Kiribati
 
 

               21 Dec 1605  Spanish Capt. Pedro Fernández de Quirós discovers Butaritari, 
                             which he names Buen Viaje.
               02 Jul 1765  Nikunau discovered by British Capt. John Byron.
                      1788  British Capt. Thomas Gilbert visits the islands.

                     
....  Abemama kingdom established.
                      1820  Named Gilbert Islands by Russian Admiral Adam
von Krusenstern.
              
13 Aug 1877  Under British jurisdiction by the British Western Pacific
                             order.
               27 May 1892  Gilbert Islands declared a British protectorate by H.M. Davis
                             of HMS Royalist.

          09 - 16 Oct 1892  Gibert and Ellice Islands declared a British protectorate.
              
26 Sep 1901  Ocean (Banaba) Island annexed by U.K.
              
12 Jan 1916  Gilbert and Ellice Islands a British crown colony. 
 
12 Jan 1916 - 02 Jan 1976  Part of the British Western Pacific Territories.
              
18 Mar 1937  Phoenix Islands (part of Kiribati) annexed by U.K.
               08 Apr 1937  Phoenix Islands (Canton, Enderbury, Hull, Birnie, Gardner,
                             Phoenix, Sydney, McKean, Christmas, Caroline, Starbuck,
                             Malden, Flint and Vostok islands) part of Gilbert and
                             Ellice Islands.
 
29 Feb 1916 - 01 Jan 1949  Colony includes Union Group (Tokelau).
09 Dec 1941 - 20/23 Nov 1943 Japanese occupation (occupation: Makin 10 Dec 1941 - 17 Aug
                             1942, from 30 Aug 1942, Butaritari 19 Aug 1942, Ocean Island
                             26 Aug 1942 - 10 Oct 1945; Abemama 31 Aug 1942 - 23 Nov 1943,
                             Tarawa 09 Dec 1941 and Sep 1942 - 23 Nov 1943).

               01 Oct 1975  Separation of the Ellice Islands as Tuvalu.
              
12 Jul 1979  Independence of the Gilbert Islands as Independent and
                             Sovereign Republic of Kiribati.
              
20 Sep 1979  U.S. recognizes Canton (Kanton), Enderbury, Hull (Orona),
                             Birnie, Gardner (Nikumaroro), Phoenix (Rawaki), Sydney
                             (Manra), McKean, Christmas (Kiritimati), Caroline, Starbuck,
                             Malden, Flint and Vostok islands as part of Kiribati
                             (effective 23 Sep 1983).

 

 
The Republic of Kiribati (formerly the Gilbert Islands), consists of 30 coral atolls and islands spread over more than one million sq. mi. (2,590,000 sq. km.) of the southwest Pacific Ocean, has an area of 332 sq. mi. (717 sq. km.). An extensive reach of ocean in the equatorial zone of the central Pacific, consisting of the Gilbert Group, the Phoenix Group, and most of the Line Island Group of islands. The most important island is Tarawa, site of a significant battle during World War II.  Capital: Bairiki, on Tarawa (Butaritari 1892 - 17 Jan 1916; Tapiri 17 Jan 1916 - 1945; Bairiki 1945 - 12 Jul 1976). In addition to the Gilbert Islands proper, Kiribati includes Ocean Island, the Central and Southern Line Islands, and the Phoenix Islands, though possession of Canton and Enderbury of the Phoenix Islands is disputed with the United States. Most families engage in subsistence fishing. Copra and phosphates are exported, mostly to Australia and New Zealand. The Gilbert Islands and the group formerly called the Ellice Islands (now Tuvalu) comprised a single British crown colony, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. Spanish mutineers first sighted the islands in 1537, succeeding visits were made by the English navigators John Byron (1764), James Cook (1777), and Thomas Gilbert and John Marshall (1788). An American, Edward Fanning, arrived in 1798. Britain declared a protectorate over the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and in 1915 began the formation of a colony which was completed when the Phoenix Islands were added to the group in 1937. The Central and Southern Line Islands were administratively attached to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony in 1972, and remained attached to the Gilberts when Tuvalu was created in 1975. The colony became self-governing in 1971. Kiribati attained independence on July 12, 1979. Motto: "Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa" (Health, Peace and Prosperity).
 

Currency: Kiribati Dollar (KID) = 100 cents were introduced since 1979. Australian Dollar (AUD) are also used. Both currencies are pegged one to one.

 
1979
 

KM#2 2 cents. Year: 1992. Weight: 5.16g [5.20g]. Metal: Bronze. Diameter: 21.60 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms in the center. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: B'abal plant below value "CENTS 2". Mintage: 25,000 + 10,000 Proof. Minted Years: 1979 and 1992. Engraver: Michael Hibbit.

KM#3a 5 cents. Year: 1979 (but produced after 1992). Weight: 2.75g. Metal: Copper-Nickel plated Steel. Diameter: 19.30 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms in the center. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: Stump-tailed Gecko below value "CENTS 5". Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: 1992 and frozen date 1979. Engraver: Michael Hibbit.

Note: KM#3 also exists in Copper-Nickel metal dated 1979.

KM#4 10 cents. Year: 1979. Weight: 5.69g [5.70g]. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 23.60 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms in the center. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: Bread fruit above value "10 CENTS". Mintage: 20,000 + 10,000 Proof. Minted Years: One year type. Engraver: Michael Hibbit.

KM#5 20 cents. Year: 1979. Weight: 11.23g [11.15g]. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 28.45 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms in the center. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: Three dolphins above value "20 CENTS". Mintage: 20,000 + 10,000 Proof. Minted Years: One year type. Engraver: Michael Hibbit.

KM#6 50 cents. Year: 1979. Weight: 15.59g [15.40g]. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 31.65 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms in the center. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: Panda nut above value "50 CENTS". Mintage: 20,000 + 10,000 Proof. Minted Years: One year type. Engraver: Michael Hibbit.

KM#7 1 Dollar. Year: 1979. Weight: 11.70g. Metal: Copper-Nickel. Diameter: 30.00 mm; 12-sided. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms in the center. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: Outrigger sailboat above written value "ONE DOLLAR". Mintage: 20,000 + 10,000 (Proof). Minted Years: One year type. Engraver: Michael Hibbit.

KM#8 5 Dollars. Year: 1979. Weight: 28.16g. Metal: 0.925 Silver. Diameter: 41.00 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms in the center. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: Seated man with arms outstretched. Value "FIVE DOLLARS" written at the bottom. Mintage: 1,545. Minted Years: One year type. Subject: Independence.

Note: KM#8a also existed with 0.925 Silver contents (Mintage = 3,326).

 
1992
 

KM#1a 1 cent. Year: 1992. Weight: 2.60g. Metal: Bronze plated Steel. Diameter: 17.50 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms in the center. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: Christmas Island Frigate Bird. Value "CENT 1" written at the top. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type. Engraver: Michael Hibbit.

Note: KM#1 also exists in Bronze metal dated 1979 and 1992.

KM#2 2 cents. Year: 1992. Weight: 5.20g. Metal: Bronze. Diameter: 21.60 mm. Edge: Plain. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms in the center. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: B'abal plant below value "CENTS 2". Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: 1979 and 1992. Engraver: Michael Hibbit.

KM#18 20 Dollars. Year: 1992. Weight: 31.47g. Metal: 0.925 Silver. Diameter: 41.00 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: National arms above motto "TE MAURI, TE RAOI AO TE TABOMOA" (Health, Peace and Prosperity)." written within ribbon. "KIRIBATI" written with date at the bottom. Reverse: "ENDANGERED WILDLIFE" written at the top. Frigate birds around Kiritimati (Christmas Island) in the center. Value "20 DOLLARS" written at the bottom. Mintage: N/A. Minted Years: One year type.

 

 

  • Chiefs of Abemama (title Uea)
  • Local chieftaincies, increasingly in contact with Europeans from the 18th century on, particularly whalers.
  • Tem Tetabo
  • Tem Namoriki
  • Tem Karotu.................................................? - c. 1841
  • Tem Tawaia...........................................c. 1841 - c. 1850
  • Tem Baiteke..........................................c. 1850 - 1878
  • Tem Binoka..............................................1878 - 10 Nov 1891
  • Tem Bauro........................................10 Nov 1891 - ?
  • Protectorate of Great Britain....................16 Oct 1892 - 12 Jan 1916
    • Tem Tokatake..........................................? - c. 1911
  • Great Britain....................................12 Jan 1916 - 09 Dec 1941
  • Japan............................................09 Dec 1941 - 20 Nov 1943
  • Great Britain....................................23 Nov 1943 - 1971
  • Self-governing colony of Great Britain..................1971 - 12 Jul 1979
    • Governor
    • Sir John Osbaldiston Field..................01 Jan 1972 - 1973
    • John Hilary Smith..................................1973 - 1978
    • Reginald James Wallance............................1978 - 12 Jul 1979
  • President (beretitenti)
  • Ieremia Tienang Tabai (1st time).................12 Jul 1979 - 10 Dec 1982
  • He is known from 23 Oct 1982 as Sir Ieremia Tienang Tabai. He served as Chief Minister from Mar 1978 to 12 Jul 1979.
  • Rota Onorio (Chairman Council of State)..........10 Dec 1982 - 18 Feb 1983
  • Sir Ieremia Tienang Tabai (2nd time).............18 Feb 1983 - 04 Jul 1991
  • Teatao Teannaki..................................04 Jul 1991 - 24 May 1994
  • Tekiree Tamuera (Chairman Council of State)......24 May 1994 - 28 May 1994
  • Ata Teaotai (Chairman Council of State)..........28 May 1994 - 01 Oct 1994
  • Teburoro Tito....................................01 Oct 1994 - 28 Mar 2003
  • Tion Otang (Chairman Council of State)...........28 Mar 2003 - 10 Jul 2003
  • Anote Tong.......................................10 Jul 2003 - 11 Mar 2016
  • He was easily re-elected on 17 October 2007, for a second term (64%). In 2012, Tong was reelected for a third term, although with a significantly smaller percentage than in the previous two elections.
  • Taneti Maamau....................................11 Mar 2016 - date
  • In presidential elections, Taneti Maamau wins about 60% of the vote, Rimeta Beniamina about 38.5% and Tianeti Ioane about 1.5%.
 
Important events on parts of other Islands:
 

Banaba (Ocean) Island

 
               03 Jan 1801  Discovered by U.S. Capt. Jered Gardener, named Rodman's
                             Island
                      1804  Re-discovered by British Capt. John Mertho aboard Ocean and
                             named Ocean Island.
               03 May 1900  Ceded to British Phosphate Company (BPC) by local chiefs.
               28 Nov 1900  Jurisdiction of the British Resident Commissioner for Gilbert
                             and Ellice Islands is extended to Ocean Island.
               28 Sep 1901  Annexed for U.K. by Adm. Tupper aboard HMS Pylades.
 26 Aug 1942 - 10 Oct 1945  Japanese (under Commander
Suzuki Naoomi from 01 sep 1942)
                      1942  Japanese deport most islanders to Nauru or Tarawa.
               15 Dec 1945  Islanders are relocated to Rabi Island, Fiji.
                      1977  Islanders begin to return.
               12 Jul 1979  Part of independent Kiribati.
               25 Nov 1979  Phosphate mining ends.
 

Canton and Enderbury Islands

 
                   1820's  Discovered by U.S.
                   1850's  British rediscover the island.
                 Dec 1823  Enderbury Island discovered by Capt. James Coffin on British 
                            ship Transit.
              28 Aug 1840  Enderbury visited by the U.S. Exploring Expedition under 
                            Capt. Wilkes.
              04 Mar 1854  U.S. whaling ship Canton under Capt. Andrew Wing runs around
                            on reef on Canton Island.
                     1872  U.S. Capt. Meade aboard U.S.S. Narragansett names it Canton I.
              10 Jul 1889  Enderbury Island claimed by Britain.
              06 Aug 1936  Canton Island claimed by Britain (and reclaimed on 3 Jun 1937).
              08 Apr 1937  Part of British Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony.
              31 Aug 1937  HMS Leith lands 2 radio operators on Canton Island to
maintain
                            British sovereignty.
              03 Mar 1938  Canton and Enderbury Islands claimed by U.S., placed under
                            Department of Interior.
              06 Mar 1938  U.S. Coast Guard cutter Taney lands a party of colonists
                            on Enderbury Island
              06 Apr 1939  Canton and Enderbury Islands made a joint Anglo-American
                            condominium for fifty years.
                     1968  U.S. ends its presence on the islands.
              12 Jul 1979  Part of independent Kiribati.
              20 Sep 1979  Canton and Enderbury Islands are recognized as part of
Kiribati
                            by the U.S.
 

Christmas (Kiritimati) Island

 
              24 Dec 1774  Discovered by British Capt. James Cook, named Christmas Island.
              11 Mar 1857  Claimed for U.S.
              17 Mar 1888  Annexed by Britain.
                     1902  U.K. grants a 99-year lease to Lever Pacific Plantations.
              28 Nov 1919  U.K. reasserts its claim to Christmas Island and annexes it 
                            to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.
                     1936  U.S. challenges Britain's claim to Christmas Island.
                 Feb 1937  British open radio station.

              12 Jul 1979  Part of independent Kiribati.
              20 Sep 1979  Recognized as part of Kiribati by the U.S.
 
 
 
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