Kiribati Flag.

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Banaba, the former Ocean Island, Republic of Kiribati, was, until 1900 a peaceful island community until it was discovered that they were sitting on top of the richest phosphate deposits in the world. Banaba was not a typical coral atoll but rather a large rock of phosphate that had built up over generations. All that now remains are just a few coral pinnacles of mined-out wasteland.  


It is Banaba and the people of Banaba to whom I have dedicated the following poem:

Banaba Our Rock of Kiribati
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 again
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 Grand Dame Jane Resture, Ph.D.


About Banaba


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Jane Resture
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