New Farm Park, Brisbane

Monday, February 13, 2012

MURDER MYSTERY

Way back in 2002 we went on a holiday to Norfolk Island. I can't believe that was ten years ago. How time flies when you get old. Anyway back to the story.
Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean between Australia and New Zealand. It has a very colourful history. It was colonised by the British as part of Australia in 1788. It served as a penal colony for the worst convicts until 1794. From 1856 it was settled by free settlers and in1901 it became a territory of Australia and it still is today. It is also a tax haven. Today the island's primary economic activity is tourism due to its historical buildings and colourful history including the Pitcairn Islanders and the Mutiny on the Bounty. So we did our bit for their economy and joined in the many tourist activities that they provide. (photos have been scanned from photo album)


Bill as Alfred Baldwin,
Chief Constable on Norfolk Island in the 1840's 


One of the activities was a Murder Mystery Dinner, where you become a character in a murder mystery  story. You have to ask questions of the other characters and try to find out who is the murderer. At this party the murder mystery was based on a true event that happened in Norfolk Island's past. We were given a booklet that gave us some background information on the characters and the crime. We had to dress up as the character we were given.
I was the Commandant's wife and Bill was the Chief Constable, Alfred Baldock. He was detested by most on the island, he was a former convict but now mistreated the rest of the unfortunates. He was a homosexual which was against the law then. As you can tell we had loads of fun trying to find out which one of us was the murderer. 
photo from the web
The next day we went exploring and visited the Norfolk Island Cemetery and Bill  found the grave stone of his character Alfred Essex Baldcock.

Alfred Essex Baldock  late Chief Constable of the island, who was unfortunately drowned by the upsetting of a boat in crossing the bar on 12 th April 1848 aged 27. (click on pic to enlarge). The right hand pic is from the web and the headstone has been restored and so have many of the others. This cemetery dates back to 1825 but there is evidence of earlier burial grounds on the island.

37 comments:

  1. I would have LOVED to have been at that dinner. And that graveyard. :)

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  2. These photos show fun with the convicts:) Looks like a neat place to visit and learn of the history

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  3. what a fun dinner that would be. i like mysteries so this would be fun. myson and his wife went on a mystery dinner train ride, but it was a 4 act play and while the train chugged along, they served the courses of the dinner and each act came in the car and put on the show.

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  4. Now I feel that I must visit Norfolk Island. I love the look of that cemetery.

    You have a fascinating typo in this post, Diane. You will love it when you find it!!

    Your late Chief Constable was only a very young man when he died. But I suppose life-expectancy was much lower in those days.

    Tell me, do you think that Norfolk Island is worth visiting? Or is it just so touristy that it has been spoilt?

    Lord Howe Island is not spoilt in the least. Not in my opinion anyways ...

    Thanks for continuing to fly the TT flag!

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  5. Thanks for the tour. I love places like that

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  6. The murder mystery dinner sounds like a lot of fun. I hope you were able to solve the mystery. I've heard of Norfolk Island, but I think these are the first pictures I've seen.

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  7. Oooooh, I would love to go to Norfolk Island! On my Bucket List.....

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  8. UMmm... who "done" it? I'd love to go to the Island!

    And as to your first sentence in this post: Me too!

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  9. Hehehe, Bill looks rather like a young priest !
    What an interesting island ! would have been something for me, as I love crime stories (nice once, not those when blood is floating from the screen)

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  10. I just read the history of the island in Wikipedia ! As a prison, the landscape was a paradise, lol !

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  11. What a great combination of history, fun, and cemetery. Enjoyable post!

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  12. @Julie - found the typo ;)

    a murder mystery based on a true story would be greatly enjoyable, especially if you can find the graves afterwards!

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  13. A great story and good pictures. Cemeteries have something special.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  14. Great post! Norfolk Island is on my list of places to visit. It is a lovely place but also has quite a lot of history.

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  15. Do the cattle on Norfolk Island still have the right of way?
    I think my parents when they visited many years ago and had a great time, were amazed at this law! I think I read somewhere that the cattle just roam all over the island - no fences?????
    Interesting post Diane.
    Cheers
    Colin (HB)

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    1. Just arrived back yesterday from my second visit. and yes, the cattle still have right of way on the roads. If you kill one, not only is it your fault, you have to pay for the cow and any calves it may have produced in its remaining life! Magical island

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  16. I know what you mean by how time flies Diane. This sounds like a fun trip and I too would have enjoyed being part of that dinner trying to guess who was the murderer. I love who-dunits :)

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  17. Julie: I liked Lord Howe Island better but Norfolk is definitely worth a visit. It has many more historical sites. Great ruins and restored old buildings. A taphophile's wonderland. It is very scenic and the tax free shopping is good too.
    There are lots of activities to participate in or you can just relax. We hired a car to get around the island I'm not sure what public transport is like.
    Colin: It is true. Cars must give way to the roaming cattle and it is a bit spooky at night as there are very few street lights.

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  18. I've always wanted to try a Murder Mystery Evening, but that looks like the perfect setting.
    Your posts are never disappointing.

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  19. Yes Colin, Cattle still have right of way on the island. Another interesting fact, there are no drink-driving rules on Norfolk Island but you need to be careful not to drive off the road or you'll end up in the Pacific Ocean, with plenty to drink.

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  20. This looks to be a most memorable place to visit!!

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  21. Lovely post, looks like you had great fun. I remember Norfolk Island as being beautiful but I was quite young when I visited and not so interested in history in those days.

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  22. being able to visit the grave of the Real Man he had played must have brought the story to life for sure. Great way to uncover the past.

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  23. This sounds like a fun activity on a beautiful island, Diane!

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  24. Ian went to Norfolk Island without me ... it was his revenge for me going to Japan for a month on a business trip without him. Well I have talked about taking him to Japan ever since and he has spoken of taking me to Norfolk. 30 years have passed and we have done neither. I still think I would like to see Norfolk.

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  25. The Island looks interesting. It's good that the headstones are being restored.
    I am told it's lovely on the island, yet I have no desire to go there, yet!

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  26. 27? what a tragic waste of a young life. I am surprised at the amount of gravestones I come across from that era where people have drown after the upsetting of a boat. I guess not many knew how to swim in those days, or was it a case of their clothing was too heavy when wet.

    Interesting post, thanks for sharing.

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  27. Herding cats: That is right very few could swim.

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  28. The Murder Mystery sounds like a lot of fun, what an interesting place to visit!

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  29. i would love to go to norfolk island, looks so beautiful and interesting.

    lovely post, looks like you've had great fun!
    i too would have enjoyed being at that dinner.

    xx

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  30. Hi Diane, what a fun trip. I would like to participate in the Murder Mystery. Was it just like a dinner show? The island looks very pretty. Your scanned images turned out well. Thanks for sharing this trip.

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  31. I've always thought those Murder Mystery dinners would be a lot of fun. I'm glad Bill is such a good sport. My hubby would be bored to death. :)
    I think it's pretty cool Bill played the part and then could find the grave.
    Restoring the stones insures the history will be preserved for a long time. Seems like a good tourism move as well.
    Thanks for the birthday wishes!

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  32. Eileen it is not a show but more like a game.

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  33. Oh that must have been fun. We used to have a place here were they did that as well but they didn't dress up like you did there.
    Amazing how early people lived on the island

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  34. Thanks for that comment, Diane. I have often thought to go to NI, but have been put off by comments from some cousins who thought it not worth the effort. However, I just wander by myself (well with my camera, which is never by myself really) and dont like having the buzz of a tourist guide in my ear.

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  35. very pretty cemetery! i think its nice to have a resting place by the water.. but you dont see that very often! (at least i didnt)

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  36. Diane- You and Bill just know how to have a good time together. It is so wonderful to see.

    Our Pandas are the popular item at the Memphis Zoo also. I am including a link to visit them online.

    http://www.memphiszoo.org/pandacam

    Hope you enjoy visiting our pandas too!

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