Last week I attended a 40 year reunion for a class I taught in my earliest years on Norfolk Island. Such events always make you reflect on how quickly the years have passed. But I was not quite prepared for the comment from one former pupil who had lived away from the island since leaving school, and had returned for the occasion,
"I didn't think you would still be with us" she told me bluntly/ Well that makes you feel OLD! And so does having the first of your offspring turn 40!!!!
Miriam, who is the only one of our five kids to live away from Norfolk Island, was very keen to have a big island style celebration for this special occasion. Fortunately her birthday is just a couple of weeks after Christmas, so it was a great time to have a party while she and the girls were over on their Christmas visit, and everyone was still in a holiday mood!
Above is a picture of Miriam with Sarah and Emily, and the love of her life Tony, who was on his first visit to Norfolk Island. In the background is our son John, preparing for a big Fish Fry, which was to be part of the catering and festivities.
In fact, everyone pitched in to help get ready and make sure it was a great occasion.
The girls and their friends blew up hundreds of balloons to make this grand arch.
Charles and his offsiders put fairy lights through the trees.Miriam wanted a Tropical Island theme, and everyone came dressed for the part.
Charles even found a Mother Hubbard dress that was made for Kim by friends when they were in Vanuatu.
We put citronella flares and lanterns all about in case the mozzies gatecrashed the party.
There were welcoming jelly shots as people arrived.And we killed the fatted pig - two in fact, generously provided by Peter from Simon's Water, and competently carved by Jamie.
There were loads of other dishes too...
John's Tahitian fish was popular - every last morsel was eaten! But apart from that, there was enough food left over for every single guest to take home a big doggy bag. But everyone was so full, they could not be persuaded to do that!
The guys always like to congregate around the fish fry, just as they do for a barbecue.
It really was a feast - and that was before we started on the sweets and the cake!
Then it was time to bring on the dancing girls!
I have no idea how they managed to persude the usually reticent Peter to join in - too many jelly shots, perhaps?
Darls was a great DJ,.
The kids all took to the "dance floor" and had an amazing time.
Miriam enjoyed catching up with rellies and friends...
And we even managed a family photo or two - although it took a bit of effort. I think this is the first time in the history of our family we have been able to get the kids to more or less co-operate! They musy be getting more mature!
Tina took lots of photos for us, and I am looking forward to seeing hers!
Later in the evening, the KAVA bar was in action - set up by Charles, with Ernie doing the ceremonial honours.
The next day it was just a lovely memory - and leftovers!!!