NON Awas Salan

Faces of Norfolk - Lydia

Friday, April 21, 2017


Lydia is from Russia, and she grew up in a small town called ‘Rostovo don’, which is known as the capital of South Russia., about 1000km from Moscow. She says the weather is extreme, in summer it is over 40 degrees, and in winter, it is minus 20. Lydia says Russians are very much connected to their homes, they hardly ever move home. Where she grew up, Lydia’s family had been in the same place for 3 generations. It was very out of the ordinary for them to leave their home town, let alone to travel and end up on Norfolk Island.


Up until the mid-nineties, Lydia grew up in the Communist regime, but her sister who is 11 years younger grew up after Capitalism had taken over. During Lydia’s childhood, there was hardly any crime, students at schools wore uniforms and there was more discipline than there is now. When her sister started school, there were no uniforms or respect for teachers. Lydia was about 15 years old when things started to change and she saw a lot of people start to leave Russia as they didn’t like the new ideas and different ways of life. 

When Lydia went to school, almost everything was free, including education and housing. Flats or houses were given by the government to people who had worked a certain job for a long time. Once they finished working, the government took back the house or flat. Cars and personal effects were probably the only thing that people personally owned, though cars were often shared with 20 or so others. Lydia went to university in Russia and now has a PhD in Psychology. She was interested in Engineering Psychology, that is to be able to arrange equipment in military planes were the brain perceives them to be, though she wasn’t able to pursue this as the only professor doing this passed away just before she was to begin the course.

Lydia married her husband Alex in Russia 16 years ago. Lydia was living in Russia and decided to go and see Australia and New Zealand.  Lydia’s Mum had moved to Norfolk a year before, so she had heard lovely things about it. Since arriving on Norfolk, Lydia has been working for the Irvine’s Group. They have now been here for 12 years.


Lydia was accustomed to city living, living in an apartment and not knowing their neighbor who lived 10 metres away! Where Lydia is from, she was used to the dry dusty atmosphere, and she was a bad asthmatic. Since being on Norfolk, her asthma has gone. This is testament to the clean living and fresh air that the island is renowned for.


She was surprised how everyone is so multi-skilled on Norfolk, often your receptionist is also the accountant.  One day she was driving past a sign which said “open house”, she wasn’t in the market to buy a house. Once inside the house she just reached to turn a light switch on and the switch was just where she thought it should be it seemed like fate, but as she hadn’t planned on staying on Norfolk. Lydia asked if they could rent it, the owners said they wanted to sell, so Lydia and Alex jumped in “boots and all” and bought their very first home on Norfolk. 


Lydia loves her home town in Russia as it gave her so much, though she is very happy to call Norfolk her home now as this is where she has grown her family.

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Awas Salan - Meet Steve Ryves

Friday, April 14, 2017


Everyone has heard of the ‘quiet achiever’ but this phrase very much describes Steve Ryves.  He came to Norfolk in 1966 and, even as a young 18 year old, had an affinity for the place.  He travelled by ship with his parents, making an unusual entrance by launching their small catamaran, Oahu, from the vessel and sailing it through the reef into Emily Bay.


Steve and his family were keen sailors, and Oahu was built and designed by Carl Ryves, his cousin, and family friend, Ben Lexcen.  Ben, of course, would later be famed for his winged keel and involvement with the 1983 America’s Cup win. Unfortunately a bad storm, one of the worst Steve’s ever seen on Norfolk, destroyed the catamaran shortly after their arrival.

Having grown up in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney, which was then fairly unspoilt and sparsely populated, the Ryves felt right at home.  Steve tried all kinds of casual jobs and then decided to become a refrigeration mechanic like his dad, John.  He started his apprenticeship by correspondence and completed the course in Sydney.   Steve and John had plenty of work on Norfolk as electricity was just coming in and the old, heavy kerosene fridges were being replaced by electric models.

At this time Steve became interested in pottery.  He experimented with local clay and was intrigued.  He was living in a house, Girlie Christian’s place, at Ball Bay and he tried using an old metal safe as a kiln.  This was not successful, but Steve was hooked.  He ordered a small kiln, and other materials, and began Norfolk Island Cottage Pottery in 1970.  He combined this with being a refrigeration mechanic but, after a few years, went into the pottery business full time.

Steve is a self-taught artisan but has travelled extensively to learn his craft and refine his technique.  Pottery, he says, is “…endlessly fascinating…there’s a real excitement in seeing how it turns out.”  The look of Japanese pottery – its symmetry and delicacy - particularly appeals to him and Steve enjoys making porcelain and stoneware pieces.  He concentrates on creating “…beautiful, functional stuff…” and produces his own rich glazes, sometimes using local clays and basalt. It is a very tactile medium and he revels in handling the clay, working the wheel and shaping the piece to its finished form – ‘throwing’ pots keeps him inspired.   

He remembers the Ball Bay days fondly.  Girlie’s house was supposed to be haunted and, although Steve never saw apparitions, he often heard ghostly footsteps and doors mysteriously closing.  Marie Bailey organised his first pottery tours and today, three decades on, Steve still demonstrates his potting skills for tourist groups.  In 1975 he moved to Anson Bay and Dennis Stirling built him a lovely Norfolk pine home, and workshop, on the property.  Steve helped construct it and likes his home’s peace, serenity and nearness to the sea.

Steve loves the ocean – he swam, surfed and sailed yachts from a young age.  He represented the Island in yachting, with Jerry Cooke, at three South Pacific Games.  He was part of a local yachting club in the late 1980s, but is now a keen windsurfer and feels the sport unites the elements he likes most about sailing and surfing.


Steve met Alison when she came to work for Cottage Pottery. They later married and have two children, Jamie (27) and Emily (25).  Alison is an artist and shares Steve’s fascination with clay.  Since 1981 they have run the business together - Steve crafts the stoneware and porcelain pieces and Alison embellishes them with gorgeous glazes and lustres.  Alison also paints on paper, board and fabric, and creates striking jewellery.  Sea imagery and Polynesian motifs feature in their work.


In 1982, with the help of Alison’s step-father, Mike Quantrill, Steve designed and built a large kiln which continues to run well.  He tests different glazes, finishes and firings and gets a ‘kick’ out of trying new colours and blends. The workshop has been enlarged, over the years, and includes an Art Gallery to exhibit the full range of Ryves’ artistry.  Emily’s interesting photographic and collage pieces are also displayed.  If you’d like to buy pottery and original art works, see a master craftsman at the wheel, or just look at Norfolk’s dramatic scenery I’d recommend a visit to Anson Bay.

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FACES OF NORFOLK - MEET SARAH BETH JOHNSON

Friday, August 26, 2016


Many on Norfolk would now be familiar with Sarah, it’s hard not to miss Sarah and her sister Bec if you visit The Olive Cafe. The lovely ladies have been living on Norfolk for some time now,  arriving on Norfolk for a ‘short break’ commonly referred to as GAP Year when she completed high school in Oamaru in the South Island of New Zealand. During Sarah’s time at school she had a love of Ballet and also became heavily involved in Theatre and Dance Productions.  Sarah was a part of Chicago and Footloose, it is here being actively involved in stage productions a passion of Make-Up and Artistry formed and Sarah is the hottest new Make -Up Artist of Norfolk Island. 


Sarah was born in Welsford New Zealand, the whole Johnson Family have now relocated and built a new house a couple of years ago on Norfolk. ‘I love the fact that friendly locals are always willing to help each other and complete strangers. I am amazed that within the community there is a sense of familiarity between youths and the older generation.’

Since deciding to pursue a career in something she loved, Sarah enrolled in the QC Makeup Academy, studying a Certificate in Master Make-Up Artistry and an Air Brushing Course. Sarah has been working closely with Island Concierge in Bridal Makeup, Formals and Special Events. Next year in July 2017 after a trip through Europe with boyfriend Dylan Quantrill-Nobbs, whom she fell in love with once living on Norfolk, will travel together to Canada to live and it is here in Canada Sarah plans to pursue her goal to work on movie and TV sets as a Make-Up Artist. 

Make-Up by Sarah Beth can be booked directly through Sarah’s email or you may see her in person at The Olive Cafe making wonderful coffee alongside her sister Rebecca (Bec),The RSL Club working in the kitchen with her Mum and Dad, also by following her Instagram account. Moving to Norfolk has been the best decision of her life, falling in love and embracing the island way of life, finding our community homely and the beaches and views are described by Sarah as ‘breathtaking’.

Norfolk Island holds many of career paths and opportunities for young folk who reside on Island. At times it can feel isolated however to the right person this can be a blessing in disguise. The uniqueness of the community, quietness to study and learn in a pristine environment can assist dreams and make them a reality, as Sarah has done by utilising her time on Norfolk surrounded by family and friends to pursue her dream career in Make Up. 

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FACES OF NORFOLK - MEET CRISTINA MCRITCHIE

Friday, August 19, 2016


Tina, as more commonly referred to on Norfolk first visited at the age of 6 weeks, it was then 34 years later that Tina and Brandt moved to Norfolk, calling our Island their new home. Now nearing ten years since relocating her blogs have taken off, she is a recognised pre-school teacher at Mini School. Facebook has become an online media point of contact and sharing the world with viewers and persons with a common interest, Norfolk Island. 

Tina and Brandt have three children each unique and striving in different areas, Teddy the eldest 13, in Year 7, he has interest in Arts, Writing, Directing and Design. He is a regular in Wearable Arts each January and has already been creating 3 pieces for the next. Sienna  is 11 in a few weeks and now in Year 5, she writes about on average two songs and now plays guitar. Her first musical interest was Piano however with lack of teachers on Norfolk Island she has now taken to guitar, however the guitar still keeps her motivated to write music. 
And lastly little Jasper, smaller in size yet not in personality, he is proudly six and a half year of age and half way through Year 1. He loves playing Footy on Sunday with the other kids and is one of two boys in Ballet at Teresa’s Plie All The Way which is new to Norfolk Island and been going very well. 

You can view Tina’s blogs at her web address, norfolkheavenonearth.blogspot.com “I started blogging a few months after we moved here at Christmas 2006. I saw from Aunty Mary's blog that blogging attracts people of similar interests, so I told the story of living here with my young children and all the amazing natural attractions so it might encourage families to holiday on Norfolk Island

Captured by Cristina Rose photography is another of her Facebook pages where you can see the images Tina captures in her day to day. Never leaving the home without her camera by her side there have been many of picture perfect opportunities she has managed to snap which would have gone by the way to the everyday person driving past. 

When Tina has friends visiting from the mainland she embarks on a ‘Nortiki Tour’ of adventures, taking them off the beaten track and showing them the side of Norfolk in which most tourist cannot enjoy as they are unaware of the many secret spots we as locals enjoy. Visitors to Norfolk only get to partake in the activities advertised or shown on the road map, it takes a local resident to show the true Norfolk. An example of the adventures Tina may take her visitors on could be a little like this

Day 1: Arrival at the airport by the family welcoming committee, followed by quick sightseeing and sunset chasing. Day 2: Sifting through old photographs which had been printed out. These days this rarely occurs and one can spend many of hours reliving the memories of each. Day 3: Wake early and embark on a Breakfast Bush Walk through Norfolk National Parks along the coastline with ocean views. At the completion of your walk you are met by a BBQ Breakfast, Tea, Coffee and Juice. Day 4: The Maze, Anson Bay, Playing in the risen roots of the Morten Bay Fig, sitting on the walls of the convict ruins at Kingston, cow spotting, Cemetery Tour. Day 5: Day of departure, coffee and brunch at The Olive Cafe, goodbye for now at the Airport and then watching the plane take off into the sky from the side of the airstrip at times into a rainbow. 

Einsteins quote" Imagination is far more important than knowledge" Tina has never run out of imaginative things to do and create... just time constraints... I would love to paint my big ocean murals more. This I can to understand as the mind wonders with ideas and family, the outdoor and work are so time consuming you long for that day again where you can pick up the paint brush and disappear for days into the canvas. 

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FACES OF NORFOLK - MEET JANE RUTLEDGE

Friday, August 12, 2016


Jane is related to the Evans family of Norfolk, her father ‘Bubby’ is long time resident and Norfolk icon owning Music Valley, Bloody Bridge. Jane returned to Norfolk in the early 2000’s and restored her little cottage at the front of the property on Music Valley. She is a green finger at heart and very talented in many areas of arts and crafts. 

The most recent of Janes interest is the Wa’a Outrigger Racing and this has seen Jane return to her fitness from Open Water Wave Skiing in her teenage years which she use to partake in when living in Australia. In May this year Jane competed for Norfolk in the racing on the Sunshine Coast Australia and took out very respectable results.  In the Masters Pro 50 Women V1 500 Semi Finals on the 11th May Jane came in 6th place, and in her qualifying heat came in 2nd and hand painted the Norfolk flag colours onto an outrigger in memory and participation of the event. The next goal in Outrigging is Tahiti, alongside our ancestors and to feel the connection Norf’k sullen have with the Foremothers and Fathers of Tahiti. 

Janes son Beau and daughter Jessica also reside in very close proximity to Jane at Music Valley, with Jessica and her son toddler son Cooper returning to Norfolk to live in recent months. Jessica too has been enjoying the Outrigging and Cooper is very much enjoying the change in lifestyle to embrace Norf’k ways and the outdoors. Janes Grand Daughter Aurora (4) is often alongside Jane at Music Valley assisting to host the Garden and Culture Tours, speaking Norf’k and entertaining the visitors on tour. If you visit Norfolk Island or even those who live here and have not yet visited Music Valley, you can join Garden Tours at Pinetrees or Baunti Escapes which visit the Gardens. Also you can buy Bananas from an honesty system behind the front gate on your drive through Bloody Bridge. 

Another of Janes past times which she is currently being recognised for is Bone Carving and Rope work, when Beau returned from Afghanistan to Norfolk after serving he brought with him the interest in carving. Jane has now picked up where Beau left off and the carvings can be purchased from Gallery Guava on Queen Elizabeth Avenue.  A great reason this is so effective on Norfolk is the zero mile concept plus utilising wastage on the island. Many of Butchers here have on island have bone wastage and this can now be turned into 100% local arts and craft. Many of locals including Jane’s immediate, close family and friends are wearing her hand woven bracelets, necklaces, carvings or displaying the key rings or ornaments. 

Jane has a great ability to embrace her surrounds and structure it into everyday life, sharing knowledge and experience with visitors and handing down this information to her Grandchildren living on island and her Nieces and Nephew when they return to Norfolk for holidays.  Janes surroundings which she has incorporated into her life style, there is also horse riding.  Every Saturday since Aurora was 1 year old Jane and taken her to horse riding being by her side each week. Aurora partook in her first Equestrian Show in 2016 and is excited to say the least for the next fast approaching in October 2016.
 
Daily you may pass Jane and Bubby on their daily in their little blue or white ute about their errands in town or though Kingston, if you happen to pass by and they are at the front of the shed, stop and say hi and meet two of Norfolk’s true treasures of Music Valley. 


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FACES OF NORFOLK - MEET LESLEY ZARB

Friday, August 05, 2016


The pleasant face of The Jolly Roger and behind the scenes in Lesley’s day to day world, no two days are the same. In the late 2015 with her loving husband Matt, children Flynn and Marli, Lesley packed her suitcase, boxed up belongings and made the sea-change others only dream of doing. It takes a certain character to plunge into the unknown, however with the support of each other, their drive and experience they pulled together as a team and as a strong family.  This is their first time running and operating a restaurant ‘The Jolly Roger’ and are absolutely loving it, with the locals and every tourist coming to Norfolk The Jolly Roger has crept it way to the top of ‘Things to do on Norfolk Island’ list. 


The Zarb Family love living here in paradise, they feel very grateful that the community has accepted the whole family and are supporting the new business as well. They have now formed life-long friendships as well as an appreciation for the little life they’ve now created here. The kids have settled into school amazingly. Lesley says “Flynn is achieving things in his school and personal life he has never achieved before. Flynn has a great circle of friends and loves going to school. He works very hard in our family business and we could not do without him. Marli has come a long way since the beginning of this year, he was diagnosed with Autism when he was 2 years old and it has been a rough ride for him however he is achieving things we would have never thought possible and that is a direct credit to the staff at our amazing school here on Norfolk Island.”

Over the past six months they have learnt so much, this being the first time they have operated a restaurant, stepping into it not really knowing what to expect when they first opened the doors, “on our first night we spent a lot of time looking at each other thinking ‘what are doing?’ Matt has over 25 years experience in playing gigs at pub, clubs, restaurants, island resorts and I had some background in hospitality so with our combined experience and a little imagination we came up with The Jolly Roger. Landing here was not by chance our friends Justine and Cam from The Hilli Restaurant invited us here and we are very thankful to them both for bring us to this magical place. It is a crazy amount of work that goes into setting up and organising things and we are very grateful that our older son Cale came to the rescue and is now living here and working very hard as our Restaurant Manager.”

Lesley is also working full time for People Plus Australia as a Business Manager for the Jobactive Program contracted to the Government to provide Employment services to the people of Norfolk Island, so during the day this keeps her occupied Monday to Friday and then at night she turns into a Pirate Queen. 

In 2009 Matt and Lesley married, the 25th of July will be their Wedding Anniversary and together they have travelled extensively together, living in Europe, Kentucky USA, travelled extensively throughout the world with music, in several states and places in Australia and have lived on several Islands such as Dunk, Herron and Brampton. Norfolk is the biggest island they have lived on it also has the most infrastructure and the most amazing culture. Music has taken the duo all over the world and they are very lucky to have landed here on Norfolk Island.

“At the end of the day I gotta tell you that without my amazing hard working Husband none of this would be possible. He is not only the best Father and Gardener I know but also the most dedicated hard-working man I know and he isn't too bad on that old guitar either.”

Most of the family can and do sing on stage and play an instrument, last week Cale played the ukulele and sung a few songs on stage for us in the crowd. Lesley is the Queen of the microphone at karaoke bars, she believes the saying ‘everyone is good at something’ she handles the paper work and organsing, leaving the singing to the expert, husband Matt. 

If you aren’t met Lesley yet, call into The Jolly Roger on Taylors road to introduce yourself, she is a remarkable hard working mother, wife and business woman and has been a great introduction to Norfolk’s community along with the ‘Zarb Family’. 

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FACES OF NORFOLK - MEET MICHELLE DOWLING

Friday, July 29, 2016


Michelle Dowling was born on Norfolk Island and then moved away to Australia at a very young, at nine years she returned to Norfolk and has remained living here since. Mother of two happy, trending little boys Liam, 8, and Will 5, Shell keeps herself actively involved in Norfolk’s sporting events and full time work. 

In the past Shell was at Aatuti Art Gallery in The Village working for Sue Pearson in her sole gallery, in July 2016 Shell has taken on new role as Office Manager at Baunti Escapes Boutique Touring Company. In Baunti Escapes Shell overseas the coordination of tours throughout the week offering local knowledge first hand to tourist and visitors on Norfolk. 
 
Since early school days Shell has always played Netball, her team this year is Flames in position of Goal Attack or Goal Shoot. She plays Touch Footy for Burnt Pine Travel PBT with drive and determination. With gentle encouragement to her two boys she directs them in the sporting world and on the weekend I saw one of her boys playing Netball, very cute to see the mixed teams with the young children of Norfolk. 

In the evening Michelle becomes DJ SHELL, having a playlist and song library of over 8000 plus her ability to play tunes to suit all occasions is a hit. Often playing at Weddings and Birthday Parties on Norfolk, Shell entertains for hours on end. Over this coming Summer Shell will be busy with her entertaining as she has many already approaching her to DJ at their weddings. 

Shell is a beautiful face for business, Polynesian in look with a lovely tan and great gentle personality. If you are visiting Norfolk call in to Baunti Office and see Shell, introduce yourself and plan a week of activities showcasing local knowledge and seeing the best we have to offer. 


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FACES OF NORFOLK - MEET MAEV HITCH

Friday, July 29, 2016


Huttae a story about myse Mumma, Maev Hitch, she is my Grandmother, my “inspiration on life” with a work ethic which has been passed down generations. My family can put their hand to many of talents which crosses our path. This on Norfolk Island is a true attribute as careers here can change often and we must be flexible to apply ourselves to which ever job arises. An artist in her later years, Maev paints with oil on canvas. Commissioned for her works this was a stable income during her later years, she has also woven Island Hats with the local traditional ‘weave’ and has taught many on Norfolk the Tahitian dance. 


Maev would be without a doubt one of the best known women of Norfolk Island during a time when social media did not exist. Tourist would return many of years after their first visit and be asking for Meav or sending her letters from their home town to thank her for her hospitality. Recently complete retirement occurred during Maev’s early 80’s. Proud descendant of Field Marshall son of Von Blucher in Germany and of Fletcher Christian and Mathew Quintal, a true descendant of the Bounty, one of a select few thousand born on Norfolk Island, birth date of 1st October. Maev is a character at heart with a huge sense of humour, in Norfolk we would say kasard en mardun (extremely cheeky /cunning and a tad mad). Trying to paint the picture of Maev’s life span, I did have to shamefully as the misfortunate question of which year was her birth year, to her fast reply “F*#k Da!” There is no way she will divulge this information to me, even as a Grand Daughter. 

It was in the early 1920’s the story would have began, by long journey aross ocean Maevs father arrived on Norfolk Island by wooden sailing ship. Imagination runs wild picturing the arrival at the jetty on Norfolk at Kingston, I picture it to be very similar to Bounty Day in which we re-enact the landing in a long boat. Their legs would have been weary, for hours if not days once on land.  It was here he fell in love with my Great Grand Mother Louisa Heagar Christian ‘Ma’ and together they had two children, William (Bill) Blucher and Mavis Millicent. Heagar then married sweet heart George Starr and it is Starr we all hold so dearly. 

Heagar is of strong Norfolk character and appearance, when lining up photographs of Heagar, Maev, Karlene, Carli and Great Grand Daughter Aurora the resemblances are vivid.  Ma was friends with re-known Author Colleen McCullough and owned all signed editions of Cols novels, and these days her Great Granddaughter Carli is host of the tour to Cols homestead. 

During her prime years of Tahitian dancing Maev sailed throughout the Pacific Islands by sail boat, visiting distant relatives, sharing her passion and our Norfolk Island ways. During the 80’s and 90’s with husband Gill Hitch they opened a restaurant with focus on local cuisine called The Polynesian, here Maev and daughter Karlene danced with their European appearance partners Gill and Jack for the tourist and it was a huge hit. The nights would be sell-out shows and in high demand. Maev was also an entertainer at the iconic Kingfisher Hotel of Anson Bay, Paradise Hotel at Kingston and many of shows which would be arranged by locals near and far. 

Today Maev says ‘she’s retired’ her oil paintings are printed onto gift cards for tourist, her book Ghosts of Norfolk sells at book stores and her husband’s book Pacific War is also distributed and is a great selling amongst visiting tourist who are interested in Norfolk past involvement with the World Wars 1 and 2 or our unique ghost stories. Now living alone, husband Gill past away some years back now, his head stone is located in the Norfolk Cemetery at Kingston alongside Heagar, Daddy Bill and her Grandson Mitta. Norfolk has no aged care facilities, the locals of an elderly age stay independent for many of years, driving, cooking and they’d still like to say working each day. 

Maev’s three children Kim, Adam and Karlene all reside on Norfolk, spending ample time alongside their mother who is a regular amongst the cafe scene through Burnt Pine. Today as we sit outside The Black Rock Cafe son Adam jokes how Maev always claimed she found him in the cabbage patch and has never admitted to having children. 

Each Sunday morning with great long time friends Eddie and Margie Christian the three head off like the Three Musketeers to Chapel Service, followed by cups of tea and hours of laughter together The elderly community of Norfolk have a strong bond, from birth many on Norfolk remain close their whole lives and be sure to ring each other daily to check up and have giggles. 

Such is Life, this lifestyle we live! It is a blessing and it’s such an honour to be of blood line to such a magnificent woman. There is a few things Mumma has always told me in life,  “Never leave home in dull underwear”, “always wear a touch of makeup to enhance what you naturally have” and to “be you.”

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FACES OF NORFOLK - MEET PAUL COCKING - OWNER OF BARNEY DUFFY'S CHARCOAL GRILL

Friday, July 22, 2016


Barney Duffy’s has been a favourite Restaurant for many of years on Norfolk Island, during this time it has seen the restaurant change ownership a handful of times since it’s build in 1978. Paul Cocking originally came to Norfolk as a TEP (Tertiary Entry Permit) as a Chef at Colonial Resort & Hotel. He began his apprenticeship on Lizard Island in North Queensland. During his years working through out Queensland and Brisbane Paul has prepared dining experiences enjoyed by the Dutch King and Queen, Andrew, the Duke of York and Fergie, the Queensland Premier and Lee Marvin, too name a few.


Growing up in the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane, it is now 20 years on that Pauls been living on Norfolk with the last 8 years being the owner of Barney Duffy’s Charcoal Grill. Pauls mother Hazel followed closely behind after he finally decided to call Norfolk home and purchased his A-Frame house here around the year 2000.  

If you ask a number of locals from the past they are sure to admit they have worked at Barney’sDuffy’s at some stage or another, from chefs to floor staff, bar staff to junior wait persons. The menu has stayed very similar over the years as Barneys had quite the famous reputation for many of delicacies on its menu. Today the returning visitors to the island who come to Barney’s for the meal they had many of years ago, for instance the Cloud 9; an alcoholic milkshake which is best consumed before your meal or as a dessert, the local Pork Spare Ribs, Seafood Chowder, on occasion Pacific Oysters and of course the prime cuts of Local and Imported Beef Steaks, cooked to order with accompanying homemade sauces, salad and Idaho potato. 

Barney Duffy’s is a Norfolk Pine clad interior with exposed nails, Pauls been lucky to find many of old photographic material which hangs on the walls to show the past here on island, his recent finds are of the Missionary  Village, The Hollow Pine of Barney Duffy in which he is rumoured to have lived. 

Many may be unfamiliar with the story of Barney Duffy; He was one of the escaped convicts who lived a miserable existence on Norfolk in 1790. Under the watchful eye of the Guards being punished by lashings of the Cat-O-Nine Tails whipping, Barney escaped his captors and the story goes that for seven years he evaded the Guards. Living in a safe inside hollow of a Norfolk Pine to give him shelter from nature’s elements, the pine had a wide opening only on one side so it could very easily go unnoticed. The story could be made into a Hollywood movie or a bestselling novel, to cut a long story short Barney was given up for dead. 

One day his two captors where fishing off the treacherous rocks of Headstone and while climbing up the hill on their way back to Kingston Barracks they suddenly came upon a tall man with matted hair, naked and unclothed. They moved to take him into custody and they say he cursed his captors saying “Take me or report me ye red coated lily-livered lice – aye, and then I’ll hang but hear ye curse on ye! So surely as ye do this thing before me corpse has hung a week on Kingston Gallows ye’ll meet a violent death, the pair o’ye. So think twice, me brave young buckos or ye’ll remember these words when your time comes.”

The young men paid no heed and marched their captive to Kingston settlement to be hung, as they were crowned virtual heroes. Two days later the same two Soldiers went back to Headstone along with a third man to fish. As is that of the curse they were swept off the rocks and the Soldiers drowned whilst the third man survived.

If you head to Norfolk Island be sure to visit Paul in Barney Duffy’s, he has a few tales of his own, pretty good ghost stories, tasty mouth watering steaks and can also stay open late on notice or prepare take away meals for you by oder. If you head to Norfolk to fish, be aware of ‘the seventh wave’ it has a habit of rising and catching you off guard or could be the return of old man Barney Duffy’s curse. 

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FACES OF NORFOLK - MEET NATALIE GRUBE

Friday, July 15, 2016


Nat is a local Norfolk Islander born in 1982, June 16th, her mother Lyn had Nat one week before I was born and we have a photo of us both wrapped tight laying next to each other ready to embrace what life throws at us. The joy of a small community such as this of Norfolk is we remain close friends even when ocean can separate us and life takes on new and exciting journeys.  

Nat travelled to Tahiti with a group from Norfolk and it is here she first met her now Husband Yoyo, as we on Norfolk have known of him, Koviro Tuki from Rapa Nui, an extremely talented Musician and Artist. Together with their two young children Hiva (5) and Hane (3), Nat and Yoyo have relocated to Byron Bay, NSW, Australia to share his talents and for Nat to find her feet again after having the children and now study.  

Finding a new found interest in Video, Nat is currently studying Bachelor of Film in Byron Bay, August next year the course will be complete. “I've really found something I love in film. It combines visual, audio and storytelling, and I plan to use my skills to promote and support Norfolk and auwas salan. Being a full-time student and mum to two letl salan has its challenges, but I’m hoping to show them the rewards of applying yourself to your passion. I love growing older and seeing the world with new eyes and appreciating all those blessings I've been gifted, especially my children, family, friends and island home.

I still have a desire to travel more and experience different cultures, lifestyles etc, so much to see in this world with so little time. Can't wait to share the world with mais beautiful letl salan. And of course I'm hanging out for the day I can wake up to the Norfolk breeze again, and feel mais hoem under mais feet. So much to be grateful for!”

When Nat and I chat I ask the usual day to day thoughts which trail my mind when someone lives overseas, “you bin see any snake?” “dem sleepen” is Nat’s reply. Wataweih Mum en Tarn?” “Busy”, says Nat, and this is so true we can all move off Norfolk to be closer to each other and by the time we are all working and studying we see less of each other than we do when living here due to the commute between places and distance it may take. 

One day Nat will see herself living on Norfolk again, she plans to return to Rapa Nui next year with the family, as we who have more than one home must share the love. 

I made comment to Nat that I am currently playing Tour Leader and I’m often asked how the Schooling is on Norfolk, I asked Nat how blessed she felt that we were able to grow up on Norfolk and be involved at our School for so many years, then Nat went on to be a Teacher at NICS when she returned to Norfolk for the Norfolk Language and K – 12 as Casual Teaching. “As a former student and teacher at NICS I feel blessed. I always felt part of a greater supportive community and that the children's best interests were always at heart. For such a small isolated school, we've been lucky to have had so many academic and sporting opportunities to broaden our students' horizons. I feel extremely lucky to have grown up in a Central School like NICS and hope mais letl salan will one day experience it too.”
“We definitely will return to live orn Norfolk one day in the near future. Never feel at home anywhere else! Want to make sure kids know es dems hoem too.”

Nat still speaks of her favourites such as Hihi, Coconut Pie, Pilahi and all things Norf’k, she could never live without Family, Friends and knowing this little Island we call home, Norfolk. No matter what the future holds, we know within our hearts this is our home and nothing will ever change that. 

As the evening comes to an end and us working Mums have to put our modern technology away to prepare for a new day, Nat leaves me with a favourite quote of hers "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" Martin Luther King Jr.

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