National Geographic : 1942 Jul
War Awakened New Caledonia set the whole town and the near-by beaches echoing with Tahitian and Hawaiian tunes. At first there were a few fist fights with the local boys, but both Caledonians and Tahi tians are generally good-spirited, and peace was soon restored. The day before the departure of the troops from New Caledonia they were reviewed in front of the monument to the dead of World War I. The men pa raded in perfect time and were cheered by the whole populace whites, Javanese, Ton kinese, and Kanakas (page 47). First in line were the Tahitians, followed by the contingent of New Caledonians. There were companies of white soldiers and others of Kanakas, including some from the near-by Loyalty Islands. On the reviewing stand were all the au thorities. A former Governor General of French Equatorial The F Africa, as special envoy As "national bird" o: of General de Gaulle, sented on a new post was the chief person- kagu makes a noise li] ality. He was in full rare, for it can escape uniform with embroi dered frock coat and feathered hat (fore 'n aft). Near him was the Governor of New Cale donia, in white linen uniform, and the Roman Catholic bishop in purple vestments and the pectoral cross. The mayor of Noumea and other important officials were also present. After the review General de Gaulle's envoy gave to the commandant a fanion upon which a committee of ladies of Noumea had embroi dered the cross of Lorraine. The emblem was to be carried by the battalion in its future fights against the Axis. Two days later, under a drizzling rain, the battalion departed on a gray British ship. The gay atmosphere of former days was gone. ';rlZo ade lnetelat lightless Kagu Makes a Good Pet f New Caledonia, its only habitat, the creature is repre age stamp issued by the Free French authorities. The ke the bark of a dog and is easily tamed. It is now dogs and hunters only by running. Many of the volunteers were leaving behind mothers, sweethearts, wives, and children. The high emotional quality of the French people was shown especially by the feminine part of the crowd. Tears were in their eyes, and sobs mixed with cries of "Write often," "Don't forget me," and "Goodbye." As the ship left the quay and steamed away, the band played "Auld Lang Syne." New Caledonia Prepares for Trouble During the following months the menace of Japanese attack kept growing every day. New Caledonia, with little armament on hand and with some help from the British, started to build defenses.