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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Bounty Day

NORFOLK ISLAND | Wednesday, 8 June 2016 | Views [1203]

Bounty Day in full swing

Bounty Day in full swing

A bounteous Bounty Day it was full of bounteous activities, marches, and wetls (food). Ensuring I was up early I had my camera ready with my batteries charged. For brekkie I had a cuppa and some toast smeared with avocado and then I was out the door at 8:15 AM. Barefoot (Norfolk shoes), I walked halfway to Kingston before I got a lift. Bounty Day celebrations hadn’t even started yet there were plenty of people ready for photos. I managed (as I often do) to grab a prime position, this time on top of a fish-gutting table. Many descendants of the mutineers were out and about in traditional dress, and by early morning locals were in one of the longboats staging the reenactment.

The sea was extremely rough today. Today is the 160th anniversary of the landing and the dress is much like it was in 1856 with many straw hats.


Whilst neither the HMS Bounty nor any of the mutineers themselves ever made it to Norfolk, Pitcairn Island became too crowded and 193 descendants sailed on the Morayshire to Norfolk Island, landing 8 June 1856. Once the landing reenactment was completed I positioned myself on top of the old hospital (my favourite relaxation place) for another good vantage point. In paparazzi fashion I followed the marchers with my camera toward the Anzac memorial where the Ode to Norfolk was sung. Kerry dressed up today.

As did Cristina.

Troy and Shari, being descendants, dressed up as well.

David Buffett is dressed as the local who greeted the Pitcairners off the Morayshire

Josephine is another local who really enjoys my Norfolk spirit. Extra police were deployed to Norfolk Island over concerns something bad was going to happen but the march was very peaceful and the weather, for a change, was brilliant! Today was the first day I’ve seen the sun since I’ve been here. At the cemetery, In the Sweet Bye & Bye was sung. The book of the same title by Pauline Marrington is one of my favourite books about Norfolk with its bounty of Norf’k language.

On Bounty Day nearly everything is closed and it’s a day to feast. Descendants gather with their families and eat. After the best-dressed competition I wasn’t sure what to do. The day was gorgeous so I thought I’d climb on top of the old hospital again, take photos, and soak up the sun. It’s very peaceful! As I got ready to climb down I thought I’d go either into town or back to Dave’s and make something to eat, and then I hear a young voice. A little boy of about 10 named Brandon called out “hey, would you like to join us for lunch?” I smiled and said “I would love to, but you’d better ask Mum” knowing how kids have a habit of inviting their friends and others without permission. Rachel, Brandon’s mother, said she was about to come around and invite me for lunch. Rachel’s daughter, Ella remembers me from speaking at the school. That’s still one of my top highlights from my time on Norfolk. “What may I do to help?” I asked, as I felt bad about having nothing to bring. Excitedly I helped set up the dessert section, and then it was time to feast.

Bounty Day is fitting with a bounty of food, time, and stories. With the likes of curry, roasted pork, chicken with stuffing, beetroot, savoury pie, salad, and garlic prawns there was absolutely no shortage of wetls (food). As I ate I nearly had a tear in my eye. This is what I love so much about Norfolk; no matter how bad times get here, there is always a bounty of love and warmth and I’m sincere in saying the people make me return. Racheal (McConnell) doesn’t do anything for Bounty Day but the people of Norfolk (not only Racheal) make me return. Earlier, I was only a minute away from heading to Dave’s to make something to eat and I’m glad I didn’t. Several visitors, including a lady from Peru, were invited as well. Rachel told me it’s tradition to invite people to feast on Bounty Day. It’s easy to eat a lot, and dessert was just as divine. My choice was locally made coconut and passionfruit pies (I’ll have to remember to ask for the recipe before leaving).

Plenty of drinks were shared as well so I had some champagne and then some NZ sauvignon blanc. My first couple of days on Norfolk were a bit rocky but Bounty Day has more than made up for those. After feasting until I was full and having a few drinks I was offered a lift back to Dave’s house. Today is the my first day ever on Norfolk in I didn’t go through or to town at all. James and Dave’s friend Kelvin were at the house and we had a smaller version of a Bounty Day feast there (with a Filipino twist), so I shared some pie that I brought home.

By the end of today I was dead tired. Bounteous photos, bounteous laughs, bounteous food, bounteous drinking, and a bounteous day make for being exhausted so it was time for a bounteous sleep!

Although flying via Norfolk (instead of straight to NZ) was a rather expensive option, it was so worth it to be here for Bounty Day. This is my first time visiting a place for a specific holiday, and I couldn’t have picked a better one. Next year I would love to be back!

As a footnote I shall share the Norfolk Ode by Gustav Quintal

On Norfolk's sunny, sea-girt isle we'll raise our voices high
In praise of verdant hill and dale beneath a kindly sky,
The laughing waves that lapping lave o'er loud in anger roar
We'll join our song in cadence wild around our craggy shore.

In joyful strains then let us sing,
Through waves tumultuous roar.

Our island home is but a speck on ocean's bosom wide
It's dear to us, since boys and girls; it is our home and pride.
The lofty pines will beckon us if e're abroad we roam
And palms and ferns will welcome us back to our island home.

No heartier welcome shall we get
Through all the earth we roam

Our land is rich with luscious fruit; with fish our waters swarm
Our valleys deep are gay and rich, our climate mild and warm.
Our land abounds in Nature's gifts of beauty rich and rare
Let's bless the Giver of good things who all this good did plan
And let us thankful be to Him for his great gifts to man.

Yes, let us thankful be to Him
For His great gifts to man.

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