Biographical entry: Farland, Merle


Sister Merle Farland (1906?-1988) trained at Auckland Hospital in New Zealand. In 1938 she was appointed to a nursing position at New Zealand Methodist Mission's Helena Goldie Hospital at Bilua on Vella Lavella. When other missionaries left the Solomon Islands during the war in January 1942, Farland remained. From Bilua she visited New Georgia, Simbo and Choiseul, which were all under Japanese occupation. Farland ran a coastwatcher (q.v.) station for a time, but at the end of 1942 she was evacuated from Sege on New Georgia to an American base. There her services were utilised immediately because of her knowledge of tropical diseases. After a short time in New Zealand she travelled to New Caledonia and then to Guadalcanal as a nurse with the New Zealand forces 3rd Division, and she also served on the New Zealand hospital ship Maunganui. After the war she was tutor sister at Lautoka Hospital, where she was presented with an M.B.E. on 12 May 1947 for her services in the Solomons during the war. She subsequently worked for the World Health Organisation in many countries. (Fiji Times, 14 May 1947; Carter 1973b; Luxton 1955; [[[UNTRANSLATED text:user-field-get: ]]] Lynne McDonald, personal communication, 19 Oct. 2011)

Related Party

Published resources


  • Carter, George G., A Family Affiar: A Brief Survey of New Zealand Methodism's Involvement in Missions Overseas, 1822-1972, Institute Press, Auckland, 1973b. Details
  • Luxton, C.T.J., Isles of Solomon: A Tale of Missionary Adventure, Methodist Foreign Missionary Society, Auckland, 1955. Details