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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Pitcairn Islands 2016 - Adamstown




COUNTRY: PITCAIRN ISLANDS
ISSUE DATE: 24 August 2016
STAMP SIZE:50 x 27.14 mm
STAMP THEME: Adamstown
STAMP DESIGN:Denise Durkin


Following the arrival of the Bounty mutineers in 1790 a turbulent ten years followed where conflict between the mutineers and the Tahitian men and indeed the mutineers themselves saw the population reduce from the original 28 down to just one mutineer, John Adams, and the Tahitian women. As community leader Adams changed from a drunkard to a devout religious person and began to take his duties seriously. His leadership lasted until his death in 1829 and the dramatic regeneration of Pitcairn was largely Adam’s work and he became known as "father" to the population which had risen to 66. His contribution is recognised in what is today known as the community of Adamstown.



The settlement is located 120-150 metres above sea level on the central-north side of the island of Pitcairn, facing the Pacific Ocean and close to Bounty Bay, the only landing area of the island. Another harbour location is currently under development on the west side of the island. From Bounty Bay the main road up to Adamstown is called "The Hill of Difficulty" which is now a paved road from the jetty to the town square. It takes the visitor and supplies directly to the centre of the township.

Covering around 20 hectares, the town is the second smallest capital in the world after King Edward Point in the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. The houses are quite modern, although simple, to allow for the climate and weather conditions. Roofs are corrugated to collect run-off and ensure an adequate water supply and residents are well catered for with generator power and modern appliances. Pitcairn has access to DVD television, satellite internet, and telephone with the ham radio still being popular. Like other communities, Adamstown has a library, courthouse, church (Seventh-Day Adventist), museum, school, health centre and post office.



Adamstown has a population of around 48, which is the entire population of the Pitcairn Islands as all the other islands in the group are uninhabited. The numbers fluctuate with arrivals and departures of individuals for medical, policing and communication duties. Physical contact is by sea with supply ships visiting infrequently. The current trading vessel, the Claymore II, is contracted by the Pitcairn Island Council and subsidised by the British Government to make four annual round trips to deliver cargo and supplies to Pitcairn Island from New Zealand. The Claymore also makes eight subsidised round trips each year from Pitcairn to Mangareva, French Polynesia. This enables the nearest airport to be accessed for passengers to connect to the air service to Tahiti and beyond. As Pitcairn has no port facilities, all cargo and passengers are landed on the island from Claymore II by longboat.


Other points of interest are that Adamstown has a tropical climate with high humidity, hot temperatures, and moderate rainfall (67in) throughout the year. The official language of the Pitcairn Islands / Adamstown is English but many also speak the traditional language Pitkern, a combination of English and Tahitian. The New Zealand dollar is the official currency of the Pitcairn Islands and last but not least it is a little known fact that Adamstown has its own challenging golf course as seen in this photograph supplied by Tony Probst ! 





Stamp images and description thanks to Pitcairn Islands Philatelic Bureau


Pitcairn Islands Post Stamps