Biographical entry: Rigamu, Simon and Varosi ( - 1988)

7 October 1988


Simon Rigamu was born at Teop Island off Bougainville. His father, Mano, had invited the Methodist missionaries to come to Teop in 1922. The first missionaries there were Eroni Kotosoma and his wife Loata from Fiji. They stayed in a house belonging to Mano at Vapahan, near Teop. When Mano and his wife went to their gardens on the mainland they usually called at Vapahan and left their small son Varop (later called Rigamu) with the missionaries. The small boy learnt Christian stories from the Fijians and eventually, when the missionaries moved to Teop, he was baptised and given the name Simon. As an adult he became a pastor and teacher and was sent to Roviana Lagoon, New Georgia for training. He married Varosi, and their first child was Ruth Sima. Simon was the first person from Teop to be appointed as a catechist. During the Second World War Simon continued working for the Methodist Church during the fighting. Teop was evacuated of its people, but they had no food or any way to build new homes. Simon sent word to the Americans based at Torokina asking for help. After the war, the people returned to Teop and by 1947 the first European missionary, Rev. Trevor Shepherd, and his wife Sister Merle Carter were based there. Simon Rigamu continued to be a great local leader for the Church. He died on 7 October 1988. (Bruce 2002a)

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Bruce, Audry, 'Simon and Varosi Rigamu: Faithful Pastors', 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. 57-60. Details