OUR COMMUNITY HELPS VANUATU
In recent years, our community has been very much enhanced by the presence of some Ni-Van (Vanuatan) families living and working among us. Therefore, when Cyclone Pam caused such damage and loss back in those lovely islands recently, many of us here on Norfolk Island felt we wanted to help out.
Some members of the Christian-Bailey family, who count the Vanuatan people among their good friends, decided it would be a good idea to organise a fundraiser. The idea really caught on, and many people in the community expressed interest in participating and helping.
The chosen venue was the front lawn of Bounty Lodge, and what a beautiful setting it turned out to be. Tables and tents were set out among the trees, From 1 p.m. On Sunday afternoon, people began to arrive, both locals and visitors, to be part of a very special experience.
There were raffles. The major one had nine prizes generously donated by local businesses. There was also an Easter Raffle, and a Raffle for a quilt made by Mary C-B.
Throughout the afternoon, entertainment was provided by a number of local entertainers, and even after the planned programme of items was exhausted, there was no shortage of people willing to step up and keep the music going.
There was a special moment when Tet, who acted as the Master of Ceremonies, interviewed Julie Mansen, who was visiting relatives back in their home village near Vila when the Cyclone struck. Julie was able to give us a first hand description of how frightening it was for everyone. Following this, Tet suggested that if sufficient funds were raised, he may be persuaded to sing the song written by Darren Coggan for Tet and Lyn's som Mitch, who died of leutaemai in 1995. In no time at all, $135 was produced and we were treated to something really moving and special.
Lynlee Sanders, local Rotary President, spoke for a while of some of the projects being undertaken by Rotary to enable the people of Vanuatu recover from the Cyclone damage and get back on their feet.
However, the highlight of the afternoon was definitely the wetls (food.) Over both Saturday and Sunday, various "ground ovens" had been put to use cooking succulent pork, beef and chickens, whole fish, and other island foods. Some wonderful salads, vegetable dishes and coconut bread had been produced. The Fish Fryers kept up the supply of fish and plun fritters. And if that was not enough, there was an enormous dish of Tahitian fish (made by John C-B), and a huge pot of delicious curry (cooked by Fasiu Jone).
Our visitors expressed great delight at the opportunity to sample some of our island dishes, and vegetables such as Taro and Cassava. Of special interest were the "tuluk", small parcels of grated cassava with a centre of shredded pork, then wrapped in banana leaf and cooked slowly in the bunia (Ground oven.) They were also able to sample "kava", as well as other drinks from a well-stocked bar. After the main meal, trays of refreshing fruit salad and icecream were brought around by some of the young people.
While the adults relaxed, ate and laughed , and enjoyed the beautiful ambience of the occasion, the mild autumn day and the picturesque setting, the children happily played through the trees, riding biles and scooters, playing hide and seek, and generally enjoying being children living on Norfolk Island!
People were enjoying themselves so much, that it was quite late in the evening before many started heading for home. Everyone had feasted so bounteously that there was not a soul who needed to think about cooking dinner. It had been a magic day.
At this stage, it seems as if we raised almost $7 000. The credit goes not only to those who worked hard and donated goods, but to a very generous Norfolk Island community, always happy to pull together to support those in need. We hope the money can be used to help villages in Vanuatu get back on their feet after suffering such losses.Many people lent a hand for the occasion, but there are some who should have special acknowledgement.
Joanne and Ernie - Contributed Bounty Lodge venue, prepared all the food, donated half a pig
Foodland - Contributed $500 worth of food for Lunch
Jamie Ryves, Scotty Greenwood –Contributed Large quantity of Fish
Dean Fitzpatrick - Contributed Sweet Tatie
James (Speed) Partridge) - Contributed Pigs Head and Other meat
Sam Sheridan – supplied Fish Fry equipment and helped with cooking Fish Fry and meats
Teddy and Farmer Lou’s - Contributed Half a pig.
Fijian Community - Contributed 15 chickens and Cooked Hangi
Vanuatu Community - Contributed Traditional Tuluk
RSL Club - Contributed Alcohol
TET - Master of Ceremonies
John and Margaret Smith - Contributed Vegetables
Pacifica - Contributed Salad mixes
Diddles - Contributed Vegetables
Hotcrust Bakery - Contributed Bread
Mat Bigg - Contributed Vegetables
Charles and Kim C-B - Contributed Kava
David Bigg - Contributed green banana Fritters
Big Al and Pinetrees - Loaned chairs and Tables
Burnt Pine Travel - Contributed Marquees
K.C.I. - Contributed Mobile Refrigerator and Power
Kim Davies - Contributed P.A. System
Norfolk Radio - Contributed Free Radio Advertising
Agnes Hain - Contributed prizes for Children
Tropic Bird Art and Craft, Avanti, Hilli Restaurant, Christian Bailey Agencies,
K.C.I. Industries, Dial a Digger, Paradise Resort,
The Valley, Rusty’s Butchery, PawPaw’s, Wild Hi-Hi, Mary Christian-Bailey
The N.I. Vanuatu community, all the unpaid Waitstaff, helpers and local musicians. Many other generous individuals and businesses who have dropped off food, donations and assisted in setting up and clearing up.
IT WAS COMMUNITY AT ITS BEST!!