Biographical entry: Gina, Belshazaar (c. 1908 - 1977)

c. 1908
2 January 1977


Belshazaar Gina claimed to have been born in late 1908 or 1909, but general appearance and local knowledge place the date nearer to 1912. He was adopted by Helena Goldie and taught by Solomon Damusoe, Goldie's cook. In 1924, he was one of three Solomon Island boys who travelled to Australia and New Zealand with Rev. John F. Goldie (q.v.). (The others were Opeti Pina from Simbo and Stephen Agolo from Kalikoqu (Kokeqolo?), Roviana Lagoon). In 1927, Gina was enrolled for two years at Wesley College in Auckland, where he excelled at sports and music. Another high point in Gina's life was when he was accepted as a candidate for 'the native ministry' by the Auckland Synod, in 1929. On his return to the Solomons, Goldie expected Gina to resume his rightful position as a 'native'. After his marriage to Mary, the sole surviving daughter of Roni, Chief from Sasavele, in February 1932, Gina and his wife spent two years at Sasamungga on Choiseul before being sent to Simbo where they spent eight years. A second trip to New Zealand occurred in 1937. In 1938, he was ordained as a minister of the Methodist church. The Second World War proved eventful for Gina, who was jailed twice by District Officer and coastwatcher (q.v.) Donald Kennedy and suspended from the Methodist ministry. He was employed by the reorganised administration after the war as a senior administrative clerk and a part-time policeman (training the police band), and eventually became Headmaster of a new native primary school in Honiara. When he retired in 1965, he and Mary went to live at Qurasae on Munda. He was reinstated as a Methodist minister in 1969 on the Mono Circuit, and then at Munda as Superintendent Minister for the Roviana Circuit. He was awarded the M.B.E. in 1979 for his long service to his country. Mary died on 2 January 1977 and Belshazaar Gina died at Munda on 23 December 1981. There are ten children, three of whom were adopted. (Johnston 2002; Carter 1990; Leadley 2002) (entry by Lynne McDonald, 29 Aug. 2011)

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Published resources


  • Carter, George G., Yours in Service: A Reflection on the Life and Times of Reverend Belshazzar Gina of Solomon Islands, University of the South Pacific Centre, Honiara, 1990. Details

Book Sections

  • Johnston, Mary, 'Belshazzar Gina: An Outstanding Pioneer in the Solomons’ Church, Government and Community', in Alan Leadley (ed.), Ever Widening Circles: Stories of Some Influential Methodist Leaders in Solomon Islands and Bougainville/Buka, Wesley Historical Society (New Zealand), Auckland, 2002, pp. 33-37. Details

Edited Books

  • Leadley, Alan (ed.), Ever Widening Circles: Stories of Some Influential Methodist Leaders in Solomon Islands and Bougainville/Buka, vol. 75, Wesley Historical Society (New Zealand), Auckland, 2002, 83 pp. Details