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14 July 1854 - Father Jean-Louis Rocher to Father François Yardin, Sydney

Translated by Sr Marie Challacombe SM, July 2015

To Reverend Father Yardin

Sydney 14 July 1854
Reverend Father,
On May 23 I wrote to Fr. Poupinel to say that I had received a duplicate of his letter dated February 4. Today I am asking you to let him know that I have received the original of his letter as well as the letter of exchange for £784.6.3 sterling.
The original of your letter of November 10 last year finally reached me after eight months of travelling. The reasons for this delay were the bad weather and the problems which cropped up with the boat which was bringing it.
Recently a boat which had called in to the island of Tikopia arrived in Sydney. According to the captain it seems that the natives did all they could to take control of the ship. They were so numerous that the captain was obliged to take up arms and fire in order to get rid of them. Before he left Sydney I had asked him to find out about our missionaries if he should happen to land in Tikopia; he did his best but all his enquiries proved fruitless. He believes that the missionaries were massacred on the island and that when the schooner arrived the natives thought they could kill the crew and take possession of the ship.
Nothing new from Sydney except that the Catholics are impatiently awaiting news from Bishop Polding who left for Rome 4 months ago. At present we have Bishop Murphy from Adelaide.
The ex- brother Jean Taragnat has learnt that Reverend Father Superior has relieved him of his vows. This news gave him so much pleasure that ten or fifteen days later he got married.[1]
Please accept, Reverend Father, my best wishes.
I have the honour of being your very humble
and obedient servant,
Marist Father


  1. In 1852 he married Jeanne-Marie Gouge (1819-1901) in Sydney, a French woman from Grand-Abergement (Ain). (cf. O’Reilly, Calédoniens, p.376)