The Archer Letters – Letter Nineteen

This month we read the letter that Fr Julian Tenison Woods wrote to William Archer from Hong Kong on 9 February, 1885.

Wherever Fr Julian went he found people who had connections to Australia. In this letter he mentions that he was staying with Sir George Bowen, a former Governor of Victoria (1872-1879). It seems Fr Julian was not too charmed by Sir George because of the introduction he had given to his lecture on mines and minerals in the Malay Peninsula!

Fr Julian describes to his friend, William Archer, some aspects of the interesting voyages he had experienced on HMS Pegasus travelling around Borneo, the Philippines and China and, in so doing, gives us a glimpse of the missionary efforts of the church in this area of the world at this time. How different this world was from the one to which he had become accustomed in Australia! But, as he says, he could still be a little use, even there. Once again, Fr Julian’s way with words and sense of humour captivates the reader.


This month we present a nineteenth letter, written on 9 February, 1885:

Download Archer Letter 19 (PDF)