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Author Topic: Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples  (Read 1462 times)

Randy Jacobson

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Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples
« on: September 05, 2020, 02:48:53 PM »

Back in 1935, the Department of Commerce (later taken over by the Department of the Interior) put 4 furloughed army men (only for the first 3 months) and Hawaiian citizens from Kamehameha School of Boys and radio operators on each of the three islands.  Diaries of each island and for each 3 month period can be found in the Equatorial Cruise Reports and extracts published (now out of print) in Panalau Memoirs by Bryan.  I am currently transcribing all available diaries for a future book.  If any one wants to read some of them, I can post what I have on-line.  Some 3 month diaries are hilarious, some tedious and boring, but all insightful into life on a deserted island with little contact with civilization.

The young men put on the islands greatly enjoyed their time on the islands. Their enthusiasm for working, fishing, collecting shells, observing nature and life, living, and surfing, both body and board, is quite evident in their very articulate diary entries.  I'd like to give you one example.  Yau Fai Lum, of Chinese descent and about 24 years of age , was the first radio operator on Jarvis, from August to October, 1936.  He marveled at the sunsets, and wrote the following passage on October 15, 1936.  I was quite moved by his words.  I hope you enjoy it as well.

The ancient ruins of Rome, the aged pyramids of Egypt, the cherry blossoms of Japan; the leaning tower of Pisa, the Great Wall of China, the Honeymoon Niagara Falls of the U.S., the Grand Canyon of Colorado, and scenic Hawaii with all her charms and swaying hula girls are beautiful and well known, but all of these noted beauties of the world cannot be compared with an evening of Jarvis twilight.  Only a poet can describe it—a painter to oil it, a camera to show it, and the human eyes to enjoy it.  The time is perfect, the place is perfect, the clouds are perfect and the colors are perfect.  All of these contribute to the success of twilight.  We sat for an hour on the porch last evening watching nature paint the heavens in colors of blue, red, pink gray, orange and white.  The colors changed often as the sun sank further in the west.  First here, there, then everywhere.  The whole view of the sky from horizon to horizon is at our command.  Ah, my kingdom for an easy arm chair with a slow rotating mechanism that will turn the easy chair 360o in two minutes; I will sit on top of the beacon each evening and watch nature show her splendor.  Twilight may be seen everywhere, but for a Jarvis twilight you must come to Jarvis. 

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2020, 02:58:44 PM »

Thanks Randy.  And for the Niku twilight you must go to Niku.
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2020, 11:28:44 AM »

Thanks Randy.  And for the Niku twilight you must go to Niku.

Ahhh, yes, this is true.

But a photo will at least give you the flavor.....

AMCK
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Jennifer Hubbard

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Re: Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2020, 11:59:18 AM »

Thanks for those glimpses of a part of the world some of us won't see in person!  :)
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2020, 12:20:14 PM »

We have many photos of spectacular Niku sunsets and sunrises.  They make great wallpaper and screensavers.  Would there be interest in a dozen images in the TIGHAR Store for a donation of $10?
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Friend Weller

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Re: Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2020, 01:12:19 PM »

We have many photos of spectacular Niku sunsets and sunrises.  They make great wallpaper and screensavers.  Would there be interest in a dozen images in the TIGHAR Store for a donation of $10?

In the words of Napoleon Dynamite:  "Heck, yes!"
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TIGHAR 3086V
 
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Jeff Lange

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Re: Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2020, 01:43:36 PM »

I'll second that!
Jeff Lange

# 0748CR
 
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Steve Lyle Gunderson

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Re: Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2020, 09:44:29 PM »

Me Too!!
Steve G
#3911R
 
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Bill Mangus

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Re: Colonization of Baker, Jarvis and Howland Islands - Diary examples
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2020, 08:43:00 AM »

Great idea.
Perhaps several collections, each with a different theme.
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