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Hammer DeRoburt (25 September 1922 – 15 July 1992) was the founding President of the Republic of Nauru, and ruled the country for most of its first twenty years of independence.

Hammer DeRoburt
Hammer DeRoburt.jpg
Hammer DeRoburt, 1968
President of Nauru
In office
31 January 1968 – 22 December 1976
DeputyBuraro Detudamo
Preceded byFirst President
Succeeded byBernard Dowiyogo
In office
15 May 1978 – 17 September 1986
DeputyBuraro Detudamo
Preceded byLagumot Harris
Succeeded byKennan Adeang
In office
1 October 1986 – 12 December 1986
DeputyBuraro Detudamo
Preceded byKennan Adeang
Succeeded byKennan Adeang
In office
22 December 1986 – 17 August 1989
DeputyBuraro Detudamo
Preceded byKennan Adeang
Succeeded byKenos Aroi
Personal details
Born25 September 1922
Died15 July 1992 (aged 69)
Melbourne, Australia

Contents

Background and early careerEdit

Born 1922, DeRoburt was the grandson of a former Head Chief of Nauru and also had Banaban heritage, as his grandmother was from the island.[1] After being educated on Nauru, he attended the Gordon Institute of Technology in Geelong, Australia.[1] After returning to Nauru, he started working as a teacher.[1]

During Japanese occupation of Nauru he was deported to Truk by the Japanese, along with most of the Nauruan population. When he returned to Nauru in 1946 he started working at the Department of Education.[1] He decided to stand in the first elections to the Local Government Council in 1951, and although he gained enough support to be nominated as a candidate in the Boe constituency, he was disqualified due to irregularities in his nomination.[2] Local residents and European residents protested without success, whilst a petition to the 1953 Visiting Mission from the United Nations was also overlooked.[2]

In 1955 elections he stood again in the Boe constituency and was elected to the Council.[1] In 1956 the Council elected him Head Chief.[2]

Presidency of post-independence NauruEdit

DeRoburt led the country to independence on 31 January 1968 and was president for most of the period until 17 August 1989. In December 1976, younger politicians gained a majority and installed Bernard Dowiyogo as president, but DeRoburt returned to power in May 1978. He was also out of office for two short periods in September and December 1986.

PersonalEdit


Hammer DeRoburt

Member of the Nauruan Parliament
for Boe
In office
31 January 1968 – 15 July 1992
Preceded byNew title
Succeeded byMichael Aroi
Personal details
Born(1922-09-25)25 September 1922
Nauru
Died15 July 1992(1992-07-15) (aged 69)
Melbourne, Australia
Nationality  Nauruan

He was given an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982.

DeRoburt is credited with introducing Australian rules football to Nauru, which became the national sport.

He died in Melbourne in 1992 from diabetes mellitus.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Nancy Viviani (1970) Nauru: Phosphate and Political Progress Australian National University Press, p. 107
  2. ^ a b c Viviani, p108
New title
Independence of Nauru
President of Nauru
31 January 1968 – 22 December 1976
Succeeded by
Bernard Dowiyogo
Preceded by
Lagumot Harris
President of Nauru
15 May 1978 – 17 September 1986
Succeeded by
Kennan Adeang
Preceded by
Kennan Adeang
President of Nauru
1 October 1986–December 1986
Succeeded by
Kennan Adeang
Preceded by
Kennan Adeang
President of Nauru
December 1986–17 August 1989
Succeeded by
Kenos Aroi