Skip to comments.Tom Christian, Descendant of Bounty Mutineer, Dies at 77
Posted on 08/24/2013 11:40:16 AM PDT by EveningStar
Tom Christian, known as the Voice of Pitcairn for his half-century-long role in keeping his tiny South Pacific island, famed as the refuge of the Bounty mutineers, connected to the world, died at his home there on July 7. Mr. Christian, Pitcairns chief radio officer and a great-great-great-grandson of Fletcher Christian, the mutinys leader, was 77.
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I can’t help but be reminded of the 1935 film, and the books comprising The Bounty Trilogy.
“Mutiny On The Bounty”,”Men Against The Sea”,and”Pitcairn’s Island”.My father gave them to me as a boy and I read each through a number of times!
It’s a crazy place this island, I was just reading a book about it. The movies are all fantasy, and not about the life on the island.
Pitcairn Island - a place I would never want to take children if they were girls.
Infamous Pitcairn Island child rape case: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/evil-under-the-sun-the-dark-side-of-the-pitcairn-island-880226.html
The Bounty Trilogy...
I only actually read “Men Against the Sea”, which details Bligh’s heroic open-boat-voyage across 3000 miles of the Pacific.
I have seen the 3 movies, starring Clark Gable, Marlon Brando and Mel Gibson, as Fletcher Christian. These movies made me a student of this historic mutiny. My research compels me to state that the Mel Gibson “Bounty” is the most historically accurate.
Bligh never was the cruel “Captain” depicted in the Gable or Brando movies.
He did not even attain the rank of “Captain” until long after the Bounty episode.
Of the 3 movies, the 1935 Clark Gable offering from Hollywood was the most ludicrous, utilizing white, American girls in dark make-up to play the role of Tahitians.
Still, the Mutiny on the Bounty is a most fascinating subject of research.
I was very disappointed that the Bounty, re-made for the Brando movie, had sunk. It used to be docked in St. Pete, FL, where I spent some of my early years...
The original Bounty’s still underwater just off Bounty Bay on Pitcairn. I get their monthly newspaper, published on the island, and available online at http://www.miscellany.pn/. The July issue had coverage of this story.
No, but he did have an amazing proclivity to incite, or at least get in the way of, mutinies.
He was later in life governor of New South Wales, and the local militia mutinied against him.
What an appalling story.
Of course, the Pitcairn Island culture is probably as much Polynesian as English, and maybe child rape is a cherished part of their culture.
Who are we to impose our values on them?
or at least get in the way of, mutinies.
That’s true. He was later the victim of yet another mutiny on a ship that he captained. But, perhaps, this may have been precipitated by knowledge of his earlier history and the further “liberalization” of British naval practices.
The further watering of the Grog ration, perhaps...
For an excellent read on this subject, I would suggest Jack London’s The Seed of McCoy.
Looked up a bit about him.
After the Bounty affair, he was involved in two more shipboard mutinies, but those were more general affairs where British sailors during the Napoleonic Wars basically went on strike for better conditions. Nothing specifically to do with Bligh.
The Rum Rebellion, OTOH, in Oz happened because as governor he tried to enforce the law against wealthy, powerful and oppressive settlers.
“...without the men, “you might as well pick Pitcairn up and throw it away, because no one is going to survive”.”
Sounds like a possible place to go ex-pat to, considering how things are going here. A far away island in need of a larger population.
There had been a Polynesian population on the island earlier but it was uninhabited when rediscovered by the British.
Hey, the Brits are looking for emigrants to the island, ‘coz the natives are dying out!
I remain disappointed that that version has not yet been released as a Director's Cut on Blu-ray. It was excellent.
And it had an EXCELLENT sound track, too (by Vangelis).
Tom was also VR6TC to the ham radio world. He was extremely active and gave a rare country contact to many of us.
RIP VR6TC! It was indeed a pleasure knowing you. Still have the awesome handmade basket he sent after a bunch of us sent him gasoline many years ago.
“Of course, the Pitcairn Island culture is probably as much Polynesian as English, and maybe child rape is a cherished part of their culture.”
No, there is nothing but some DNA that is really Polynesian about their “culture”. Their language, clothing, religion, laws, customs - all are Western.
“Who are we to impose our values on them?”
Relativism is Liberal disease. Don’t get infected.
It has long been the norm that you are invited to the island to stay but you must contribute your assets to the island to get citizenship. Have been tempted many times.
Wow that’s just like me, I could not believe any of that stuff was true but it was. The last party always blew my mind, how the one guy started making the booze out of the roots and it drove one guy nuts, they caught him eating animals raw like he turned into an animal. The absolute best though is when they see the ship coming and they had to hide everything. First the one guy saw the ship on the horizon, how it broke the line of the horizon then it was panic city, hiding everything then waiting it out in the bushes.
Was intended as sarcasm.
But it constantly amazes me how people who claim to believe in relativism get all bent out of shape when some culture handles one of their pet issues differently, such as the recent uproar over Russia and gays.
“Relativists” don’t really believe in relativism. Nobody does. They believe our values are relative, and their’s are absolute. That is the root principle of PC.
Actually, the two Tahitiian girls known by name in the 1935 film, Tehani and Maimiti, were portrayed by a Mexican and a Hawaiian.
It was casting William Bambridge as Chief Hitihiti that was woefully inaccurate ethnically.
Much of the internal conflicts among the earliest settlers was related to the fact that the Bounty’s decision to sail was made on the spur of the moment in the middle of the night. Many of the Tahitian “brides” were young women who happened to be visiting their boyfriends aboard ship that night. Imagine a community where most of the women are ticked off because they went aboard for an overnighter and woke up in the middle of the ocean headed for arts unknown. Not a happy beginning.
William Bligh has a record that has never been repeated, let alone 'bettered'. He has the distinction of having been the target of no less than three separate mutinies, in three separate places.
He was cleared of having done anything to encourage the mutinies on each incident, and the 'cruel Captain' depicted by Charles Laughton and Trevor Howard is total Hollywood fantasy, with no basis in reality. No, William Bligh's problems in holding command stemmed not from sadism, but from being inconsistent.
During times of extreme stress on his crew, he demonstrated a command style that could border on masterful, as evidenced by the boat crossing on thousands of miles of empty Pacific Ocean after the Bounty mutiny. It was absent extreme stress where his command skills faltered, and the better things were, the more they would falter.
He was a complex man, and a good case study in command skills under various circumstances that professional leaders should study in both what to do, and what to avoid like the plague...
Actually, four. Otherwise I agree.