Thursday, July 8, 2010


The Importance Of Accurate School Records In Highlighting Students' Achievements, Cognitive Development And For Ongoing Genealogical Research

As a Pacific Islander, Jane felt most fortunate in having attended Immaculate Heart College for some years before continuing her education in Sydney, Australia. Like many of her fellow students, Jane has many happy and most wonderful recollections of this time. It is her great pleasure to be able to share one of them with you all (in her own words as per one of her monthly Newsletters of 2005) in addition to her own current observations:

"It was such a marvellous experience that brought about my humble belief in the importance of live theatre, including singing and dancing, in the preservation of the cultural identity of people worldwide.

The experience came about when I was selected by my fellow students and staff to play the lead role (Abu Hassan) in the dramatic play: "ABU HASSAN PAYS HIS DEBTS'. It was a play built very much around the central role of Abu Hassan, and one that received popular acclaim throughout the Republic of Kiribati and Tuvalu, as well as neighbouring islands and beyond. Critical reports indicated that the role of the supposedly dead Abu had been played with such dramatic effect "that made the staff recognize the importance of drama in the teaching and improving of English. From then on the teachers always tried to have it as part of the curriculum'."

Jane thinks that it is very important to remember that live theatre is something that should always be encouraged as a learning experience, a form of entertainment and, perhaps more importantly, as a teaching medium and the means of preserving the cultural heritage of us all.

* * * * *

September 2005 was the Golden Jubilee of Immaculate Heart College, Taborio, Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati. 'A book entitiled: RECTA SAPERE - The story of Immaculate Heart College, Taborio, 1955-2005, was prepared, presented and distributed by a former non-I-Kiribati student of Immaculate Heart College, from the island of Nanumea, Tuvalu, who is now a nun or Sister of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, based at Teaoraereke, Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati. The book was intended to provide a true representation of the history and achievements of Immaculate Heart College and was launched as part of the Golden Jubilee'.

The Latin RECTA SAPERE is "TO RELISH WHAT IS RIGHT' and, to be able to do this, one has "to know what is right". The school motto: RECTA SAPERE was later changed to "SEEK TRUTH" which was incorporated into the school logo.

Most disappointingly and very sadly, the book - ...The Story of Immaculate Heart College, Taborio, 1955-2005, outlining the history and achievements of Immaculate Heart College, does not give an accurate record of many of the aspects of Immaculate Heart College during the period 1955-2005, including, among other things, Jane's part in playing the role of Abu Hassan which was incorrectly and deliberately given to someone else. Even her scholarship to complete her secondary education at St. Scholastica's College, Glebe Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, was deliberately taken off the record altogether.

Indeed, at most, it is a very poor record of Immaculate Heart College and the many outstanding and gifted students who attended Immaculate Heart College during this time. It contains errors that are so numerous that the same document will have to be completely researched and rewritten to provide a factual representation of the history and achievements of Immaculate Heart College along with the role played by many former students and staff during this period. The extent to which these errors result from inaccurate and distorted information or from an attempt by the author to undermine the achievements of prominent students is now under investigation. However, this whole matter raises many questions about the honesty, credibility and integrity that are central to the preparation of this document.

In this context, Jane's other concerns, and the concerns of many other former students relate to several gross inaccuracies in this book. Indeed, in their Kiribati (along with other islands and countries) customs, these things reflect very badly on them all including their dear families, extended families, the government of Kiribati and Tuvalu (who were responsible for their scholarships, education and achievements during that period of time), as well as their many friends and associates all of whom know the truth. Certainly, this also raises questions about the possible existence of jealousy, revenge and vindictiveness on behalf of the author of this document. In this respect, Jane is now looking at a positive step in rectifying a very serious situation of errors which, if not corrected, in the Kiribati (and normal) way, will go on and on, and be discussed and disputed for generations to come - there will be no end to it until it is corrected.

Many of the former students feel that they have been badly treated, robbed, denied and cheated in this document in such a manner that causes them considerable distress and will no doubt cause distress in their families for generations to come. Certainly, a considerable effort needs to be applied to correct this appalling book which has now been brought forward by the same non-I-Kiribati author (Sister of the Congregation of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart) from the island of Nanumea, Tuvalu, into a Master's thesis and presented to the University of the South Pacific (USP), Suva, Fiji - and seek the truth according to the Immaculate Heart College (Taborio, Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati) motto: SEEK TRUTH.*

Jane's comments, above, are not intended to reflect, in a general sense, upon the integrity of the rest of the former and present staff (at Immaculate Heart College) who have certainly done and still continue to do so much to bring, among so many other beneficial and important things, higher education and good Christian values to their students and the wonderful people of the Republic of Kiribati (and elsewhere). Sadly and unfortunately, it only takes the actions of one or two former staff, in this case, to impact adversely upon the good names of Immaculate Heart College as well as those of the many former students and former staff who have been badly treated, denied, robbed and cheated of their good names and achievements. Let us hope that Immaculate Heart College and its present staff continue with their good work and seek truth in order to forever erase and correct these (and future) unfortunate injustices.


It is very pleasing to be able to report now that, on 25th May 2010, after high level and most understanding representations (by the Australian High Commission to Kiribati) on my behalf and on behalf of my fellow former students and staff of my former college, Immaculate Heart College, that several corrections to the multitude of errors in the abovementioned document, via telephone, have now been most reluctantly put into place. This telephone advice from the Catholic Archive at Teaoraereke, Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati, will, hopefully, (and I do mean 'hopefully') be followed by a requested written confirmation. This is the first and most difficult step of the many steps necessary to correct the multitude of very serious errors still present in this document on behalf of the many former students and staff of Immaculate Heart College who were badly treated and cheated by the same Tuvaluan nun who was the author of "RECTA SAPERE - The Story of Immaculate Heart College, Taborio, 1955-2005".

As a result of all the above, I think that it is very important to remember that it is worth persevering, at all times, in the belief that when we seek truth, the truth will always ultimately prevail and we will be successful and triumphant in the end. Thanks be to God!

.....Jane Resture

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Monday, June 21, 2010

The Origin of what is now commonly known as the Sweet Potato

For many years, researches and scientists have speculated that ancient Pacific Island voyagers may have reached the shores of South America. Indeed, Arthur Grimble (later Sir Arthur Grimble), in an article in 'National Geographic Magazine' of January 1943, mentions a tradition among the Micronesian people of the Gilbert Islands (now the Republic of Kiribati), that one of their early adventurers reached the shores of the American continent, more than 4,500 miles away.

The stories tell of one Raakau, the greatest of all Gilbertese navigators who reported a land that stretched along the eastern edge of the ocean, to northward without end, and to the southward without end. It was said that this land lies beyond the farthest eastward islands and it was a wall of mountains up against the place where the sun rises, standing over plains full of fertility. There is only one littoral in the Pacific that can be said to fit this description, and that is the western coast of the American continent.

In addition, the late Professor Roland B. Dixon was convinced that the sweet potato reached Polynesia from America by the aid of human hands. He also concluded that the transference of the plant was carried out by Polynesians who had reached the Peruvian coast and had taken the valuable plant back with them to their island home. The Peruvian coast was specified because, in the Kechua dialet of north Peru, the name for the sweet potato is "kumar" and, in the Polynesian name for the plant is "kumara".

In this respect, it is most interesting to see that a paper that recently appeared in the prestigious 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Science' provides the first hard evidence supporting the view that Polynesians did, in fact, sail all the way to the west coast of the American continent, at least a century before the arrival of Columbus.

The key to this breakthrough was chicken bones found in Chile which were radiocarbon dated as approximately 600 years old. DNA testing revealed that the bones carried a rare mutation otherwise only found in chickens from Mele Havea, Tonga, and Fatu-ma-Futi, American Samoa. This evidence clearly indicates a pattern of interaction between Polynesians, long recognized as some of the world's finest sailors and navigators in times preceding Western contact, and South Americans. To put it simply, Polynesians not only made it to America before Columbus, but they apparently introduced the chicken to the continent, as well, with these fowls having a DNA identical to chickens found in Tonga and Tutuila, Samoa.

Another interesting story relating to Polynesian voyagers comes from the study of the chemistry of ancient basalt adzes found in the Tuamotus in the 1930s. Scientists from the University of Queensland, in Australia, have definitely traced one of them to the island of Kahoolawe. The research, published in the Journal 'Science', confirms the view that ancient voyagers came to Hawaii from what is now French Polynesia, and then returned.

Indeed, the early legends from Hawaii recount many voyages to and from Tahiti. In sailing south, the course was maintained by keeping the North Star directly astern. When the North Star sank into the sea, the star Newe was taken as the southern guide and the constellation of Humu was overhead. The last voyager mentioned in Hawaiian traditions was the priest Paao, who arrived from Ra'iatea in about 1275 A.D.

In any event, it is pleasing to see that the modern scientific tools of DNA analysis and chemical testing are confirming so many of the early oral traditions of Pacific Island people. They are also confirming the view that the Polynesians are some of the finest canoe builders, sailors and navigators that the world has ever known.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Pacific Islands Radio - Upgrade to CD Quality FM Stereo 64kbps

Greetings to all our Pacific Islands Radio Listeners!

I am very pleased to be able to share with you all, our many good and loyal listeners worldwide, that the recent upgrade of our beautiful Pacific Islands Radio to CD quality FM Stereo, coming to you all in 64kbps, has greatly enhanced our beautiful Pacific Islands/Oceania music. This has certainly allowed our music, performed by our many very talented artists, to be heard and enjoyed by our worldwide audience to its best advantage.

With our Playlists being constantly arranged and updated, for your listening pleasure, with new and exciting artists (including those talented artists from other islands worldwide), you are all invited to share in this most exciting cutting-edge presentation and enjoyment by logging on or from any of the links and widgets on my Jane Resture's thousands of Web pages within my four Domains: and last but not least:

Wherever you are, I wish you all the very best. Please enjoy!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Aboriginal Art to be placed on display at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing

DOT paintings from the indigenous Papunya community from National Museum of Austalia's successful 2007-08 exhibition are being sent to an exhibition at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. The exhibition, Papunya painting: Out of the Austalian Desert, will be the biggest collection of Australian Art to show in the Chinese capital. The Chinese are quite hungry for knowledge about Australian Aboriginal art and culture.

It is understood that China will reciprocate by sending an exhibition of its own, possibly a recent exhibition of Chinese revolutionary art.

The Aboriginal collection made up of 48 art works and 18 ethnographic objects, tell a story of the Papunya Tula art movement between 1974 and 1981. The movement established Australian indigenous art in the contemporary art world. The artists in this exhibition have become familiar names in the art world and included such big names as Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri and Billy Stockman Tjapaltjarri.

Detailed information plates, giving the artists' biographies and explaining the symbols of motifs will be translated into mandarin with the aim of enhancing the understanding of indigenous culture. It is worth noting that the Papunya collective formed among indigenous men of the western deserts of Central Australia has become the model for many other indigenous artists collectives.

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Arnhem Land Art could be the World's Oldest

Rock art found in central Arnhem Land could be among the oldest examples of rock painting in the world - if the birds depicted in the painting prove to be what scientists think they are. Rock art specialists suspect that the painting depicted the long-distinct genyomis. The genyomis, a flightless bird which stood three times the height of an emu, was one of the megafauna to become extinct when human began burning the continent for hunting and land-clearing forty thousand years ago.

Indeed, verification of the age of the painting would more than double the potential age of painted rock art in Australia. In this respect, rock once attached to the site of the paintings was yet to be dated, however, it is believed that once completed, this would confirm the species depicted.

The paintings showed a thick, rounded beak, which was characteristic of the genyomis. The painted birds, the largest of which is a metre in height, also feature a crop or a muscular pouch near the throat which forms part of the digestive tract and short, very solid legs.

Certainly, if the image was that of a genyomis, it would date the painting as at least 40,000 years, making it one of the oldest examples of rock art in the world. It was certainly slightly predate some of the oldest reliable rock art of parts of Europe, which go back 30,000 years.

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Overfishing of our Oceans

It is rather disturbing to read that thirteen years after the world rallied to curb overfishing, most nations are failing to abide by the United Nation's "code of conduct" for managing fisheries. Australia, Norway, the United States, Canada, Iceland and Namibia were the only nations that scored above a 60 per cent compliance rate, the equivalent of a barely passing "D" grade, according to a marine scientist's research.
The global fisheries standards were developed in 1995 by the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome. Though voluntary, the 12-part code is based on rules of international law and some of it has been made into legally binding agreements. It was crafted to include all aspects of the fishing business, including processing and trade in fish products, aquaculture, marine research and coastal management, reducing pollution and harmful fishing practices. The code also has been translated into 100 languages to try to encourage people to follow it.
Sadly, a survey published in the journal 'Nature' raises troubling questions about how the world's marine fisheries can continue to supply the main source of protein for many on the Planet with the oceans being severely overfished.
A spokesman for the United Nation Environment Program said that overfishing shows nations' failure to address "fundamental links" between ecology and the daily needs of tens of millions of people. The spokesman went on to say that "It's absolutely clear that one of the great market failures of modern times is the management of the world's fisheries, and there are examples from almost every fishery across the globe where the fishing effort exceeds the available catch".
Indeed, it was two years ago, that a team of ecologists and economists warned in the journal 'Science' that just about all seafood sources face collapse by 2048 if current trends of overfishing and pollution continue.
There is no doubt that these findings present a serious problem for people worldwide and, in particular, for our Pacific Island people for whom fish stocks are an essential and only source of protein. Certainly, declining fish stocks may well make it impossible for our traditional island way of life to survive for much longer.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Our Pacific Ocean - About Rubbish

Welcome everybody to Jane's blog where you are invited to share your thoughts and experiences about our beautiful Pacific Ocean. I do not want to start out on a negative note, however, I would like to thank those people who have written in expressing concern about the amount of litter that they have encountered in various parts of the Pacific.These comments are of particular concern in the light of recent reports describing the Pacific Ocean as the world's largest rubbish dump - a vast area of floating plastic debris and other flotsam drifting in the northern Pacific Ocean, held there by swirling ocean currents.

Often referred to as the great Pacific garbage patch, it is now alarming some with its ever-growing size and possible impact on human health.The "patch" is, in fact, two huge linked areas of circulating rubbish, stretching from about 500 nautical miles off the coast of California, across the northern Pacific to near the coast of Japan. Almost twice the size as continental United States, the islands of Hawaii are placed almost in the middle, so piles of plastic are regularly washed up on some beaches there. The concentration of floating plastic debris just beneath the ocean's surface is the product of underwater currents, which conspire to bring together all the junk - an estimated 100 million tonnes of plastic - that accumulates in the Pacific Ocean. Studies have indicated that about 20 per cent of the junk is thought to come from marine craft, while the rest originates from countries around the Pacific like Mexico, Australia and China. The waste forms in what are called tropical gyres - areas where the oceans slowly circulate due to extreme high pressure systems and where there is little wind. Historically, flotsam in the gyres has biodegraded..But modern plastics do not break down like other oceanic debris, meaning objects half a century old have been found in the North Pacific Gyre. Rather the plastic slowly photodegrades, becoming brittle and disintegrating into smaller and smaller pieces which enter the food chain and end up in the stomachs of birds and other animals. This is certainly a very sorry state of affairs as the small plastic particles acted like a sponge to trap many dangerous man-made chemicals that found their way into the ocean, like hydrocarbons and DDT. Eventually what goes into the ocean goes into the animals and eventually enters the human food chain exposing people worldwide to possible serious longer term health problems. Indeed syringes, cigarette lighters and tooth brushes from the "patch" have been found inside the carcases of sea birds.

The health of our planet depends upon many factors including the health of our vast Pacific Ocean. Certainly, the health of this beautiful Ocean cannot be improved if it continues to be used as nothing more than a convenient garbage dump.

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