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Niklaus of Flüe Day SWITZERLAND - Sep 25

Saint Nicholas of Flüe (German: Niklaus von Flüe) (21 March 1417 – 21 March 1487) was a Swiss hermit and ascetic who is the patron saint of Switzerland. He is sometimes invoked as "Brother Klaus." He was born in the canton of Unterwalden, the son of wealthy peasants, and made himself distinguished as a soldier in action against the canton of Zurich, which had rebelled against the confederation. At around the age of 30, he married Dorothy Wiss, a farmer's daughter. They farmed in the municipality of Flüeli in the alpine foothills, above Sachseln on theLake Sarnen. He also continued in the military to the age of 37, rising to the position of captain, reportedly fighting with a sword in one hand and a rosary in the other. After serving in the military, he became a councillor and judge for his canton in 1459 and served as a judge for nine years. He declined the opportunity to serve as Landamman (governor) of his canton.

Political mystic

After receiving a mystical vision of a lily eaten by a horse, which he recognized as indicating that the cares of his worldly life (the draft horse pulling a plough) was swallowing up his spiritual life (the lily, a symbol of purity) he decided to devote himself entirely to the contemplative life. In 1467, he left his wife and his ten children with her consent and set himself up as a hermit in the Ranft chine in Switzerland, establishing a chantry for a priest from his own funds so that he could assist at mass daily. According to legend, he survived for nineteen years with no food except for the eucharist. His reputation for wisdom and piety was such that figures from across Europe came to seek advice from him, and he was known to all as "Brother Klaus." In 1470,Pope Paul II granted the first indulgence to the sanctuary at Ranft and it became a place of pilgrimage, since it lay on the Jakobsweg (English: Way of St. James), the road pilgrims travelled on to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. His counsel prevented a civil war between the cantons meeting at the Diet of Stans in 1481 when their antagonism grew. The advice he gave them remains a secret to this day. Despite being illiterate and having limited experience with the world, his is honored among both Protestants and Catholics with the permanent national unity of Switzerland. Letters of thanks to him from Berne and Soleure still survive. When he died, he was surrounded by his wife and children. He was beatified in 1669. After his beatification, the municipality of Sachseln built a church in his honour where his body was interred. He was canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII. His feast day in the Roman Catholic Church is 21 March, except in Switzerland and Germany where it is 25 September.

Prayer citation

The new Catechism of the Catholic Church cites a brief personal prayer of St. Nicholas of Flue in paragraph #226 of Chapter 1 of Part 1, Section 2 "The Profession of the Christian Faith" under subheading IV "The implications of faith in one God" an aspect of which is making good use of created things. My Lord and my God, take from me everything that distances me from you. My Lord and my God, give me everything that brings me closer to you. My Lord and my God, detach me from myself to give my all to you. As a layman with family responsibilities who took his civic duties as an ancestral landowner seriously, Brother Klaus is a model of heroic manhood for many concerned with the flourishing of local communities and sustainable use of open land. He is the patron saint of the German-language association KLB (Katholischen Landvolkbewegung), the Catholic Rural Communities Movement.

Visionary images

Of the many spiritual insights Nicholas received in his visions, one in particular is reproduced often in a reduced logographic format, as a mystical wheel. Nicholas described his vision of the Holy Face at the center of a circle with the tips of three swords touching the two eyes and mouth, while three others radiate outwards in a sixfold symmetry reminiscent of the Seal of Solomon. A cloth painted with the image, known as the meditation prayer cloth associates the symbol with six episodes from the life of Christ: the mouth of God at the Annunciation, the eyes spying Creation both in its prelapsarian innocence and redemption from the Fall at Calvary, while in the inward direction the betrayal by his disciple Judas in the Garden of Gethsamene points to the crown of the Pantocrator sitting in the judgment seat, the glad tidings of the Nativity scene's "Glory to God in the Highest and Peace to his people on Earth" echoes in ear on the right of the head, while the memorial of the Lord's Supper "This is my body, which will be given for you" at the prayers of consecration in the Divine Liturgy of the Mass echoes to the ear on the left of the head. These six medallions contain additional symbols of acts of Christian kindness: A. two crutches suggest Visiting the sick as a work of mercy B. hiker's walking stick with travel pouch suggests Hospitality to strangers C. a loaf of bread, fish and a pitcher of water and wine represent Feed the hungry, quench the thirsty D. chains indicate Care for the incarcerated E. Christs garments evoke Clothe the naked a coffin reminds us to Bury the dead F. This visual interpretation encapsulates the personal piety of rural peasants, many illiterate, for whom salvation history was expressed in these crucial aspects of God's loving relationship with us and the Christian duty to love of neighbor. Sanctifying grace flows from the Pascal Victim on the Cross, an image Nicholas described in his vision by the stream, where the Tabernacle sits atop a spring that flows forth covering the earth, echoing the rivers flowing from the Temple in Ezekiel's visions. Such profound insights on the allegorical, anagogical and tropological senses of scripture are often lost in modern biblical exegesis that focuses too narrowly on the literal sense, the historical-critical method.

Armed Forces Day MOZAMBIQUE - Sep 25

Several nations of the world hold an annual Armed Forces Day to recognize, venerate, and honor their military forces. September 25, 1964: Mozambique Celebrates the formation of the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) by anti-Portuguese groups who then began their armed campaign against colonial rule. This is also known as Revolution Day or the Liberation Forces Day. An Armed Force Day is a day when all people of a nation come together to appreciate and support the armed forces for a day to pay homage to the armed forces.

HISTORY It is a public holiday that commemorates the armed

struggle for national independence against the Portuguese. The struggle was initiated by the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique and continued during the 1960s and early 1970s. Independence came not as a result of the armed struggle but only after a socialist-inspired coup took place in Portugal in 1974. After World War II, while many European nations were granting independence to their colonies, Portugal maintained that Mozambique and other Portuguese possessions were overseas territories of the metropole (mother country), and emigration to the colonies soared. Calls for Mozambican independence developed apace, and in 1962 several anti-colonial political groups formed the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), which initiated an armed campaign against Portuguese colonial rule in September 1964. However, Portugal had ruled Mozambique for more than four hundred years; not all Mozambicans desired independence, and fewer still sought change through armed revolution. FRELIMO was founded in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 25 June 1962, when three regionally based nationalist organizations – the Mozambican African National Union (MANU), National Democratic Union of Mozambique (UDENAMO), and the National African Union of Independent Mozambique (UNAMI) merged into one broad based guerrilla movement. Under the leadership of Eduardo Mondlane, elected president of the newly formed Mozambican Liberation Front, FRELIMO settled its headquarters in 1963 in Dar-es-Salaam. The Rev.Uria Simango was its first vice-president. Headquartering the movement in Mozambique would not have been practicable because of the intolerance of the Portuguese for nationalist movements and the strength of the police. (The three founding groups had also operated as exiles.) Tanzania and its president, Julius Nyerere, were sympathetic to the Mozambican nationalist groups. Convinced by recent events, such as the Mueda massacre, which peaceful agitation would not bring about independence, FRELIMO contemplated the possibility of armed struggle from the outset, although it did not launch its first attack until September 1964.


Armed force day is one those days, which is celebrated in many countries in order to respect their military organizations together. On this day, all the divisions of the defense together are respected for their huge devotion and dedication towards the country. Though different military organization have their own day, such as Army Day, Air Force Day, Navy Day etc, but the Armed forces Day together celebrates the achievement of all these branches of defense.

Kamarampaka Day R WA N D A - S e p 2 5

Kamarampaka Day commemorates the anniversary of the abolition of the monarchy in 1961 and is marked yearly with the National Assembly. Rwanda is know as the “Land of the Thousand Hills” because of the numerous hills, peaks and valleys.

HISTORY In 1918, Rwanda was mandated by Belgium

which implemented of direct rule of the country which caused friction among the tribes of Rwanda. Kamarampaka is a referendum in Rwandan politics that defined if Rwanda was going to develop a Republican political structure or a monarchy political structure. In 1962, under Prime Minister Gregoire Kayibanda became an independent Republic. In 1973, Major General Juvenal Habyarimana ousted the repressive Kayibanda regime and over the next couple decades Rwanda’s political situation became ever more complicated. The same year brought a society security program providing old-age benefits and workers’ compensation, but was proved to be ineffective. The attempt showed the determination of establishing a modern-day country. While 1962 remains a far distance memory for the Rwanda population, it was an important date in the country’s history none-the-less.

CUSTOMS AND ACTIVITIES Food and alcohol consumption is very common special occasions – full meals are never served. For example, a so-

cial gathering celebration a sorghum beer – a cereal native to warm regions, grown for grain and animal feed – is placed in the center of the room with multiple straws. Rwanda has numerous types of dance and music to celebrate special occasions – many dancers also show their bravery and courage through specific dances. Visitors who are fortunate to see “The Chosen Ones” by the Intore dance Troupe. Guests are often treated with respect and hospitality. The host will taste the food first to ensure you it is not poisoned. Since Rwandans only eat meat one or twice a month, Kamarampaka Day would call for such a meal.

Te a c h e r ' s D a y TA I WA N - S e p 2 8

The Republic of China uses this day to honor teachers' virtues, struggles, and contribution not only to their own students but also to society in general. People often make use of the day to express their gratitude to their teachers, such as paying them a visit or sending them a card. This date was chosen to commemorate the birth of Confucius, believed to be the model master educator in ancient China. In 1939, the Ministry of Education established the national holiday as August 27, the attributed birthday of Confucius. In 1952, the Executive Yuan changed it to September, stating that it was calculated to be the precise date in the Gregorian calendar. The festival celebration occurs in the temples of Confucius around the island, known as the "Grand Ceremony Dedicated to Confucius" (祭孔大典). The ceremony begins at 6 AM with drum beats. 54 musicians dress in robes with blue belts, 36 (or 64) dancers dress in yellow with green belts. They are led by Confucius's chief descendant (currently Kung Tsui-chang) and followed by ceremonial officers. Three animals—the cow, the goat, and the pig—are sacrificed. The hairs plucked from these sacrificed animals are called the Hairs of Wisdom. In addition, local education institutes and civil offices award certain teachers for their excellence and positive influence.

St. Vincent de Paul Day MADAGASCAR - Sep 27

Saint Vincent de Paul, C.M., (24 April 1581 – 27 September 1660) was a priest of the Catholic Church who became dedicated to serving the poor. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He was canonized in 1737.

Biographical overview St. Vincent was born in Pouy, Landes, Gascony, France, to a

family of peasant farmers. He had four brothers and two sisters. He studied humanities in Dax, France, with the Cordeliers and he graduated in theology at Toulouse. He was ordained in 1600, remaining in Toulouse until he went to Marseille for an inheritance. In 1605, on his way back from Marseille, he was taken captive by Turkish pirates, who brought him to Tunis and sold him into slavery. After converting his owner to Christianity, Vincent de Paul escaped in 1607. After returning to France, de Paul went to Rome. There he continued his studies until 1609, when he was sent back to France on a mission to Henry IV of France; he served as chaplain to Marguerite de Valois. For a while he was parish priest at Clichy, but from 1612 he began to serve the Gondi, an illustrious family. He was confessor and spiritual director to Madame de Gondi, and he began giving preaching missions to the peasants on the estate with her aid. In 1622 de Paul was appointed chaplain to the galleys, and in this capacity he gave missions for the galley-slaves. In 1625 de Paul founded the Congregation of the Mission, a society of missionary priests commonly known as the Vincentians or Lazarists. In 1633, with the assistance of Louise de Marillac he founded the Daughters of Charity. He also fought against the Jansenist heresy. De Paul was renowned for his compassion, humility and generosity.

Veneration In 1705, the Superior-General of the Lazarists requested that

the holy process of de Paul's canonization be instituted. On 13 August 1729, Vincent was declared blessed by Pope Benedict XIII. He was canonized nearly eight years later by Pope Clement XII on 16 June 1737. In 1885, Pope Leo XIII gave him as patron to the Sisters of Charity. He is also patron to the Brothers of Charity. St. Vincent's body was exhumed in 1712, 53 years after his death. The written account of an eye witness states that "...(t)he eyes and nose alone showed some decay." However, when the body was exhumed again during the canonization in 1737 it was then discovered to have decomposed due to an underground flood. His bones have been encased in a waxen figure which is displayed in a glass reliquary in the chapel of the headquarters of the Vincentian fathers in Paris. His heart is still incorrupt, and is displayed in a reliquary in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. In 1737, his feast day was included in the Roman Calendar on 19 July, because his day of death was already used for the feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian. It was originally to be celebrated with the rank of "Double", which was changed to the equivalent rank of "Third-Class Feast" in 1960. St. Vincent is honored with a feast day in the Church of England and the Episcopal Church (USA) on September 27. One of the feasts celebrated by the French Deist Church of the Theophilanthropy was dedicated to Vincent de Paul. Pope Paul VI transferred the celebration of his memorial to September 27, Cosmas and Damian having been moved to September 26 to make way for him, as he is now better known in the West. The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, a charitable organisation dedicated to the service of the poor, was established by French university students in 1833, led by the Blessed Frederic Ozanam. The Society is today present in 132 countries. DePaul University takes its name from Vincent de Paul.

The Se pt e m be r R e v olut ion YEMEN - Sep 26

Yemen’s September 26, 1962, revolution is a national holiday. The revolution led to the overthrow of the xenophobic and oppressive Imamate that ruled North Yemen for much of the 20th century, ultimately setting the stage for the creation of the modern Republic of Yemen.This day is also known as September Revolution Day.

HISTORY During the rule of Imam Yahia on the northern

part of Yemen, many attempts to end the rule of Al-Hamiduddine family were staged but they failed until the revolution of 26 September 1962. The revolution aimed at ending backwardness and isolation, in addition to its six objectives characterized by clear perspective and deep awareness, and determining with precision and objectivity the features of the radical changes in Yemen’s reality in all aspects of life, socially, economically, developmentally, militarily and politically. The northern part of Yemen became known as “The Arab Republic of Yemen”. The 26th of September Revolution also aimed at mustering up the national forces to free the southern part of Yemen from British occupation. Through purposeful struggle and great sacrifices, the independence of the southern part was achieved on 30 November 1967 and the government of what is called “the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen” was then established there. As the Yemen people was one and the same in terms of territory, faith and people, national forces worked to attain the goals of the 26th of September Revolution. Dialogue started on Yemen unity as the inevitable fate of Yemenis. Dialogue continued between the leaders of the two parts of Yemen for more than two decades until the will of the people won and unity of land and man was achieved for the Yemeni people. The unified State was called “The Republic of Yemen”. This historic event was celebrated on 22 May 1990 by the Arab and Islamic worlds. Yemen thus became one, as in the past, and the time of partition was over. With this great achievement and momentous event, Yemen became a democratic State with a new Constitution which guarantees liberties, equality before the law and formation of parties. A new experience started in Yemen, based on multi-party system and free economy.


Celebrations of the Yemeni 26 September Revolution start with litting of a torch at Al-Tahrir Square in downtown of the capital Sana’a. Lighting the torch represents the beginning of the next year of the Yemeni Revolution. The ministers of defense and youth lit the torch in the middle of Al-Tahrir Square at the same spot where the first signal of the revolution of 26 September was launched in September 1962. The torch-lighting festival is attended by Yemeni youth who pour into the capital from various parts of Yemen.

French Community Holiday BELGIUM - Sep 27

The Belgian French Community Holiday (French: Fête de la Communauté française) is a holiday on September 27, held only in the French Community of Belgium. It is also variously translated as Day of the French Community, French Community Day, Feast Day of the French Community , Festival of the French Community or other variants. This date was chosen by the French Community of Belgium after an important episode in the Belgian Revolution.

Origin of the date The Belgian Revolution from the United King-

dom of the Netherlands erupted on the night of August 25, 1830, following a performance of Daniel Auber's sentimental and patriotic opera La Muette de Portici, a tale suited to fire National Romanticism, for it was set against Masaniello's uprising against the Spanish masters of Naples in the 17th century. The play caused a riot, and the crowd poured into the streets after the performance, shouting patriotic slogans, and swiftly took possession of government buildings. The affable and moderate Crown Prince William, who represented the monarchy in Brussels, was convinced by the Estates-General on September 1 that the administrative separation of north and south was the only viable solution to the crisis. His father rejected the terms of accommodation that he proposed. King William I attempted to restore the establishment order by force, but the royal army under Prince Frederik was unable to retake Brusselsin bloody street fighting, September 23 to 26. A provisional government was declared in Brussels on September 26, and during the night of the 26-27, the Dutch troops retreated. Fernand Massart, a Walloon politician active in the 1960s and 1970s, proposed Walloons celebrate on September 27 in commemoration of the victory. On June 24, 1975, the date was chosen by the French Community as French Community Day, and it was first celebrated that same year.

Modern celebrations

All schools are closed for the holiday, though many business remain open. The festival is celebrated with many free concerts featuring francophone acts. These take place throughout the French Community, in cities such as Mons, Namur, Huy, Liège Charleroi and Brussels. Theatrical performances and sporting events also take place in some areas. The Flemish Community has a parallel holiday called the Flemish Community Holiday, held on July 11. It commemorates the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. It is worth noting that the French Community Holiday celebrates the victory of French speaking Belgians over the Dutch army, while the Flemish Community Holiday celebrates the victory of Dutch speaking Belgians over the French army.

National Day


The National Day of the People's Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 国 庆节; traditional Chinese: 國慶節; pinyin: guóqìng jié) is celebrated every year on October 1. It is a public holiday in the People's Republic of China to celebrate its national day. The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949 with a ceremony at Tiananmen Square. The Central People's Government passed the Resolution on the National Day of the People's Republic of China on December 2, 1949 and declared that October 1 is the National Day. The National Day marks the start of one of the two Golden Weeks in the PRC. However, there have been some recent controversies over whether Golden Weeks should be kept. The National Day is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau with a variety of government-organised festivities, including fireworks and concerts. Public places, such as Tiananmen Square in Beijing, are decorated in a festive theme. Portraits of revered leaders, such as Mao Zedong, are publicly displayed. The University of Southern California U.S.-China Institute published a review of national day celebrations between 1949 and 1999 and discussed preparations for the 2009 extravaganza. US-China Today summarized press coverage and included images of the 2009 celebration.

Fireworks display A fireworks display is usually held nationwide in all cities, including Hong

Kong, where a fireworks display to celebrate the National Day of the People's Republic of China has been held since 1997 at Victoria Harbour in the evening. Many parades occur in the city of Beijing and some are very large.

International Day for the Elderly WORLDWIDE - OCT 1

International Day for the Elderly is dedicated to honor, respect and care for the world's elderly. Remember, someday you hope to be included among this group! In 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1st as the International Day for the Elderly, also known as the "International Day for Older Persons". The holiday is the result of the UN World Assembly on Aging which was formed in 1982 to explore and tend to the needs of the elderly in the world.

U nific a tion Day CAMEROON - OCT 1

Unification Day is a holiday in Cameroon that is celebrated on 1 October, marking the anniversary of British Southern Cameroons' independence from the United Kingdom and unification with French Cameroun in 1961. This is not to be confused with the anniversary of French Cameroun's independence from France, an event which occurred on 1 January 1960.

Michaelmas UK-Sep 29

Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel (also the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September. Because it falls near the equinox, it is associated in the northern hemisphere with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days. Michael is the greatest of all the archangels and is honored for defeating Lucifer in the war in heaven. The Archangel Michael is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence. Michaelmas has also delineated time and seasons for secular purposes as well, particularly in the United Kingdom and Ireland as one of the quarter days. The Eastern Orthodox Churches do not observe Michaelmas. The Greek Orthodox honor the archangels on 8 November instead.


During the Middle Ages, Michaelmas was celebrated as a Holy Day of Obligation, but this tradition was abolished in the 18th century. Lutheran Christians consider it a principal feast of Christ, and the Lutheran Confessor, Philip Melanchthon, wrote a hymn for the day that is still sung in Lutheran Churches: "Lord God to Thee We Give." It was also one of the English, Welsh and Irish quarter dayswhen accounts had to be settled. On manors, it was the day when a reeve was elected from the peasants. Traditional meal for the day includes goose (a "stubble-goose", i.e. one prepared around harvest time) and a special cake called a St Michael's bannock. On the Isle of Skye, Scotland, aprocession was held. In addition, the traditional printer's fete, the wayzgoose, was celebrated on or around Michalemas, again, as a celebration of the changing seasons, it being the advent of work by candlelight. The master printer would provide a feast for his journeymen and apprentices, and traditionally, a stubble-goose was also prepared.

Differences in number of archangels

In Anglican and Episcopal tradition, there are three or four archangels in its calendar for 29 September feast for St. Michael and All Angels: namely Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and often, Uriel. The Bible itself identifies only Michael as "the archangel" (book of Jude, verse 9) and does not identify any other creatures as being archangels.

Autumn term in universities

It is used in the extended sense of autumn, used as the name of the first term of the academic year, which begins at this time, at various educational institutions in the United Kingdom and Ireland (typically those with lengthy history and traditions, notably the Universities of Glasgow, Cambridge, Oxford, King's College London, Durham, Aberystwyth and Dublin).

Use by legal profession

The Inns of Court of the English Bar and the Honorable Society of King's Inns in Ireland also have a Michaelmas term as one of their dining terms. It begins in September and ends towards the end of December. The term is also the name of the first of four terms into which the legal year is divided by the courts of Wales and England. The U.S. Supreme Court follows this tradition (though not by name) by convening each new term the first Monday in October, which is shortly after Michaelmas.

Modern observances

Michaelmas is still celebrated in the Waldorf schools, which celebrate it as the "festival of strong will" during the autumnal equinox. Rudolf Steiner considered it the second most important festival after Easter ("he is risen, therefore he can be laid in the grave.")

Old Michaelmas Day

Old Michaelmas Day falls on October 11 (October 10 according to some sources). According to an old legend, blackberries should not be picked after this date. This is because, so folklore goes, Satan was banished from Heaven on this day, fell into a blackberry bush and cursed the brambles as he fell into them. In Yorkshire, it is said that the devil had spat on them. According to Morrell (1977), this old legend is well-known in all parts of the United Kingdom, even as far north as the Orkney Islands.

Independence Day


Tuvalu (too-VAH-loo or /ˈtuːvəluː/ TOO-və-loo), formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. Its nearest neighbours are Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa and Fiji. It comprises four reef islands and five true atolls. Its population of 10,472 makes it the third-least populous sovereign state in the world, with only Vatican City and Nauru having fewer inhabitants. In terms of physical land size, at just 26 square kilometres (10 sq mi) Tuvalu is the fourth smallest country in the world, larger only than the Vatican City at 0.44 km2 (0.17 sq mi), Monaco at 1.95 km2(0.75 sq mi) and Nauru at 21 km2 (8.1 sq mi). The first inhabitants of Tuvalu were Polynesian people. In 1568 Spanish navigator Álvaro de Mendaña sailed through the islands during his expedition in search of Terra Australis. The islands came under Britain's sphere of influence in the late 19th century. The name Ellice was applied to all nine islands after the work of English hydrographer Alexander George Findlay (1812–1876) The Ellice Islands were administered as British protectorate by a Resident Commissioner from 1892 to 1916 as part of the British Western Pacific Territories (BWPT), and later as part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony from 1916 to 1974. In 1974, the Ellice Islanders voted for separate British dependency status as Tuvalu, separating from the Gilbert Islands which became Kiribati upon independence. Tuvalu became fully independent within the Commonwealth on October 1, 1978. On September 5, 2000, Tuvalu became the 189th member of the United Nations.


Tuvaluans are a Polynesian people who settled the islands around 3000 years ago coming from Tonga and Samoa. During pre-European-contact times there was frequent canoe voyaging between the nearer islands. Eight of the nine islands of Tuvalu were inhabited; thus the name, Tuvalu, means "eight standing together" in Tuvaluan. Possible evidence of fire in the Caves of Nanumanga may indicate human occupation thousands of years before that. Tuvalu was first sighted by Europeans in 1568 with the arrival of Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira from Spainwho also encountered the island of Nui which he named Isla de Jesus (Island of Jesus) but was unable to land. Keith S. Chambers and Doug Munro (1980) identify Niutao as the island that Francisco Antonio Mourelle named on May 5, 1781 thus solving what Europeans had called The Mystery of Gran Cocal. The next European to visit was Arent Schuyler de Peyster, of New York, captain of the armed brigantineor privateer Rebecca, sailing under British colours, which passed through the southern Tuvalu waters in May 1819; de Peyster sighted Nukufetau and Funafuti, which he named Ellice's Island after an English Politician, Edward Ellice, the Member of Parliament for Coventry and the owner of the Rebecca's cargo.In 1820 the Russian explorer Mikhail Lazarev visited Nukufetau as commander of the Mirny. Following 1819 whalers were roving the Pacific though visiting Tuvalu only infrequently because of the difficulties of landing ships on the atolls. No settlements were established by the whalers. Peruvian slave raiders ("blackbirders") seeking workers to mine the guano deposits on the Chincha Islands in Peru, combed the Pacific between 1862 and 1865, including the southern islands of Tuvalu. The Rev. A. W. Murray, the earliest European missionary in Tuvalu, reported that in 1863 about 180 people were taken from Funafuti and about 200 were taken from Nukulaelae as there were fewer than 100 of the 300 recorded in 1861 as living on Nukulaelae. Christianity first came to Tuvalu in 1861 when Elekana, a Christian deacon from Manihiki in the Cook Islands became caught in a storm and drifted for 8 weeks before landing at Nukulaelae. Once there, Elekana began proselytizing Christianity. In 1865 the Rev. A. W. Murray of the London Missionary Society of Protestant congregationalists, arrived as the first European missionary where he too proselytized among the inhabitants of Tuvalu. By 1878 Protestantism was well established with preachers on each island.

Trading firms & traders:

Tuv a lua n m a n in t r a dit iona l c os t um e dr a wn by A lf r e d A ga t e in 1 8 4 1 dur ing t he U nit e d St a t e s Ex plor ing Ex pe dit ion.

The Sydney firms of Robert Towns and Company, J. C. Malcolm and Company, and Macdonald, Smith and Company, pioneered the coconut-oil trade in Tuvalu. By the 1870s J. C. Godeffroy und Sohn of Hamburg (operating out of Samoa) began to dominate the Tuvalucopra trade, which company was in 1879 taken over by Handels-und PlantagenGesellschaft der Südsee-Inseln zu Hamburg (DHPG). Competition came from H. M. Ruge and Company, and from Henderson and Macfarlane of Auckland, New Zealand. These trading companies engaged palagi traders who lived on the islands, some islands would have competing traders with dryer islands only have a single trader. Changes occurred with steamships replacing sailing vessels. Over time the number of competing trading companies diminished, beginning with Ruge’s bankruptcy in 1888 followed by the withdrawal of the DHPG from trading in Tuvalu in 1889/90. Henderson and Macfarlane then dominated the copra trade, operating their vessel SS Archer to call on islands in Fiji, Tuvalu, and Kiribati. New competition came from Burns Philp, operating from what is now Kiribati, with competition from Levers Pacific Plantations from 1903 and from Captain E. F. H. Allen of the Samoa Shipping and Trading Company from 1911. The numbers of palagi traders declined with thesupercargo of each ship dealing directly with Tuvaluans so that by 1909 there were no resident palagi traders representing the trading firms. Tuvaluans became responsible for operating trading stores on each island. In 1892, Captain Davis of the HMS Royalist, reported on trading activities and traders on each of the islands visited. Captain Davis identified the following traders in the Ellice Group: Edmund Duffy (Nanumea); Jack Buckland (Niutao); Harry Nitz (Vaitupu); John (also known as Jack) O'Brien (Funafuti); Alfred Restieaux and Fenisot (Nukufetau); and Martin Kleis (Nui). This was the time at which the greatest number of palagi traders lived on the atolls, acting as the agent for the trading companies. In the later 1890s and into first decade of the 20th century, structural changes occurred in the operation of the Pacific trading companies, with the trading companies moving from a practice of having traders resident on each island to trade with the islanders to a business operation where the supercargo (the cargo manager of a trading ship) would deal directly with the islanders when a ship would visit an island. From 1900, the numbers of palagi traders in Tuvalu declined, with the last of the palagi traders being Fred Whibley on Niutao and Alfred Restieaux on Nukufetau. However, by 1909 there were no resident palagi traders representing the trading companies, although both Fred Whibley and Alfred Restieaux remained in the islands until their deaths.

Scientific expeditions & travellers:

The United States Exploring Expedition under Charles Wilkes visited Funafuti, Nukufetau andVaitupu in 1841. During the visit of the expedition to Tuvalu Alfred Thomas Agate, engraver and illustrator, recorded the dress and tattoo patterns of men of Nukufetau. In 1890, Robert Louis Stevenson, his wife Fanny Vandegrift Stevenson, and her son Lloyd Osbourne sailed on the Janet Nicoll, a trading steamer owned by Henderson and Macfarlane of Auckland, New Zealand, which operated between Sydney, Auckland and into the central Pacific. The Janet Nicoll visited Tuvalu; while Fanny records that they made landfall at Funafuti and Niutao, Jane Resture suggests that it was more likely that they visited Nukufetau rather than Funafuti.An account of the voyage was written by Fanny Vandegrift Stevenson and published under the titleThe Cruise of the Janet Nichol, together with photographs taken by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne. In 1894, Count Rudolph Festetics de Tolna, his wife Eila (née Haggin) and her daughter Blanche Haggin visited Funafuti aboard the yacht Le Tolna. Le Tolna spent several days at Funafuti with the Count photographing men and woman on Funafuti. The boreholes on Funafuti at the site now called David's Drill are the result of drilling conducted by the Royal Society of London for the purpose of investigating the formation of coral reefs and whether traces of shallow water organisms could be found at depth in the coral of Pacific atolls. This investigation followed the work on the structure and distribution of coral reefs conducted by Charles Darwin in the Pacific. Drilling occurred in 1896, 1897 and 1911. Professor Edgeworth David of the University of Sydney lead the expeditions in 1896 & 1897.Photographers on the expeditions recorded people, communities and scenes at Funafuti. Harry Clifford Fassett, captain's clerk and photographer, recorded people, communities and scenes at Funafuti during a visit of USFC Albatross when the U.S. Fish Commission were investigating the formation of coral reefs on Pacific atolls in 1900.

The Pacific War & Operation Galvanic:

During the Pacific War, the United States Marine Corps landed on Funafuti on October 2, 1942. The Japanese had already occupied Tarawa and other islands in what is now Kiribati, A Naval Construction Battalion (Seabees) built compacted coral runways at Funafuti with satellites airfields on both Nanumea and Nukufetau. Building the runway at Funafuti involved the loss of land used for growing pulaka and taro with extensive excavation of coral from what are still known as the borrow pits. The runway continues in use today as Funafuti International Airport. The Seabees also blasted an opening in the reef at Nanumea, which became known as the 'American Passage'. While Funafuti suffered air attacks during 1943, casualties were limited, although on one occasion on 23 April 1943, 680 people took refuge in the concrete walled, pandanus-thatched church. Fortunately an American soldier, Corporal B. F. Ladd persuaded them to get into dugouts, as a bomb struck the building shortly after. USAAF B-24 Liberator bombers of the Seventh Air Force operated from Tuvalu. The atolls of Tuvalu acted as a staging post during the preparation for the Battle of Tarawa and the Battle of Makin that commenced on 20 November 1943, which was the implementation of operation 'Galvanic'.


Tuvalu has no regular military forces, and spends no money on the military. Its police force includes a Maritime Surveillance Unit for search and rescue missions and surveillance operations. The police have a Pacific-class patrol boat (HMTSS Te Mataili) provided by Australia under the Pacific Patrol Boat Program for use in maritime surveillance and fishery patrol. HMTSS stands for His/Her Majesty's Tuvaluan State Ship or His/Her Majesty's Tuvalu Surveillance Ship.

Raccoon Appreciation Day WORLDWIDE-Oct 1

International Raccoon Appreciation Day (IRAD) is a day meant to celebrate all animals, specifically raccoons, that, while being an important part of their ecosystem, are misunderstood and considered “pests” or “nuisance animals” to local peoples. This could include raccoons and coyotes in rural parts of the United States or elephants in farming communities of Africa.

Goal IRAD is meant to spread knowledge and

open the minds of people to the value of all animals. It’s goal is to prevent the destruction of habitat and diversity through education in an enjoyable manner.

Day Start IRAD was started in 2002 as Raccoon

Appreciation Day by a young girl in California. It was meant at first to show that not everyone so despised raccoons, as evidenced by the plethora of raccoon items available and the many people who misguidedly tried to keep them as pets. As the word spread mainly to the girl’s relatives in various world countries, the name was changed to International Raccoon Appreciation Day the following year.

Celebrations On October first of every year, tell peo-

ple about raccoons or whatever the local “nuisance animal” is, and why we should respect them. Go on a nature walk with your children, donate time, supplies or funds to a local wildlife rescue, or clean up litter at a local wild area such as a regional park. Every little bit helps! And remember, you don’t have to wait until October first, you can do these things all year round!

38 Issue | Zarb-e-Jamhoor e-Newspaper | 25 Sep-01 Oct, 2011  

The Worldwide Events/Zarb-e-Jamhoor e-Newsletter circulates by email. The weekly Worldwide Events/Zarb-e-Jamhoor newspaper that specially fo...