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Solomon Islands

About Solomon Islands


The Solomon Islands has a rich and complex history, shaped by ancient Melanesian settlements, colonial influences, and the devastating impact of World War II. This Pacific archipelago was first inhabited around 30,000 BC, with indigenous cultures developing their own origin stories and traditions over millennia. European contact began in 1568 with Spanish explorers, followed by British colonisation and the establishment of plantations in the late 19th century. During WWII, the Solomons became a major battleground between Allied and Japanese forces, with sites like Guadalcanal bearing witness to intense combat and heavy casualties. Post-war, the islands grappled with nationalist movements before gaining independence from Britain in 1978, and later experienced civil unrest in the late 1990s, leaving a complex legacy that shapes the nation's present and future.





Main Religions

Roman Catholic, Anglican, United Church, Seventh Day Adventists, South Sea Evangelical Church, Protestant


Time Zone

UTC (UTC +11)









28,896 km²

Arrival of Marists


Number of Marist Brothers Communities & location

1 - Laumanasa

Number of Brothers


Marist Schools & locations

1 - St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School - Tenaru

Marist Missionaries in the Solomon Islands: Perseverance Amidst Adversity


Four Marist Brothers, Hyacinth, Gennade, Aristride and Optat,  arrived in the Solomon Islands in 1845 with Bishop Epalle SM and their nine Society of Mary companions. The Marist missionaries’ early years in the Solomons was dangerous and dispiriting. After just five years, Brother Hyacinthe was dead, killed by the local people on San Christobal Island, and the other three had fallen ill and needed to be repatriated to Sydney. The Mission closed in 1852. Eighty-six years later, at the invitation of Bishop Aubin SM, Marist Brothers were again in the Solomon Islands. Brothers John, James and Ephrem arrived on 2 August 1938 to lead the school at Makina on Marau Sound.

In 1941 another three Brothers, Augustine, Donatus and Ervan, arrived. Soon afterwards, Augustine, John and Donatus were sent to neighbouring Bougainville to start a new mission. War came to the Pacific in December 1941 and fighting spread to the Solomon Islands soon after. The Brothers on Marau were temporarily imprisoned by the Japanese but eventually evacuated to Australia.





Their confreres on Bougainville were not so fortunate. Following the end of World War II, in 1946, the Brothers returned to the Solomon Islands and opened the school at Tenaru, which still exists today. After years of consolidation, development at Tenaru and the profession of vows by local Brothers, the Marists opened schools at Vanga Point, a Rural Training Centre, and at Rokera on the Island of Malaita.

The Brothers’ education ministry and community at Rokera closed in 1990. In 1989 the Brothers established an outreach community at Avuavu on the remote weather coast of Guadalcanal. Local, Br Henry Uguni was in the first community.

Unfortunately, it was short lived and closed in 1993. The Brothers withdrew from Vanga Point in 2020.  

Present Day


There is one community of four Brothers in Honiara.  

Formation Centre

St Joseph’s Catholic Secondary School - Tenaru Formation Laumanasa House (named in honour of one of the first Solomon Islander Brothers) has been the centre of initial formation for the Melanesian Brothers since 1988.

During the COVID crisis, it was also a temporary Novitiate.

Marist Presence in Solomon Islands

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