The Chairman's Letter
by Tony Williams
As published in the July 2018 magazine
Welcome to another edition of The Bounty.
I must start this letter with very sad news. It is with great shock and a profound sense of loss that we have to report the passing away of our President Jennifer Toombs. She was an enthusiastic supporter of the Society, and President from its very beginning 30 years ago. She was a charming and gracious lady and as you will know she was a talented and much acclaimed stamp designer. The Society has owed Jennifer a great debt of gratitude and she provided valuable guidance and advice to me personally in my role, for which I will always be grateful. She will be most sadly missed. Her full obituary is shown on page 1.
At our meeting in March, again at our Doggett's Coat and Badge venue, we were treated to an interesting presentation and display by Paul Burnett on stamp errors and their history. This included varieties such as lack of perforations, missing colours and examples of known forgeries. Paul has an impressive collection and an extensive knowledge which we greatly appreciated.
In the afternoon, Graham Ford gave us a wide ranging talk on Henderson Island with a full historical narrative including philately. A particular focus was on the Sir Peter Scott commemorative expedition to the Island in 1991-92. Thank you Graham for all the interesting details, previously unknown to many of us.
As usual at the end of the meeting, John Smith organised the ever popular auction of a wide variety of collectibles to raise valuable funds for the Society. My thanks to John for his tenacious auctioneering.
As you know, 2018 is the 30th anniversary of the founding of our Society and in June to mark the occasion, we arranged a Thames river cruise as a celebration event. We were treated to views of London’s major landmarks, as we cruised from Embankment Pier, firstly upstream to Westminster and then downstream towards Greenwich, enjoying an excellent lunch on board. After our return to Embankment, a number of us retired to a local pub to continue the celebrations and conversations. It was a good opportunity for both members and partners to get together and hopefully an enjoyable day for everyone.
This is my last Chairman’s Letter as my three-year tenure comes to an end at this October’s AGM when a new Chairman will be appointed. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve in my role and it has been an interesting period for developments on Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands politically and environmentally.
On Pitcairn the highlights have been the establishment of the 322,000 square mile Pitcairn Marine Reserve, the largest in the Pacific; the new harbour at Tedside has been completed and there are new initiatives to promote tourism with welcome packs and also the Island re-population plan to encourage new settlers. The latter is extremely important in view of Pitcairn’s low population numbers (there are only three children on the island at present).
To keep up to date with their activities, I recommend subscribing to the monthly Pitcairn Miscellany newsletter prepared by the Pitcairners, (a publicity link is provided on page 2 of this edition of The Bounty).
On Norfolk Island, direct rule by Australia was implemented in 2016 and it remains to be seen how the Island’s cultural heritage and historical links to Pitcairn can be preserved in the long term. At our March 2017 meeting, we welcomed Honorary members of the Society André Nobbs (former Chief Minister of Norfolk Island), and Albert Buffet (President of the Council of Elders of Norfolk Island), who provided an update on the Island’s situation and Australia’s unilateral action. We were also privileged at the same meeting to welcome Andrew Rosindell MP (Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Britain’s Overseas Territories and Secretary to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Norfolk Island) and representatives from the Friends of British Overseas Territories Society.
It remains our Society’s aim is to continue to provide support to both Pitcairn and Norfolk Islands in whatever way we can to promote relationships and their development.
I hope that you enjoy the articles in this edition of The Bounty and in closing, may I wish everyone a good summer and whether it be for philately, books or memorabilia relating to Pitcairn and Norfolk Island, I wish you continued successful collecting.
I look forward to seeing many of you at our Autumn meeting and AGM on 6th October, 2018.