Norfolk Island

I read a newspaper article recently about the dire economic situation that Norfolk Island has had in the last few years. Approximately 10% of the population have moved to the Australian mainland in search of work, and the main shopping area of Burnt Pine has more empty shops than leased shops.

I was lucky enough to visit Norfolk Island three times in the mid-1990’s to take part in the Norfolk Island Chess Festival. The Festival was a combination holiday/tournament, where you played in the tournament in the morning, and then had time to explore the island in the afternoon. One of the best parts of the tournament was that a top Australian player would attend the Festival, and would give us amateurs advice and analysis on our games.

Norfolk Island is a lovely island to visit. One of the things that I remember was how the Islanders obtained their supplies. It was impossible for ships to come close to the jetty at Kingston due to the shallow depth of the bay, so the ships would have to sit offshore. The locals would then take lighters/longboats out to the ship, unload supplies onto them, and then bring them back to the jetty, where they were unloaded. I remember watching an unloading early on morning, and was amazed to see a car and a bus transported to the jetty by this method. As the following photos show, two lighters were lashed together to provide a large enough platform to securely move the bus.

The Islanders have been doing this for a long time, so my fear that vehicles could be lost overboard were probably unfounded!

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If you want to have a nice relaxing holiday, I can heartily recommend the Island.

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