The story begins at Kingston Pier, Norfolk Island, on 8 June 1856.
One of four kids in the Christian family, Marie’s gran, is just four years old when she leaps ashore amid squalls of rain.
The toddler’s come 6,000 kilometres from Pitcairn to Norfolk at the invitation of Britain’s Queen Victoria, who,on hearing about the Pitcairners’ plight, gave the entire population the nod to relocate to Norfolk.
She even sent a boat to fetch them.
The islanders, all direct descendants of Bounty mutineers and their Tahitian wives, were growing in number and faced imminent starvation on their tiny, remote homeland. On Norfolk, promised the Queen, they’d receive livestock and supplies on arrival and be housed in Kingston’s abandoned convict settlement.
It was a generous offer – yet one that most Pitcairners, including Marie’s forebears, took up with some reluctance. Leaving Pitcairn was a hard decision, even heartbreaking for some. But the entire community did leave. And, by doing so, carved out the so-called fourth key settlement period in Norfolk’s history.