(All photographs courtesy of J.T.
A small dot on the Atlas of the world, not many folk who have not been
there, including the writer, can imagine just
how remote and rugged a
Pacific Island can be. The following photographs were printed from
negatives belonging to
Mr. Will Clode whose long association as Head
baker with RMS Rangitki ended in 1950, his having sailed
Maiden Voyage. Unfortunately, these photographs are undated, and no
notes were found relating to them.
We had believed that these shots
must have been taken from the deck of the Rangitiki more
fifty years ago,
but the second photograph of The Landing (on the right below) could
not possibly have been so made. We are left
to wonder just how the negatives found their way onto the Rangitiki.
Perhaps a Pitcairn Islander took them and
handed off his film or sold it to a crew member.
This is the only picture
I have ever seen of Pitcairn Island taken at sunrise. The location
from which the photograph was taken is approximately the position from which nearly every other such
photo that I have seen was taken, probably
as the ship approached the island. One can imaging the excitement of
passengers and, maybe, crew as well as landfall
approached ~ cameras would be aimed and - click! click! - another hundred
similar mementos were captured on film.
It behooves the viewer to compare this shot with that on the
First Class Waiters
From a former member of
"On both trips I did on the 'Tiki,
we called at Pitcairn.
"I think NZSCo started to give passengers more value
for money and included a couple of "tourist" stops on the route, Pitcairn
being one and Tahiti the other.
"I don't recall the passengers going
ashore at Pitcairn. In fact the Islanders rowed out to the ship in
two or three old ship's lifeboats. They climbed aboard the ship using
cargo nets hung over the side. The Islanders brought souvenirs to sell to
the passengers, mainly ornamental fish and jewellery carved from driftwood
plus they scrounged whatever they could from the ship.
"The stop was only
about two hours long then the Islanders would climb down into their boats
and sing hymns as they rowed back ashore.
"As Engineers, we regarded the stop as a nuisance. A lot of hard
work is involved in stopping and starting ships. Of course, in
retrospect a visit to see Pitcairn Island was a unique experience."
At least, that's what we believe it
to be ~ the place where the
Islanders launched and beached the longboats. The state
of disrepair of these buildings is indicative of the ruggedness of the
island climate, and one is left to conjecture that
date back to the time of the adoption of Pitcairn as the home of the
surviving participants from the mutiny on
Neither the photographs' contributor
nor I have any real knowledge of the Rangitiki's stopovers
at Pitcairn - nor any other ship come to that. At least my
previous erroneous information has been corrected, thanks to a sharp-eyed
visitor. But we hope that someone, passenger or crew member, may be
able to dig back into memory and advise us of the date (or approximate
date) these photographs were taken, and the accuracy of the information
included in the caption to The Landing picture.