Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Narrative of Charles James Ward


page break

This narrative contains an account of the hoisting of the Union Jack at Rarotonga, an [sic: and] event from which resulted the conceding of the Cook Islands to Great Britain........


I should like to explain here, at the outset of Mr Ward's narrative, how it came to be written. Mr Ward is an old man (78 years) in very straitened circumstances. Towards the end of 1932 he went into hospital and about this time a paragraph appeared in the Pacific Islands Monthly to the effect that he was the man who made the actual flag used at the annexation of the Cook Islands to Great Britain and who also played a part in bringing about the hoisting of the Union Jack in the Cook Islands. When he was sufficiently recovered to be discharged from hospital I pointed out to him the value to later generations of his written word upon the details of that historical event. He said he was really too old to be bothered with writing lengthy accounts of things and, as to me it seemed the occasion should not be allowed to pass of obtaining from him some details of his life and particulars of the annexation event, I offered to prepare his narrative from dictation. This he agreed to but he feared that if it went into print during his lifetime he might be inundated with letters from people writing for further details of his experiences in the Cook Islands. He explained that he had not a penny in the world and could therefore not afford to purchase stamps and writing materials for replying to these people. The narrative was commenced on March 23, 1933 and completed on 31st July the same year. I have handed to Mr Ward the original type-written copy of his narrative together with a duplicate copy. My suggestion to him was to continue the narrative in his own hand-writing from time to time, on the blank sheets of paper which I have attached hereto. I have also pointed out to him the possible value to the authorities of this little record of his life and indicated that eventually it might be sent by him to the local Administrator of the Cook Islands or to the Government in New Zealand or even to the authorities at Home. Alternatively, in view of his straitened circumstances he may later re-consider the matter of submitting it to some paper for publication. At any rate this is a record of his spoken word and the proof has been read over by him. I might add that at the time it was taken down Mr Ward was in fairly good health, his disposition free of all complaints against anyone, a generous good word for all his acquaintances and a most contented man.

(sgd) G. H. Davis,

8th August 1933