March 2008 – The Mysteries of Easter Island

MARCH 2008 REPORT
Our most senior member Mrs Irene Barton has been away from us for a while having fallen and broken her hip. We were so pleased to welcome her back to our March meeting albeit in a wheelchair. She joined us for the social part of the afternoon when we sit and chat, enjoying cups of tea and delicious cakes prepared this month by Miss Joyce Mann and Mrs May Copping.
On April 1st our W.I. is getting together with the Corncockles quilting group to organize a coffee morning in aid of EACH, the East Anglian Children’s Hospice. It takes place at the memorial hall, Trimley, starting at 10.00 a m . Please come along to support a good cause and sample more home-made produce.
Our speaker this month was Mr Parfitt who is always good value for money. He was talking this time on the Mysteries of Easter Island, which he visited about three years ago. Easter Island, known as Rapanui by the people that live there, is one of the most isolated inhabited places in the world and in consequence has had a most interesting history. Some people think it could be taken as a microcosm of what is happening to the whole planet.
In the seventh century when Polynesians first arrives at the island it was thickly wooded. The settlers brought plants, chickens and rats. The trees were gradually cut down and the rats gnawed the seeds until eventually the island was left treeless. The population increased and was split into 32 warring tribes. Food ran short and civil war broke out over the remaining resources. In the nineteenth century T.B. was introduced and the number of people fell to one hundred and eleven. The population has gradually increased again until it now stands at around 4000, about half of which are Easter Islanders.
We saw slides of the famous giant statues which represent the ancestors of the various tribes. Knocked down in the wars they have recently been re-erected on platforms around the coast, all facing inland.
V E Bines