Tag: New Zealand

Caledonian Games and New Year’s Day in New Zealand

The lusty sports of “Caledonia, stern and wild” have been celebrated in prose and verse by the greatest masters of both. They have a peculiar charm of their own. The combination of massive strength with deerlike agility, which is characteristic of the proficient Highland athlete, is seldom to be found in the athletes of other Read More

Celebrating Halloween in New Zealand

It’s that time of the year again when people all over the world celebrate Halloween – a good moment to remember that Halloween has long since been one of the many cultural traditions Scots took with them to places all around the world where they settled. This included New Zealand, where Scottish communities in both the North Read More

The Scots in New Zealand

This time a decade ago I had just started packing. I had sold my car and a good number of other items. And all that because I was soon to head off to New Zealand to commence my PhD at Victoria University in Wellington, investigating the Scots in New Zealand. Coincidentally I’m back in New Read More

Waipu and its Scottish heritage

A few days ago the Waipu Caledonian Society in New Zealand held its 145th annual Highland Games – Games the Society has thus organised since its foundation in 1870, though the first Caledonian sports meet in Waipu took place even earlier than that. This does not make the Waipu Society New Zealand’s oldest Caledonian Society, Read More

The role of testimonials for Scottish migrants

I recently wrote a post on Scottish emigrant letters from New Zealand, explaining at the end that post could get lost and that, obviously, it was less reliable in the nineteenth century. It was partly in response to the practical limitations of these communication flows that ethnic ties, be it through direct kith and kin or more Read More

Scottish emigrant letters from New Zealand

George MacDonald’s mother started writing to her son, who had emigrated to New Zealand, in 1885. That, commented his sister Margaret, who was also communicating with her brother, was a complete novelty in itself since their mother had never sent a letter before. The mother’s desire to maintain communication with her son helped her overcome Read More

The monumental poet: Burns statues in New Zealand

Throughout this week and over the weekend many a Scot around the world will join in a toast to Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns. But Burns is not only remembered through these toasts, there are also a good number of visible reminders, with statues of the poet traceable all over the world, from Vancouver in Read More

James Keir Hardie in New Zealand

On this day in 1856, James Keir Hardie was born near Holytown, a small town close to Motherwell. He had a most interesting life, and even those with different political views would probably concede that his contributions in making the Labour Party were critical to British political life. What I want to focus on today, Read More

The New Plymouth Scottish Women’s Club

The New Plymouth Scottish Women’s Club was formed by a group of women who were either born in Scotland themselves or were of Scottish descent in New Plymouth in New Zealand’s North Island. The Club had three main objectives: (1) to encourage and foster an interest in Scotland, Scottish traditions, history, song, story, etc.; (2) Read More

A ‘keen and zealous’ officer

John Llewellyn Saunders was born in Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island  on 12 January 1891. His mother,  Jeanie Hutchison, had emigrated from Scotland, while John’s father William had Welsh roots.  John was educated at Otago Boys’ High School, leaving it in 1907 to commence his studies at the University of Otago Dental School. He Read More

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