Biographical entry: McDonald (also MacDonald), John (Jack) A. Champion (1869 - )

22 January 1869


John A. Champion McDonald was born in South Spit, New Zealand on 22 January 1869. He shifted to Santa Ana with his parents John C. and Melinda McDonald in 1879, and went with them to Guadalcanal and to the Shortland Islands. After his father's death in 1886, he took over the family's Siniasoro plantation on Fauro Island in the Shortlands. By 1901, the plantation, now part of the British Solomon Islands, had eighteen thousand coconut palms. He married Tanutanu Galaga, the daughter of Gorai (q.v.), the leading chief of the Shortland Islands, but she died in childbirth. He then married a daughter of Poleta, brother of Tula, chief of Fauro. Their son John Henry McDonald was born in December 1903, John Champion McDonald having died earlier in the year. He had borrowed £500 from Burns Philp & Co. (q.v.) in 1901 to build the schooner Clara Mac. Burns Philp foreclosed on the loan in 1904 and took over Siniasoro plantation. The family remained in the Shortlands, and Tula's family raised John Henry McDonald until the Catholic Mission took over his care and educated him in Australia and Europe. After his education he returned to the Shortlands, and about 1930 he married an Australian woman. They had two children, John and Joyce. In 1942 his wife and daughter were evacuated to Australia, while John and Henry remained in the Shortlands. John Henry married Katherine from Fauro, and they had several children. He died in Honiara in 1990. (Golden 1993, 355-358; Bennett 1987, 670)

Related Places

Published resources


  • Bennett, Judith A., Wealth of the Solomons: A History of a Pacific Archipelago, 1800-1978, University of Hawai'i Press, Honolulu, 1987. Details
  • Golden, Graeme A., The Early European Settlers of the Solomon Islands, Graeme A. Golden, Melbourne, 1993. Details