Ratting Day - a lesson for the world
- Friday 27th May 2011- A bad one for Rats
Tristan Times (Sarah Glass)
Ratting Day this year was held on Friday 27th May. The day was announced by the Chief Islander and Agriculture Officer ringing the dong. As usual gangs quickly formed and headed for the patches area, where they hunted for the day. The ladies followed later in the morning, and prepared lunch for the hunters. The day was enjoyed by all especially the children, who treated it as a big picnic.
To qualify for a prize the teams must comply with the following rules:
Only tails from rats and mice which have been caught on Ratting Day will be counted, any tails from a rat or mouse which has been caught before Ratting Day will be rejected. The Administrator's decision as to whether a tail qualifies will be final.
All tails must be presented to the Clinic by 6.00pm on Ratting Day, any tails presented after that time will not be accepted.
Prizes will be awarded as follow:
1) Most Tails
2) Second Most Tails
3) Third Most Tails
4) Longest Tail
5) Second Longest Tail
6) Booby Prize
The Judges will be the Medical Officer, Head of Agriculture and the Chief Islander. The Administrator will be acting as the referee.
Only the Team Leader or one representative from each team will be allowed in the Clinic during counting.
At the end of the day these were the following results;
1st Prize went to Second Watron
2nd Prize went to Bills Hills
3rd Prize went to Below the Hill
1st Prize went to Below the Hill
2nd Prize went to Johnny Patch
And the best Prize of all the `Booby Prize' went to Twitty Patch for having only two rat tails.
Prizes were given to the gangs in the Clinic by the Chief Islander after counting had been completed, and there was a dance held in the evening in the Prince Philip Hall, to end the day.
..... ends .....
On my island, the old people say, "Two man crabs can't live in one hole." We have our share of greed, anger and jealousy, and as the church continues to lose its hold over the people, our little society continues to disintegrate. Much talk has led to no solutions. This is so throughout most of the developing work, but not everywhere...
Work gangs have a sophisticated underlying purpose in traditional Tristan life. They are found in various community endeavours, such as house building, agriculture, fishing, sewing, ratting, etc. They are not family groups, and while an individual may be a member of several gangs, he or she will have a different group of partners in each one.
This serves as a deterrent to the cliques, leadership battles and "in-groups" that have led to the demise of so many other intentional communities.