22 Oct 2008

Pitcairn Islander awarded an OBE

11:07 am on 22 October 2008

The Governor of Pitcairn Island says Betty Christian's career is a romantic story of transition.

Ms Christian has become a member of the Order of the British Empire for her 44 years of service to the island.

She began her career as a radio operator in 1963 when the island's community links to the outside world relied on Morse code.

Her role was particularly important during medical emergencies, when her skills to contact passing ships were a matter of life or death.

By 1985, she used a radio telephone to reach the outside world, while nowadays there's a satellite link.

Governor George Fergusson says the award is well deserved.

"It's an important event. When people do a long public service it's good to be recognised. Although Pitcairn is a long way from the rest of the world and from Britain, I think it's rather special that the Queen has given an award to Betty Christian for 44 years of service."

Governor George Fergusson.