Young Marsters
Some of the modern day Marsters on Palmerston.
The Government provides support in the form of direct aid such as a generator and in public works projects like the community water tank and school.  All homes have electricity from 6 am till noon and in the evening.   Almost every house has a freezer though few have fridges.  VCRs are also very popular (there's no broadcast television or radio).

School time
Parrot fish are the island's main cash crop.  They're dried or frozen and shipped to Rarotonga.  But the islanders have a hard time getting their product to market because of the infrequent visits by the supply ships.  The local diet is supplemented by baby Bosun birds and coconuts. 

Parrot fish
Green turtle hatching
Turlte being released back into the wild
These remarkable pictures were taken by Matthew Mumford of New South Wales, Australia.  In kindly giving me permission to reproduce the shots, Matthew says he feels extremely fortunate to have visited Palmerston and it's something he won't forget in a hurry.  You can read about this and other expeditions he's undertaken by visiting his web site
Bill Marsters has set up a rescue programme on Palmerston for the  Pacific Green Turtle.   The species is officially classified as endangered and the programme gives the turtle a helping hand in life from the point of hatching (left) until the juvenile stage when it can be released back into the wild (right). 
England's Legacy Lives On
Fishing is particularly good near the bizaarely named "Kick Me Arse Rock".  It was called that by William Marsters,  after he had a particularly fierce fight one day against the wind and tide.  And according to islanders, that's a lot better than some of the names he called it while he was trying to get round it!!

Daily life on Palmerston has a rhythm of its own and includes daily church services.   Although (or because) the population is so small, everything is carefully organised, nothing is ever thrown away if it's likley to come in useful one day and everywhere is immaculately tidy.    Former New Zealand Herald journalist , Sandra Paterson,  who now lives on Rarotonga spent five weeks helping at the local school in 2009. and wrote a fascinating insight into the island and its residents.

For a for another less recent first hand account of a visit to Palmerston and a meeting with the Marsters, read David Brettell's  piece in New Internationalist magazine

Above:  Inside an Islander's home and the scenery islanders wake up to every morning
Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by
King of all he surveys: How William Marsters got his island and the Scot who tried to stop him
The linguistic legacy
An insight into daily life
Royal connections
William's story in song: Video
A family reunited with its roots

Click here to return to title page
Top of the page
Bookmark and Share
Sign or read my guest book
Email the website author
Site visitor survey