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Norfolk Island Trip 2011

:Norfolk 2011 group.JPG

Jacqi Warnock's report on the 2011 Norfolk trip is attached at the end of mine but from my point of view the 4th Jim Haynes tour to Norfolk Island was truly the most fun I have had in a long time. That was mostly due to the fact that we had 20 of the nicest people you could ever throw together in one group!

I can honesty say that there was not ONE occasion when we had any real problems or whinges ... what a great bunch.

Ann and Alex at Hillcrest were so friendly and welcoming and the catch cry was 'nothing is compulsory' but everything in the package was there if you wanted to participate - tours, shows, workshops and poetry every morning at breakfast!

The Travel Centre staff were great behind the scenes and the organisation and distribution of material was terrific, every tour was on time and the hospitality on the Island was great.

Noel and Ann Stallard were wonderful and kept me on track when I forgot anything.

The workshops conducted by Noel and myself went very well and we even had a few locals  joining in. The area was perfect for what we wanted and those who attended were very happy with what they learned. Others who were not into the workshops played golf and shopped but we all joined in the history and country music concerts with The Aussie night with Gina Jeffreys, Mitch Shadlow, Margie May Hockey and myself being great fun for me especially.

Archie Bigge's Wonderland By Night and Arthur Evans' tour are absolute highlights for me every time I visit Norfolk and everyone in the group that I spoke to agreed that those experiences were memorable.

The bush poets who came along had a great time performing each morning and visiting the school. My thanks to Cay and Barry and Jacqi and Colin who entertained everyone, along with Noel and myself, every morning and some evenings too!

Special mention MUST go to two great characters who entertained us so much! Bob Coleman and Macca (the Bishop) were just the life and soul of the group and kept us laughing day after day.

:Fr O'Brien, the kid & Bish.JPG

A personal 'thank you' to everyone who made the trip so memorable and such FUN!

On Norfolk: Ann and Alex and staff, Christen and all the Travel Centre crew, Archie and Arthur, Agnes, the drivers, Kim and the NICMA crew.

From the Mainland
• Noel and Ann .... couldn't have managed without you, thanks for all your expertise, support and friendship.
• Cay and Barry for your enthusiasm and for organising the school visit which everyone LOVED
• Jack for helping organise things when needed
• Jacqi, Cay, Barry, Colin, Bob and Macca for all the entertainment
• Gina Jeffreys for being such a good pal
• The whole group for your good spirit and great attitude.

:Jim,Macca,Colin & Lorraine.JPG

Now the good news is ..... WE ARE DOING IT AGAIN IN 2012 ....Noel and Ann and myself will be taking another group and following the same pattern as 2011, with just a few small changes and improvements to the itinerary! Details soon. Please tell your friends and come join us in 2012!


Norfolk Island Bush Poetry, History and Country Music Tour with Jim Haynes


The azure Pacific Ocean stretches from the greenness of Norfolk Island shores, around and beyond Nepean and Phillip Islands and away to the horizon. From Queen Elizabeth Lookout we are overlooking the settlement of Kingston below.  Even from a distance the colonial, convict origins are evident, with neat rows of houses and high cream stone enclosing walls. It was Friday, 13th May and in brilliant sunshine, we on Jim Haynes’ tour are getting our first look around picturesque Norfolk Island.  Most of our 20 strong contingent had arrived by 737 from Sydney the previous evening along with the Ellems, from Brisbane earlier in the day, and settled into our accommodation at Hillcrest Resort for the week.

This half day ‘Pinetree’ tour introduced us to the delights of Norfolk, the landscape, history, settlements, legends, shopping and people, both past and present, and whetted our appetite to explore further.  Later, relaxing in comfortable armchairs we enjoyed a concert of poetry and song from Jim, in his trademark yellow suit, along with poems from Noel and Father John O’Brien.

The following days were full of interest and activity.  Jokes and poems concluded brekkie every morning ensuring we were all energised and in good spirit for the day. 

Two mornings of poetry workshops, in performance and writing skills, with Jim and Noel as tutors were fantastically informative, fun and rewarding.
Sunday evening saw us with drink in hand jostling to get a spot in Ferny Lane Theatre to “Meet and Greet” the Country Music performers newly arrived for the Festival.  It was also my birthday and I was suitably cheered through the day and later surprised with a cake and supper party back at Hillcrest.

We all attended three Country Music Concerts: the New Zealand Showcase, Australian Showcase (featuring Gina Jeffreys) and the Trans Tasman Awards all of which were toe tapping and engaging. Jim’s appearances with poems, jokes and songs had the audience rolling in the aisles. Norfolk Islanders and visitors now know the location of  Wheelabarabak, how Cheryl went feral and how much there is to watch on TV. It was all great fun.

Other highlights included ‘Wonderland by Night’ (where poetry  from local Archie Bigg came to life), ‘History in the Making’, ‘Island Fish Fry’, Cyclorama, golf, shopping, eating and drinking while a poem or joke was never far away!

Invited by Jason Ellem, (nephew of Barry) who is currently teaching on Norfolk, to visit the school Noel, Cay, Barry and I went along and presented some poems.  The upturned faces of the children showed them listening with enjoyment and they joined in with enthusiasm.  Of course Noel’s “Bush Animals’ Band” was a hit with both the students and staff.  It was fascinating to realise that many of these students are descendants of the Bounty mutineers and to learn of the custom of Bounty Day. 

“Wataweih yorly” (Hello, how are you) in the Norf’k language from Pitcairn Island was the greeting we received at school and elsewhere on the island.

Norfolk Island was a real discovery for us first timers and we were wonderfully entertained by Jim and Noel and the other poet performers. Too soon we found ourselves seated at the airport awaiting our wings to return to the big island.  A huge ‘ thank you’ to Jim, Noel and Ann for their company on this excellent week away in such a fascinating place and for everyone’s companionship.             
Jacqui Warnock

Check out Stone the Crows Festival - held at Wagga Wagga - Every Easter



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