The article in the June edition of Lion about the Montevideo Maru elicited a response from Rev. Ian Higgins, chaplain at the Glen Waverley Campus from 1988 to 2001.

Montevideo Maru, a merchant ship of the Empire of Japan, at its launch in 1926

Like Glen McArthur, Ian was born in pre-war Rabaul in 1938. His father, Lindsay, was part of the Territory Administration, as was his mother, Cilla, with Rabaul the centre of administration of the Trust Territory at this time.

Cilla took Ian to Australia to visit her sick mother but was not allowed to return to Rabaul in 1941 due to concerns of the pending conflict.

Lindsay, who was also a member of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles (NGVR), was one of the few who was able to escape from Rabaul. He arrived in Port Moresby many weeks after the January 1942 Japanese occupation but was in a poor state of health. Repatriated to Queensland and still in uniform, he died in unrelated circumstances in July 1944.

Rev. Laurence McArthur with wife Daisy and children, Malcolm and baby Glen

Ian recalls that he and Glen had a special bond due to their shared experience of their Rabaul births. Ian was with Glen and his family when he passed away in February 1998.

Glen’s wife Jenny also contacted us to share this photo of her late father-in-law, Reverend Laurence Archibald McArthur, Methodist Missionary and Chairman of the Rabaul District Synod.

She also shared this wonderful photo of Rev. McArthur with his family in 1941 after the incorrect photo of Rev. McArthur was published in the June 2023 edition of Lion. We apologise for this error.

Methodist Missionary and Chairman of the Rabaul District Synod, Reverend Laurence Archibald McArthur (front row, fourth from the left) was the father of Glen McArthur, who became the 14th Principal of Wesley College from 1992 to 1996.

Want to know more about the early days at Wesley?

Copies of Chronicle from 1877 onwards are available to read online at https://

Return to magazine