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The Royal Norfolk Island Agricultural and Horticultural Society Annual Show Day

Friday, October 18, 2019

On the 14th of October 2019 the annual A & H show commenced, beginning in the morning and finishing in the late afternoon. As usual, the event of the show meant that town was much busier than a regular day. The show is a highlight on the Norfolk Island calendar and something that the whole community can enjoy. There are a few attractions that are showcased yearly, such as the Lions Club of Norfolk Island Merry-Go-Round, delicious food, cold drinks and the fairy floss kindly made by members of the P&C. There are also many other interesting and entertaining demonstrations and activities such as the Baunti Byuutis, Ukulele Band, Devonshire Teas with the Lions Club, Face Painting, National Parks, Historical Society and the Flora and Fauna Society. The equitation is also an anticipated event, with horse riders being judged by Chris Girling. The Exhibition is in Rawson Hall, the community entries being in the main area of the building. Long tables are covered in vegetables, fruit, preserves, flowers, cookery, handicrafts, floral art and needlework. Up on the stage were some selected entries from this year’s Wearable Art Show. In the supper room onto the right hand side is the school exhibits, which is always full of artworks, sculptures, writing and reports that students have put a tremendous amount of effort into, in the hope of winning a prize in the show. As recognised in the brochure handed out to guests as they entered the Exhibition Hall, The Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society heavily thanks their sponsors and contributors. The continued support from everyone allows this traditional day to continue annually.

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Friday, September 06, 2019

Today Air Chathams went from being the region’s largest independently owned airline to providing a long awaited international service direct from Auckland to Norfolk Island. Flying a Convair 580, Craig Emeny, CEO and Owner, and his son, Duane Emeny, General Manager, were the Captain and First Officer for the inaugural flight. Departing Auckland International Airport on Friday 6th of September at 9:00am marked another milestone for Air Chathams which began in 1985 with one small 5 seat Cessna aircraft.

Air Chathams has been flying to Norfolk Island on a regular basis over the last two years with a range of charter tour groups. The charters have been well patronised and for a week’s duration allowing visitors to appreciate the full experience Norfolk Island has to offer. Given the popularity of these charters and the shorter time frame with a direct flight from Auckland, Air Chathams has been working with Norfolk Island Tourism and the Norfolk Island Regional Council for the last 12 months to promote the new route. “Whilst we have operated internationally in the South Pacific regularly over the past decade. This is the first time our family airline has marketed and operated a scheduled international service under the Air Chathams banner” said Duane Emeny. “Re-connecting Norfolk Island with Auckland fits appropriately with our core values to ensure isolated communities are provided safe, reliable air services to promote growth and connectivity.”

The first flight included members of the Air Chathams customer service and management team and a media contingent to cover the historic occasion. Sales have been steady and interest is high with a number of public and customer comments fielded looking forward to the direct flight of just over two hours.

The new route will continue to be serviced by the comfortable and capable Convair 580 aircraft regularly used by Air Chathams for charters and service to the Chatham Islands. Air Chathams will fly to Norfolk weekly on a Friday departing Auckland at 9am and returning same day from Norfolk.

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The National Library of Australia, Norfolk Island Oral History Project 2019 - 2020

Thursday, August 01, 2019

An interesting discussion was held on Wednesday evening, 24 July 2019, at the Whalers Conference Room at the South Pacific Hotel. There were about thirty members of the community gathered to listen to the details of the proposed project to record an Oral History for the National Library of Australia.

National Library of Australia staff members Senior Curator of Oral History, Dr Shirleen Robinson and Kevin Bradley PSM Assistant Director General  Australia Collections & Reader Services, presented an invitation to the Norfolk Islanders to consider the opportunity to support the idea of a Norfolk Island Oral history project recording 90 interviews over the next twelve months.

“Oral histories will be whole-of-life and provide a way of giving voice to many people, capturing different experiences. We hope to interview people from different ages, genders, temporary entrants, newer arrivals and residents who trace their family history on the Island back over more than two hundred years. Oral histories will also provide rich documentation on how recent changes in governance have impacted on the social and economic life of Norfolk Island and its inhabitants.”

The group discussed the proposed Norfolk Island Oral History, and many were concerned about the lack of communication with the community in the early planning. The Norfolk Island Council of Elders should be the first contact, along with the Museum, Norfolk Island Trust Board.  The newspaper last week was the first public announcement, along with a Norfolk Island Radio interview with Eric Hutchinson this week.

During the evening, Mayor Robyn Adams also noted that she only learnt about the project this week.  She commended the project but discussed the need to be respectful and they should approach the Norfolk Island Council of Elders first.  Mayor Adams also noted the for the project to go ahead, they need to gain the community trust. She also spoke about the Norfolk Island oral history already recorded, including the Living Library, the school project, the Norfolk Island Radio Station collection of recordings along with the Norfolk Island Museum and more.

Other discussions spoke about the long list of consultants who have met with the community since 2015, and many locals are exhausted with these meetings and trusting Australian departmental visitors is often a concern to those when have attended multi meetings and public discussions.

The National Library of Australia (NLA) staff are working in partnership with the Norfolk Island Office of the Administrator. This project was initiated by Eric Hutchinson, the Norfolk Island Administrator.  Eric spoke on the Norfolk Island Radio during the week and gave the opening speech at the start of the meeting on Wednesday night.  Eric believed this is an opportunity for the Norfolk Island residents to record their stories, and he spoke about focusing on the recent years’ political changes 2010 to 2020.  There were replies from those concerned that Eric Hutchinson was involved in the project, as this gave a political agenda and many of those who spoke showed mistrust and concern with Australian political interference in this proposed project.

Dr Shirleen Robinson and Kevin Bradley spoke about the Privacy Policies and the Copyright Policies to protect those who volunteer for record their oral history. The interviewers will be locals trained by the National Library of Australia staff and staff members from the NLA.  The interview will be audio recordings up to 5 hours.  The technical equipment will be supplied from the NLA and all recordings will be held at the National Library and a personal digital copy will be given to the person who was interviewed.  The recordings will only be made public if authorised with documentations, and authorisation can be adjusted at any time, on requested.

Even though the discussions appeared to be focused on the recent political changes on Norfolk Island, Kevin stressed that they would like to record lifetime history capturing the folklore, preserving voices and words for the future of the local Norfolk Island residences and interested people around the world.

The main points that were discussed on Wednesday evening, for this proposed project to go ahead, first they need to connect with the community and gain trust.  Only then can they get locals to volunteer to tell their stories so they can record an across the board Oral History of Norfolk Island

When Shirleen and Kevin next return, (August 2019?) to Norfolk Island, they plan to ask for volunteers for interviewers to organise training, and then to start to list those who they can start to interview and record their oral stories. 

If you are interested, you are invited to contact Shirleen and Keven. 

Email address

It will be interesting to watch this project and learn from the skills of the NLA staff.  Hopefully this will give people in the community to be able to learn new skills and hopefully will be a positive project.

Thank you Shirleen Robinson and Kevin Bradley for travelling to Norfolk Island and thank you to those how attended the meeting and the structured questions raised during the discussions.

Betty Matthews

August 2019

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Historic Cannon Gifted to the People of Norfolk Island

Friday, June 14, 2019

The HMS Bounty cannon, which was auctioned in Scotland in 2018, as been gifted to the people of Norfolk Island by an anonymous person.  Last year when the news articles reported that a cannon in Scotland own by Peter Kaye, was to be sold, many people on Norfolk Island and Pitcairn Island, were interested to find out more about this large British historic maritime naval gun which was documented as being from the HMS Bounty.  It was thought that the cannon is one of the four 4-pounder naval guns from the HMS Bounty, which had been burnt and sunk in Pitcairn Island in January 1790.

I have read news articles which say the cannon is believed to have been given to Captain Stewart of a British ship the Orealla, which called at Pitcairn in 1898.  The cannon came with a letter claiming to authenticate its links to the Bounty signed by the Pitcairn Island’s president JR McCoy, who was a great-grandson of William McCoy, one of the Bounty mutineers.  The Orealla belonged to a Liverpool based shipping company whose owner bought Little Cumbrae Island in the Firth of Clyde in 1913 and took the gun there.

Little Cumbrae changed hands again in 1960 when it was bought by businessman Peter Kaye.  He later relocated the gun to his retirement home in Borgue in Dumfries and Galloway.  After Mr Kaye died last year, his possessions were sold, including the cannon, which was auctioned a year ago at Thomas Roddick Saleroom in Dumfries, on Saturday 9th June 2018.

I read last year’s news reports that the naval gun sold at auction fetching for £17,000.  Together with the buyer’s premium and VAT the total price was recorded at £20,570 or (AUD $36,158).  The buyer of the historic cannon was un-named.

I followed the 2018 news items with interest and thought that, here on Norfolk Island we could only dream that the HMS Bounty Cannon could be purchased for our community of Pitcairn Island descendants.

On Monday, 10 June 2019, at the 163rd Anniversary, Bounty Day celebrations Gaye Evans and Lewis Quintal unveiled this treasured item, on behalf of the Council of Elders.  Dreams can come true!  This extremely generous donation of the 4-pounder cannon was gifted by a nameless person.  The transport box had been held at Foodland warehouse and no one knew the gift that was held within, until it was presented at the Bounty Day

During the speeches the Council of Elders announced each descendant family groups will nominate a male and a female member to form a Council of Elders custodians in charge of the cannon.  The Pitcairn Island family names are, Adams, Christian, McCoy, Quintal, Young, Buffett, Evans and Nobbs.

As I continue to learn more about the history of the HMS Bounty cannons, I have read an interesting report by Nigel Erskine.  He led a maritime archaeologist team, twenty years ago in 1999, to recover the remaining cannon from the HMS Bounty watery grave in Bounty Bay, Pitcairn Island.  The cannon was taken to the Queensland Museum, at its Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville. After conservation work was completed it was returned to Pitcairn Island where the cannon is on display in the Pitcairn Museum.

“Apart from this Bounty cannon, (raised in 1999 the whereabouts of two others are known.  Two cannons were raised from Bounty Bay in 1845.

One of these now in the Norfolk Island Museum, was originally mounted on the cliffs below the settlement at Pitcairn (Adamstown) and fired on ceremonial occasions. When the entire population of Pitcairn Island was transferred to Norfolk Island in 1856, the cannon also made the trip.

The whereabouts of the second cannon raised in 1845 has remained a mystery for many years, with no record of its departure from the island until now.

 A third cannon, which was raised from Bounty Bay in 1971, sits outside the Pitcairn home of Len Brown.”

HMS Bounty, also known as HMAV (Armed Vessel) Bounty.  I have also read that some of the HMS Bounty remains, such as her ballast stones, are still partially visible in its waters at Bounty Bay.  Her rudder is displayed in the Fiji Museum in Suva.  An anchor of HMAV Bounty was recovered by Luis Marden in Bounty Bay in 1957.

My brother visited Pitcairn Island for work in June 2012 and I have copies of his photographs including a photo of a cannon.  Also included in the images is the photograph I found on the of the Thomson Roddick Auctioneers & Valuers Facebook page of the cannon in Scotland.  I enjoyed taking photos of the newly arrived cannon at the unveiling presentation at the Bounty Day celebrations on Monday 10th June 2019.  The other cannon included is from the pictures I have taken of the HMS Bounty Cannon on display at the Norfolk Island Museum, Pier Store Museum.

If you would like to learn more about the “HMS Bounty” and the historic stories, head down to the Norfolk Island Museum “Pier Store Museum” at Kingston and you can read more and see the wonderful replica model of the HMAV Bounty in a large glass cabinet and the Bounty cannon which are on display.

Betty Matthews

June 2019

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Athletics Carnival – Norfolk Victory

Friday, May 24, 2019

Our Athletics Carnival on Wednesday, May 22, was another calendar highlight event for the school and the community.  Young Lachie McCoy (Year 3) captured the essence of the day when he put his arm around me towards the back end of the day and said, “Mr Carr, this is such a fun day…it’s almost like it’s not even school.”  While I’d like to think Lachie and all our other students find school and learning fun every day, I have to agree with him in acknowledging the extra special feel we all get on carnival days.


I’d like to echo the words of appreciation and thanks that Tim Pulsford shared at the end of the carnival, acknowledging Norfolk Island Athletics Association, our community volunteers, parent helpers and Cara for moving her canteen down to the oval for the day.  Honourable mention must also be extended to the staff who work tirelessly in the lead up to these events, and on the actual day from set up through to pack up.  Your collective efforts are very much appreciated.  I also need to say a special thanks to Mel Pulsford for her remote support behind the scenes…and of course, to Tim Pulsford, for doing what every great husband does by following the instructions of his wife.  The carnival was an exceptional event because of the joint organisation of Team Pulsford.


A more detailed report will feature in next week’s paper, but in the interim I’d like to congratulate all competitors for demonstrating house spirit through the large number of participants seen across all events throughout the day.  The following is a summary of results:

Sub Junior (8-9) Age Champions:  Toby Christian and Lani Hooper

Junior Age Champions (10-11):  Vinnie Martinovich and Sophie Pulsford

Intermediate Age Champions (12-13):  Brandon Borg and Emma Kalangis

Senior Age Champions (14-15):  Jonny Sheridan and Carolynn Morgan

Open Age Champions (16+):  Nathaniel Kalsrap and Maycee Deszecsar

Kindergarten Cup:  Cooper Eales of Nepean House.

House March Winner:  Nepean House

New School Record – Junior Shot Put:  Emily Rush – Norfolk House (Distance 8.33m)

New School Record – Junior 800m:  Sophie Pulsford – Nepean House (Time 3:06s)

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Norfolk Island Commemorates Kapyong Day and Anzac Day 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019

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Bernie's 90th Celebrations!

Friday, March 15, 2019

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Air Chathams Flights

Friday, August 10, 2018

This week I was very pleased to see that Air Chathams announced flights between Norfolk Island and Auckland, New Zealand.  Burnt Pine Travel advertised the details of the Thursday flights schedule this week for 25th October, 1st November, 8th November and 15th November 2018.

I also read about these travel dates a couple of months ago, via the Air Chathams web page:

In 2018, Air Chathams in partnership with Pukekohe Travel have three week-long tours available including direct flights from Auckland to Norfolk.

It is fantastic to know that there will be opportunities for New Zealanders to be able to have direct flights to Norfolk Island, and it also gives the local community a chance to visit family and friends in New Zealand, without having to travel via Sydney or Brisbane.

During the Norfolk Island Country Music 2018 festival week Air Chatham charter flight came to Norfolk Island.  I took photos in May for their plane as it was parked at the Norfolk Island Airport.  Air Chatham also had a cargo flight deliver freight a month ago.  It was a lovely plane with a image of “Hopo” or “Toroa” the Chatham Islands Albatross bird painted on the front of the plane.  I found a great photo of the artwork on their Facebook page.

Follow Air Chathams on Facebook

Or their web page:

If you wish to book a holiday, contact Burnt Pine Travel for information about organising a seat on the flights.

Thank you Air Chathams and Burnt Pine Travel for making these links between Auckland and Norfolk Island.

Betty Matthews

August 2018

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