Letter from Mosman Historical Society visit to Norfolk Island 230th anniversary of the wrecking of the Sirius.
President, Noela Gill, and committee member, Perry McIntyre, headed to Norfolk Island on 15 March 2020 for a week organised by Lisa of Norfolk Island Travel. Anne and Joe Fernandez made the wise decision to remain at home. The first evening we attended the Mutineers’ dinner in a private home, entertained by the host family, a branch of the Quintals, descendants of Fletcher Christian, and three girls from a group known as the Bounty Beauties [see images below].
In the image above is the Sirius memorial on the sea front at Kingston convict settlement where the Sirius was wrecked. The other image shows the waves breaking on the reef and indicates how shallow the water is at this point. The next page is the plaque on that memorial telling the story of the wrecking of the Sirius.
The official 230th Anniversary lunch was held on the foreshore in a large marquee. The Norfolk Island Mayor was unable to attend so David Buffett, former Administrator of the Norfolk Island Council, did the honours, giving a quite long speech covering the history of the Sirius including the connection with Mosman. Here Noela waits patiently for him to finish before she said some very appropriate words and presented him with the framed sketch by Bradley of the Sirius being careened in what is now named Mosman Bay. The audience of over 100 were very appreciative of the gift and many were not aware of the connection with Mosman and Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Noela explained the Sirius connections with all three places.
Noela is standing beside the bas-relief sculpture which is identical to the one at Mosman Bay and also the one at Ryde on the Isle of Wight where the Sirius spent some time on her way to Sydney in 1788. On Norfolk Island the sculpture is situated inside the Barracks complex behind the Sirius Museum. The other image is inside the Sirius Museum showing one of the anchors which was recovered and other artefacts from the wreck. In 1905 one anchor was moved from Norfolk Island to Sydney and sits in Macquarie Place. See the story at https://www.cityartsydney.com.au/artwork/sirius-anchor/
We were also participants at a small cocktail party held in this grassed area, hosted by the Norfolk Island Historical Society and the Sirius Museum. Everyone was extremely friendly and we enjoyed most of our time on the island which is certainly a place to relax.
Despite being confined to our apartment the day after our arrival, we managed to drive on every road on the island and view all the historical sites, except Mt Pitt National Park which was closed because of damage from the cyclone. Our farewell dinner was an open air fish fry with salads and sweets. Norfolk Island is duty free so we could purchase bottles of reasonable wine for $20 which we did on a few occasions. Farewell sunset below taken from the site of the fish fry dinner.