Christmas Island’s Annus Horribilis

by Dom on December 16, 2010

Christmas Island, like most small communities and isolated parts of the world, only seems to get a mention or rate a thought when politicians come out to play or things go badly wrong. Sometimes, in the worst circumstances, the second of these things unfortunately catalyses the first…. Anyone who has seen the news recently knows reality has deviated sharply from the relaxed tropical script usually present on “the rock”. This latest act concludes a year that has seen postcode 6798 experience far more than its fair share of tragedy.

Late January saw the death of a wharf worker in a stevedoring accident. In early July the entire community was stunned and disbelieving at the terrible circumstances surrounding the death of Nasir Aziz. And mid-December has delivered an episode that although plausibly predictable for roughly 20 years, had never dared to be seriously contemplated, especially in this magnitude or circumstance.

The implications and stories of 2010 we will not truly know until long after the media and politicians have turned their attention elsewhere. But people and events there are not forgotten on the ground and in the community. 2010 has been a bad year for Christmas Island, a remote Indian Ocean annus horribilis. Let 2011 be far better, preferably with less attention from media and politicians.

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