Biographical entry: Havea, Paula (1897 - 1972)

27 December 1972


Paula Havea was born in Tonga in 1897. His grandfather Rev. Siotame Havea was one of the first Methodist ministers in Tonga and of great status. Paula was born at Tupou College in Tonga, where his father was head tutor, and Paula received both his primary and secondary education there. A good sportsman and scholar, he passed the Honours Board Examination in 1915. After school he became an Assistant Teacher at Tupou College's Primary School, and in 1917 married 'Ilaisaane Mosiana, daughter of Filimone Lilo and Mafi Lotofoa Ha'apai. In 1921, Rev. John Goldie (q.v.) led a delegation from the Solomon Islands to Tonga to appeal for missionaries, which led Paula to volunteer, along with 'Ilaisaane and their young daughter 'Amelia. He was appointed as an Assistant Teacher at Kokeqolo School, where he taught religious studies and Christian education, English, mathematics, history, geography and music. After school he took on extra pastoral work, often travelling to the villages around Roviana Lagoon. He became a probationary minister. In 1934, Paula was called back to Tonga for ministerial training, accompanied by his family. He returned to the Solomons in 1936 and taught at Goldie College until he was transferred to Marovo district to become head missionary there.

During the Second World War, Paula's family was evacuated, but he remained, and with another Tongan and two Fijian colleagues looked after the parishes and moved with the people inland to avoid the Japanese. He travelled widely during the war and continued to conduct services. After the war he returned to Tonga with his adopted son Parakana and with Lupeni, the son of Chief Ngatu. Paula returned to the Solomons in 1948 bringing donations collected in Tonga to rebuild churches. He stayed until 1964, by which time his health was weakened from malaria. He died in Tonga on 27 December 1972 at the age of seventy-five. When news of his death reached Goldie College, a dormitory there was named after him. (Moa 2002)

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Moa, Kepu, 'Paula Havea: Tongan Missionary to the Solomons', 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. 37-41. Details