Biographical entry: Goldie, John Francis (1870 - 1955)



John F. Goldie was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, in 1870. In 1897, he entered the Methodist ministry in Queensland, where he served as a pastor for five years. At age thirty-two Goldie went to Roviana in the Western Solomon Islands, in 1902, as a member of a pioneer band of Methodist missionaries sent from Sydney. Goldie was in Queensland in 1901 when the Australian Government announced the deportation of Melanesian labourers. This provoked him in 1902 to travel to Roviana in New Georgia with returning Solomon Islanders, among them Sam Angarau. Along with S. R. Rooney and a lay missionary, J. R. Martin, who was a carpenter by trade, Goldie began the Methodist Mission (q.v.) at Roviana. He became a minister of the New Zealand Conference in 1922 when the Methodist Church of New Zealand took over the Solomon Islands District and was its President in 1929. The Australian church had no regrets in handing Goldie over to New Zealand; he was the subject of many complaints about his procrastination and his egocentric desire to be in control of everything. His abrasive personality brought him into conflict with J. R. Metcalfe (q.v.), another strong-willed character. Goldie was chairman of the Solomon Islands District from 1902 until his retirement to Melbourne in April 1951. He was known everywhere in the Western Solomons, since he sailed about in the Methodist Mission's two-masted mission schooner the Tandanya. During his fifty years in the Protectorate, it was said that in Western District there were three 'Gs': in descending order of importance: Goldie, God and Government. He died in 1955. (PIM Aug. 1951, June 1956; Collinson 1926, 147; Welsch 1998, 65; Carter 1973b; McDonald 2010; Lynne McDonald, personal communication, 20 Sept. 2011)

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
  • Collinson, Clifford W., Life and Laughter Midst the Cannibals, Hurst and Blackett, London, 1926. Details

Edited Books

  • Welsch, Robert L. (ed.), An American Anthropologist in Melanesia: A.B. Lewis and the Joseph N. Field South Pacific Expedition, 1909-1913, University of Hawai`i Press, Honolulu, 1998. Details



  • McDonald, Lynne, 'Choiseul and the Missionaries: The Methodist Mission on Choiseul, Solomon Islands, 1905-1941', MPhil, Massey University, 2010. Details