Michael’s South Pacific

Michael J Field
Telling stories of the South Pacific... in a different way
Created 11 Sep 2021
  • Why a Fiamē and not a Matā’afa?
    01 Jan 2022 • 5 min read • 5 2
    It seems an age now, but once I lived at Mulinu’ū, the version that no longer exists. My house was on the eastern side, looking into Āpia harbour. Sāmoa’s Fale Fono, the old and then new one, were acr...
  • Experimental naval shells hit Vailima
    30 Dec 2021 • 9 min read • 4 0
    On 8 April, Malietoa scouts went up Mt Vaea to Stevenson’s grave and looking down on his old Vailima house, they could see it occupied by Mata’afa forces. Fresh Malietoa soldiers from Tutuila, shipped...
  • ‘They are going to kill us all, be brave lads’
    28 Dec 2021 • 11 min read
    Michael Field Prologue It was around 5pm Thursday in 1942 on Betio, an islet of an obscure Pacific atoll called Tarawa. It was intolerably hot and oppressive that day, as it was most days in that part...
  • Ships ‘capable of blowing every Sāmoan to pieces’
    23 Dec 2021 • 9 min read • 1 0
    Next day, Easter Sunday, Tupua Tamasese led a party out to the battlefield, returning with seven white corpses. The British and American dead were buried at Mulinu’ū. At the funeral, described as ‘mos...
  • Sāmoa’s unknown price at Vailele’s battle
    16 Dec 2021 • 13 min read
    An American travel writer toured Vailele in 1898: ‘The plantation is beautifully situated on the edge of a lagoon, and the superintendent's house looks out over the reef, with its line of curling whit...
  • Will China rebuild Solomon Is' riot wrecked capital?
    09 Dec 2021 • 6 min read
    After two previous riots in the Solomon Islands, the business of rebuilding was left up to the local businesses affected. In the mysterious world of its mainly subsistence economy, the Solomon Islands...
  • Burning Sāmoa’s villages and boats
    09 Dec 2021 • 10 min read • 1 0
    Gaunt’s force headed out to burn Vaimoso on the town’s western side. At nearby Lotopā the Red Tops went into breadfruit and banana plantations that had thick jungle around it. ‘It was a splendid place...
  • Coronation and inglorious army
    02 Dec 2021 • 8 min read • 1 0
    On 23 March 1899 Malietoa went ashore at Mulinu’ū to be crowned king of that part of the country where Anglo-Americans could have him ‘under the guns and protection of the English and American fleets....
  • Star of David and Solomon Islands
    27 Nov 2021 • 2 min read • 0 3
    Shortly before the Solomon Island’s capital Honiara was plunged into a new disaster of rioting and looting, a group of men stepped ashore at the Ironbottom Sound waterfront. From the island of Malaita...
  • Shelling: “No village is too remote”
    25 Nov 2021 • 9 min read • 2 0
    Anglo-Americans were keen to bombard civilians. At one o’clock on 15 March, Kautz opened fire. A six inch shell from Philadelphia went over Mulinu’ū and into Vaiusu. Philadelphia’s third shell destroy...
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