A SPECIAL START TO BOUNTY WEEK
There are so many wonderful and inspiring happenings on Norfolk Island at this time that it would take several blog postings to cover them, and I would need to be in several places at one time to do it justice.
It has just so good to have so many Norfolkers, former visitors and long ago residents come home to celebrate the very special anniversary of a unique and beautiful island and community.
Yesterday was one of those days we will treasure in our hearts for a long time.
There was a Sesqui-centenary Service at All Saints, with thanksgiving and prayer for past, present and future. Bishop Robert Forsyth, who is a great friend of Norfolk, took part, and had the unenviable role of speaking about the future!
Raymond Nobbs also participated, and as was fitting for a historian, he spoke about our proud past. There was also an opportunity to launch his new book on "Norfolk Island and its Third Settlement." Our Tahitian visitors shared with us in the time of worship, and not only took one of the readings (in French and English), but also sang a hymn in Tahitian.
There was a street parade later in the morning, which I believe went well, but we were all busy with last minute preparations for our big event out at Simon's Water.
About 1 p.m., between 150 and 200 of us gathered out there, and the weather, which had been somewhat threatening earlier, was just so kind to us.
We began with a very moving ceremony out near the cliff edge, where Sylvia Hermann (from Tahiti) unveiled the seat which we have placed there to mark the special relationship with our Tahitian cousins. Two pines were also planted, one by Gladys and her group from Tahiti, and another by Edie and the Norfolkers. Two special stones from Matavi Bay were placed at the base of each hole, and black sand from Tahiti was sprinkled around each tree.
Then there followed the feast, and bundle after bundle of succulent and steaming meats and vegetables, wrapped in banana leaves, were lifted out of the cooking pit, and placed on the tables to be enjoyed with all the delicious salads that had been brought to share. The Tahitians had also been busy cooking many of their dishes, including two kinds of poi and taro leaves cooked in coconut milk.
There was an incredibly joyful atmosphere, and we carried on eating, talking, sharing, singing, strumming and dancing, right until the sun started to go down and the temperature started to drop. The children ran around having great fun and games, and enjoying blowing bubbles from the giant bucket of soapy water someone had brought along. They also enjoyed "christening" the new long-drop that Charles had only just put in place!
A memorable occasion, in true Norfolk style!
I really should let the pictures tell the story!