One of the most anticipated deliveries I ever found in my mailbox was a package from Pitcairn Island. Many months before, I had placed an order via the Internet with a Pitcairn Island resident for a copy of Pitkern Ilan, perhaps the first ever Pitcairn travel guidebook. This 48-page booklet, self-published by David H. Evans in 2007, is designed like any typical travel guide. Because of Pitcairn’s minuscule size (4.6 km²) there are not a lot of places to go to on the island, yet the chapter titles (Places to See on Our West Side, Places to the South, Places to the East) made it seem as if the island was bigger than it actually was. There were handy directions in the form of To Get There paragraphs at the end of each attraction description. One gets the idea that such directions, although handy, would seem utterly redundant, for if a visitor were to arrive on Pitcairn all he’d have to do was ask where someplace was and then follow the direction of the pointed finger.
Evans, who is not an islander, also gave a brief history of Pitcairn and its settlement by Bounty mutineers in 1790. He also listed all resident islanders based on the January 2006 census. At the time of that census there were 46 living on the island. The census does not take into account the number of officials and personnel also living there (which would thus bring the total population to just over fifty). The booklet had many maps and black-and-white photos on the inside yet both the front and back covers were adorned with colour photos. This booklet could have used a proofreader, as the table of contents lists a chapter on Foul, Floua, Fauna, Fish and Fun! Evans misspells “fowl” as “foul” throughout the book, and there are a few other spelling errors as well as word-processing glitches.
When I ordered the booklet I also ordered a Pitcairn Island fridge magnet. That magnet has a central spot on my fridge and shares space on both the upper and lower doors with all the other magnets I have picked up on my own travels as well as from the travels of my friends. One day I hope to visit Pitcairn, and will bring this little guidebook along.