Place: Visale


Visale, a few kilometres east of the Diocese of Melanesia's school at Maravovo (q.v.), became the headquarters of the Catholics in the Solomons. The first Visale church was a leaf structure erected in 1905. In 1923, the Marists moved their headquarters from Rua Sua to Visale, shifted the Rua Sua base to the mainland opposite and leased Rua Sua to a planter. A beautiful stone building was constructed in 1909 and designated a cathedral, but it collapsed during an earthquake on 25 January 1926. The cathedral was rebuilt and opened by Bishop L. M. Raucaz on 11 May 1930 in a ceremony attended by 2,500 people. This building was destroyed, by a bombing in 1942. In 1945 the Catholic headquarters was moved to Honiara. Work started on a fourth Visale church in 1949. This was replaced by a fifth church in October 1966, consecrated by Bishop W. D. Stuyvenberg. The new church was forty-six metres long and could seat 1,800 people. (NS 7 Nov. 1966; Laracy 1976, 50)

Related Concepts

Published resources


  • Laracy, Hugh M., Marists and Melanesians: A History of the Catholic Missions in the Solomon Islands, Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1976. Details


  • British Solomon Islands Protectorate (ed.), British Solomon Islands Protectorate News Sheet (NS), 1955-1975. Details