An international conference pushing for a more active governmental and economic role among nations by one of Earth’s smallest, most remote places will be held on the Pacific Union College campus Aug. 19-21.
The 2012 Bounty-Pitcairn Conference will focus on Pitcairn Island, a tiny South Pacific Ocean isle made known worldwide by Hollywood-style movies and scores of books about the “Mutiny on the Bounty,” the famed late-18th-century revolt of sailors on the British ship HMS Bounty against their captain, William Bligh.
Although it had little contact with the outside world for more than two centuries following the arrival of the mutinous sailors at Pitcairn in 1790, the island is today making major efforts to become an active member of the world community. Experts and resource persons speaking at the conference are expected to help shape these efforts.
Among the conference speakers will be a number of Pitcairn islanders who are descendants of the Bounty mutineers. Islander Leslie Jaques, a former commissioner of the British-controlled Pitcairn government, will present a retrospective of the island’s past and a forecast of its possible future at the conference.
In addition to the presentations, there will be a premiere showing of a made-for-television documentary about the island. There will also be Skype interviews with officials on the island some 5,000 miles away.
“We anticipate that the thought and action coming out of this gathering of Pitcairn and Bounty experts and enthusiasts from around the world may contribute significantly to a speed-up of Pitcairn’s emergence into international citizenship and its interaction among nations,” said Ted Cookson, director of the conference and president of the international Pitcairn Islands Study Group.
The conference is open to the public and will include displays of treasured relics of the ship Bounty, Pitcairn crafts including handcrafted rare bark tapa cloth, and scores of important documents from Pitcairn’s 222-year history. Books, philatelic items, Pitcairn woodcrafts, woven basketry and other island-crafted items will be offered for sale by vendors.
Sponsors selected the San Francisco Bay Area venue for the conference because the Pacific Union College library holds the world’s largest collection of information and material about the so-called “Bounty Saga” — Captain Bligh, HMS Bounty, Pitcairn Island and Norfolk Island.
(For conference details, visit 2012BPC.com.)