Biographical entry: Waiaru, Amos Stanley (1944 - 2011)



Amos Stanley Waiaru was born in 1944 in Nafinuato village on Santa Ana. He began his education at the Santa Ana government primary school and went on to attend St. Mary's School at Maravovo (q.v.) (1956-1958). He spent 1959 at home before continuing his education at St. Barnabas' School at Alangaula (q.v.) on Ugi in 1960, where he remained until 1965, and in 1966 he went to All Hallows' School at Pawa (q.v.) on Ugi. The next year Waiaru attended Siota Theological College, which shifted to its new site at Kohimarama while he was there. He graduated in 1972 and was ordained a deacon. He attended Pacific Theological College and graduated with a Bachelor of Theology. His first posting was at Torgil Training Centre in the New Hebrides (1976-1977), from where he transferred to become Chaplain and Headmaster at Vureas High School run by the diocese in Vanuatu.

He was nominated and elected as first Bishop of Temotu Diocese, the first diocese to be carved out of the large Diocese of Central Melanesia. Consecrated in March 1981, he set up an administrative centre at Luesalo and financed the new diocese by selling fourteen thousand acres of church land at Luesaleba. He was enthroned as the third Archbishop of Melanesia and Bishop of Central Melanesia on 17 April 1988, and moved to Honiara. He served until 1993, when he resigned after a petition in Canon Law. A principal task in those years was the moving and rebuilding of Selwyn College after Cyclone Namu destroyed it in 1986. This was also a time of much ferment in the Church of Melanesia, as various charismatic groups broke away and formed new churches. Amos encouraged the ministry of renewal and evangelism in the Church of Melanesia during those years, but he had little patience with those who went to extremes or broke away. He led the Council of Bishops to the 1988 Lambeth Conference, and on visits to the Pope in Rome and to St. George's College in Jerusalem.

Archbishop Amos' health began to fail in the early 1990s and he resigned as Archbishop in 1994. He entered Makira-Ulawa provincial politics and was elected as a provincial member. He occasionally appeared at consecrations of new Bishops, but let the new leadership proceed without interference. He entered the Makira-Ulawa Provincial Assembly in 1997 and remained in it until 2003, although he failed in his attempts to be elected premier. He was awarded an O.B.E, and died in 2011. ( [accessed 4 Aug. 2011]; Terry Brown, personal communication, 19 Oct. 2011)