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BV-RNINQ BULLETIN, ; POffltlR .g9, ufa
THE GILBERT ISLANDS
Ex Bktne " Castle "
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K W. JORDAN.
Nntlvcs arc Vrotcctcd I'mler the Hrl-
tlh FJatf-Olirldtlnnlty Illmlcrcil
lr Necliirlnn Nqlinbllc.
Thoro wos ouce a little bit of
trado betwoon Honolulu and the
Gilbert Islands. Natives of that
group onoo mado pnrt of tho
plantation labor supply of tho
Hawaiian Islands. They got civil
ized horo to tho extent of giving
clothes an attachment for thom
whilo they stayed but which was
lost as soon as they got out tho
channel in tho vessel that took
thotn away and of knowing tho
groat value of gunB for righting
public and private wrongs. Bo
sides all that, tho Gilbort Island
ers received tho sacred ncripturos
in their own tongue from mis
sionaries of Honolulu. Therefore,
the following statomout of tho
presont conditions existent on
that group will havo considerable
local interest. It is from an in
terview had by tho Australian
Star with W. Telfor-Coiupbell, tho
British resident at tho Gilberts,
while ho was on a visit to Sydney
tho latter part of November. Tho
intimation that frost is not an un
known quality in tho Gilborlian
climato is a shocking surprise, as
tho group is close onough to tho
equator to make tho verdict, "Ho
needed kill in'," a proper ouo in
respect to anyone whoso Blaying
might have boon the sequel of his
asking, "Is this hot enough for
Mr. Campbell stated that at
tho presont time although things
aro Boraowhat quiet in tho
group thoro is a stoady im
provement in many respects. Mr.
Campbell states that ho arrived in
Sydney on Octobor 31 last, tho
object of his trip being to confer
with tho High Commissioner of
Fiji on tho protectorates in gener
al. His own headquarters aro at
Tarawa. Things aro improving
in tho islands from a commercial
point of viow on account of such n
favorable season following tho
frost and sevoredroughtfl of recent
years. A couple of murders havo
recently taken place in tho group,
and ono man, who is at present
under sontonco of death, is to bo
executed shorllv. Mr. Cnmnlmll
stutos that he would like it to bo
generally understood that sinco
tho two groups havo been formed
uudor British nroteulrntfH lm
peoplo And that they uauuot do as
mey nue mere. XJiey tlul not liko
this at all, but they know that if
they do not conform to tho regula
tions they will not be allowed to
It was not tho wish of tho Gov-
ernmont to prevent tho peoplo
seining ctown wore, but as the
British flag had been hoisted for
tho protection of tho uativos, the
natives would bo pvotocted. In
former years, said Mr. Campbell,
tho treatment tho natives received
in some places in tho group was a
diggraco to humanity. Traders
used to call there with gin, which
they traded off ou tho natives for
cocoanut oil, with the result that
the natives became intoxicated,
ami-remained to for weeks. Tiiu
chief export ut the present time
was copra. Lands wore now bo
ing gradually reclaimed bv tho
native population, and they were
cultivating Papoi a kind of
coarso Tara and Pandanus, but
tho latter did not require much
cultivation. Tho whito popula
tion numbered at presont about
UOO, and consisted principally of
traders who camo and wout just
as it suited thom.
With regard to tho missionary
work in tho group, Mr. Campboll
uiiid what was required in the two
groups was more Christianity and
lesa quarreling over questions of
dootriiHt. The difforont socts thoro
quarreled amongst thomsolves,
and botweon thom all the noor
native did not know exactly where
No regular statistics had been
compiled with regard to tho isl
and and it was difficult at pre
sent to toll what trado was done.
Tho principal trado was at present
dono with Sydney, and two Syd
noy firms had tho lead thoro.
Thoro was ovory prospect of
things going on quietly, and of a
steady improvement being made.
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