The school provides primary education, based on the New Zealand syllabus, and correspondence courses in post-primary education were introduced in 1957. Overseas secondary education is encouraged by the grant of bursaries and a number of students have received secondary education in New Zealand at Pitcairn Government expense. The Education Officer, is appointed by the Governor from suitable qualified applicants who are New Zealand registered teachers. The Education Officer, who is also the Government Adviser and Editor of the Pitcairn Miscellany, is contracted for two year terms. The Education Officer is assisted by a Pitcairn language teacher and staff include a cleaner and grounds person.
The school and the teacher’s residence are of timber and iron construction and were completed in 1950. The equipment is modern and includes a 7.5 kva generator, a film projector, piano, sound system, computers, television, VCR, photocopier and a range of woodwork tools. The school library is kept well stocked.
The average attendance at the school in the early 1950s was 20 pupils, increasing to 28 in 1959 and 36 in 1962. Since then the roll has gradually decreased and in 1999 there were 10 pupils.
The pattern of education on Pitcairn keeps pace with curriculum changes in New Zealand. The island, traditionally a land of smallholders and handicraft traders, has developed new markets for the export of dried fruit and honey products. Tourism is developing into a more significant local industry both with visits by cruise ships and with those who visit to stay a few weeks on the island.
Education policy therefore aims to provide a broad range of skills to enable adaptability in a changing environment.
The Pitcairn Island Health Centre was completed in 1997, and was funded by the British Government Overseas Development Administration. Unlike the old Dispensary in the Square, which had only one room, the Health Centre has an examination room, a dental clinic, an X-ray room and a two bed ward for over-night patients. The building has been constructed away from the Square, thus affording greater privacy for those requiring treatment. To the left of the building is a timber walk-way linking the Health Centre to the main road below the Square.
The health needs of the Pitcairn community are met by the Resident Nurse, an Assistant Nurse and a local Dental Officer who also doubles as an X-ray Technician. From time to time, doctors visit Pitcairn, usually as part of their own planned holiday, giving their services to the community.
The Resident Nurse is usually the wife of the Island Pastor. They are generally Australian, New Zealand or American trained and registered and serve as nurse for the term of their husbands appointment which varies between two and three years.
Pitcairner, Meralda Warren currently serves as the Assistant Nurse. She is also the Island's Police Officer and Secretary of the local Co-operative Store. Steve Christian, who holds the position of Supervising Engineer, swaps his over-alls for the white Dental Officer's Coat to attend to the dental needs of the islanders. He has recently extended his skills to include the manufacture of dentures and has many satisfied clients. Steve is also the X-ray Technician.
The Pitcairn Island museum displays a number of artefacts and items, some of which have been donated and loaned by people from all over the world.
Artefacts, such as the stone tools, which were made by Polynesians prior to the arrival of the mutineers, are on display. Other artefacts include Bounty relics (salvaged from the wreck), a well used traditional wheelbarrow and more. The books and articles, written about the mutiny and Pitcairn Island, have kept readers occupied for hours.
Currently, the museum is located at the School, however a new museum located more centrally is likely in the future. Once the new museum is completed, it is hoped that items, including those illegally taken off the island in the past, will be returned and displayed on Pitcairn. The Bounty cannon, uplifted on 8 January 1999, will also be returned to Pitcairn in 2005 for display in the museum.
The Lodge (to the left in the photo below) is a Government owned building which is available for groups of up to eight people. The Lodge is fully equipped but those staying are responsible for their own food during their stay. For availability and current rental rates, please contact the Pitcairn Island Administration.
The Government Hostel on the right, is used to accommodate Official Government visitors.
Pitcairn is rugged and its coast cliff-lined nearly the entire perimeter of the island, nowhere giving easy access to the sea. Although the canoes can be launched in many places, Bounty Bay and the Tedside landing are the only two places on the island that offer a reasonably safe landing.
Burned on 23 January 1790, the remains of Bounty lie three metres below the surface of Bounty Bay. Although tourists are allowed to dive on the wreck, sadly, over the years, Bounty relics have disappeared from the site and today there is very little left. Ballast bars, copper sheathing and nails are some of the items that may still be seen.
Established as a co-operative society in 1967, the store has provided for the basic needs of the community ever since. Groceries, toiletries, some clothing and footwear, kitchenwear, stationery, seeds, fertilizer, hardware and building supplies are stocked. These items are purchased in New Zealand and sent to the island on the supply ship three times a year.
The Court House, with a veranda running along its entire length, takes up one side of the Square, and outside, on a plinth, stands Bounty's anchor, which was recovered by Yankee in 1957. The hall, which is rarely used for judicial proceedings, serves as a meeting place for official meetings and as a focal point for social gatherings and public functions. The internal walls are decorated with historical and official portraits and memorabilia.
Directly across the Square, from the Court House, is the Church. Bounty Bible is displayed beside the pulpit. The Church is open to the public and the Bible can be viewed at any time. On the third side of the Square is a building containing the Island Secretary’s Office, Library and Post Office and facing it, alongside the main road, is a long bench where people sit and wait for church or sit and idly gossip. At both ends of the long bench there are two bells, which are rung on various occasions. A series of strikes in ones and twos is the call for prayer; three strikes signifies public work; four strikes is the signal for a share-out of food from a passing ship (this is not common these days); and five strikes announces the arrival of a ship.
The Bounty Anchor at the Square
This museum exhibits maps and artifacts of the island. It is small and was inaugurated in August 2005. The entrance fee is 2 US Dollars that are used for the improvement and maintenance of the museum.
Just in the main square of Adamstown there is a room where there are also many maps, pictures and historical items, and the entrance is for free.
This is the oldest house which remains standing on the island.
It belonged to the first son of Fletcher Christian - Thursday October Christian. (b. Oct 1790).