Languages Nauruan, Gilbertese, English
This island to the west of Kiribati was named Pleasant Island by the British, its first European visitors, in 1798. It was seized by the German Empire in 1888 and in 1920 the League of Nations put it under Australian administration with Britain and New Zealand as co-trustees. From 1942-5, it was occupied by Japan who destroyed its mining facilities and deported two thirds of the population to Truk Atoll in Micronesia, 1000 miles northwest of Nauru. In 1947, it became a United Nations trust territory administered by Australia. It gained internal self-government in 1966 and full independence in 1968 with the chief of Nauru, Hammer deRoburt, as the first president. He remained in power, except for 1976-8 when Bernard Dowiyogo was president, until 1983. There was a hung parliament in 1986 and DeRoburt was re-elected in 1987 after Kennan Adeang had briefly held power. Adeang established the Democratic Party of Nauru as formal opposition and managed to have DeRobert removed after a vote of no confidence in 1989. Kensas Aroi (said by some sources to be DeRobert's illegitimate son) became president with Adeang as finance minister. In 1992, Aroi resigned on the grounds of ill-health and Dowiyogo was elected president.
Nauru has been left almost barren after removal of its phosphate-rich soil and is trying to acquire compensation for this from its former trustees and to establish alternative economic programmes to replace the phosphate industry.
This collection of names was compiled by Kate Monk and is ©1997, Kate Monk.
Copies may be made for personal use only.
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