The Remarkable Marie Bailey OAM

The original Pitcairn Settlers Village tour was begun by, and is held on the family homestead of Marie Bailey. Marie, who passed away in 2016 in her 90th year was an iconic and visionary woman, a proud Norfolk Islander dedicated to her Island home.

Having had no children, Marie left the property her great-nephew Charles Christian-Bailey, who says “It’s no wonder that Marie saw the stories the property could tell and created the Pitcairn Settlers tour “.  However, Marie also had the most profound individual impact on the development of Norfolk’s post-war tourism industry. Promoting the Island as a tourist destination she opened the first tour company called Norfolk Touring. She created numerous tours, most still run today (think: Island Fish Fry’s, progressive dinners, behind the hedges tours etc.), ran a taxi, light plane rides and Island dinners. Marie became the Island’s largest private employer.

Marie was also the brainchild of The Cyclorama and created the Queen Victoria Gardens, her personal monument of thanks to Queen Victoria for allowing the Pitcairn Islanders to re-locate to Norfolk. Charles has kept the free-entry gardens maintained and open for visitors to wander through. Located along Queen Elizabeth Avenue, they adjoin the Cyclorama.

Marie was also a horticulturalist and successful sportswoman, especially at golf where she represented the Island at international competitions.

For those on a Pitcairn Settlers tour, they learn the stories of Marie’s life while seated in her family home and wandering the areas where she ran her tour company.

In her obituary, Charles said of Marie “She was an optimist, an achiever, an enabler, a pioneer…She adored her island home, and everything she did was to honour it and promote it… She achieved things that other people did not even dare to dream! Marie Bailey was truly Norfolk Island’s National Treasure!”

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