Saturday, December 01, 2007


Bernie's cousin Marie joins other worshippers on a special day - it was also her 81st birthday!

One of Norfolk's loveliest celebrations is Thanksgiving Day, held on the last Wednesday in November - a little different from the Americans, who celebrate theirs on the fourth Thursday. It is believed that the custom of observing this day was introduced to the Pitcairners in the 1800's. The American whalers would call in at Pitcairn, and later to Norfolk Island, and often leave their wives to stay with the locals during "the season". No doubt these women, feeling a little homesick at Thanksgiving time, suggested a local celebration, and the tradition became firmly established on Norfolk Island over the years. Being in the opposite hemisphere, our Thanksgiving does not coincide with the Autumn harvest. However, there is no shortage of good things growing here, and the island people delight in bringing produce and cooking to decorate the main island churches, as a reminder of the bounty and benefits we enjoy from God's hands. This is one day of the year when it is very important to go to church- perhaps even more important than Easter and Christmas - and the island churches are filled. Many actually go twice, attending the Church of England or the Uniting (Methodist)in the morning, and the Seventh Day Adventist service in the afternoon.

Our chaplain Rod in the pulpit. Island ladies decorate the church with lovely flowers, especially the showy agapanthus, which are everywhere at this time of year.

We were thrilled to see an especially large crowd at All Saints on Wednesday, with lots of children and young people and island families.Teddy introduces "Polly Dolly" to the lady sitting behind him.

After the services, the produce is auctioned or sold. We are usually especially keen to get the fat cobs from the corn stalks that have been decorating the church. Any that is left is taken to our hospital.Sienna was not going to wait for us to take the corn home to cook it.

As you can imagine, there is quite a "clean-up" after the service, but there are plenty of willing helpers. The last of the corn stalks have been loaded onto Albert's ute.
After church, we traditionally have "Open House" at Devon for lunch - but more about that in the next posting.

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