Biographical entry: Kera, Nathan (1909 - 2008)

2 February 1909
24 April 2008


Nathan Kera was born on 2 February 1909 at Saikile, New Georgia, where he attended a Methodist school conducted by Tongan missionaries. In 1921, he went to school at Kokeqolo, and worked as assistant cook to Solomon Damusoe in Rev. John Goldie's (q.v.) home. In 1928, Goldie took Kera and Belshazaar Gina (q.v.) on a tour of New Zealand. Kera was then enrolled at Wesley College in Auckland, where Gina was already a pupil. In 1932, Kera was appointed to be a missionary teacher on Choiseul. He married fourteen-year-old Agnes Wheatley on 30 November 1933, and the couple eventually had ten children. Later he was appointed Headmaster of the school at Sasamungga, and while there he travelled widely on Choiseul with catechist Stephen Gadapeta (q.v.) conducting church services and settling disputes. In 1939, Kera was diagnosed with severe ulcers around his eyes and told his poor health meant that he could not be ordained as a Methodist minister. During World War Two, he and his people evaded Japanese soldiers several times on New Georgia. When they went to hide in the bush he left behind his European clothes, books and photos, and his diary. The Japanese found them and assumed they belonged to, and hunted for, a European. In 1951 he became chief of the Saikile people when his uncle, Miduru died. Nathan Kera died on 24 April 2008. [[[UNTRANSLATED text:user-field-get: (Parker 1994)]]] (entry by Lynne McDonald, 29 Aug. 2011)

Published resources


  • Parker, R., Maekera: The Life Story of Hereditary Chief Nathan Kera and the Sakile Community of Solomon Islands, Solomonesia Productions, n.p., 1994. Details