Item 10: General William Holmes diary, 23 August 1914-22 February 1915 - Page 170

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[Page 170]


Wednesday, 28th Octr. Several boat permits issued today to residents of New Hannover. The Ketch 'Viking' sailed at noon with Fischer's cutter in tow. Oath of neutrality administered to three German planters from New Hannover. Held a court this morning on Chinaman assaulting boy with stick; both parties culpable so only warned them. Usual punishment to Chinese a fine of anything up to 30 marks for assaulting a boy. Finished the case dealing with Lanas, the boy who fired the plantation at Katu; found him guilty of disobedience of orders and thereby causing the fire and sentenced him to 15 strokes with ropes end, which was duly effected in front of the House Paper in full view of all Natives "Limnaburing".

Thursday 29th Octr: Held court at 7-30 a.m. on 3 natives accused of running away; 1 was acquitted because he came back, but the other two were sentenced to 10 strokes each with ropes end, which they received at once. Last night word was brought back that there has been trouble down the road between Lanan and Fissoa with the natives; as there is no sign of the relief yet Lieut. Holmes decided to go down the road and speak to all the Luluis himself and explain the situation. A change of horses has been arranged down the road, and it is intended to stop at Mr. Furter's place, Lanan, tonight and get to Fissoa next night, then return slowly visiting every planation. Lieut. Holmes, accompanied by Mr. Furter, left Kawieng at 3-0 p.m. with buggy and pair. Mr Jolley had been appointed to act temporarily during Lieut. Holmes' absence.

Friday 30th Octr: In company with Mr. Furter went down to the Plantation of Metzners and Enders at Fileba, where we stayed the night. On the way down we warned all the bosses (kanakas) and all the Plantation Managers to make line with their boys when I came back. All the village of Panemane where the Kanakas had barricaded the road, everything was in good order, word having reached them that I was coming. The barricade was removed and the road broomed clean. Fileba is 86 Kil. from Kawieng and as time was short it was decided to go on to Fissoa as was first intended. News of my coming preceded me all down the road and everything was in fair order. In some places the Kanakas were brooming the road at midnight (this is most unusual for a kanaka).

Saturday 31st Octr: Held court this morning at Fileba before breakfast and tried several cases, punishment as follows was administered:- 8 boys received a total of 110 strokes with ropes end, and 20 boys were fined two months pay. Left Fileba on return journey at 9 o'clock. At Maremakas 39 boys were fined two months pay. Al Lakuruman Plantation 3 boys received a total of 55 strokes and 33 boys fined 2 months pay. A Lakuruman village 2 Kanakas received 20 strokes each for stealing pigs from the Planation - the pigs were returned. One boss named Mati was fined 50 marks for one of his boys, who did not appear in Court, for stealing and breaking a bicycle from the Plantation. Half of his fine was given to Mr. Konrad the owner of the bicycle. There were four bosses present with all their tribe at the Court, and as they would not say which boys fired the plantation, the four bosses with all their tribes were sentenced to one week's hard labor on the roads. Mr Armisch, a German who has taken the oath of neutrality, was left in charge with 6 police boys to see that the work was done. Got back to Lanan tonight; interviewed all the bosses and plantation boys on the way back and explained the situation to them. Some plantations had had no trouble with their labour.

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