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Norfolk Island Cemetery Bay – by Kit McNeill – “This pretty, peaceful cemetery at Cemetery Bay is of an impressive vintage with the oldest headstone dated 1798. The earliest burials on the island were at Emily Bay, a stunning spot boasting aqua water and a strip of golden sand, where pieces of headstones are still found.

The present graveyard is a treasure trove for history buffs and well worth a visit from the ordinary tourist as well. Many islanders pride themselves on their unique cemetery where, unlike other convict sites throughout Australia, headstones were provided for convict men. The island’s tour companies offer guided excursions to the cemetery where they reveal the history behind the colonial and convict headstones. The cemetery does also contain modern graves but the tourist visits to the cemetery do however focus only on the convict and historic sections. Within these sections cemetery staff were undertaking the significant task of painting the inscriptions of the early graves. This was being done in order to preserve the inscriptions that were being worn down gradually by the coastal weather and constant sea breezes.

You will see tombstones bearing the names made famous by the Mutiny on the Bounty, the descendants of whom still live on the island. The cemetery provides an excellent record of changing trends in headstone styles and the inscriptions alone will keep you engrossed for at least an hour. There are officer’s graves with interesting markings – for instance symbols indicating that the deceased was a freemason, touching tributes to departed mothers and sorrowful little graves belonging to children.

One of the most interesting graves is that of Thomas Salsbury Wright, a fascinating individual sentenced at the age of 99 for forgery and shipped out to Norfolk Island. Wright lived until he was 105 and he must have been extremely hardy to survive for so long under conditions that had proven too much for many a younger man. With the rolling greens of the golf course on one side, a panoramic view of Cemetery Bay on the other, and Bloody Bridge looming above, Norfolk Island must surely have one of the most beautiful, interesting and atmospheric cemeteries in the world”

This painting was painted from one of my many photos of Norfolk Island. The last trip was with John Wilson’s painting workshop. This painting is not framed.

Norfolk Island Cemetery Bay

Kit McNeill

AUD$3,000
Size: 120w x 76h x 4d cms
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Oil on stretched canvas

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Additional Information

Norfolk Island Cemetery Bay – by Kit McNeill – “This pretty, peaceful cemetery at Cemetery Bay is of an impressive vintage with the oldest headstone dated 1798. The earliest burials on the island were at Emily Bay, a stunning spot boasting aqua water and a strip of golden sand, where pieces of headstones are still found.

The present graveyard is a treasure trove for history buffs and well worth a visit from the ordinary tourist as well. Many islanders pride themselves on their unique cemetery where, unlike other convict sites throughout Australia, headstones were provided for convict men. The island’s tour companies offer guided excursions to the cemetery where they reveal the history behind the colonial and convict headstones. The cemetery does also contain modern graves but the tourist visits to the cemetery do however focus only on the convict and historic sections. Within these sections cemetery staff were undertaking the significant task of painting the inscriptions of the early graves. This was being done in order to preserve the inscriptions that were being worn down gradually by the coastal weather and constant sea breezes.

You will see tombstones bearing the names made famous by the Mutiny on the Bounty, the descendants of whom still live on the island. The cemetery provides an excellent record of changing trends in headstone styles and the inscriptions alone will keep you engrossed for at least an hour. There are officer’s graves with interesting markings – for instance symbols indicating that the deceased was a freemason, touching tributes to departed mothers and sorrowful little graves belonging to children.

One of the most interesting graves is that of Thomas Salsbury Wright, a fascinating individual sentenced at the age of 99 for forgery and shipped out to Norfolk Island. Wright lived until he was 105 and he must have been extremely hardy to survive for so long under conditions that had proven too much for many a younger man. With the rolling greens of the golf course on one side, a panoramic view of Cemetery Bay on the other, and Bloody Bridge looming above, Norfolk Island must surely have one of the most beautiful, interesting and atmospheric cemeteries in the world”

This painting was painted from one of my many photos of Norfolk Island. The last trip was with John Wilson’s painting workshop. This painting is not framed.

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