Thursday, November 30, 2006


For as long as anyone can remember, Norfolk Island has celebrated Thanksgiving. In the 1800's and earliest 1900's, the American whalers would call in to Norfolk Island at the start of the whaling season for supplies, and often their wives would choose to stay on the island while the menfolk went off on their whaling hunts. During these times, these women had a great deal of contact with Norfolk's local women, and passed on many of their recipes, such as the custard pies which are very traditional on this island.
Another tradition passed on by these American visitors was that of celebrating Thanksgiving Day. While the United States celebrates it on the fourth Thursday in November, Norfolk Island celebrates it on the last Wednesday of that month. On Norfolk Island, special services are held in the island's churches. It is not the Autumn Harvest type festival that our American cousins know, nevertheless the churches are still beautifully decorated with cornstalks and seasonal produce, as well as the tall agapanthus flowers which are in bloom at this time. After the service, the produce is either sold or auctioned.

After church yesterday, we organised a potluck Thanksgiving lunch at "Devon", and we had a most wonderful afternoon, with about 50 people, young and old, coming along to join us. The food was just amazing, and we needed the two long tables just for the savoury dishes, while the sweets filled the big kitchen table.Our dear friend Nancy, who visits 2 or 3 times a year from Florida, was happy to make up for the Thanksgiving she had missed at home by joining in with ours. nancy saud the homegrown turkey, killed and cooked by Arthur, brought back nostalgic memories of her younger days!

Along with the turkey and ham, we had a big pot of freshly cooked corn that had been stripped from the stalks decorating the church earlier! We also had teo big bowls of Tahitian fish, made from fish that had been caught last weekend. Most of us ran out of room on our plates long before we reached the end of the table!

In this picture, Nancy is sharing a table with Jill, one of the many friends she has made on her frequent visits to this island.

After lunch, our Kim had organised some games and prizes for the children, and they had a great time, as did the adults and also the dogs and Cloud the cat.

There was cricket.....and rounders!

There was a sack race.

Then they had a three legged race, with some of the pairs very unevenly matched! Roany the dao became quite perturbed about seeing people with their legs tied together!
While that was going on, Uncle Tom quietly hid some "treasure" in the woodland, and is seen here giving the older kids some last minute instructions!
Stan and Ralph enjoy a quiet chat and a cuppa at the end of a perfect day.

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