Lutterworth Mail / UK
My Brother Vivian by Patrick Redlich, $25, www.mybrothervivian.com
THIS NEW BOOK EXPLORES the incredible story of a missionary who was murdered by tribesmen in Papua New Guinea during World War II.
The tale is told by Patrick Redlich, the half-brother of the Rev Vivian Redlich, who was killed in July 1942 by members of the Orokaiva tribe.
Patrick, who lives in Australia, wrote the book to raise money to build a teacher training college in Popondetta, near the site of his half-brother’s death.
The Rev Redlich, son of the then rector of Little Bowden village, Canon Basil Redlich, was volunteering with an Anglican mission in PNG in 1942 when Japanese forces landed.
For 60 years it was believed that he was killed by the invading troops along with 12 other members of the mission – including his fiancée May Hayman.
But the truth emerged in 2003 when an Orokaiva tribesman admitted that members of his family had murdered the missionary.
Patrick has been fundraising for the teacher-training scheme since 2009, when he was invited to a ceremony so tribesmen could seek his forgiveness for the murder.
Patrick said: “The terrible World War II conflict in Papua New Guinea saw Australia saved from invasion by a military force mainly comprised of 18 and 19-year- olds.
“It resulted in the deaths of many combatants and also numbers of Christian missionaries, most of whom were Catholics.
“This book focuses specifically on three Anglican missionaries who gave their lives because they stayed at their posts. One of them was my brother, another was his fiancée, the third was her friend.
“But the culmination of the tale is the reconciliation between our family and the descendants of those who murdered my brother.”