Today, Monday 5 July 2021 is Tynwald Day – the Isle of Man’s National Day – and it is with much pleasure on behalf of the Norfolk Island People that we send warmest greetings to the President of Tynwald, the Hon Steve Rodan OBE MLC, to his parliamentary colleagues, and to the people of the Isle of Man on this their very special day.
The Tynwald flag is today flying proudly beside the Pitcairn, British and Norfolk flags outside the Centre for Democracy.
It is ten years today that a Cultural Agreement was signed between our two islands in the Isle of Man and a framed copy continues to be proudly displayed on Norfolk Island in the Centre for Democracy. The Agreement marks a cultural accord designed to provide a platform for our two communities to share information on heritage, governance, business and culture, including music and dance. Notwithstanding the removal of self-government in 2015 the intent behind the Agreement remains as meaningful today as it did when it was signed in 2011.
The historical ties between Norfolk Island
and the Isle of Man were set in motion with the marriage on 4 February 1781 of William Bligh to Elizabeth “Betsy” Betham whose family lived on the Isle of Man; and while history tells us that Fletcher Christian was born in England, his ancestors came from the Isle of Man where the Christian family had been prominent for probably a thousand years.
The story of the Mutiny on the Bounty in 1789 is a tale of conspiracy, adventure and romance, a tale that today links the Isle of Man and Norfolk Island. Hollywood has produced at least three movies with high-profile actors taking on the roles of Captain William Bligh, lead mutineer Master’s Mate Fletcher Christian and Midshipman Peter Heywood from the Isle of Man.
With very best wishes from the Norfolk Island People,
David E. Buffett AM,
Norfolk Island Council of Elders
Robin Adams JP
Signatory to the Cultural Agreement in 2011
See the 2012 issue of The Parliamentarian about the cultural agreement between the Isle of Man and Norfolk Island