Yours in His Service by G.C.Carter
WHS Publication #71 - 2000
When we come to translate the Roviana word 'gina' into English we usually put it down as "perhaps". Sometimes it might be better to say "if only..." Certainly there could have been no more appropriate name for the subject of this biography than Gina. His whole story is studded with unanswerable questions. If only Mrs Goldie had stayed in the Solomons a few years longer, his treatment and his training might have taken a quite different course...
Perhaps... if the war had not come in 1942, his story would have had a different ending...
Perhaps... if we had listened more carefully to him in the 1930s there would have been no need for the separatist group now known as the Christian Fellowship Church to distance itself from the Methodists...
Perhaps... If only... The questions are endless.
They begin with the date of his birth. Gina himself told the author that he was born on 16 September 1912, and that he had this information from Boaz Sunga who was Mr. Goldie's chief clerk and keeper of records. But there is strong evidence that he was born in late 1908 or early 1909. Since all Mr. Goldie's diaries were lost in, the war, and Mrs. Goldie does not seem to have kept any record, we can perhaps never know. His age at any given time is not important. What matters most is that Belshazzar Gina was one of the most significant leaders to come out of the Western Solomons between 1930 and 1960. It is sad that his full potential was never realised as this account will show. Had he been born (here we go again) a generation later he could well have been the first Bishop of an independent Church – or the first Prime Minister of Solomon Islands!! Gina?
When Gina came to New Zealand in 1924, his voice had already broken which would have been extremely unusual for a 12 year old Solomon Islands boy of his generation, or for that matter, later generations. His photo taken in New Zealand suggests a lad of 15 or 16 rather than a 12 year old. The "family tree" as given by Gina himself and the information given by A.M. Hocart as a result of his research in 1908-9 follow.