A great night in the Punjab Restaurant in Manchester's Curry Mile. Our first visit to this particular restaurant, and we liked it very much.
A lot of talk. A lot of laughter. A lot of photographs.
Virtually the whole of the local Maldivian community was there.
It was a privilege for us to meet such an interesting and friendly group of people, and I think we learned far more about the Maldives than we did on our three visits there as tourists. I also learned a little about the movement of the currents in the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic!
Whether they learned anything about St. Helena from me is I think a moot point!
Our particular thanks to the amazing Aisha for having organised the event.
Maldivia - an Update
I have now gone over my original sources for the comment I made about the origins of the term Maldivia. I am afraid I have to admit an error. I think that the mention of the word "slaves" in the context of Maldivians was almost certainly my mistake. I suspect that the Maldivians were classified as "free blacks". My apologies for this, and for any upset it may have caused. I have added a comment to the original blog.
The source of my comments was Janisch's book on the St Helena records
now available online. I wish I had given the reference in my original blog. These records are well worth perusing for anyone who wishes to learn more about St Helena's history. The introduction is very apt:
Probably there are no Records of other British settlements more interesting or saddening than those which are to be found in these pages. Amongst the many incidents of the early days of the Island's history, herein recapitulated, several will be found to be highly ludicrous and entertaining, while some are revolting in the extreme.
The bits on Maldivia I found there are as follows:
March 17.—Capt. Polly of the Drake at the distance of 150 leagues from land took up a Boat with ten Blacks of the Maldive Islands who were drove out to Sea and near perishing—three died on board, 5 Men, 1 woman and 1 boy landed here.
[Note.—The Maldivia Gardens, then a Government Plantation, derived their name from the employment of these men therein.]
22nd March 1742 —Major Thomas Lambert arrived and proclaimed Governor.
6th April—The property called " The Maldives" turned into a Hospital.