Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bounty Day

Everyone who publishes blogs on Norfolk probably posts one about Bounty Day. Bounty Day is the celebration day which commemorates the historic arrival of the Pitcairners to Norfolk Island on 8th June 1856. The original families that arrived were apportioned land on the island by Queen Victorias government of the day. Many families still own land concentrated in their ancestors original allotment.

My daughter Ada is descended from all of the Bounty mutineers. Her grandmother was a Nobbs. Each year, since Ada has been able to walk, she has joined in the procession on Bounty Day. She marches with my wonderful friend, Suzanne (Evans) or with my sister in law, Rachel and her 2 children Ella and Brandon.

Our day begins with dressing up of the children and Rachel and the kids pick flowers for bouquets in the garden. Then we head to Kingston where the commemoration starts with the re-enactment of the boat landing at Kingston Pier, which is hard to see for the crowds of people around the pier on the day. The descendants then form a procession and walk to the cenotaph where they say prayers and sing for those who have fallen in the wars.

Then proceed to the cemetery where more hymns are sung and the children lay wreaths and flowers on the graves of their family members. It's a really beautiful and moving thing to observe.
Then most people make their way to Government House for cordial and cookies with the Administrator and his wife. Our kids usually just want to walk back to the car along the stone walls built by the convict settlement.

We're usually blessed with really nice weather on Bounty Day and for the sesquicentenary in 2006 there were whales breaching behind the procession at Kingston.
Once we're all walked out, we prepare a picnic. Again, our family breaks with tradition and we picnic at Emily Bay usually.

This year it was windy at the Bay and we had ours on the opposite side of the island, not far from our home on Red Road.

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