Thursday, May 5, 2011

Easter Carnival at Norfolk Island Central School

Every year the one and only school on Norfolk Island has its big fundraiser which is the Easter Carnival.  This carnival is the biggest held on the island with the most participants too I believe.  This carnival is always on the Thursday before Good Friday.

Lines are beginning for form to wait for the delicious hot food

All the parents of the students are required to participate by being placed on the roster for one activity for half an hour during the night.  My job was to supervise the "Mystery Golf", Rob's was "Pigs Can Fly" and Andrew had half an hour working on the fairyfloss machine.
Crowds are beginning to arrive before dark

The amount of activities is amazing and the variety of food is fantastic.  They have steak sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, fish and chips, hot dogs, tea and coffee and scones.  There is a fantastic cake stall, bric a brac, book stall, heaps of rides and games.

Me and Jenny at the Rotary wheel

Rob and I at the "Mystery Golf"

Andrew working the Fairy Floss machine

By participating in this once a year carnival it gives you a  wonderful opportunity to catch up with people that you don't see that often.  I would probably know about a third of the people who attend but certainly not all, which is often surprising to friends back in Australia who think that everyone knows everyone else and it is simply not true.  There are still people I meet who have lived here forever and we have never met before.

Kaitlyn and Andrew

We were advised that a total of $17,500 was raised on the night which is spectacular as the population on the island is not as prosperous as it once was.  It is one of the most popular nights on the island and we will miss it a lot when we leave.

Ladies Hospital Auxilliary

Some members of the Auxilliary
A few months after my arrival on Norfolk Island in December 2009 I remember calling into one of the shops in the Burnt Pine shopping district and having a chat to one of the ladies behind the counter.

I told her who I was and that I was interested in joining some groups to not only help people on the island but also to fill in my time here.

This lady took my number and said that I should learn how to play Bridge and also suggested I join the Ladies Hospital Auxilliary, and so I did.

The Ladies Hospital Auxilliary are a wonderful group of ladies who meet on a monthly basis within the grounds of our hospital.  The purpose of the Auxilliary is to ensure the comfort of the patients of the hospital by buying equipment and items for use by the patients.

Me in front of the Queen in the beautifully set dining table
This means that there is some fund raising to be done and the most popular and regular form of fundraising is that the Auxilliary hosts a weekly night of "Jaro" which is a local card game played at Governor's Lodge every Thursday evening.  The ladies of the Auxilliary provide food and the people playing the cards give a gold coin donation.

Another fundraiser which is held yearly is "Just Desserts" where, with the kind permission of the Administrator and his wife (who is our patron), the Auxilliary ladies provide desserts of all sorts.  These desserts are displayed on the magnificient dining table at Government House and the invited people are encouraged to try each and every one of them and to later bid for these desserts.

Enjoying pre-lunch drinks in the Drawing Room
The wonderful thing about knowing these ladies is that they are a fountain of knowledge.  The majority are born and bred Norfolk Islanders and most speak together in the Norfolk language.

People say that outsiders like myself will find it easy to understand what is being said, but I can never understand them.  The language sounds a bit Scottish to me but I think it sounds lovely and I love hearing it.  Like most who speak in two languages they swap mid sentence from one language to another without realising it!

These ladies have known each other since before beginning school together way back when and they sometimes reminisce about incidents which I find amusing.   Some of these ladies are regular Government House Open Day sitters and, when I also volunteer on those days, it is lovely to have a catch up inbetween monthly meetings.

Our Patron, Bianca Walsh, sat at the head of the table
Recently, our Patron, Bianca Walsh, invited the ladies of the Hospital Auxilliary to her home, Government House for lunch.  It was in February and we all very much looked forward to the day and we all arrived in our finery to enjoy such a wonderful treat.

I love that these lovely ladies have welcomed me into their group and have always been kind and generous to me and I am so grateful.