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Online Catalogue last updated 31st of January 2016


Snapshots & Snippets Old Nauru and the Phosphate Industry by Dee Goodey

cover photo

The book details the prosperous side of Nauru. The name of the game was copra (kernel of coconut) and factories of Germany were ready to process copra into soap, oil and margarine. Pleasant Island had one of the richest sources of copra in the Pacific. By 1884 three trading companies were represented on the island.

In 1988 Pleasant Island was renamed Nauru.

The richness of Nauru is its Phosphate Industry. Albert Ellis discovered the phosphate in Nauru in 1900. The soil in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Japan lacked phosphates needed to support their growing primary food industry.

In its raw state, phosphate will not sustain growth as it is insoluble in water. But if one crushes it fine, mixes it with sulphuric acid and we have phosphate of lime or just 'super'. Livestock fed on grass topped with 'super' produced better meat and richer milk.

Everybody loved 'super'.

World War I hardly caused a ripple in the daily life of the Nauruan people and the years following the War were prosperous for everyone in Nauru.

There are interesting chapters on The Japanese occupation, Prisoners in Truk, the Boat Harbour, Anibare Bay and fascinating Tales and Truths. Maps of Nauru and South Pacific Ocean add to the value of this super publication.

The author has first-hand knowledge of Nauru. Her dad, Lindsay Louis Martin, was employed by the British Phosphate Commission from 1929 onwards in Nauru. Her parents lived in Nauru till 1958. Now living in Sydney, the aurhor visited Nauru in March 1999 and was so fascinated that she visited it six months later with her husband Kevin. She needed to find out more of the history of the island that had formed her early years. Result is this fascinating book.

This classy publication is illustrated with almost a hundred photographs of the local population, trees, planes, food, boats, sports, Nauru stamps and the machienry of industry on the island. These are rare photos and are worth the price of buying the book.

Code No. 016916, 256 pages, ISBN 9780646597133, $77.00

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