The Fijian photographs detail many aspects of mission life at Davuilevu, including students working in agriculture, carpentry and building, group parades and ceremonies, portraits of students and staff, and images of Fijian families and traditions. Included are a small number of images taken on a visit to the Jenolan Caves, NSW, between 1910 and 1914 and five lantern slides taken by Walter’s brother JHL Waterhouse at the mission school in Roviana, New Georgia, Solomon Islands.

Walter Lawry Waterhouse

Walter Lawry Waterhouse (1887-1969) was born in Maitland, NSW, the son of school headmaster John Waterhouse and Hepzibah, nee Lawry, the daughter of the Methodist missionary Henry Lawry. Walter was educated at Sydney Boy’s High School where his father was headmaster, and then gained a diploma from Hawkesbury Agricultural College.

Sometime during the period of 1906-1910 Walter was headmaster at the Methodist Mission Boys High School at Daviulevu in Fiji. His older brother, John Henry Lawry, also worked for the Mission from 1908 until 1917.

Walter returned home to undertake a degree in Agricultural Science at Sydney University from 1911 to 1914, and after WWI service in France he resumed his agricultural vocation, studying further in London and the USA. Waterhouse went on to become a noted agriculturalist and Research Professor of Agriculture at the University of Sydney, conducting lifelong and valuable research into rust resistant strains of wheat.

Artefacts collected by the Waterhouse family have been donated to the Australian Museum’s Cultural Collections.