KIRIBATI

THE STORY OF MOSES KAURE

The story of Moses Kaure has been extracted from an article written by Reverend Hiram Bingham in the "Missionary Herald" of July 1890.

     

Abaiang, Gilbert Islands. On the 19th February, 1858, hardly three months after the arrival of Reverend Hiram Bingham on the Morning Star No. 1, the whole island was alarmed by the arrival of a fleet of one hundred war-proas from neighbouring island of Tarawa, manned by a thousand warriors who had come to take the island. The people of Abaiang fought back and the old King who had welcomed Reverend Bingham to the island was killed, and his oldest son was severely wounded; but in the end the invaders were defeated.

Soak in the enchanting sounds of the sun-drenched Oceania/Pacific Islands coming to you in 64kbps FM Stereo!

The next day on the battle field Reverend Bingham noticed the bodies of many women and the baby boy in the arms of one who had been killed in the battle. This child was no other than Moses Kaure who spent his early years at a village called Ewena, about two miles southeast of the mission stationed on Abaiang. Moses Kaure said that he could remember Reverend Bingham coming in the little boat the "Alfred" to teach the people on Sunday afternoon. Moses however did not care to attend Sunday school.

In later years Moses lived near the missionaries, and came under closer Christian instruction, and developed rare talents for improving the idiomatic character of Bingham's translation of the Bible. Moses was converted and was baptised receiving the name of Moses. He was married to one of the very early and dear pupils of Mrs. Bingham and Mrs. Kanoa. Her name was Teiro. She was also baptised and called Esther.

family.jpg (26855 bytes)

Moses Kaure and family.

Reverend Hiram Bingham was obliged to return to Honolulu in 1875 and in that city engaged in the work of preparing literature for the Gilbert Islanders. Mr. Taylor continued the training school at Abaiang and Moses Kaure went on with his studies. In 1879, Moses went to Honolulu to help Reverend Hiram Bingham in his literary work. Moses Kaure came in the Morning Star on February 1890 and at once assisted Mrs. Bingham in the preparation for the press of her Old Testament Bible stories. After four months, his wife became ill and they returned to Abaiang.

Moses continued with his studies and in 1882 was appointed a catechist and was stationed on Makin, the northernmost of the Gilbert Islands (Kiribati) about 100 miles from Abaiang. In 1886, Moses again returned to Honolulu to assist in the translation of the Old Testament. He was accompanied by his wife and three children. While in Hawaii, he enrolled his two daughters Esther and Miriam, at the Kawaiaho Seminary for Hawaiian girls where they continued for three years until 1889 when they went in the Morning Star to the school for girls at Kusaie (Kosrae).

For four years, Moses Kaure assisted Reverend Bingham in the translation of the Bible. On the 11th April, 1899 they had reached the last verse of the Old Testament, an interesting scene took place which was photographed at the time. Mrs. Bingham and Mrs. Kaure were present along with members of the Committee on Publications of the Hawaiian Board of Missions. In the presence of these and of other friends, the last verse of the Old Testament was translated, and the whole Bible was thus in the language of the Gilbert Islands.

On the evening of that day, at a meeting of the Hawaiian Board, one of the three copies made of this translation was given to Mr. Kaure for the Gilbert Islands people. He was to take to them should he return to the Gilbert Islands in the Morning Star by July next. Another copy was placed in the iron safe of the American Board in Honolulu, for safe preservation against fire. Another copy was sent to the American Bible Society for printing.

Moses Kaure then became the first of his countrymen to be ordained as a minister of the Gospel.

 

island.jpg (34007 bytes)

click here Jane's Kiribati Home Page  
click here Jane's Oceania Home Page
 
Jane Resture
(E-mail: jane@janeresture.com -- Rev. 16th February 2013)