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MS 401 Ferns from Fiji A collection of twenty four named ferns neatly mounted on cards and enclosed in a cloth portfolio. F. Spence, Levuka, c.1880.

A collection of ferns discovered in the Fiji Islands: The collection by F. Spence. Mr Frank Spence was born in Sydney on 24 March 1861 and came to Fiji with his parents in 1871. He received his education in Sydney before entering the Fijian civil service on 1 October 1881 as a Stipendiary Magistrate and Inspector of Native Taxes for the district of Navua. He worked as a private secretary for Mr J.B Thurston, the acting Governor between 1885 and 1896. Afterwards he was again appointed as Stipendiary Magistrate for the provincial districts of Cakaudrove and Bua until 1899 when he with five others had to work on new native policy during the leadership of Governor Sir George O’Brien. He was appointed assistant Native Commissioner two years later. In Jan 1904, he was again reappointed as the SM Navua. Mr Spence had a deep respect and interest in the wellbeing of the native race. In 1887, Mr Spence married Laura, daughter of Mr Henry Niemann a leading planter in the colony.

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