(A very brief history)
In 1874 a German firm set up a permanent commercial post on the Duke of York islands just off the coast of Rabaul. Four years later it established another post and a wharf at Matupi island near present day Rabaul. It became a coaling station and the centre of business activity. The Germans then set up a radio station at Bitapaka and started developing Rabaul. It was a well laid out township with wide streets and modern buildings. Tramways were built and it was a major trading centre.
German and native group possibly at Maptupi
In the late 1870's two names dominated trade in Rabaul. Emma Forsayth built an empire of plantations and Eduard Hernshiem started his trading company on Matupi island.
The trading ship Venus in Matupi harbour
Ships such as the Venus were used to bring Copra into the Hernsheim stores at Matupi.
The Schooner Zoe
The schooner Zoe was used by the Hernsheim company to maintain communication with it's various stations around the islands.
Early Australian New Guinea Association Missionary card 1900