Norfolk Island people on Bounty Day - June 8 each year - in traditional dress

Our world is home to the welcoming Norfolk Island people.

Over 20 nationalities live here, but most notably it is home to the Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the Mutiny on the Bounty, who arrived here on June 8, 1856.  They celebrate this arrival each year on Bounty Day with a gathering at Kingston Pier, a re-enactment of the landing, a march and tea at Government House, and a feast of traditional foods.  All in traditional clothing and hats.  The photo above was taken from a recent Bounty Day.  The descendants comprise about 40% of the island’s permanent population.

The Pitcairners brought with them cooking, music, and weaving/ plaiting (of items like the hats above) that are still practiced today, and a language that is still spoken.  The Norf’k language (Norfolk language) is a wonderful mix of Tahitian and old English, and it is taught in our school.

The island’s phone book is thought to be unique in the world because it allows you to ‘fast find a person by their nickname’, or in the Norf’k language, ‘faasfain salan bai dems nikniem’.  And this is VIP because some of our ‘salan’ (people) are not known by any other name!

For example, you can find the phone number for Beef, Crowbar, Doodus, Feathers, Golla, Hose, Lettuce, Moochie, Possum, Snapper, Tardy, and Wolf.

One thing you will notice is many locals seem to have many jobs.  This is quite true.

There are the airport staff who check visitors in, move their baggage, and man the emergency services vehicles – and then go back to work running their own businesses.

There are the tour guides, few of whom are full time, who after touring return to their other day job on NI Radio, or in their home market garden.

Then there is the vast army of ‘dishpigs’ who keep our many cafes and restaurants stocked with clean glassware, cutlery and crockery, whose other job is in retail.

There are those who are public servants during the day, and then host dinners for visitors at night.

And many, many Norfolk people volunteer for something or other.

So when you ask someone how work was last week you don’t hear about one, but several jobs.  How interesting is that!