Few men who come to the islands leave them; they grow grey where they alighted; the palm shades and the trade-wind fans them till they die, perhaps cherishing to the last the fancy of a visit home, which is rarely made, more rarely enjoyed, and yet more rarely repeated. No part of the world exerts the same attractive power upon the visitor ..."
So begins Chapter I of Robert Louis Stevenson's "In the South Seas" and his name has been forever linked with Samoa where he spent the last few years of his life and where he died and was buried on the 3rd of December 1894 on Mt Vaea.
I did leave the islands several times and I returned several times. One of the island nations I had lived and worked in was Samoa where in 1978 I had assisted with the formation of the Pacific Forum Line.
In more recent years I flew back there to assist a local business in the setting up of their accounting system and to train them in the use of the MYOB computerised accounting package.
Traders from Samoa
Courtesy of Ian Grindrod, Nelligen's Poet Laureate
It was very much a trip down memory lane. The house I had lived in was still there ...
... but, of course, the old neighbours ...
... and old friends had departed long ago ...
... as had so much else.
Sad, really. Quite sad!