G E P ’Pat’ Collins was an unusual, quirky ’colonial’ for his time, an enthusiast for the sailing traditions, cultures and islands of what we now call Indonesia – then the East Indies or Malay Archipelago. He’s been something of an inspiration to me, in that respect.
I have often visited the boat-building beaches of South Sulawesi where Collins’s prahu Bintang was made, including on several ANMM tours where I introduced museum Members to the Makassans. Their shipwright traditions are still thriving, hand-building prahus of solid teak or ironwood beneath the coconut palms. Indeed, much larger, modernised, motorised versions of Collins’s palari pinisi are built there today as tourist charter or dive boats.
It was my good fortune to meet Rudi van Reijsen just a few years before he died, aged 91. I was eager to see what other unpublished Collins photographs there might be; some of them appear here, for the first time. Not long before my visit, Mr van Reijsen had donated Collins’s entire archive – negatives, prints, manuscripts, field notes and correspondence – to the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, a noted research centre fo Dutch colonial history and Indonesian ethnography. Fortunately for me, he had kept digital scans of the photographs, which he shared with me.
The archive will become a rich record of pre-war maritime Indonesia when, in due course, it has been catalogued by the University of Leiden and made available to researchers.
Author Jeffrey Mellefont was the founding editor of Signals 1989–2013. In retirement he continues to research, write and lecture on the history and seafaring traditions of Australia’s archipelagic neighbour, Indonesia.
 Makassans as well as Bugis, Butonese, Mandar and Bajau (Sea-Gypsy) people took part, trading trepang through the major Sulawesi seaport Makassar. These related seafarers, all from Sulawesi, are grouped under the Anglicised term ‘Macassans’ in the seminal study, The Voyage to Marege by Campbell MacKnight, 1976 Melbourne University Press.
 G E P Collins, East Monsoon, 1936 Jonathan Cape, London;
1937 Charles Scribner Sons, New York. All the Collins books are
available in the museum’s Vaughan Evans Library.
 G E P Collins, Makassar Sailing, 1937 Jonathan Cape, London; 1992 Oxford University Press, Singapore
 Annual Makassan fishing voyages to Australia were banned by Australian customs and immigration officials in 1906. Collins would have met living veterans of these voyages, 30 years later.
 Collins’s prahu was based on the principal Makassan trading ship of the 20th century, with its Dutch-style gaff rig. A model of their earlier ships, which had no such Western influence, appears in the exhibition Under Southern Skies. See the author’s essay on the evolution of Makassan prahus at sea.museum/2018/01/24/unesco-heritage-lists-indonesian-
 G E P Collins, Twin Flower: a Story of Bali, 1934 Jonathan Cape, London; 1992 Oxford University Press, Singapore
 G E P Collins, Komodo: Dragon Island, 2003 Editions Clepsydre, Brussels: limited edition of 100
 See Jeffrey Mellefont, ‘Members in Makassar’, Signals No. 108 September–November 2014 pp16–21