First Day Covers from the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Series, 1977
Queen Elizabeth II 1977 Silver Jubilee postage stamps
The island is a thirteen-square-mile patch of green lying nine hundred miles off the east coast of Australia, about halfway between New Zealand and New Caledonia. Discovered in 1774 by Captain James Cook, the island was claimed by Great Britain in the hope that the island's enormous pines would provide masts for the navy. Its isolated location fitted it as a place of exile. Thus, from 1788 to 1855, it served as a British penal colony for the worst type of offenders, usually those convicted of crimes while already serving sentences in Australia. With the arrival of Bounty descendants in 1856, a deeply pious folk replaced the criminals. Rising population had compelled them to
leave even tinier Pitcairn, 3,800 miles to the east. Thus, two small islands today shelter communities stemming from the sea's best known mutiny. Unlike the present Pitcairners, who have remained isolated, the Norfolk Islanders, who number about one thousand, keep in touch with the mainland. They are proud to be descended from mutineers who had the courage to defy an insufferable Captain Bligh. They are also proud to be loyal subjects of the Queen.
To commemorate the Queen's Silver Jubilee, Norfolk Island released this First Day Cover on June 10, 1977.