PHOSPHATE PICTURE GALLERY
The Banaba, Republic of Kiribati, Message Forum
Ocean Island, known by its Kiribati name of Banaba, is one of the many interesting islands in the Gilbert Group, Republic of Kiribati (Micronesia), as shown on the map below as well as being depicted as one of the seventeen rays of the sun on our Kiribati flag, also below. Administered by the Republic of Kiribati from the capital, Tarawa (Bairiki), Banaba has always been and still remains part of Kiribati - the reverse or any other variation has never been the case.
The Republic of Kiribati is made up of three groups comprising thirty-three islands. These are: the Gilbert Group which consists of seventeen islands including Banaba; the Phoenix Group (eight islands); and the Line Islands (eight islands). In the company of the other islands of the Republic of Kiribati, Banaba has its own history, as well as its own unique, beautiful and complex culture that have evolved over many generations. Where Banaba stands apart results from its geographical location and the discovery of phosphate.
The phosphate of Ocean Island (Banaba) has had a great deal of impact on the life, the economy and the history of Kiribati. The people of Banaba purchased another island to replace Ocean Island. This is the island of Rabi (administered from the Republic of Kiribati capital, Tarawa) in distant Fiji - and so many of them have a life spent far from their own country all because of the wealth to be garnered for someone else’s benefit. However, this relocation was one of many that occurred in Kiribati. The others all resulted from overcrowding on mainly the islands of the southern Gilberts (Kiribati Maiaki). It is a testament to the depth of our culture that these relocations also took with them those things such as our culture, customs and rituals.
A tribute to the memory of the outstanding pioneer phosphate prospector in the Pacific and New Zealand's first Phosphate Commissioner, the late Sir Albert Ellis. His first camp site on the above at Ocean Island is marked by this coral pinnacle, with commemorative plaque and inscription.
A view from the Ocean Island (Banaba) boat harbour of the B.P.C. flagship, Tri-Ellis, loading phosphate under the Cantilever Loading Unit and simultaneously unloading cargo into lighters and pumping oil and water ashore.
Articulated transporter buses carry members of the B.P.C. indentured labour force on Nauru and Ocean Islands to their work in the phosphate fields.
This view of Tri-Ellis under the Cantilerver Loading Unit at Ocean Island shows how vessels are moored only 150 feet from the seaward edge of the treacherous coral reef, denoted by the surf line.
Phosphate raising operations in progress at Ocean Island (Banaba).
The solid nature of much of the rock phosphate in the Ocean Island fields calls for blasting, to break it up before it is extracted. Here drilling for the placing of blasting charges is in progress.
A view from the cliff of B.P.C. crushing, drying and storage installation at Ocean Island (Banaba).
I have dedicated the following poem to Banaba and the people of Banaba:
Banaba Our Rock of
You still stand proud like a rock
Although they took all you have got
The miners and Japanese
A few of us remain but it is just not the same
And I suppose just not meant to be.
And away with the clouds flying high in the sky
Blows the haunting wind of Nei Tiein
Wisely ever blowing and always ever knowing
You carry our earthly spirits far away again.
And frigate bird you can fly through the great bye and bye
Man's problems mean nothing to thee
As if Nareau the Wise had given you the eyes
To see right through all the hypocrisy.
For the spirits that guide us, the darkness that hides us,
Besides us always will be
For wherever we go, as both you and I know
We become what we are meant to be.
So good bye you old rock, say farewell to your flock
Now living on an island so far away
For whatever has come cannot be undone
And I will remember you always for the rest of my days
Banaba Our Rock of Kiribati.
Poem by Jane Resture
Flag of the Republic of Kiribati (including Banaba)
Welcome everybody to Micronesia Music Anthology which is available on
The anthology can be accessed by clicking on the 'Broadcast Schedule' after logging in to Micronesia Music Radio. This should allow you to determine when the anthology is available in your part of the world. For example, in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Australia, the anthology is available at 12 noon each Saturday. In Kiribati, the anthology is available each Saturday afternoon at 2 pm; California at 7 pm each Friday evening; New York at 10 pm each Friday evening, along with Florida and Boston, Massachusetts, USA, etc.
The anthology runs for 90 minutes in which the traditional chants are introduced with many from Kiribati, including Banaba and Rabi, followed by the beautiful songs of Micronesia. Thank you!
The schedule can also be accessed here
Pacific Islands Radio is very pleased to be able to advise that a collection of some of the most exciting and absorbing Gospel Music from the Pacific Islands is now being featured on Pacific Music Radio (FM mp3PRO Stereo), Pacific Islands Radio 33K (24 kbps) as well as Pacific Islands Radio 28K (16 kbps).
With an extended running time of three hours, the Gospel Music collection has proved to be extremely popular and features music of a number of very talented artists such as Bata Teinamati, Betania Gospel Singers and Emmaus Family Singers (Republic of Kiribati).
Please monitor the Broadcast Schedule of the above three Pacific Islands Radio stations for the availability and time of the Gospel Music collection. At present, this exciting collection is available every Sunday from 12 noon to 3 pm Australian eastern standard time.
For further information, please visit the following:
Thank you and Best Wishes