Saturday, June 19, 2010

Queen's Birthday Long Weekend

Obviously on Norfolk no-one ever gets to "go away for the long weekend" but we had a great weekend anyway.

On the Friday night Melissa had her birthday dinner at the new restaurant Cafe Mokka. 

Here is the birthday girl with her tiramisu "birthday cake"

Apart from myself, everyone ended up at the RSL where Kiri, another friend, was celebrating her 40th.  Rob was on duty that night and ended up driving Melissa home.

Here we are the next morning having brunch at Mel's place, we have Mel on the far right, next to her is her besty Candida who is the local yoga person, then there is Dillon an English guy then Elizabeth and Steve and then the Pannell's. 

Poor Mel hadn't had any sleep yet as after the RSL as she had to collect a staff member from a cruise ship that was on its way to Neumea who had a medical emergency.  She had to put her abseiling skills to use to get the patient from the ship into a little boat that would bring them to land - rather her than me!!

On the Monday, some on the island were invited to cocktails at Government House for the Queen's Birthday celebrations.  It was a lovely afternoon with lots of drinks and food.  Here I am with my bridge buddies Annie, Barbara, her husband Michael and Gerry who is the local pharmacist. 

There are a lot of Canberra connections here on this island.  Firstly Barbara and her husband lived in Latham and brought up 9 children there and Annie lived in Weston with her husband.  It is great to talk to people who know Canberra - it keeps the homesickness at bay.

This photo shows me, two Elizabeths and Darls who is a gorgeous local (a real one).  She is one of the people who work on the radio station.  The other Elizabeth is new to the island as well.  She and her husband Rob are building accommodation style units across the road from us.  She is absolutely delightful.

Here is Elizabeth and Steve, Jarrod who is a teacher here but also volunteers for the VRA, my lovely Rob and dear Annabel.  Annabel and her sister Sheila live here together on the island.  Sheila has lived on the island for over 40 years.  Sheila and I work together for the Youth Centre.  Annabel's husband worked for the Canberra Police for many years and they lived in Yarralumla I think and Sheila's daughter lives in Belconnen.

Monday, June 7, 2010

June 8 is Bounty Day

June 8 is Bounty Day.  This year is the 154th Anniversary Bounty Day commemorating the landing of the Pitcairn Islanders on Norfolk Island on 8 June, 1856.

A Short History

In 1787, Lieutenant William Bligh, in command of "HMS Bounty" sailed from England to Tahiti to collect breadfruit plants for transport to the West Indies as a cheap source of food for their slaves.

Early in April, 1789, the "Bounty" left Tahiti and on the 28 of April, members of the crew, led by acting Lieutenant Fletcher Christian, mutinied.

Here are some local girls on the Kingston pier with my friend Kim's labradoodles

Bligh and eighteen loyal officers and men were set adrift in an open boat and the mutineers sailed back to Tahiti.

There, some of the mutineers left the ship but Christian and eight companions with their Tahitian wives, and several other Tahitians sailed the Pacific in search of an island home.

The man in the top hat is the island's Administrator,
Mr Owen Walsh and the lady in pink is his wife, Bianca

In January 1790 they landed at lonely Pitcairn Island.  The nine mutineers who were destined never to leave Pitcairn were, Fletcher Christian, Alexander Smith, Mathew Quintal, Isaac Martin, Edward Young, William McCoy, John Williams, John Mills and William Brown.

Here are some of the local families beginning to arrive at the pier

The early years on Pitcairn were marked by bloodshed.  All the Tahitian men and seven of the mutineers met violent deaths and after Edward Young died of asthma, Alexander Smith, who later changed his name back to John Adams, was the sole survivor of the Bounty Settlers.

After the seeing the reinactment of arrival of the boat,
the families then walk to the Cenotaph to sing hymms and prayers

The Pitcairners remained on the island in total isolation until 18 years later in 1808 the colony was discovered by Captain Folger.  In 1823 two Englishmen, John Buffet and John Evans, crew members of the Cyrus" joined the community in 1823 and George Hunn Nobbs, an Irishman arrived in 1824.

Here are our friends Ro and Jason Evans and family on the Kingston Pier

In the early 1850's, when plans to abandon Norfolk Island as a penal station were in hand, the Pitcairners, who had outgrown the resources of their homeland, asked the British Government to transfer them to Norfolk.  The Governor of New South Wales, Sir William Denison, later hired the "Morayshire" commanded by Captain Mathers, to carry the Pitcairners to their new home.

After the Cenotaph the families then walk down Quality Row to the 
Cemetery  where the children lay flowers and wreathes on the graves of their ancestors.

On 3 May, 1856 the whole community, numbering 193 persons, with their belongings, embarked for Norfolk Island.  A child born en route was named Reuben Denison Christian.

The number of members of Pitcairn families is staggering.  Anna and 
myself could only pick out a few familiar faces amongst everyone

The Pitcairners landed safely at Kingston on 8 June 1856.  Despite heavy rain they were met on the pier by the Commissariat Storekeeper, Mr Stewart and his wife, and Captain Denham, whose ship "HMS Herald" was anchored off the island. 

I took these pictures from the front yard of Steve and Elizabeth's home 
on Quality Row which gave us great photo opportunities!!!

Here is Elizabeth in front on her home Number 5, Quality Row, Kingston, Norfolk Island

This photo was taken by Steve on their front verandah. 
This was the first Bounty Day for all of us.

After the visit to the Cemetary, the families then walk back to Government House for morning tea and there on the lawns the children all roll down the hill.   Then the families walk to the Compound where each family has their own picnic.  At night there is a Bounty Ball at Rawson Hall for the families as well.  What a full day!