The awaited birth
of Eidagaruwo. (Eidagaruwo was the baby girl born on the count for
the first Angam Day on the 26 october 1932. Although the national
effort was repeated in march 1949, Eidagaruwo's birthday os
maintained for this wateshed event in Nauru's history)
birthday, there were also three other mothers in the hospital ward
at that time awaited to give birth. It was a tense moment for the
mothers who were trying to be the mother to give birth to the
Nauruan child who would cap the target of 1,500 population
Dorcas Demuro delivered into life the long-awaited baby. She was
called the name "Eidagaruwo" expressing the feeling of "reaching
home" or "attaining a goal". Eidagaruwo's name was given to her by
the Administrator and Chiefs.
brought both good news and relief not only to the nation but also
to the other three mothers who were waiting with abated breath.
The cry of
Eidagaruwo rallied a big celebration throughout the island to
celebrate the occasion. Various sports were played in districts
like itsibweb, wrestling, ekaraduga, itsibwebwe, ekeniw egaro,and
amongst others iruwo.
That night big
bonfires were lit on the beach on every district and Chiefs went
around the island to judge who had the biggest bonfire.
Lo and behold, as
it turned out Aiwo District had the biggest bonfire with winning
blue flames, a result of stoking the fire with pieces of copper
During the early
days of foreign contact, the Nauruan population suffered and died
from the introduction of diseases which up until then were unknown
to the people living on an island isolated from all.
As early as 1902,
an influenza epidemic took toll of no less than 219 lives. At the
time of the initial phosphate operations during 1905 the population
was about 1,550. With the introduction of labour for the phosphate
operations, a sudden downward trend in brought by the newly
introduced labour. This spate of epidemics included many casualties
among the Nauruan people. During 1907, infantile paralysis which
systematically killed the Nauruan population.
The arrival of
Brigadier Griffiths in 1921 gave a new dimension to this serious
and local chiefs, a campaign was implemented to bring to attention
the fact that if Nauruans were to survive as a nation and their
identity to live at all times of 1,500.
The age old
problem of population decimation by tribal warfare had been
countered adversely by alien diseases and as one was growth was
stagnant, if not negative.
offered by the Administration in conjunction with Nauruan Chiefs
and elders, was a "prize" to the Nauruan lady whose child brought
the population figure up to 1,500 and that day to go down in
Nauruan history and celebrated as a national holiday.
continued with a steady increase to 1,800. However, the worst had
yet to come with the outbreak of World War 11, and the consequent
deportation of no less than 1,200 able-bodied Nauruans from the
population plunged to an exhausted overall figure of approximately
There can be no
doubt that the turning point in Nauruan survival (and history) was
the advent of the deported during wartime hostilities. While there
was no to little growth during the forty years from 1905 to 1942,
the period between 1942 and 1982 may be regarded as a Nauruan
renaissance. In the span of forty years, the population of Nauru
stood at over 5,000 in 1982. The danger of extinction has been
celebrated on 26 October is regarded as a very special and
significant day to the Nauruan people.