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MUTINY TO UNITY


On arrival in Tahiti, the crew of the


Bounty enjoyed a laid back lifestyle, grand hospitality, a pleasant climate and a picturesque setting whilst collecting the breadfruit. They were there for 23 weeks. On their way back from Tahiti, Bligh’s harsh naval discipline was immediately reinstated - the consequence - mutiny aboard the Bounty! In a small longboat with 18 loyal


men Bligh was then set adrift, left to find his way back to England, with only his sextant, by courtesy of Christian. Christian and the remaining crew were left with the Bounty. Both Bligh and Christian, in harsh conditions, sailed their vessels ably to safety; Bligh to Timor, where they got passage back to England, and Christian to uninhabited Pitcairn Island via Toobouai and Tahiti. In Tahiti, Christian and his men collected their former sweethearts and some Polynesian men.


Heywood and 15 others decided


to settle in Tahiti; later to be discovered and taken back to England to stand trial even though he played no part in the mutiny, Heywood stood trial where he was found guilty and given the death sentence. Heywood’s sister, Hestor, affectionately known as Nessy, worked tirelessly for his acquittal and release which came on 27 October 1792. Heywood applied to be readmitted to the Royal Navy and went on to have an accomplished career. On Pitcairn Island, Christian


and the community grew into what was described as “the world’s most perfect and pious race”; the first to give women the vote in 1838 and, it is said, the first to make education compulsory. At 193 persons, they had outgrown small Pitcairn Island and in 1855 Queen Victoria offered them Norfolk Island as their homeland.


The Pitcairners arrived in their new homeland on 8 June 1856.


From mutiny to unity While the rest, as they say, is history, descendants of the Christian family are still residing on both Norfolk Island and the Isle of Man. The story continues to be told


and to unfold with the signing of a Cultural Agreement on Tynwald Day on the Isle of Man that took place on 5 July 2011 by the then President of Tynwald, Hon. Noel Cringle, OBE, MLC, and by me as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Norfolk Island.


The cultural agreement has


now been in place for just over 12 months and it has been a rewarding strengthening of connection between the two islands. As I said on signing the


agreement: “Our connection with the Isle of Man has many concurrences


The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three | 183


Opposite page: The Isle Of Man flag flying beside the Norfolk Island and Australian flags at the Norfolk Island Legislative Assembly Complex on 5 July 2012 to acknowledge the Isle of Man’s National Day.


Above: Mutiny scene from “Fletcher’s Mutiny Cyclorama”, a 360° panoramic painting on Norfolk Island.


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