Your story: Times have changed since first printing press
This story was submitted by Laraine Frost for our Your Story section. If you have a story or opinion you'd like to share, click here.
MY husband Les and I returned from a cruise to beautiful Vanuatu and Fiji last week.
One of the excursions that we found interesting was a trip to the Fijian museum at Suva.
An interesting artefact was Fiji's first printing press, which played a major role in early mission work under the direction of Reverend David Cargill.
It arrived in 1838 and was first used on the Island of Lakeba, Lau, and the first manual in their dialect was published in March 1839.
In July that year it was transported to Rewa.
Then as a result of the vicious Bau Reva war it was transported again, this time to Viwa Island.
Under the care of Reverend John Hunt it continued to print religious material including copies of the Fijian New Testament.
After Hunt's death it was operated by a young shipwrecked French sailor, Edward Martin.
The printing press continued to print mission material until 1844.
Times have definitely changed for the better regarding the printing press among other artefacts were had the pleasure of seeing.