May 2024 has seen several island homes being re-roofed and a new house completed.

There's a whole lots of roofing going on

Report from Kelly Green. Photos by Leanne Swain

With the fishing and cruise season all finished islanders have been very busy doing their own essential work. There have been four different homes re-roofed or newly roofed in the past two weeks, even though there were at times strong winds and light showers.

This is hard work and always requires a large group of men and women to help. The men fit the timbers and roof. Meanwhile, the women are busy cooking and preparing tea and coffee for the hungry crowd. Recently, five days have been spent working on top roofs and it's great to see some new houses closer to completion.

Fitting roofing sheets

Fitting roofing sheets on a new home

One islander started work on roofing their newly built home, but unfortunately, as work began it started to rain heavily. However, the men carried on. Each helper went and collected waterproofs and continued until all the beams, rafters and principles were in place. Much to their amusement one guy showed up fully suited, complete with a life jacket! This was a joke played on the young man who's home it was, as he had chosen the day for them to all work.

Fitting windows on a new Tristan home

Roof on; now for the windows

The next day brought forth a beautiful weather. The young islander, who worked the day before, took the opportunity of completing his roof by putting all the zinc on. They didn't take long and by 2:30pm everything was finished. All the helpers were rewarded with a meal cooked by the ladies who were also helping the young family. Afterwards everyone relaxed and enjoyed lots of refreshments.

Roofing with underwear on display

The young family's new home newly roofed (with underwear nailed up above the gable ends!)

As you can see in the above picture, it is an old island tradition to get the undergarments of the women of the house of newly roofed homes and nail them up for all to see. They are mainly brand new pairs that will be never worn due to the stretching and holes from the nails, but its always a good laugh.