooden club. Because the catechist does not have high rank in the church, his carved stick is less elaborate than the chief's club. This elderly catechist has served faithfully in the church for many decades, but has never qualified for ordained ministry. Nevertheless, he wanted to send his stick to the Archbishop as a sign of their mutual task of caring for God's people.

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Viewing at the archivist's discretion. Handle with care.

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: A 12