Saturday, November 3, 2012

02: American Samoa to Australia

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Next stop was American Samoa (A), port of Pago Pago, with mountains nearby where more than 365 inches of rain fall each year. Jungle all around. Visited our mission home and chapel there. Very hot and humid climate. Saw native houses.

Next Suva, Fiji Islands (B). We were told that the thick-lipped, curly headed natives were Negroid—we had no mission there. Later President David O. McKay said, "Who says they are Negro?” And we have been baptizing them since. We walked into the interior, enjoyed bananas and coconut milk, saw native grass shacks.

After heavy storm which really shook up our 5,000 ton steamship, Matson Lines "Lurline," we landed at Sydney, sailing up a long inlet to that wonderful natural harbor. I was the only one of the four elders who did not get sea sick during that bad storm.

Sydney (C) was a big city with Victorian style buildings. Big harbor bridges were then under construction, although these were not completed for many years. There was rather a small congregation at Enmore, mission headquarters, a section of Sydney. President Clarence H. Tingey, after I had found that I could not catch a ship for South Africa until June, assigned me to a suburb, Bankstown, where I labored with Elder Lowell Brown of Lehi for two months. Homes there had water pipes on the outside since there were no real freezes. Stores wrapped a loaf of bread at convenience of a customer in a sheet of newspaper. You bought milk in a pitcher you took with you to the store. Homes were without heating other than a fireplace sometimes and sometimes a tiny coal kitchen range, usually in an alcove. It was cold.

With Elder Brown I lived in a small apartment behind the Ranks town Branch chapel which had been built of lumber by members. There was good bus and electric train service. The railroad employees were government employees and therefore not polite nor overly helpful to the public.

  • Apparently there have been several ships named the Lurline.
  • It was interesting reading of the conditions in Sydney -- that bread was wrapped in a newspaper and you had to bring your own pitcher for milk.

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