‘Mandates’ at orange but It’s a GREEN LIGHT FOR VUWSIG!

After the succession of lockdowns and cancellations during 2020 and 2021 and three months of 2022, we are very thrilled that once again we can meet at our usual venue – the VUW Law School in the Old Government Buildings at the end of Lambton Quay.

Also, coming up… Victoria University – founded in 1897 – is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year: lots of Scottish involvement at the beginning and still ongoing! More information on their events to come…

We hope to give the details of the whole season soon, but here is the programme arranged so far:

  • Saturday 28 May, 2.30pm: The Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 – 700 years ago in 2020!
  • Tuesday 28 June, 7.30pm: Walter Scott and his writings: repercussions yesterday – relevance today
  • Thursday 28 July, 7.30pm: 1897 – Victoria College – then University – on its way!

View the full 2022 Programme details here.

2022 Programme

Meetings are on the 28th day of the month (May-Oct), held at the Victoria University of Wellington Law School*, Old Government Buildings, Lambton Quay (between Bunny and Whitmore Streets); entrance door from Bunny Street.

Vehicle access to Bunny Street is allowed on VUW business; to park in the grounds enter by Lambton Quay gate.

Weekdays: 7.15 for 7.30pm start
Weekends: 2:15 for 2.30pm start [* Unless stated otherwise].

Visitors are welcome (no charge for regular meetings), Scottish blood not necessary! Other events may also be held.


Saturday 28 May 2022 at 2.30pm
The Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 – 700 years ago in 2020!

A bit similar to England’s Magna Carta, this important document is very significant to Scotland’s story – Scotland’s Birth Certificate? Stuart Hudson will talk (with videos) about this letter sent by barons and other “high heid yins” to Pope John XX11 supporting King Robert the Bruce and stating Scotland should remain an independent and free country, totally separate from England’s King Edward’s lordship.  He will look at the implications of today’s struggle for Scottish independence from the (Dis)United Kingdom, including Brexit-created problems and also mention the University of Strathclyde Project which traced some of its ‘signatories’’ genealogy.

Tuesday 28 June 2022
Walter Scott and his writings: repercussions yesterday – relevance today

Immersed since childhood in Scotland’s history and legendary tales (born 251 years ago), Sir Walter Scott inspired works by writers and musicians worldwide by introducing his native country to them through his amazing novels and poetry.  They enticed visitors to Scotland and his organisation of King George IV’s visit to Edinburgh in 1822 boosted the tourist industry and set alight the tartan trade !  Dr Adam Grener (VUW English Programme Senior Lecturer) is excited to tell us about this great man and show how to enjoy his work today.

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Changes to October and November meetings

Life is certainly tapsalteerie!

Our October and November meetings have been swapped (see below). Stuart Hudson’s talk (originally scheduled for June and then postponed until November) will now be in October.

New venue

We are offering a different location for these two meetings, for details please enquire via wellyscots@gmail.com

Note that the new venue is available at Levels 1 and 2, but closed at Level 3. (The change in venue is because VUW is not allowing the public into their buildings until we are in Level 1, with no indication that this policy is about to change.)

Revised schedule

Thursday 28 October 2021 at 7:30pm
What weight did Atlas carry on his shoulders?

(June’s meeting rescheduled)

Stuart Hudson’s lifelong passion has been, and is, climbing the hills of his native Scotland, New Zealand and elsewhere. How the mountain Schiehallion played a major part in calculating the weight of the Earth is one of the fascinating stories he has to tell.

Sunday 28 November 2021 at 2:30pm
Glamis Castle: mystery, murder and a monster !

(October’s meeting rescheduled)

Glamis Castle (near Forfar, north of Perth) was the childhood home of the late Queen Mother. NZ Writer Julia Millen will talk about her Scottish family connection with the castle. As usual – this being the last meeting of the year, we shall start with a brief review of 2021 and look forward to 2022.

September meeting cancelled

Victoria University is only open to external visitors at COVID-19 Level 1, so we have postponed our meeting on Tuesday 28 September (on the Deans Family in Canterbury), hopefully we can present it in 2022.

It’s awfie disappointin’
It’s an irksome thing this delta foe,
Its triangle points deal many a blow.
We hae tae speak through a mufflin’ mask
And keep our distance to dae mony a task.
Though thankfully Wellington’s at Level Twa –
Folks daein’ whit they’re tellt will be delta’s doonfa’.
Level Ane is the strict and hardfast rule
To allow us to enter VUW’s Law School.
So let’s hope on 28th October we can a’ meet together –
Get the story of Glamis an’ hae a guid blether!

(the Greek letter delta is of course is a triangle shape)

August’s meeting cancelled, June’s meeting now on in November

Victoria University is only open to external visitors at COVID-19 Level 1, so we have postponed our meeting on Saturday 28 August (on Blenheim settlers), hopefully we can present it in 2022.

We have good news, we have added an extra meeting in November so that we can present June’s talk (which was postponed due to COVID-19 Level 2):

Sunday 28 November 2021 at 2:30pm
What weight did Atlas carry on his shoulders?

Stuart Hudson’s lifelong passion has been, and is, climbing the hills of his native Scotland, New Zealand and elsewhere. How the mountain Schiehallion played a major part in calculating the weight of the Earth is one of the fascinating stories he has to tell.

June meeting cancelled

When Wellington is at COVID-19 Level 2, Victoria University only opens for regular staff and students – it is closed to external visitors.

As a precautionary measure the University have asked us to cancel our meeting on Monday 28th June 2021 (on the Schiehallion mountain).

We may try to fit in Stuart Hudson’s talk before the end of the year.

UPDATE – the talk will now be on Sunday 28 November at 2:30pm. See the 2021 Programme for details.

2021 Programme

Meetings are on the 28th day of the month (Feb-Nov), held at the Victoria University of Wellington Law School*, Old Government Buildings, Lambton Quay (between Bunny and Whitmore Streets);  entrance door from Bunny Street. There is a different location for October and November, for details please enquire via wellyscots@gmail.com (note that the new venue is available at Levels 1 and 2, but closed at level 3).

Vehicle access to Bunny Street is allowed on VUW business; to park in the grounds enter by Lambton Quay gate.

Weekdays: 7.15 for 7.30pm start
Weekends: 2:15 for 2.30pm start [* Unless stated otherwise].

Visitors are welcome (no charge for regular meetings), Scottish blood not necessary! Other events may also be held.


Sunday 28 February 2021 at 2.30pm
The Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 – 700 years ago last year!

CANCELLED due to COVID-19

A bit similar to England’s Magna Carta, this important document is very significant to Scotland’s story. Sent to the Pope, it sought recognition of Scotland’s sovereignty and that of its king. Covid cancelled many 700 year celebrations, however a Strathclyde University Project continued; it explored various aspects of the document, tracing the genealogy of the 48 people whose names are included in the text. The University has generously shared some of their intriguing research findings. Kathleen Major will supply background information

Sunday 28 March 2021 at 2.30pm
The Picts of the North –  “Scotland before Scotland” PART 2

Maureen Johnston (an Aberdonian) will continue with her “Part 2”, updating how the busy Aberdeen University archaeology team have discovered a surprising amount of Roman artefacts, adding to vaguer aspects relating to the Picts in the North. She hopes to show these Picts were not the barbarians described by the invaders.

Wednesday 28 April 2021
There and Back Again: The Geography and Radicalism of the Ulster-Scots

The Scots, early emigrants from Ireland, gave the country its name. David Hannah (VUW History Dept) will explain how James VI found it politically prudent to settle some back in Ulster and their struggle to reconcile their devout Protestant faith with a radical attitude towards the emancipation of their Irish Catholic countrymen.

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August meeting cancelled

We have received notification from Victoria University that, due to the extended COVID-19 Level 2 restrictions, its facilities are being closed to external visitors.

As a result, the meeting this coming Friday 28th August 2020 on the Declaration of Arbroath is postponed until 2021.

Several events in Scotland planned for 2020 to celebrate 700 years since the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath have also been postponed until 2021, including a major exhibition, so we shall aim to tie in with that.

Hopefully the arrangements for our September 28th meeting on Mrs. Barbour’s Army will go smoothly!