ON 20 June 1955 there was a major eclipse of the sun. The line of totality began above the Indian Ocean, passed across Sri Lanka, curved over Indochina, northern Indonesia and the Philippines, continued swinging to the north of Papua New Guinea and ended over the south-western Pacific Ocean.
It was the longest eclipse since the eleventh century and we won’t see another like it until the twenty-second century.
All of PNG saw a partial eclipse for many minutes with a maximum of about three-quarters of the sun’s disc covered.
In the preceding few weeks, there was publicity on radio and in the press about the eclipse. In particular the Administration foresaw the possibility that some village people may be concerned about the cause and effect of this celestial event.