In 2005, there appeared in Cook’s Log a 1968 photograph of the plaque on the Captain Cook monument at Point Venus in Tahiti.1
The lettering is legible from the image, and reads,
This Memorial erected by
Captain James Cook
to commemorate the Observation of the
Transit of Venus June 3rd 1769
was restored and fenced round
and this plate was placed here by the
Royal Society and the Royal Geographical
Society in 1901
The article included a photograph of the memorial itself, showing the surrounding fence of approximately six feet high iron railings. Adrienne Reynolds must have gone to some lengths to photograph the plaque, which could not have been easy to reach, as the photographs show it was placed at the foot of the monument near the central column.
In 1990, James Dunkley reported that on his recent visit to Point Venus three wooden memorials to Cook, Wallis and Bougainville had disappeared, and, unlike his visit 15 years earlier, the site was now host to hundreds of visitors, with accompany-ing cars and litter.2
In 2006 Jeffrey Stokes reported on the Captain Bligh monument at Point Venus, but the Cook monument was not mentioned.3 This was followed by the report of a visit Malcolm Boyes in 2007, who wrote that due to there being no inscription on the monument there was little wonder the Captain Bligh reporter had not found it.4
The Point Venus Cook monument was refurbished in 2011, and the subsequent report in Cook’s Log by Anthony Hill showed a photo of the memorial in 2006,5 with those cumbersome railings, and, in contrast, another in 2011 without them. The restored memorial was thus ready for the transit of Venus which was due on 5th June, 2012, and reported by Nigel Rankin and John Freeman.6
On preparing for my own visit in 2014, I searched in vain for a photograph of the inscription on the monument which was legible. Unable to find one, I included the photographing of the plaque in my itinerary. I hoped I could get a readable image, both for myself and to show other CCS members.