FMD Magazine

Tristan da Cunha, The Remotest Island In The World by Belle

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Tristan da Cunha, named the remotest Island in the world, lies 1,750 miles from Cape Town,  South Africa and 2,088 miles from South America. The closest land mass is Saint Helena a mere 1,510 miles distant.

Tristan Da Cunha was first discovered in 1506 by a Portuguese sailor named Tristão da Cunha. However, Tristão was unable to land on Tristan because of its accessibility difficulties and very rough seas. Despite this, Tristão named the island ‘Ilha de Tristão da Cunha’ – roughly translated as ‘The Islands of Tristão da Cunha’. The name was changed to Tristan da Cunha at a later date.

The island is a dependency of Saint Helena – a British Overseas Territory. Tristan da Cunha’s motto is “Our faith is our strength”, and its National Anthem is the British God Save the Queen. The island’s capital (and most populated city) is ‘Edinburgh of the Seven Seas’, more commonly called Edinburgh. In 2005, the Royal Mail assigned Tristan its own the postcode because the mail was getting lost due to no postcode, and the capital was being confused with the Scottish city of Edinburgh.

The island's unique social and economic organisation has evolved over the years, but is based on the principles set out by William Glass in 1817, when he established a settlement based on equality. All Tristan families are farmers, owning their own stock and/or fishing. All land is communally owned. All households have plots of land at The Patches on which they grow potatoes. Livestock numbers are strictly controlled to conserve pasture and to prevent better-off families from accumulating wealth. Unless the community votes for a change in its law, no outsiders are allowed to buy land or settle on Tristan; theoretically the whole island would have to be put up for sale.[ All people, including children and pensioners, are involved in farming, while adults additionally have salaried jobs working either for the government, or, a small number in domestic service. Many of the men are involved in the fishing industry, going to sea in good weather. The nominal fishing season lasts 90 days; however, during the 2013 fishing season – 1 July to 30 September – there were only 10 days suitable for fishing.

This beautiful Island is centred by an active volcano, which last erupted in 1961 where all the islanders where taken from the island and placed on UK and South African soil. Many went back to Tristan after the devastation of that eruption and many others stayed in the UK and Africa.

This beautiful place certainly needs visiting or just learning about.

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