Hammer DeRoburt

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Hammer DeRoburt
NRU-Gadabu-DeRoburt-1968.jpg
Hammer DeRoburt (in the middle, 1968)
President of Nauru
In office
31 January 1968 – 22 December 1976
Preceded by First President
Succeeded by Bernard Dowiyogo
In office
15 May 1978 – 17 September 1986
Preceded by Lagumot Harris
Succeeded by Kennan Adeang
In office
1 October – December 1986
Preceded by Kennan Adeang
Succeeded by Kennan Adeang
In office
December 1986 – 17 August 1989
Preceded by Kennan Adeang
Succeeded by Kenos Aroi
Personal details
Born 25 September 1922
Died 15 July 1992 (aged 69)
Melbourne, Australia

Hammer DeRoburt, KBE (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.

Background and early career[edit]

Born 1922, DeRoburt was the grandson of a former Head Chief of Neuru 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 Nauru[edit]

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.

Personal[edit]

The Honourable
Hammer DeRoburt
MP
Member of the Nauruan Parliament
for Boe
In office
31 January 1968 – 15 July 1992
Preceded by New title
Succeeded by Michael Aroi
Personal details
Born (1922-09-25)25 September 1922
Nauru
Died 15 July 1992(1992-07-15) (aged 69)
Melbourne, Australia
Nationality Nauru Nauruan
Religion Christian

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Nancy Viviani (1970) Nauru: Phosphate and Political Progress Australia National University Press, p107
  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