People around the world have been entranced with the story "Mutiny on the Bounty" and the lives of the mutineers who fled to Pitcairn Island to escape the British navy. The most devoted are coming to Angwin on August 19-21 to exchange research papers, stories, listen to the historians and other academics, and peruse the large collection of artifacts in Pacific Union College's Pitcairn Island Study Center of which Herb Ford is the director.
The conference, meeting in the Fireside Room of the college's church complex, is open to the public. Full details can be found at 2012BPC.com.
Most will be scholars and authors who have more than a casual interest in the subject. They are the ones who have written or read the books, made or watched the movies, or are regarded as the Bounty-Pitcairn expert in their respective countries.
Ford, long-time Angwin resident, president of the Angwin Community Council for 16 years, created the Pitcairn Study Center in 1977. He has made it the "go to" place for researchers, primarily because the Center maintains the world's largest collection of literature, artifacts and other material of what is known as "the Bounty Saga." The walls in his PUC Library office are covered with paintings and models of the Bounty and a missionary ship called the Pitcairn. The Center's archives include books which are devoted in part or in whole to the Mutiny on the Bounty story and the Pitcairn Island story. Thousands of pages in vertical files are full of historical information, research papers and newspaper stories dating back to the early 1800s.
Ford became interested in Pitcairn Island originally because of the islanders, many of whom were converted years ago to the Seventh-day Adventist faith. He has visited the remote island twice, stays in touch with the island almost daily, and has conducted fund-raising efforts to improve their isolated existence.
His newest book, "Pitcairn Island as a Port of Call," is a listing of the more than 3,500 ships which have called at the island from 1790 to 2010. Stories of shipwreck, romance, murder and the difficulty of living on what is arguably the world's most isolated island abound throughout the book. It is currently on sale at a discount price at the College Book Store in the Angwin Plaza.