My love affair with Pitcairn Island began at the ripe young age of ten when was given a copy of Nordhoff and Hall’s Bounty Trilogy as a birthday gift. Soon afterwards, I saw my first “Mutiny on the Bounty” movie – the 1935 version starring Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh and Clark Gable as Fletcher Christian. I still prefer this one over all other adaptations and have long felt that Marlon Brando would have made a better Bligh than Trevor Howard in the 1962 version.
As I grew older, I amassed an impressive library of many of the books written about the mutiny as well as the aftermath (both non-fiction and fiction). The true accounts of life on Pitcairn Island itself fascinated me much more than the events on HMS Bounty. The fact that the nine mutineers remaining aboard the ship, along with six Tahitian men and 18 women (one with a baby), came across the remote island on 15 January 1790 and that their whereabouts were unknown to the world until their rediscovery by the American ship Topaz in March 1808 just fascinates me. The subsequent history of the island – all of the inhabitants of whom are still descended from those original mutineers – is full of intriguing twists and turns all the way to the present day.
Currently, there are less than fifty residents remaining on Pitcairn Island. One of the chief sources of revenue remains the sale of postage stamps which I’ve actively collected for a relatively short while now. In fact, I’ve just become a member of the Pitcairn Islands Study Group which is devoted to the philatelic history of this island. I was very pleased to receive this postcard from a friend in New Zealand, where much of the government administration of Pitcairn takes place. It portrays the only means of landing people and supplies on the island – via longboat through the rough surf. It’s one of only two postcards in my collection from Pitcairn Island; both are unused and I hope to someday get them cancelled while visiting the island itself. Yes, Pitcairn is on my bucket list and I have set a goal of travelling there within the next ten years.