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Pitcairn Islands Study Center

News - July 16, 2003

Contact Study Center:

PHONE: 707-965-6244
TEXT:   707-229-1340

Contact Herb Ford:
PHONE: 559-592-0980 or

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  [California Study Center]


PITCAIRN ISLANDS STUDY CENTER, Pacific Union College, Angwin, California USA.

Herbert Ford, 559-592-0980, 559-732-0313.


                        ANGWIN (Napa County) Calif., July 16, 2003—Another Pitcairner – one of a dwindling number of the direct descendants of the mutineers of the H.M.S. Bounty – has died.

                        Hilda (Christian) Young, 91, died today in a nursing home facility in Auckland, New Zealand. Born on March 16, 1912, on Pitcairn Island, South Pacific Ocean, she married Robert Young, another Pitcairner, and was the mother of four children.

                        Mrs. Young, along with Pitcairn stamp designer Jennifer Toombs, is credited with re-finding and rescuing Pitcairn’s traditional wedding ring some years ago from trash that was to be thrown out at the War Memorial Museum in Auckland.

                        During a visit to the museum the two women noted and examined a small trash heap in the corner of the room where Pitcairn items were kept. In the trash they found the small ring. It had been used in wedding ceremonies on Pitcairn for many years, having been brought onto the island by one of the mutineers who had settled there in 1789.

                        After long use on Pitcairn, the ring was lost. In 1940, while working in her garden on the island, Mrs. Honor Maude, a visitor to Pitcairn, uncovered the ring. At the insistence of the Pitcairners, she took the ring with her when she left Pitcairn. She later gave it to the War Memorial Museum in Auckland for its Pitcairn collection.

                        Through lack of communication, personnel of the museum were unaware of the ring’s importance and decided to throw it out. After its recovery from the trash, Mrs. Maude took the ring to Norfolk Island, where many Pitcairners live. Today it is housed in the Norfolk Museum.

                        Mrs. Young moved permanently to New Zealand a number of years ago to obtain better medical care for one of her children. Through the years Pitcairners who came to New Zealand for visits or for medical care always found her home open to them for accommodation or other assistance while they were in Auckland.