Special Thanks to Kate Armstrong, who kindly shared below a collection of photographs from her family’s personal archives.
Kate’s father Patrick Reardon, served in the British Government’s Ministry of Overseas Development and was key in working with ministers in the years before Independence. They were there for the Independence Celebrations, leaving in 1979. Patrick Readon served initially in 1972 as Development Secretary, then in 1973 Financial Secretary and Acting Governor, and then with the Gilbert Islands Development Authority as Administrator from 1977-79. Patrick and his wife Margaret both considered their time on the Islands a great privilige and were some of the happiest times of their lives.
Some of the photos form part of a collection in the Weston Library at the Bodlean at the University of Oxford. (They form part of the collection of my mother’s which is related to her book An Unexpected Journey by Margaret Reardon https://www.facebook.com/
Kiribati Photos 1970s:
Previous KTA Independence Gatherings:
Kind Regards to Kate for her generosity in sharing the above, we hope you all enjoy looking through the photos.
From David Little
After suitable trials held by the Kiribati Athletics Association on Tarawa, top sprinter Tirioro Kamoriki Willie was selected to travel to the heat of Doha, Qatar, for the 17th. IAAF World Championships. These were staged between September 27th. and October 6th. Travelling with Tirioro was the current KAA Treasurer, Tekua Reeu Tekua. The travel arrangements were arranged centrally by the Competitions Manager of Oceania AA. For this trip there were no complications with visas !
They left Tarawa on Thursday, September 19th., stayed a few days in Fiji, then flew on to Hong Kong for their transit to Doha. They arrived at 0445 on Tuesday, Sept. 24th. To satisfy the drug-testing requirements, Tirioro was due to have his test on arrival in Doha, it being currently impossible to do it in-country through the Ministry of Health and Medical Services at Nawerewere on Tarawa.
Having attended the Oceania AA Meeting later that day, while Tiroro recovered (!), Tekua had to be ready to attend the IAAF Congress.
They were both involved in the Opening Ceremony on the morning of Friday, September 27th., Tirioro marching in the athletes’ parade and Tekua watching on!
Amazingly, Tirioro had recovered enough by 16.35 that afternoon to take his place at the start of lane 7 in Race 2 (of 4) of the Mens’ 100m. Preliminary Round. (The best of the athletes from these four races qualified to compete in the actual Heats later that evening.) The athletes and spectators in the renovated, 30,000-seat Khalifa International Stadium were protected against the desert heat of Doha by huge cool-air blowers at track level.
Having reacted very well (0.172 seconds) and started strongly, Tirioro stayed in contention for maybe 50m. but then the superior fitness and speed endurance of the other five enabled them to pull away. So he finished 6th. in 11.57. This was not far off his PB. For comparison, the winner of this race clocked 10.32 !) The four images (taken from the live BBC TV broadcast) herewith show him (in red top and blue tights) soon after the start; during the race; nearing the finish, and with his name on the results display.
They stayed a few days more, then Tirioro stopped off in Fiji while Tekua flew home. This was an unforgettable experience but perhaps a little disappointing due to the low attendance for these races. He should be proud to have shown the (best !) flag!
Report by David Little using data from OAA in Townsville. (June 29 2019)
KAA at the OAA Area Championships staged at Townsville, June 25-28 2019.
Nei Kairao Tune, current Secretary of KAA, was Team Manager for the six athletes who travelled to Townsville, N. Queensland, for this competition. Between them they covered some Mens’ and Womens’ sprints, Mens’ LJ and HJ, and Mens’ Discus. They were:- Nei Ruta Tooma, Tirioro Kamoriki Willie, Biira Burennara, John Ruuka, Lataisi Mwea, and Tongalua Walker Tune. Results:-
|Rank in event||Comment|
|M 100m. Prelim 2||Biira||5/7||11.63||23/33||Q for SF|
|Prelim 4||Tirioro||6/7||11.60||22||Q for SF|
|M 100m. Semi F 2||Biira||7/8||11.56||21/24||Non-Q for Final|
|3||Tirioro||7/8||11.41||20||Non-Q for Final|
|M Long Jump||Biira||11/11||5.90m.|
|U20 M High Jump||Lataisi||4/5||1.88m.||1 jump from 3rd. !|
|SM 200m. Prelim 4||Tirioro||6/7||23.59||20/28||Non-Qual|
|U18W 200m. Prelim1||Nei Ruta||7/7||30.73||15/15||Non-Qual|
|Open M Discus||Tongalua||8/8||23.79m.||Not yet 18 !|
A few other random points:-
Report from David Little, observing from UK. May 2nd. 2019.
The Arafura Games began as the “Arafura Sports Festival” in 1991 with 1500 athletes in seven sports. From 1999 the name changed to “Arafura Games”. With the exception of 2003, they have been held every two years until 2011, when they incorporated the Oceania Paralympic Championships in four sports. For various reasons, including perceived cost, there were no Games in 2012, 2015, or 2017. A decision was made to re-commence the event in April – May this year. Invitations were sent out earlier this year.
An approach was made to Kiribati Athletics Association (KAA) and this was referred to the National Olympic Committee (KNOC) since this is a multi-sport event. It was decided to send KAA athletes and a pair for Beach Volleyball. Offers were made to KNOC to cover the cost of return travel and accommodation. The organisers did everything to encourage KNOC to respond by sending athletes/players. But no application was made for the necessary FREE visas and thus no-one travelled from Tarawa. Fortunately four lifters, training in New Caledonia, were able to register for the Games and had their travel and other costs covered, independent of KNOC. It was possible that I-Kiribati Para athletes might have been able to travel, but this arrangement also fell through.
So four weight-lifters arrived in Darwin and prepared to compete. Their results:-
On April 27th. Ruben Katoatau (age 22) competed in the Mens’ 67 kg. category and won the GOLD medal, against five other lifters. His performances were:- in the snatch he lifted 125 kg., in clean and jerk 160 kg., giving a total of 285 kg.
On April 28th. 24-year-old Taretiita Baraniko Tabaroua contested the Mens’ 73 kg. category and ranked 4th. of the 8 lifters. His lifts were: 125 + 160 = 285 kg.
On the same day, 22-year-old Nei Tiiau Bakaekiri lifted 80 + 100 = 180 kg. in the Womens’ 71 kg. category and was ranked 4th. out of six.
Then on April 29th., the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, David Katoatau, contested the Mens’ 102 kg. division and won the silver medal. His lifts were: 140 + 190 = 330 kg. In the absence of a travelling coach, David was supervising the team.
Thus Kiribati was successfully represented at this major Asian competition. The next Arafura Games is due in spring of 2021.
Anote’s Ark English Documentary Premiere at The Science Museum
Following its world premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, the Science Museum and Royal Society present the English premiere of ‘Anote’s Ark’, the very first feature film to be shot in the Republic of Kiribati.
An island nation in the Pacific Ocean, Kiribati is destined disappear within decades as a result of rising sea levels—granting its citizens the unfortunate title of first climate refugees in history.
This moving documentary follows the country’s former president, Anote Tong, on his journey through international halls of power leading up to the UN Climate Change Conference.
For more details, please click here.
Join the special RA Late event celebrating contemporary Oceanic culture and the unique natural landscape of the pacific islands, from seas to skies.
Covering nearly one third of the Earth’s surface, the pacific ocean is home to hundreds of islands, each with unique cultures and histories. Join us in celebrating these living cultures, from cosmologies and navigation, performance and ritual as well as the vast surrounding ocean.
Think pacific night star-gazing, coral reef drawing, traditional dance performances, street food and cocktail bars, lively talks and discussions plus DJs and music until late.
Please note that KTA dancers will be performing at the event, so all are welcome.
For more details please click on the event here.
(From David Little) – An update on the Kiribati performance in the 9th Micronesian Games 2018.