Post War Tristan da Cunha - Gone Fishing!


Following World War II, the UK government started providing an Administrator, radio operator, doctor and teacher for the island. The Rev Lawrence who served as padre during WW2, lobbied successfully for a commercial operation to exploit the crawfish around Tristan da Cunha. A positive feasibility survey by the MV Pequena in 1948 led to the establishment of the Tristan Development Corporation in 1949 and, in turn, a canning factory was built on the island. Once again the islanders could enjoy paid employment as fishing began and men and women were employed in the canning factory. Tristan da Cunha was now to experiencing something of an economic boom thanks largely to the humble crawfish.

1955 saw a Cambridge University led scientific expedition to Gough Island (which produced philatelic covers for collectors) and a formal agreement was made with South Africa to operate a weather station on Gough island too. As part of the agreement with South Africa a ship was to visit Tristan da Cunha once a year. At first this service was delivered in the form of SAS Transvaal but the RSA Agulhas took over in the eighties.

In 1957, HRH Prince Philip became the second Duke of Edinburgh to visit Tristan da Cunha and laid the foundation stone to Prince Philip Hall and all was well with the world... but nobody on the island could have known the coming events of 1961 when nature intervened.