The accounts of the discovery of Murua, now called Woodlark, appear to be very scanty and meagre, and much difficulty was encountered in arriving at any information at all satisfactory.
Louis Voez de Torres *is credited with being the discoverer of the Louisiade Archipelago in 1606.
Among the first to visit the Archipelago were the French navigators, who explored some of the islands of the group in the years 1766-1769.
Later, in 1793, Bruny-D'EntrecasteauxJ passed through these waters, and the group of islands received his name accordingly, but in these cases no mention is made of Murua.
The earliest available information of Murua was the establishment of a Marist mission in 1847. It was abandoned in 1852. They were followed by Italian missionaries the same year, who, like their predecessors, abandoned it soon afterwards.
The geological pioneer of New Guinea is Mr. John McGillivary, of H.M.S. Rattlesnake, who visited the Archipelago in the years 1846-1850. The only geological data prior to my visit to Murua is that published by H. R. Maguire,** who refers to the occurrence of schists with goldbearing quartz veins, and what information is to be obtained from the Annual Reports.
Some years ago, the man-of-war Woodlark visited Murua, and since then it has borne the name of that vessel.
Gold was first discovered in the vicinity of Suloga Bay, at two places almost simultaneously, some fifteen or sixteen years ago.
In June, 1895, Messrs. Ede, Lobb, and Soelberg prospected at Suloga -and Okiduse, situated on the southern coastline of Murua. Good indication of gold was obtained from each locality, and, later on, an abundance of alluvial gold was discovered. At Okiduse, a very rich patch of 500 ozs was unearthed, being slightly water worn. In December of the same year good alluvial deposits were discovered at New Chum's Gully, now known as Karavakum, or Boniavat. Karavakum was the first locality on the island in which a large number of men worked, there being at the time 300 or 400 men on the spot. Shortly after this important rush Kulumadau was discovered, and worked for alluvial. Here reefs were first discovered, and extensively worked in or about the year 1900 by the Woodlark Island Proprietary Company and the Ivanhoe Company. These companies subsequently sold out to the Kulumadau (Woodlark Island) Gold Mining Company Limited, which company is working the greater part of the lode at Kulumadau at the present day. ..................