Monday, March 19, 2012

Artefacts from the AV Resolution

One of the current projects at the Norfolk Island Museum is to research stories and artefacts relating to the Resolution, a locally built schooner launched from Emily Bay in December 1925. Between 1923 and 1925 a number of men were engaged in her construction. The Resolution was the fulfilment of the Norfolk Islanders dream – to own a vessel of their own to trade between Norfolk and New Zealand. It proved to be a dream realised and lost as on her maiden voyage, laden with home-grown produce, she was becalmed and the cargo spoilt. Future debts meant that she was sold in 1927 to Burns Philp and Company and was used in the Tongan, Fijian and New Hebridean trades until she sunk at her moorings in Port Vila Harbour in 1949.
The Resolution Bell

Many people have beaten down this pathway in the past and have come up with invaluable information. Revisiting research some 20 years later using the web will hopefully uncover some additional information relating to this story that has such high social significance amongst islanders today.  Scanning through digitised newspapers of the Australian National Library, we read the following article featured in “The Register” Adelaide 11 May 1926, “New Zealand Adventurer” Auckland (N.Z.) Monday.  Manned by a crew, the members of which admit they have only a very elementary idea of navigation, the launch Koa left Auckland on Saturday for Norfolk Island, via Bay of Islands, to await the arrival of the auxiliary schooner Resolution, which is proceeding to Norfolk Island this week.  The Resolution will set the course, and be followed by the launch, which is 42ft long.  The launch, which has taken a weeks provision, is to be used in the whaling industry.  Her owner, Mr. V. Harrison is commanding her.

Communications between interested parties in Norfolk Island, Vanuatu and New Zealand resulted with the discovery of the ship’s bell and wheel and the eventual return of these two significant items to the people of Norfolk Island.   The recovery and return of these two items from the shipwreck is well documented, however their actual origins remain elusive.   Where did the bell and wheel come from?  It is known that a philanthropic lady assisted with finance towards the construction of the ship and later the engine; we don’t know her name.  Does anyone know of any thread of a story that may lead us to finding out how these two valued objects may have arrived on Norfolk Island to be fitted on this ship?  

The Resolution shortly before being launched in Emily Bay in 1925

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