Friday, December 16, 2011

The 2010 Travel Centre Pistol Championships were conducted at the Norfolk Island Pistol Club last week 3rd to 10th of December. This year’s event attracted 60 visitors to the Island including 34 shooters from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. 

A number of local members took part in a very successful week of competition.

The Norfolk Island Pistol Association congratulates all of the Winners and all competitors for making this event the success it was. We would also like to thank our Sponsors, those who donated prizes for raffles, gas for the fryers. Our members for their time and expertise in getting the facility ready and keeping it running all week. Ritchie, Fitzy and John for cooking that fabulous fish on Sunday evening and Sputt and Co for that beautiful fish.  There was great feedback from our visitors with many wishing to return next year for our event. It is always great to hear that sort of feedback.

The results from the week can be found in the sport section of this weeks Norfolk Online Newsletter

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JAZZ IN THE PINES ... by Judith Davidson

Friday, December 09, 2011

Sun, salt, moonlight on the water and wonderful Jazz in the compound; visiting musician Andy Firth acknowledged it just couldn’t get any better for a jazz concert.  The ninth annual Norfolk Jazz concert was certainly a rare treat for both visitors and locals.

The six fabulous acts were all different. Jan Preston’s consummate boogie woogie piano, the sheer energy and drive of those rhythms, evoked childhood memories of Winifred Attwell concerts on our brand new TV set. The Jazz Factory were obviously men enjoying their passion to make music together in the traditional jazz style. Andy Firth led his quartet through a virtuoso performance of clarinet and sax playing.  Just when you thought jazz couldn’t get faster or more complex something more extraordinary would happen. And the Duck (Galapagos that is) just “going off ”.The polished perfection of the Funky Doo Das each extraordinarily talented musician delivering a performance more smoothly integrated and blended than a Hilli’s crème caramel. How could you choose a favourite?  I confess a sneaking bias for the Hot Club Sandwich.  Coming at the end of the line up on Tuesday night, their sharply perceptive satirical send up of all our little foibles set to a cool laid back folky jazz resonated with most everyone. The lyrics of songs like “I can’t keep up” leave you with that I know feeling even while you enjoy the belly laugh.. I want to send the CD to my son; He will recognize those gravity defying pants, those bits and bolts and his mother’s threat to sell him for scrap.

Hats off to Jacqui Pye and the small dedicated and entirely voluntary band of organizers who put the program together. As a non profit organization, ticket sales are set to cover costs and ensure next years line up of quality artists. They do it for love and the Island as a whole reaps the business benefits of a few hundred extra visitors.

But that’s only part of the story. There is something magical about Jazz.  As different in style as the various acts were they all had one thing in common. Those talented musicians were simply and totally enjoying what they do; expressing themselves through wonderful music and we were privileged to sit in. 

Cross language references can be more hilarious than cross dressing as the Funky Do Das found out when their tallest band member played a strange fluorescent tube electric instrument called an Iiwi. At least they knew in advance the word means ‘small’ in Norfolk so the stage jokes were able to capitalized on this strange paradox which was more than can be said for the marvelous Hot Club sandwich boys whose original lyrics about our obsessive connection to our IPods brought the Norfolk section of the house down.  After their act, Jacqui Pye’s explanation of the meaning of the word ‘poddy’ in Norfolk will be a story they will long dine out on. I wish I had been there.

I had been to both concerts on Tuesday so, having thoroughly enjoyed all performers, I decided to curl up with a good book on Wednesday night.  It might have been logical but I know I missed out on a finale treat with a jazz jamming at its best until the wee small hours. 

MORE THAN A LITTLE BIT OF SOUL ... by Mitchell James

Soul Art gallery is the new, cutting-edge artist cooperative underway on Norfolk Island. It is comprised of ten members; Cristina-Rose McRitchie, Pauline Reynolds, Nat Grube and Yoyo Tiki, Louise Donald, Tihoti Barff, Gaye Evans, Yvon Adams, Karlene Christian, Maeve Hitch and Suzanne Evans. These ten artists, with fantastic creative abilities, have combined all of their special talents into the one matchless package that is the Soul Art Gallery co-operative. The cofounders (Louise Donald, Pauline Reynolds and Cristina-Rose McRitchie), met in January 2011 to discuss and decide the date of the opening for Soul Art Gallery.

Consequently, the opening came about in May this year. The gifted Cristina-Rose McRitchie outlined the whole long and short term prospects the cooperative plans for the gallery, the history behind some of the works and a summary of the praise the gallery had acquired since its initial establishment. Cristina explained that Soul Art Gallery was “a great way to bring all the artists on Norfolk Island together, to hone each other’s talents and inspire others in the community to get involved.” She also explained that the building that Soul inhabits was considered fairly run down before Vicky and Michael Jack granted them the building. Since then, it has been renewed and offers a friendly, approachable atmosphere for all visitors to the gallery. A tour of the gallery reveals that each wall belongs to a particular artist of the cooperative and it proves Cristina’s point that setting up the business was a great way to enrich and retain variety. Another of the founders, Pauline Reynolds, does fabric work for the gallery and has done so for a very long time, particularly in her earlier life. Her art includes fabric printing and dyeing.

Pauline believes Soul is a great place for tourists to visit, particularly in the current economic climate and because of the increasing rarity of Norfolk Island’s distinctive culture.  She believes that Norfolk Island has a diverse creative community and believes that Soul can “make us stand out.” In the short time the gallery has been in business the artist cooperative has been pleasantly surprised that the gallery is always changing as new artworks and flair are added to the display. In the future, Cristina explained that her goal is “to blend, encompass and encourage more artists to get involved.” Her dream goal is to have more exhibitions and host an ‘Artist of the Month’ from Australia, New Zealand and other places to inspire potential artists in the community. What Cristina hopes to achieve is a ‘Poor Man’s Exhibition’ where there will be exclusive deals on all stock sold at or below $25. Pauline Reynolds’ personal goal is to educate members of the community about areas such as plaiting because cultural pursuits need to be passed down in order for them to survive. She believes it is critical to have places such as Soul for tourists to visit because it is one of the rare places where Norfolk Island can show off its culture clearly. 

Pauline quoted that “Soul sends a strong positive message to tourists that Norfolk Island has an excellent artistic population and [I] believe that it is vital to show visitors what the island’s population is capable of, because otherwise they will only see shops, go on tours and will miss out on the most crucial part of the island’s culture.” She believes this strong message is being achieved by Soul.  Christina Rose-McRitchie also explained the cooperative’s ‘day book.’ Basically, the purpose of the day book is for all the artists to throw ‘ideas on board’ and the ideas would be considered for the future. It was evident from Cristina’s explanation that there is an extraordinary contrast between each of the artists’ personas; several are more actively involved than others and a number prefer to watch events play out from a distance. Whatever the case is, Cristina emphasized that it “takes different varieties of people to make a business successful.” The vibe at Soul Art Gallery is undeniably one of welcome. It is clear that every single person in the artists’ cooperative is dedicated to their artworks and relating them to the community and visitors alike. Cristina said that she was part of a cooperative in Noosa before she came to the island and she often came here on holiday. She particularly enjoyed the snorkelling and that’s why the majority of her work features marine life. 

One thing is for certain; it is not possible to be disappointed when you visit Soul Art Gallery for it undeniably has something for every individual. If painting “isn’t your thing” there is a wide range of photography that contains several unbelievable shots of the island captured on canvas, which would look great on just about any wall in the home. Pauline shares her space at Soul with Tihoti Barff. On her wall she establishes her flair for fabric dyeing and printing. Her passion for the continued teaching of Norfolk’s traditions is supported by the fact that she teaches the Year 8 Norf’k Language class at Norfolk Island Central School and she was surprised at how little of Norfolk’s heritage the students understood. Pauline’s goal is to retain Norfolk’s vibrant culture. Do you want more information about Soul Art Gallery? There is a Facebook blog for anyone who is interested in supporting the gallery. 

‘Soul Gallery’ is the link to remember to type in and it delivers a wide array of photos and the occasional post from a member of the cooperative. The whole aim is to encourage the community to become more involved and to notify people the doors to the gallery are not closed and everybody is welcome to partake. There will always be people at Soul to encourage talent, whatever it is. Just come along and join in the fun.  

YOUTH ROKZ ... by Cristina McRitchie

Last Saturday night 3rd December, The RSL club once again let the young performers show their talent at the last Youth Rokz concert for 2011. 

This was a show for the younger performers, we had a few first time acts & a few crowd favourite well know local young talents who entertained their families and visitors to the club. Thanks to Courtney Grube and Amelia Murray who jumped in with 5 minutes to spare to MC our night brilliantly. 

First up were the 3-5 year old mini moovers who showed us all how to 'shake it' with big smiles on their faces. Then Oli Mayo showed us his talent singing and playing guitar with his original song named 'cow dung'. The school moovers came next as they reprised their 2010 Mothers day talent quest number 'Cartoon heroes' with a few new faces added to the group. Sam Maynard and Ashleigh Christian entertained everyone with their duet 'you've got a friend in me' showing great promise in confident pair of 8 year olds. Taya McCoy made her debut singing 'someone like you', we hope to see her again, it is great when newbie's come to join in at these nights. Sienna McRitchie showed us again that at 6 years of age, she is an old hat on stage confidently singing Katy Perry's 'Firework'. 

Alicia Gomez sang things 'I'll never say' beautifully. Isobel Maynard and Sienna McRitchie then wishes everyone a Merry Christmas by singing the first Noel together acapella. We finished off with an impromptu performance with our MC Courtney and Alicia. A special Thankyou to Ginny Walker for helping with the Music, The RSL club for hosting us this year and to Felecia and the RSL Bistro staff for also supporting Youth Rokz with our own special menus (especially for the kids lemonade iceblocks). 

Gaelene Christian and I would love to continue Youth Rokz concerts in 2012 but need your feedback on how you wish to see it Formatted (Friday night with the band or Saturday night with a disco following) Let us know also if you wish to perform or MC one of our nights. In the meantime, have a safe and happy Christmas and keep practising new songs or get a group of friends together during the holidays to have some dance, singing, acting, comedy or magic acts ready to go for our next concert early next year. Cristina 51862 and Gaelene 51103

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Friday, December 02, 2011

The Administrator and Mrs Walsh hosted a reception at Government House this week to mark White Ribbon Day on November 25th.

White Ribbon Day is part of an international violence prevention campaign. It aims to raise awareness about the roles that individuals and communities can play to prevent violence against women. The campaign calls for men in particular to speak out and take an oath. An oath swearing never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women. The campaign culminates on White Ribbon Day (25 November) each year, when people, particularly men and boys, are called to wear a white ribbon or wristband as sign of their commitment to this issue. In doing so, they can act as positive role models and advocates for change by challenging behaviors and attitudes that have allowed of violence against women to occur.

Speech by Ms Rhonda Griffiths MLA

At His Honour’s invitation, Ms Rhonda Griffiths MLA spoke to the guests at the reception on the importance and significance of White Ribbon Day for Norfolk Island. Ms Griffith’s speech is set out below in full.

“We are here today to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women; the White Ribbon symbolises this day.

White Ribbon Day was created by a handful of Canadian men in 1991 to urge men to speak out against violence against women. For men it is an opportunity to be part of the solution.

White Ribbon Day began two years after the Montreal Massacre. In 1989, a 25 year-old man, entered a university classroom in Quebec. He separated the male and female students. After claiming that he was "fighting feminism", he shot all nine women in the room, killing six. He then moved through corridors, cafeteria, and classrooms, specifically targeting women. In just twenty minutes he killed 14; injuring another 10 and 4 men before turning the gun on himself.

His suicide note blamed feminists for ruining his life.

In the aftermath – there were many views....

  • Some said it was because he was abused as a child;
  • Some said it was simply the act of a madman – and that it was unrelated to wider social issues;
  • Some blamed the violence in the media;
  • Others said it was the increasing poverty, isolation and alienation in society.

I say that this was a demonstration of reality; a reality that was, until recently, a private or family matter – something that wasn’t talked about.

The reality is:

  • In New Zealand, one in three women are victims of violence from a partner, while on average fourteen women are killed each year by a member of their own family.
  • In Australia, nearly one in three women experiences physical violence and almost one in five, sexual violence, over their lifetimes.
  • Research commissioned by the Australian Government in 2009 estimated violence against women and children cost the Australian economy $13 billion.
  • Unfortunately Norfolk is not immune from Gender-based violence either. Incidences of violence against women on Norfolk have been heard in the courts and reported in newspapers. The Australian Law Reform Commission, in its report No: 69 “Equality before the Law’ found that gender-based violence is alive on Norfolk Island. Their report states, “that some women are regularly subjected to violence and intimidation by their partners and other members of the community. The violence and intimidation manifests itself in various ways including beatings, stalking, crank phone calls, burglary, trespassing, preventing access to homes and sexual harassment”.

It is difficult, however, if not impossible, to establish accurately the actual numbers of gender-based violence on Norfolk. What we do know is that it is one of the most common forms of violence in the world.

You’ll note I am talking about gender-based violence; not simply domestic violence. Gender refers to the different social roles men and women have in a particular place. It’s about the culturally acceptable attitudes and behaviour of men and women. Gender roles are learned. And they vary in each place.

Violence refers to acts that cause direct physical, mental or sexual harm or suffering or threats of such acts.

  • It includes indirect acts such as coercion, intimidation and forcing a person to do something against their will.
  • It includes controlling access to funds and credit and exclusion from financial decision making;
  • It includes controlling access to health care, employment, education, and other resources.

Gender based violence encompasses acts of violence committed against females because they are females and against males because they are males, depending on society’s roles and expectations of them.

Whilst women, men, boys and girls can be victims of GBV, women and girls are disproportionately affected. There is a high incidence of violence against women by intimate male partners.

Gender-based violence can leave deep psychological scars, damage the health of women and girls in general, including their reproductive and sexual health, and in some instances, results in death.

It is not just the victim that suffers but society as a whole bears the consequences.

  • It causes loss of productivity, loss of earnings and loss of jobs;
  • It puts additional pressure on social services, police, and legal systems;
  • It can restrict women's participation in political, social and economic life.

Yet - when we think of constraints to development, gender-based violence is a factor that is often forgotten. Let us ensure that it is not forgotten as we move into this crucial new phase of our development.

Unfortunately though - there are no magic solutions. There are however, three main strategies that have proven successful in other places. They are:

  1. Increasing women's access to justice;
  2. Increasing women's access to support services; and
  3. Preventing violence.

Unfortunately there are issues which inhibit women’s access to justice.

We have a lack of legal practitioners on Norfolk - with two people needing legal advice promptly – it’s often a case of getting in first or missing out altogether. Accessing legal aid on the Island is difficult and time-consuming. Women often lack resources or time to participate in justice processes;

There are also issues which inhibit women’s access to support services. We have a lack of emergency housing for victims coupled the difficulty of keeping the safe house location a secret. There is a lack of knowledge on rights and access to services, coupled with a lack of freely available information – specific to Norfolk. We have an attitude of indifference towards women’s rights. Unfortunately we are generally tolerant of Gender based violence;

On the 3rd point of preventing violence – it’s not all doom and gloom though - we are doing a bit better.

We have some outstanding men in our community men who have sworn never to ‘commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women’. Owen, Aiden, Adam, Liam, Tim, Doug and Spuddy – thank you!

We have an active Women’s Forum who advocate for women and give us a voice. They provide a place where issues affecting our lives and our family’s lives can be raised in a non-threatening and supportive environment. Thank you for this – it is important to us.

We have teachers who are working with our youth and teaching them about getting needs met in appropriate ways, bullying, and negotiating conflict and dealing with anger among other things. Thank you. It is important for our young people and their future.

What we need now is strong and sustained political leadership if we are truly committed to reducing gender-based violence!

We need more men to speak out and send a clear message to all who think it's acceptable to dominate others by physical and psychological violence that they are wrong.

And if I can just leave you with one thought – ‘what would we see if women were to achieve true equality? Would acts of violence and force become new acts of negotiation? The truth is - we can only wonder...Thank you”

Norfolk Island Government and community initiatives acknowledged

In thanking Ms Griffiths’ for her contribution, His Honour also acknowledged the initiatives being taken by the Norfolk Island Government and the Norfolk Women’s Forum.

His Honour said “Instances of violence, intimidation and bullying do happen on Norfolk Island. There are issues in our community with abuse of alcohol and drugs as well as mental health issues such as depression. As a community, we should not be afraid to speak up and acknowledge that these issues exist or that some of us need help coping with them. They occur here on Norfolk just as they do in any community elsewhere. What is important is not that they exist, but how we as individuals and as a community respond to them. For this reason, I would like to acknowledge the important work being done by the Minister for Community Services, Tim Sheridan, and the Norfolk Women’s Forum with support from the Hospital and Administration. They are doing what they can within the resources that they have to act and to help those in need. I would urge all on Norfolk to support them.”

THANKSGIVING DAY ... by Wally Beadman

Norfolk Island’s whaling heritage has given us many things, but probably none as significant as our annual Thanksgiving Day holiday.   The homesick wives of the American whalers who settled here soon after the arrival of the Pitcairn Islanders in 1856, introduced the custom of stopping to say thanks at the end of November, and it has continued ever since.

So last Wednesday, the Anglican church, Uniting church and Seventh Day Adventist church held special thanksgiving services to which their congregations brought the bounty of their gardens and kitchens to celebrate the richness of our lives in this island paradise. 

How appropriate this day must have seemed to the Pitcairn Islanders who had outgrown their much loved but tiny home in the eastern Pacific and been searching for a new home for many years.  In 1856, Queen Victoria ensured that they would have a new homeland, another far larger island, fully equipped with fine stone houses, equipment, livestock and amazing machinery for their use.

They were able to re-establish themselves in a remarkably short period of time, with gardens growing, a place of worship, a school and plentiful supplies of wood, fish and fresh water.  And in only a few short months, the American whalers arrived and decided to stay, with more joining them each year.  The pious Pitcairners must have truly believed that they had been blessed.

At the Uniting church service at Cascade this year, the church pews were bedecked with tall stalks of corn and the altar groaned with produce and baked goods.  The congregation sang hymns to give thanks for all their blessings and then afterwards, the customary auction was held in the church hall.

The auction of the produce and baked goods brought to church for the service, is something that everyone looks forward to.   It is also a time when deep-seated rivalries have the opportunity to flourish.  This year, soda bread was once again the big fund raiser, with one loaf going for $35 and others for over $30!  Brothers outbid sisters for soda bread and lemon butter, while children outbid parents and grandparents for guava jelly, chocolate cake and other goodies.  The church hall echoed with laughter and cheers and from it all, came a generous outpouring of money for the church for the coming year.

Many departed to join other family members for picnics while others simply enjoyed a quiet day at the beach or in the garden.  Some even returned to attend the Seventh Day Adventist service that afternoon.

Thanksgiving Day is a quaint tradition that continues here on Norfolk Island, but it says so much about the Norfolk character and spirit, let us hope that it survives for many generations to come.


Late afternoon & early evening was a fine time to celebrate with high tea at the mini bar on Saturday 26th of November.

This fundraiser for the Waa club was the brainchild of Louise Donald, those that came out enjoy many sumptuous treats and generous hospitality at the Mini bar.

 We hope there will be many more occasions to fundraise in this delicious way.


For those of us that didn't celebrate Thanksgiving at Church but instead headed down to Emily bay for a picnic dinner, we still gave our thanks for living in such a wonderful and safe community with clean beaches and amazing views.

After a welcome shower of rain which the Island desperately needs, even though it soaked our dinner, we were also treated to a concert of local bands performing at the back of Emily bay. Our kids stayed swimming around the raft and playing on the beaches until we received another treat by watching the sun setting through the pines and slipping behind the reef. Norfolk Island really is 'da bas side orn earth'


What were these nuns doing driving around the island last Tuesday night?????? Did anyone else put something into their confessional box or sing hymns with them at the RSL? Only on Norfolk.

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WHATS NEW AT SOUL GALLERY ... by Cristina McRitchie

Friday, November 25, 2011

Soul gallery next to the Ferny lane theatre has been open for 6 months now. This artists co operative has at least 10 artists and constantly 'morphs' changing its displays even from week to week. Each day we now offer a free 11am tour with the daily artist around the gallery, visiting the styles and influences of the local artists.  

We have also started the summer twilight markets that were on the grounds of the sports and workers club last year. Nicknamed the verandah markets, these are held every Wednesday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30. Coffee and food is available and you can come and have a chat with our artists. There is room to grow, so if you would like to set up a table to sell your wares for a small cost, come along and talk to our co op of artists. We do have space to join our gallery, so if you are arty or just appreciate the arts and have 1/2 to 1 day available per week, please register your interest with Cristina 51862 or Louise 51181. 

We recently held an industry drinks night for the accommodation & tour companies, Thankyou to those who attended. There have been plenty of workshops happening over the past 6 months from soap making, painting, ukulele lessons, Polynesian drawing to mosaics and plenty of school holiday arty fun, there will be lots more coming up, register your interest at the gallery and tell us what you want to most learn. Look out for our Christmas decoration workshop coming up shortly where you can make your own to keep or give away. Everyone is pleasantly surprised when they enter the gallery at the range of art, gifts and souvenirs available that is made right here on the island. 

We are happy to post our locally made gift lines such as our artists mugs, coasters and photo canvas's off to Australia and NZ for you. Feel free to come along and view before the display changes again as Christmas is just around the corner, Lay-by's and gift certificates are available. Thanks for all the local support throughout the year. Cristina, Louise, Gaye, Pauline, Suzanne, Yvon, Natalie, Nat & Yoyo, Karlene & Maev, Tihoti, Mary & Kaye.


October was another dry month – only a couple of short showers which filled up our tanks and wells a little, but didn’t moisten the ground thoroughly. Lawns do not appear fresh and green anymore, and we dare not water them in case we won’t get rain till next year.
The school at Pulau had an open day, with the students’ work displayed, and everyone was invited.

Proud parents and other islanders enjoyed the event. The school children just finished a
two week term holiday, and spent it fishing, swimming, camping and with organized holiday program.

The church members spent a morning cleaning the church building – inside and outside – so the church looks spick and span and dust free for a short while.

It is guava season again, and there is guava everywhere, even along the main roads the branches are heavy with big yellow guavas, and we are picking and peeling and cooking and straining (the seeds are a nuisance to get in between your teeth) and freezing ( whatever we don’t eat right away in guava sponge, guava pie, guava poly or in fruit salad). Guava juice is also a favourite. Roseapple is also plentiful, the roads smell roseapple where they have fallen and started” rotting. Our incoming Deputy Governor, Kevin Lynch, arrived on the September ship to spend three months here before he takes up his position in Auckland, New Zealand. Marion Guthrie, our Governor’s Representative for the last 12 months, left in September, and our new Governor’s Representative, Carol Schumann, will arrive for her 12 months when Kevin leaves in December.

Thanks to Brian, Terry Dawson and Mike, Melva and Royal plus Kenneth Cobbins for pictures this issue. Kenneth’s father was pastor here in 1959-1960 and took some fascinating pictures from what we call “the good old days”.

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YEAR 8 VISITS THE MUSEUM ... by Pauline Reynolds

Friday, November 18, 2011

This week the Year 8 Norfolk Language class visited the Norfolk Island Museums.  They have been studying the 70-year period of the birth of the Norfolk Island culture and language from Tahiti through to Pitcairn Island and onto the arrival of the Pitcairn Islanders on Norfolk Island.

This week they were fortunate to have Janelle Blucher, who has been working on the conservation of many artefacts, especially the Bounty cannon, brought here by the Pitcairn Islanders aboard the Morayshire in 1856.

Janelle explained how she was able to work on the ‘Bounty Cannon Conservation Project’ funded through a Community Heritage Grant from the Australian National Library. Janelle explained to the attentive students that the cannon is now rust free thanks to the new sealants which preserve it for years to come.  A exact replica was also made from fibreglass, and much to the students’ delight, they were able to carry it (it weighs only a few kilos whereas the original cannon weighs several hundred kilos!).

The cannon itself was not often used when aboard the Bounty.  It was used when the Bounty attempted to settle on Tubuai just after the infamous mutiny.  James Morrison wrote that it was fired on the Tubuaians and how the mutineers, “fired a four-pounder shotted among them, at which they fled.  The shot did no other damage than passing through a house where it cut away a rafter to which a man was hanging a gourd of water, at which he was so terrified that he left the house.”

The Bounty was sunk on Pitcairn Island, in Bounty Bay, with all four cannons intact.  Two were recovered in the mid 1840s and one was made workable again.  A tragedy occurred when several years later, the cannon misfired during a salute to a passing British ship (HMS Virago), fatally wounding the Island Magistrate Matthew McCoy.  This cannon was given to a passing ship.  The other cannon was brought, as I said earlier, to Norfolk Island in 1856. 

The remaining two cannons were eventually brought up from their watery grave.  One was taken to the Museum of Tropical Queensland and then returned to Pitcairn where it is on display in the Pitcairn Island Museum, and the other is also on display on Pitcairn.  They also enjoyed seeing the Bounty Kettle that was variously used for cooking aboard Bounty, distilling spirits by the mutineers on Pitcairn, and later played as a drum by the first generation of Pitcairn Islanders.

The students were fascinated by their visit to the Pier Store Museum.  The night before they had watched a TV show called ‘The One’ where a group of psychics had been brought into a house on Quality Row and were to tell of an event that happened in that house. 

Without going into too much detail, this house belonged to Phillip and Sarah McCoy.  The children were thrilled to discover two cups belonging to Phillip McCoy at the Museum.  The cups had been broken and have been beautifully pieced together and have their underside turned up so as to exhibit the markings “PM” scratched into the surface.

The children then went on to eat a delicious meal cooked by our local island chef Beechy at the REO Café and were very thankful to the Museums for allowing them to visit.  

REAL ACTION ON HEALTH INITIATIVES - Local Solutions for Local Problems

At the meeting coordinated by the Women’s Forum, held at the Paradise Resort on Thursday, reports were presented from the three key working groups that had been convened to address the concerns raised at the previous Women’s Forum Workshops on Community Health and related issues.  The Minister for Health, the honourable Tim Sheridan in his concluding remarks highlighted the significant progress made towards coordinating and improving the delivery of health services to the Island.

Reports were tabled by Jill Gadd the community counselor, for the Mental Health group, by Heather Bruce for the Preventative Health working group and by Melissa Ward for the Networking, referrals, and use of Resources working group.  Out of the wealth of ideas and strategies presented by the three groups some common themes emerged:

  • the need to ensure all Norfolk Island citizens are aware of, and have the necessary level of support and guidance to access, referrals to local or off shore services,
  • the need for a comprehensive survey across all three areas covered by the working groups to accurately determine the specific health needs and concerns of the community so that programs can be properly targeted,
  • the cost of prescription drugs,
  • effective preventative screening programs,
  • and education about Healthy lifestyle choices.

The solutions posed by the groups included the employment of a Community Health Officer to proactively inform and coordinate available health services both on Island and off Island, and the production of a comprehensive manual to assist residents in finding and accessing health services.  Emphasis was given to the need to predicate these initiatives with a well designed survey.

The effectiveness of the working groups and a multitude of practical ideas and suggestions resulted from the participation of members of our community and in addition, His Honour the Administrator Mr Owen Walsh, the Minister for Health Mr Tim Sheridan, the Director of the Hospital Mr David McCowan, the Community Counsellor Ms Jill Gadd, the Child Welfare Officer Mrs Vicki Jack and other health care professionals and private individuals with Health care expertise.

The Minister for Health Mr Tim Sheridan was then able to announce that an MOU is being negotiated with the South Eastern Sydney Health Services which will establish a direct link to a multitude of services provided by their organisation and their associated Hospitals, for Norfolk Island.  This coordination has already been put into operation to effectively expedite recent medivacs. He was also able to inform the meeting that the monies for a Community Health Coordinator and to expand the Child Protection Officers position are already part of the current budget process.

The chairperson Ms Jenny Gould, congratulated the Women’s Forum and all present on their hard work and initiative and specially thanked the Minister for his support and the substantial progress being made. 

The next Women’s Forum Meeting will be an Open Forum to be held on the 10th December with an open invitation to the community to attend and raise any issues of concern.

PS. Don’t forget White Ribbon Day next Friday 25th November.  Buy a ribbon, wear it with pride and take the oath to STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Our own Margarita Sampson is presently in Sydney studying – and has recently made a huge splash at Sydney’s ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ taking out the Andrea Stretton Memorial Prize this week.

Sculpture by the Sea is celebrating its 15th anniversary and Margarita is featured in a recent book release called Sculpture by the Sea the first fifteen years 1997-2011.

This year’s exhibition features over 109 artists – some who have been part of the event since the beginning, and some who are emerging Australian and international sculptors.  The sublime 2 kilometre coastal walk from Bondi to Tamarama is dotted with marvellous works of art and is the world’s largest ‘free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition’ and will attract half a million people.

Margarita has contributed to the event six times previously and took out the People’s Choice Prize in 1998.  This year she has created ‘The Yearning’ an installation of  sea creatures sewn from recycled advertising banners picked up at a refuse store.  She will be featured again at the Perth event soon.

Margarita has been featured in The Australian (see:, and The Sydney Morning Herald (see: 

The Sydney Morning Herald features a video of Margarita setting up her installation.

Congratulations Margarita, we are all so proud of you!

WHITE RIBBON DAY - 25 NOVEMBER ... by Annie Knight

On the afternoon of 6 December 1989, a man walked into the Ecole Polytechnique University in Montreal and massacred 14 of his female classmates. His actions traumatised a nation and brought the issue of violence against women to the forefront of our collective consciousness.

Two years later a handful of men in Toronto decided they had a responsibility to speak out about and work to stop, men's violence against women. As a result, the White Ribbon Campaign in Canada became an annual awareness-raising event held between 25 November and 6 December.

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, with a white ribbon as its iconic symbol.

White Ribbon began in Australia in 2003 as part of UNIFEM (now UN Women). It formally became a Foundation in 2007. White Ribbon is Australia's only national male-led violence prevention campaign.

The White Ribbon Campaign is now the largest global male-led movement to stop men's violence against women.

White Ribbon is an organisation that is working to prevent the most common and pervasive form of male violence – that towards women. All forms of violence are unacceptable. White Ribbon believes the prevention of violence against women will change society for the better.

White Ribbon believes in the capacity of the individual to change and to encourage change in others. It believes that our generation can and must work towards stopping violence against women.

Through primary prevention initiatives and an annual campaign, White Ribbon works to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to men's violence against women.

Violence against women is a serious problem in our society. Statistics show that one in three Australian women over the age of 15 have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence at some time in their lives.

In addition to the obvious personal costs to the women involved, this violence costs our community. In the 2009 Time for Action report KPMG estimated that violence against women and their children cost the Australian economy $13.6 billion annually and this was expected to rise to $15.6 billion by 2021. Domestic and family violence is also the major cause of homelessness for women and their children.

White Ribbon works to stop this insidious violence

Violence against women is a deeply personal issue for women, but it is also very much a men's issue because it is their wives, mothers, sisters, daughters and friends whose lives are being harmed by violence and abuse.

It is a men's issue because, as community leaders and decision-makers, men can play a key role in helping to stop violence against women.

It is a men's issue because men can speak out and step in when male friends and relatives insult or attack women.

And it is a men’s issue because a minority of men treat women and girls with contempt and violence, and it is up to the majority of men to create a culture in which this is unacceptable.

White Ribbon, as part of the White Ribbon Campaign, invites men to make a difference by swearing an Oath never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women. This Oath is not just a 'feel good' statement. It is an active commitment which promotes positive attitudes and behaviours towards women and drives signatories to, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, 'be the change you want to see in the world'.

When the White Ribbon Campaign culminates each year on 25 November men and women across Australia are encouraged to wear a white ribbon as a symbol of this Oath. By swearing the Oath and wearing a white ribbon these men and women are openly showing their commitment to challenging and changing the attitudes and behaviours which contribute to violence against women.

White Ribbon in Australia is led by thousands of male Ambassadors who, through living the White Ribbon Oath, act as positive role models in their communities. These men have taken up the challenge to help bring about attitudinal and behavioural change, both individually and collectively.

Women also support and expand White Ribbon through their communities and networks, as White Ribbon Champions.

Through a combination of awareness-raising campaigns, community events and initiatives with schools, universities, workplaces and sporting codes White Ribbon works to change the attitudes and behaviours which lead to violence against women.

White Ribbon’s existence in Australia relies on the support and generosity of individuals, corporate and community partners and governments – as well as the community at large.

Support White Ribbon Day on the 25th November by purchasing a white ribbon, available at outlets on Norfolk Island, including the Hospital Pharmacy, Westpac Bank and the Commonwealth Bank.

Please 'contact us' for more information.

HALLOWEEN .. by Annie Knight

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Celts in Ireland started celebrating Halloween around 2000 years ago. The 31st of October marked the harvest and the end of their year. They celebrated to make offerings of crops and animals to their gods. This celebration was called “Samhain” after the Lord of the Dead. The druids would light bonfires and people would dress up in costumes to ward off the evil spirits. Once Christianity came to the Celts, the festival was replaced by All Saints Day, to honour martyrs and saints, on November 1st.  The day was called All-hallows, and the night before was All-hallows Eve. Eventually, the name evolved to the one we know now, Halloween.

Many of the customs such as trick-or-treating and wearing costumes originated with the Celts with others being added throughout the years. In Ireland they used to carve turnips to symbolise the dead. The use of turnips was replaced by pumpkins in the United States as they were more readily accessible. The colours black and orange predominate, black signifying death or darkness, and orange the colour of the harvest.

For the children of Norfolk Island on Monday night, the history of Halloween was probably of very little interest! Ghosts, witches, zombies and ghouls toured the Island trick-or-treating until late into  the evening. Many residences had been transformed into haunted houses, and Soul Gallery’s verandah became the scary home to a terrifying witch (well as terrifying as Pauline can be!) cooking up icky potions!  All of the effort everyone put in was definitely much appreciated and on behalf of all the trick-or-treaters – THANK YOU!!


On the 31st of October the children at Montessori were very busy each designing and painting their own little scary masks for Halloween. Many a Halloween rhyme were learned and the children performed a little theatre play about a funny old witch on a flying machine.

But to not leave the children completely innocent, the teacher also explained in child-like terms the history behind Halloween and how it derived from All Hallows evening, commemorating/remembering not only Saints as in the Catholic Church but all GOOD souls who did well for our planet. The teacher and children then together worked out what makes a good person and how the initial giving has changed into begging these days. Then Marley, who had been listening very carefully, raises his hand:

“yes, Marley ?”

“I know who is a good Soul”

“yes, Marley, who’s that ?”

The children look expectantly.

Marley: “Bob Marley”

“And why would you think that, Marley ?”

“Because he gave us great music which is fun to listen too and you can dance to it too and it’s a lot about peace”

MEMORIES ON WHEELS ... by Pauline Reynolds

Last week Sally Davie and I had the privilege to be given driving lessons in the Norfolk Island Museum’s 1929 A Model Ford. 

She is a lovely old lady, and been a legendary part of many Norfolk Island families.

Shane McCoy has meticulously and lovingly repaired her even bringing her back to her original colours.  We drove her Daun ‘Taun to Kingston where we seemed to pass into a time warp and I could imagine her in the early to mid 1900s being used to unload ships cargo.

You will be able to see her around town during the week parked out the front of Baunti Escapes and at the Sunday Markets (weather permitting of course) at the Museum’s book and ticket stall.  


One of the responsibilities of the Norfolk Island Police Force (NIPF) is critical incident coordination, including search and rescue. The NIPF is assisted by volunteers of the Norfolk Island Rescue Squad (NIRS) to help ensure that the best search and rescue capability and operability is delivered to the community. It is the mission of the NIRS to provide the very best search and rescue service to those in desperate circumstances. Their service is provided 7 days a week 24 hours a day. On average, the squad is called out to assist NIPF 12 times a year both day and night, in fine and foul weather.

This voluntary primary response organisation specialises in vertical rescue, assists marine search and rescue, assist at motor vehicle accidents, assists in rural, industrial and domestic accidents, storm response, tsunami response, and assist the NIPF on any other tasks we request. Of specific concern to the NIPF over the past two years are the number of road crashes, particularly involving young drivers and drivers under the influence of alcohol.

A majority of these incidents require the assistance of the NIRS to undertake traffic control, provide lighting, free trapped persons from vehicles, extract casualties from vehicles and assist St. John Ambulance officers with casualty handling.   With the arrival of the two police vehicles last week, the NIPF was able to transfer one of the older police vehicles to the NIRS to enhance the NIPF’s rescue operability.

The NIRS will be utilizing this truck as a MVA quick response vehicle. The vehicle has already undergone a transformation and now sports the VRA colours and carries basic road rescue equipment. This will allow the NIRS to commence road rescue until the larger rescue truck can attend the scheme with further equipment. Our picture shows OIC NIPF Detective Sergeant Vince Pannell handing over the keys to NIRS Captain Doug Creek with other members of the rescue squad looking on.  

Please 'contact us' for more information.


Friday, October 28, 2011

This week the Australian Minister for Environment, the Hon Tony Burke MP added Norfolk Island’s own HMS Sirius shipwreck to the National Heritage List last Tuesday. 

The ceremony took place at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney during a video conference link up to the Norfolk Island Central School.

Tuesday was the 225th anniversary of the commissioning of the HMS Sirius.  The HMS Sirius was the mother ship of the First Fleet, and was wrecked off Norfolk Island in 1790.  The curator of the National Maritime Museum, Nigel Erskine, who was the curator of our own Norfolk Island Museum some years ago, also addressed the gathering.  He said that the National Heritage Listing shows recognition of the importance of the site that will offer opportunities for fund-raising.

Mr Burke acknowledged the work of the Norfolk Island Museum over the last 25 years in saving many of the artefacts from the Sirius.


I met him once; it was in Springtime.  Don and I sat companionably for a short while; a fragment of time really, upon a small shaded veranda listening to the muted sounds of children playing in the garden and as we sat we mulled a little on life and some prophetic momentary long ago co-incidence, over sixty years now passed, which had in a kind of long and convolutent way led him to this very spot.  He is a gently spoken man; his sharp eyes twinkle and he has a genteel and gentlemanly air about him.  Behind this mild debonair exterior there is a kind of deep reserve and appealing shyness.  It seems to me that the minutiae of life might matter much to this man; perhaps too it also reveals in part what might make him such a powerfully good actor.  You can well imagine he is one who could easily slip into the shoes of a thousand different men and walk in them with candour and empathy.

Above all, this man I met had presence -it’s was almost a tangible thing.  All at once he is quiet and unassuming but at the same time commanding and resolute and it is more what he does not say which makes one want to sit closer and hang intently off his every word.  I am sorrier than you can tell that my time with him was so fleetingly and short.

Last Friday evening the Australian actor, poet and playwright Don Reid launched his collection of Island poems at the Bounty Centre under the title ‘A Cloven Pine – poems for Norfolk Island’ and what a treasure it is.  Don’s poems are sensitively and generously written, they are often evocative, whimsical, and reverent with a small smattering of irreverence and humour to endear the reader just a little further.

Published by Phoenix Education the book was officially launched by Professor Raymond Nobbs, Pitcairn descendant, writer and Norfolk Island historian who has enjoyed a long career in academia.  Professor Nobbs himself waxed most lyrical on the virtues of this lovely little book pointing out that whilst in general one never should judge a book by its cover its title ‘Cloven Pine’ is very telling of the subject matter and Norfolk Island’s cloven nature as both a ‘hell and paradise’.

Norfolk Island is of course Don’s inspirational focus and he sensitively peels back the layers to reveal its inner core.  Don says his first trip to the Island in 2009 had a deep impact upon him ‘... even before the plane touched down this place aroused my curiosity, set me thinking, touched me emotionally...’.  Yet long before that, before he had ever set foot on the Island. the first real ‘spark’ of interest and curiosity had come during the post-War years in the guise of a ravishingly beautiful Sydney University student by the name of Shirley Buffett who came from Norfolk Island.  Some on the Island might remember her better as the late Dr Shirley Harrision; a woman widely acknowledged for her pioneering work on the Norf’k language.  Both Don and Shirley shared the same lecture and study halls at the tender age of seventeen and in a sense this initial spark of interest in the Island was never truly extinguished; it would lay dormant for over six decades, slowly smouldering until it finally metamorphosed into this wonderful little book.

For those who know and love this tiny Pacific jewel of an Island the material inspiration for Don’s work is abundantly clear; turquoise waters, ragged pines, emerald vistas, windswept cliffs and lush forests abound in Don’s meanderings; interspersed here and there (as one might well expect) with tantalising glimpses of Island people, grazing cattle, feral chooks, and sensory flashes of its bitter-sweet history.

While one also tries to never put words into another’s mouth; Don’s poems speak to us on so many levels.  As well as an actor and writer, in his earlier life Don was also an English and History teacher.  He is clearly a master wordsmith and as much as he explores the Island; he also explores many poetic styles and uses a wide range of poetic devices to reach out to his audience - this in itself is part of the journey.  In this poetry collection you will find prose, limericks, sonnets and Don’s own personal take on English clerihews; a kind of sharp, concise and generally humerous poetic form to which Don has turned the subject matter well.  There is also a sombre ‘Stream of Conscience with Onomatopoeia’ in which you can hear the zinging sound of the lash slicing through the air and echoing off the hills.

Beneath the surface of Don’s poems runs yet another perhaps more incidental theme which might well hark back to his earlier life as a teacher for along the way he seems to have an almost innate inner compulsion to teach, to share, and to impart knowledge.  As a supplementary benefit the number of literary references to Shakespeare’s Tempest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins work might certainly help to open up the wider literary world to local school students.  When these great literary works are introduced in an Island context and used so vividly to illustrate the Island’s history and the multitude of interrelationships which exist they may take on a more personal relevance and who can tell what it might inspire a student to do, or become.

Don says he is an old-fashioned poet, one who believes in the constructs of metre, rhyme and stanzafication; yet within those confines he manages to remain a mightily adventurous man.  During the course of the evening Don gave life to his poems in a poetry reading - and what a treat - the deep timbre of this man’s beautiful rich and well modulated voice brought greater meaning to each and every word.  He took us with him on his journey.

Anyone who has ever marvelled at the sea birds free wheeling across an open expanse of Island sky and also had the added pleasure of reading Gerard Manley Hopkins poem ‘Windhover”with the powerful opening lines of the first stanza ‘I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-drawn Falcon, in his riding/Of the rolling level underneath him steady air’ will understand and appreciate implicitly the inspiration for Don’s poem ‘Australasian Gannet’ in which he talks about the ‘wind’s minion’:-

Oh, how he rode upon your reins of wimpling air,


Holding the hover, still,

Barely a wing tip moving

Then off, off,

In a perfect sweep,

A swing smooth as a bow-bend,

Forth on a ski-slope of air,

He swooped and swooped,

Away, away’

In ‘Tectonic Origin’ Don explores the birth of the Island.  He takes us on a three million year journey evoking a beautiful sense of the Island’s hot and fiery formation:-

Three million years ago explosion blew

You from the mighty deep into cold air,

Long molten tongues of lava hissed and steamed

Don then moves us inextricably onwards to a very soothing and peaceful cooling down period:-

His fury died as quickly as it came,

The raging mass subsided to a flow

That cooled and shaped with time what you proclaim.

Today the Breezes blow about you still

To keep his anger down on this green hill.

When we see Norfolk through Don Reid’s eyes we see so well its pristine beauty and majesty.  Again as he stands facing Cathedral Rock at Captain Cook’s monument ‘Blow It’ speaks of the wind and its constant choir ‘the baton swinging somewhere high above’, and how “The concert may begin with softest crooning/In harmony the pines will add their hush,/Streamers of muted sound their limbs festooning’.  Don talks of it going Wagnerian, or perhaps to Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and says it swelled to heights and was ‘So music drenched we swore the air was porous, From chime to roar the wind confounds all senses’.

Cloven Pine is a revelation; a striking first hand account and a very personal journey which makes for a beautiful and compact little memento of this very special Island.

Please 'contact us' for more information.


Friday, October 21, 2011

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NORFOLK A&H SHOW 2011 ... by Annie Knight

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Norfolk Island Agricultural and Horticultural Society Show took place on Monday 11 October 2011. The Show was officially opened at 12 noon by His Honour, The Administrator of Norfolk Island, Owen Walsh.

Exhibitions in Rawson Hall included: vegetables, fruit, flowers, cooking, handicrafts, art and photography. One of the most popular areas was the Supper Room which was the venue for the Children’s section.

Ian Hayes and Jillian Fisher were the visiting judges for the equitation section, which was commentated by Dinty Wilson. Other demonstrations included Hapkido, the VRA and Paws Dog Training.

Foodlands once again provided showbags that were the highlight of many children’s day (along with the fairy floss and the merry-go-round of course!). Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to give us all another wonderful Show Day.

JACK'S A&H AUCTION Cristina McRitchie

The A & H show is a fantastic event on the Norfolk Island calendar, there are so many favourite activities for all ages. We may be one of the last places to enjoy the best things in life without all the glitz and fake glamour of side show alleys that are taking over the old fashioned country style shows. 

Here you can enjoy the best of Norfolk Island's Agriculture and horticulture as well as just good quality island culture, like displays of the best bunch of bananas or farm eggs, photographs & handicrafts or showing what amazing talent & potential our school children constantly display. The equestrian events give all ages a chance to display skills acquired throughout the year. There is plenty of local displays too from the sustainable living tent, the Montessori kindergarten, the local island dancing beauty's the Baunti babes and the ukulele band.

If hungry, there was so much choice with Rotary and Lion's clubs feeding us hamburgers and fresh local fish plus more stall offering handmade ice-cream or you could treat yourself with a bag of popcorn or fairy floss from the Schools P&C stall. The merry go round and jumping castle alongside a showbag is a staple must get for every child at the show regardless of the contents. Our children's showbag chocolates, chips and drinks are usually consumed well before the end of the day leaving us with the souvenir cup or bowl to take home with our helium balloons. My absolute favourite part of the whole day is the auction at the end, this year I even tried to talk myself out of going given that I usually have 3 small children to keep an eye on or run after (especially when they are full of the afore mentioned chocolates, chips, soft drink and flavoured milk from the showbag) But yet again for the 5th year running, I could not keep away.

Jack who puts in an amazing effort each year to get the A&H show off the ground can breathe a little easier when the auction begins as it is truly the end of the show, as the auction progresses, he get more entertaining along the way as the stresses of organizing such a large event seem to start to melt away. I missed the rare Norfolk Island tomato this year, but remember on another rare tomato time 4 years ago that 3 tomatoes went for $35. This year 2 small green apples went for $10.

There is jostling, overbidding, plenty of laughter over vegetables we have never seen before or know what to do with it, even blatant pinching of vegetables with rare items fetching the biggest price like the one and only bunch of asparagus or the first prize winning beetroot, cupcakes or scones. The kids are even starting to bid for items for themselves. It is all for fun though with all auction monies collected by the chief minister himself going to a local charity.

We start to walk away with wallets empty but arms full of amazing home-grown and homemade produce .......And then Jack pulls a bunch of asparagus and says "How much will you pay for this?"

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