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Pitcairn Islands Study Center

News - July 6, 2011

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.


                        PITCAIRN ISLAND, SOUTH PACIFIC OCEAN, July 6, 2011—There’s something new on tiny, remote Pitcairn Island - a new holiday.

                        In a message to the Pitcairn Islands Study Center, island Mayor Mike Warren notes that on July 3, 2011, the Pitcairn islanders celebrated the inauguration of “Pitcairn Day” which marks the anniversary of the discovery of the island on July 2, 1767.

                        On July 2, 1767, a young midshipman named Robert Pitcairn, high in the rigging of the British exploration ship H.M.S. Swallow, spied a small island which Philip Cartaret, the ship’s captain, called “Pitcairn’s Island” in honor of the young sailor’s discovery. 

                        The reason the initial celebration was on July 3 rather than on “discovery day” July 2, was due partly to the fact that July 2, 2011, was a Saturday, the traditional religious day of rest on Pitcairn Island; and because there was initial confusion as to whether the discovery occurred on July 2 or July 3.

                        Through more than a century the Pitcairners, the majority of whom in the past were members of the Seventh-day Adventist faith, have rested from all work and non-religious activity on Saturday, the day biblical counsel calls for such rest.  (Exodus 20:10).

                        Mayor Warren, noting that the new holiday next year will fall on a day other than Saturday, says it will be celebrated on July 2.

                        Celebration of the new holiday on Sunday, July 3, included a rededication ceremony, and feasting on weckle (Pitcairn food).