Friday, May 26, 2006

The Tahitians arrive in just a few days, and there are plenty of preparations underway.
On Sunday 4th June, we are going to have a special ceremony out at Simon's Water, which will affirm our friendship and strong family connections.
Our John has been working on a special seat, which will be unveiled by Sylvia Hermann, the Tahitian lady who has been working for some years to foster the link between the Bounty descendants of Norfolk and Tahiti. Last weekend, some of us went out to Simon's Water to choose the spot where it will be placed. It will, of course, face out to sea in a northeasterly direction so it looks towards Tahiti!
Simon's Water was chosen as the site because the property was an original grant to Simon Young when the Pitcairners first came to Norfolk Island in 1856. Simon Young was one of those who returned to Pitcairn with his family, and I think it was his granddaughter Ida who went to live in Tahiti. Many of our Tahitian friends trace their family back to Ida and Simon!
Simon's Water actually continued to belong to Simon, and was later part of his estate, until earlier last century when it was purchased by a member of the Buffett family. Bernie bought the 54 acres from Bobby Buffett in the 1960's (when all land was just 100 pounds an acre!) It is lovely to think that the link with the Young family will be re-established!
I think you will agree that the outlook from the seat will be very beautiful, from this photo taken in the late afternoon with the sun shining down on Cascade Bay.
On the day of the ceremony, there is also to be a tree planting. Two Norfolk Pines will be by Archie on behalf of the Norfolk Islanders, and one by Gladys Lintz, on behalf of the Tahitians.
After the ceremony, we will have a feast, with the food from the "Ahiimaha" which Matt Bigg will prepare earlier that day. An Ahiimaha is a Tahitian-style "Hangi", and there will be all sorts of goodies to go into it. Matt has been fattening a pig, and Arthur will be killing several ducks next week. Peter has some lovely sweet tatie, and no doubt there will be plenty of other veges and meats to feed all the people we are expecting to join us that day!
This past week, Charles has been burning the midnight oil building a semi-portable outside loo to put out there on the day. There is no stopping him when he gets an idea in his head.
Today the boxing was put in place for the concrete base for the seat, and it will be poured in the weekend. Darren Bates is going to prepare wording on wooden plaques using his computeried routing equipment. This will be in both Tahitian and Norfolk languages.
Many months of planning, fundraising and preparation have gone into this visit, and we know everyone is going to have a wonderful time.
You can see Bernie is getting excited.....if all the arm and hand gestures are anything to go by!!!

Finally, I could not resist including this lovely shot of one of Norfolk's most loving Grandpas with grandson Reuben!

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