Kiribati (pronounced Kiribas) is an independent republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, located in the central Pacific Ocean, about 4,000 km southwest of Hawaii. It is part of the division of the Pacific islands that is known as Micronesia. Kiribati consists of 33 coral islands divided among three island groups: the Gilbert Islands, the Phoenix Islands, and the Line Islands. The capital of Kiribati is South Tarawa, an atoll in the Gilbert Islands.
European contact began in the 16th century, from whalers, slave traders and merchant vessels. Kiritimati Island (pronounced Christmas Island), was discovered and named “Christmas Island” by Captain James Cook on his third Pacific voyage on the eve of the 24th December 1777. In 1820 the western group of islands was named the Gilbert Islands, after a British captain named Thomas Gilbert.
In 1916 the Ellice Islands were combined with the Gilbert Islands to form the Gilbert & Ellice Islands Colony ; also with the inclusion of Fanning and Washington islands. Separation with the Ellice Islands was formalised in 1975, and in 1978, the Ellice Islands gained independence and were renamed Tuvalu.
The Gilbert & Ellice Islands Colony have by many been called the “Gilbert and Sullivan Islands”.
1937. Gilbert & Sullivan Islands, King George VI Coronation (Stamps)
The coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth and as Emperor and Empress of India took place at Westminster Abbey, London, on 12 May 1937.
The stamps might be Gerald linking the Gilbert & Ellice Islands stamps to “Alice in Wonderland” (“Ima Dodo calls them the Gilbert & Sullivan Islands.”) by replacing the “Gilbert & Ellice” with “Gilbert & Sullivan”.
3 Perforated stamps of values ½ Penny (green), 1 Penny (red) and 2½ Pence (blue). On white paper.