Sunrise at Millennium Island
As the new millennium dawns on the eve of the Year 2000, it is the little known island of Millennium (Caroline) that will be the first to witness this momentous occasion.
In 1994 President Tito of the Republic of Kiribati unilaterally shifted the International Date Line to the country's eastern extremity. This was done to place each part of the Republic of Kiribati on the same calendar day. However, as President Tito said: "Later I realised I had accidentally made a good decision". The good decision was that Kiribati would be the first to see the dawn of new Millennium!
Little is known about Millennium Island which is hidden away in the southern Line Islands of the Republic of Kiribati. It is a one kilometre by ten kilometre atoll made up of twenty tiny islets. In 1868 it had a population of 27 people but since then things have not changed very much and the coconut-treed shores have seen few people this century. This is about to change however with the millennium celebrations planned by the people of the Republic of Kiribati. The focus of these celebrations will be two exciting and colourful segments featuring a seventy strong team of the country's top dancers and singers. This will be attended by the President and will be broadcast live by satellite to the world from the remote Millennium Island.
The theme of the midnight celebrations will be "new light" and the passing from the old to the new. It will involve dance, chant and a torch of peace and hope will be passed on to the rest of the world by a child and an old man in a traditional canoe. The dawn celebration will be especially magic. The new dawn will be symbollically embraced by dancers and singers and will develop into a rich feast of music and dance incorporating a brief message of hope to the world from President Teburoro Tito.
In mid 1999 a group went to Millennium Island to symbolically place the I-Kiribati flag on behalf of the people of the Republic of Kiribati. They were in effect the advanced party who studied the island and witnessed the coming of a new day to Millennium Island. The following images depict the story of their journey which started from Kiritimati (Christmas) Island.
Arrival at Millennium Island
Millennium Island - Wild Life
Departing Millennium Island
Copyright © 1999-2009 by Jane Resture (firstname.lastname@example.org -- Rev. 2nd January 2010)