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.
Jensen, Peter F.