Semisi Nau

Tongan Methodist missionary to the Solomon Islands, born Fiji, c.1866, died Tonga, 18 November 1927.

Son of a Tongan Methodist minister, Semisi attended the Tongan Methodist Tupou College (1882-1887) at a time of conflict involving the Tongan King and the principal of the College. He was imprisoned and went into exile in Fiji (1887-1890) where he continued his education and was converted.

After returning he spent two further years at Tupou College, then worked as a teacher and decided to become a missionary. In 1905 with his wife Matelita and daughter Akosita he sailed for the Solomons. In 1906 he and a companion were left at Ontong Java where they barely survived 97 days on a whaleboat before being allowed to land.

One of over 1000 Pacific Island missionaries who served in Melanesia, he left the Solomon Islands in 1919 and ministered in Tonga until his death.

Allan K. Davidson, “Semisi Nau – A Pacific Islander Missionary” Missiology 27(4) October 1999, 481-486.