Biographical entry: Pausu, David (c. 1880 - 1970)

c. 1880
14 September 1970


David Pausu was born in about 1880 in Rataiku, in the Siwai area on Bougainville. He was abandoned by his mother and brought up by another wife of his father, Mokosi. Before long the village was attacked and many of its inhabitants killed. David went to live with his grandfather Wainasu in Turungung, who gave him to Hihisa in exchange for some galip nuts. Hihisa in turn sold David to Kisare at Tonu for shell money, and sometime later the boy was taken to Mono Island against Kisare's wishes, where a man named Ninamo looked after him. Ninamo then sold David to a Mr Norman to work on a Lever Brothers plantation, where he became a storekeeper. Norman took David with him on his travels to Gizo, Rendova and Gavutu. David was able to see the good work done by Methodist missionaries at Roviana and decided that he wanted to go to school. On Mono, a newly arrived Tongan missionary named Willie Paonga started a school, which David attended. He then went, from 1912 to 1913, to Fauro to assist a teacher, Samson Poti. Rev. John Goldie (q.v.) noticed David and gave him the chance to attend school at Kokeqolo. While David was there, in 1916, Peuhai sent a message from Siuai that Kauma, Headman at Tonu, wanted a teacher. David was chosen and went to Tonu, where there was internecine fighting. Gradually he won Kauma and his people over to the Methodist Church, and he also opened up other areas, including Pikei and Nagovisi. When Rev. Harry Voyce and his wife Beryl arrived in Tonu in 1926 David went to Mihero, and then in 1932 to Duisei. He was still in Duisei when the Japanese arrived during the war, during which David and his wife Mary Noose and their children Solomon Anunga and Hega Tapua stayed near Mokorino. After the war he retired and settled at Tonu. He died on 14 September 1970. (Beaumont 2002; Voyce 1979; entry assisted by Lynne McDonald, 20 Sept. 2011)

Published resources


  • Voyce, A.H., Peacemakers: The Story of David Pausau and the United Church of South Bougainville, Coroprint, Coramandel, 1979. Details

Book Sections

  • Beaumont, Pamela, 'Isaac Pitakomöki: Gifted Medical Worker', 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, 2002a, pp. 53-54. Details