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Eliminate the "stranglehold" of the Pitcairn culture on Norfolk Island

Friday, June 07, 2019

First of all the Australian Government says it wants to eliminate the "stranglehold" of the Pitcairn culture on Norfolk Island. Now it seems they want to claim it as their own!!

The Australian Mint has issued a coin to commemorate the Mutiny on the Bounty as a significant event in Australian colonial history??? Perhaps they were just scratching around for a third story to complete their series, and decided to steal someone else's.  Coin collectors - you have been "had"!

The Mutiny involved a British ship, a British captain, a British crew, and occurred close to what we know as Tonga. From there the ship and crew returned to Tahiti and eventually settled on Pitcairn Island.

Meanwhile Bligh and those in the longboat made their way to Timor. Where on earth does Australia come into the picture?

The Mint justifies the use of the Bounty Mutiny by saying that Bligh later became Governor of NSW. But that was 17 years later!! In the meantime in 1797 Bligh was involved in another mutiny back in naval docks back in Britain. It was, in fact, close to where my family come from. They would be astonished to think that because of their association with Bligh they were part of Australia's history too.

What an embarrassing attempt to re-write history. And I have been told their historical advisor was a former director of the Norfolk Island Museums. Surely there should be more integrity and independence in the research process of the Australian Mint. What an insult to the people of Pitcairn/Bounty descent! And as for those Pitcairners who remain on Pitcairn Island or elsewhere in the world, people who have never had the slightest involvement with Australia or its government, they must be staggered to learn that they and their forbears have been given a new identity and background.

In recent times we have become used to the propaganda that Norfolk Island is part of the Australian story, but this one is really a stretch too far. I believe a respectful apology to all Bounty descendants is called for. Meanwhile, Australia's "colonial history" goes on to the present day, and we are very much victims of it.

Yours etc

Mary Christian-Bailey

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