Our First Experience of Palmerston
Up came the sun. As we sat in the conservatory eating breakfast, we could see Bill, Metz and Nagariki fishing. They were promptly with us at ten and soon we were on our way – still very strange to us, that we cannot spuddle in and out on Baby Beez, she remains on deck resting.
The swell was up and Nagariki tucked us in with extra sou'westers against the splash.
As Bill pulled closer we thought - O well, a wet ride then.
Then, between the reefs the sea took on a stippled look.
Bill expertly took us through the very wiggly route an in fifteen minutes we were ashore. Nagariki (pronounced Nar-er-key, aged ten) posed with some of the mornings catch. We met Mum (Bill’s mum – Inano), a very sprightly eighty four year old. Juliana aged twelve, Caroline aged eight, and Sydney aged six We heard a very English voice and met Rose, currently working for three years on the island, as a school teacher. Easy chatter and such a welcome from everyone.
Some of the flour we had brought with us yesterday had been turned into delicious doughnuts.
Bill came out with a bundle of papers that had been put together by John and Julie (grateful visitors) in 1999. Fascinating. The first was a type written copy of the letter written by William Marsters applying to lease the island.
The copies all told the story of how the island came to be rented from the Crown. There was a a piece published in the Melbourne Argus, dated the 16th of August 1888 and a request for the lease on behalf of William Marsters II (his father now passed).
Above right in readable print.
The Crown in this case was Queen Victoria, amazing to see.
Confirmation of twenty five pounds a year rental - 1891.
We all posed for a picture Bear and me. Bill, Sydney, Caroline, Juliana, Nagariki, Metua (Metz) and mum seated. Time for lunch, Bill took his position at the head of the table.
Fish and chips, expertly produced by Juliana. Now whether we approve or not, Juliana has been cooking from the age of six. All the children are barked at by Bill and Metz, Mum at least says please and thank you. If chores are not done to a high standard – as Metz said – “they get a good beating”...............
Juliana - al fresco washing up and Nagariki drying up. Tomorrow Juliana would have to put on a big Sunday meal for twelve, chores, school work, not an easy life for this lovely young lady. Nagariki is always on hand to weigh and lift the aluminium rib anchor, jumping in to waist deep water, fishing, chores and school work, a life that most youngsters would find tough.
A smile is never far from these lovely children and a flower for my ear too.
A cup of tea and time for a bimble.
ALL IN ALL QUITE UNIQUE – A SOCIAL HISTORIANS DREAM