Island Life - Through Their Eyes

The school on Tristan da Cunha is St. Mary's School and it educates children between the ages of three and sixteen. It opened in 1975 and has five classrooms, a kitchen, a stage, a computer room, and a craft and science room. St Mary's School was badly damaged by the storm in July 2019 and the pupils are currently being taught in temporary accommodation, pending repairs and refurbishment.



This year, the Tristan da Cunha Post Office and some of St Mary’s School pupils worked together on an art project based on island life as seen from a child’s perspective. All the children did very well, and five of the pictures were chosen to appear on this set of stamps and the first day cover.

45p MFV Edinburgh at Anchor by Shannon Swain aged 13

Shannon “I chose to draw a picture of the MFV Edinburgh being offloaded because it is a very important vessel to the island bringing us many supplies.”

The MFV Edinburgh is one of two vessels operated by the fishing factory owners; Ovenstone Agencies. The other is the MFV Geo Searcher. Between them, they make nine return voyages per year from Cape Town, South Africa and Tristan da Cunha, carrying passengers, cargo and mail, and undertaking fishing operations. The drawing shows the MFV Edinburgh at anchor off the settlement - Edinburgh of the Seven Seas - with the motorised raft transporting cargo into Calshot Harbour. The building behind the ship is St Mary's School, and the building to its right is the Residency.

70p Fishing off Tristan island by Calvin Green aged 11.

Calvin “I drew this picture because here on Tristan da Cunha people go out in fishing boats to catch crawfish. My Dad is a fisherman and I also like going out in the fishing boats.”

This underwater view shows a factory boat fishing off Tristan da Cunha island, with the volcanic cone soaring up to Queen Mary's Peak. Traps and nets have been set attached to floats to catch crawfish, and a hooked line (known locally as a long line) is catching Five Finger (named after their vertical markings), Blue Fish and Steambras. The crawfish fishery is the mainstay of the island's economy, marketed as Tristan Rock Lobster, whereas other white fish are caught for local consumption.

£1.10 Nightingale Island & the Great Shearwater by Deanna Rogers aged 10

Deanna “I chose to draw this picture so I can show people one of the islands neighbouring Tristan, what it looks like and the important wildlife that live there.”

This drawing shows the Conservation RIB Artic Tern passing in front of Nightingale Island with its distinctive profile. Nightingale Island is the breeding ground for many sea birds such as Northern Rockhopper Penguins, Yellow-nosed Albatrosses, Storm Petrels and the Great Shearwater, who nest in their millions.

£1.60 Old Year's Night Okalolies by Chantelle Repetto aged 13

Chantelle “I decided to draw this picture because I wanted to show everyone how inspiring our traditions are to us as Tristanians. We as the future generation of Tristan want to keep our traditions alive.”

No one knows for certain where the names Okalolies or alternatively Oka Bargees came from, but they are unique to Tristan. These names are what islanders call the men who go around the village on Old Year's Night (New Year's Eve) blowing whistles and making friendly mischief. They are masked and totally disguised from head to foot, and woe betide anyone that they catch!

FDC Four island views by Amber Repetto aged 11

Amber “I chose to draw these pictures as it is my opinion of the unique culture and hard work of the Tristan community. I feel Tristan da Cunha is a very important and special place.”

The first day cover has a picture with four panels - clockwise from top left: Out in the Seaspray collecting trays of crawfish from the fishing boats and fishing. Also showing the different species of fish found in Tristan waters. Climbing to the base of the mountain with dogs. Working in the Potato Patches. Potatoes are an important crop being part of the islander’s staple diet. A yacht sailing off Tristan Island. Many yachts call at Tristan for fresh water, food, fuel and a rest.

Technical details:

Layout Bee Design
Printer                          Cartor Security Printing
Process                         Stochastic Lithography
Perforation                   13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size                    42 x 28mm
Sheet Layout                10
Release date                1 October, 2019
Production Co-ordination  Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd

Stamp Item Numbers:

ST012106 Island Life - Through Their Eyes Mint Set
ST012107 Island Life - Through Their Eyes CTO Set
ST012108 Island Life - Through Their Eyes FDC