The Chairman's Letter
by Paul Burnett
As published in the July 2015 magazine
Greetings. I do hope that you are all keeping well and have had an enjoyable Spring.
In my previous Chairman’s Letter I outlined some areas of concern for our Society. Adverse newspaper articles had highlighted apparent disinterest by government in our overseas territories. There is also financial and political turbulence for Norfolk Island and there has been a variety of negative comments about Pitcairn Island. Further, there seemed to be no progress with the Marine Reserve, and the Henderson Island rat eradication programme has failed with little chance of a further attempt – a disaster for the important birdlife there.
I faced a little criticism for having reported these matters but I felt members needed to be kept aware. Now I am delighted to record that in March it was announced via a news release from PEW Charitable Trust and from the National Geographic Society, that the UK Government will be proceeding with the Marine Reserve (see pages 2 and 27). This is monumentally important for the ocean surrounding the Pitcairn group, for the future of the island and the islanders and of course for mankind and our environment. This is a major success story and one particularly rewarding for PEW (and their partners) under the Global Ocean Legacy project. Andrew Rosindell MP, honorary member of our society, is to be applauded too for his tireless efforts in promoting Pitcairn. The government now seems to be heeding his appeals.
More good news was related to members at our Spring meeting. Jacqui Christian, now in the role of European Representative of the Government of Pitcairn, Henderson, Oeno and Ducie, told us all that there will be EU funding for at least part of the current and ongoing project on Pitcairn to provide an alternative jetty with improved roadway access all at Tedside (see page 4). This will enhance access to Pitcairn and will assist tourism by better enabling cruise ships to land passengers when Bounty Bay is compromised by bad weather.
Our Spring meeting was well attended, which was much appreciated as attendances have been in a gradual decline over a period. As well as the address by Jacqui Christian, as mentioned earlier, we were treated to a most interesting illustrated talk by Frank Moat about his recent trip to Ducie, Henderson and Pitcairn. He had managed to go ashore at each of the islands which is a real achievement. His photography was excellent and his talk was a delight.
After lunch I gave a talk entitled “Wallpaper”, this included a display of 32 different full sheets of Pitcairn stamps from 1940 until 2014. Sheets of stamps are seldom seen and studied, and members certainly appeared to find these interesting. The “Wallpaper” aspect was that I had collected them over many years and that today, sadly, they are hardly any more valuable than when I acquired them! I posed the question would they be better used for wallpaper? Static or declining values of Pitcairn stamps is of course a worry for the philatelists amongst us. The regular auction concluded the afternoon and there were some real bargains for book collectors.
In April Stanley Gibbons Stamp Monthly treated the philatelists amongst us with a very good five page article about Pitcairn and it’s stamps. The article, written by Steve Pendleton of the PISG, should do a lot to promote Pitcairn. The opportunity was grasped by David Sleep and David Ransom to insert an advertisement into the magazine promoting our Society. We hope this fortuitous intervention increases our membership.
This is my last Letter as, under our Constitution, I am obliged to retire as Chairman and a new Chairman will be elected at our Autumn meeting. I use this opportunity to thank you all for your kindness, perseverance and assistance during my three year’s tenure. Particular thanks go to David Sleep our hardworking Secretary who has supported me greatly. In addition thanks to David Ransom who continues to excel with the UK Log magazine. Each new issue surpasses the former in variety and quality. We are blessed. I also thank and applaud the Committee for their hard work and comradeship, for without them we would be so much the poorer.
I wish you all a happy and healthy Summer and I look forward to meeting you all at our Annual General Meeting on 3rd October 2015.
WEB LINKS FROM ISSUE 51
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PNI FACEBOOK PAGE
NEW FICTION BOOK FOR SALE ON AMAZON UK
BINDERS FOR THE UK LOG
MGM BOUNTY POSTCARD CATALOGUE
ROBERT PITCAIRN OF THE USA
ATOLLS OF THE SUN - HARD COPY
ATOLLS OF THE SUN - DIGITAL COPY
NORFOLK ISLAND STAMPS
GEORGE HUNN NOBBS