2019 Programme

Meetings are on the 28th day of the month, 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: 2:45 for 3.00pm start [* Unless stated otherwise].

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

Thursday 28 February 2019
300 years of Scottish education

Convenor of the NZ Society of Genealogists Greater Wellington Scottish Interest Group, Max Kerr will talk on 300 years of Scottish education, from the mid-sixteenth century to the Education Act of 1872, setting out how the system developed and what makes it distinctive.

Thursday 28 March 2019
Charles Cameron, architect extraordinaire to Catherine the Great of Russia

Catherine II (1762-96) kept an eye on the courts of Europe to recruit people for hers! She found Charles Cameron (1745?-1812); he served her as interior decorator of palaces, architect for many buildings and other projects. Pauline Quinn has investigated, and will tell us about this Scotsman’s unusual life (aged 30 to death at 67) Unknown in his homeland; lauded, with a great reputation as an architect, in Russia!

Sunday 28 April 2019 at 3.00pm*
Bigger than the Bayeux? Today’s tapestries tell Scotland’s (and other) stories

Recent years have seen several grand scale embroidery projects illustrating history – and it all started in Scotland (inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry)! The Prestonpans Tapestry tells of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s exploits from France to Prestonpans; the Mt. Felix Tapestry – WWI with NZ connections. Kathleen Major has been exploring the stories behind these colourful embroideries and two others. Andrew Crummy is their Scottish designer.

Tuesday 28 May 2019
The Wellington Botanic Garden – celebrating 150 years !

Wellington Gardens Manager David Sole will reflect on the legacy of James Hector (Scottish) and how it has influenced the development of the Botanic Garden, its guiding principles and is future direction – a 5-star Garden of National Significance and Otari Wilton’s Bush – a 6-Star Garden of International Significance.

Friday 28 June 2019
The kelp gatherers – ancient and modern: food for people, animals and soil

In the past few years there has been increasing interest globally in the many applications for seaweed and seaweed products. Dr. Wendy Nelson from NIWA will trace the history of seaweed harvesting and gathering practices in Scotland and discuss the many uses of seaweeds past and present.

Sunday 28 July 2019 at 3.00pm*
Film: The Last of the Scottish Wild Cats

(Much cross-breeding with feral cats.) In 2008 when this film was made, 400 felis silvestris (the “Highland Tiger”) were left in their natural habitat, probably now reduced to less than 35, as hybrids have ‘taken over’.  A few sanctuaries have been set up with breeding programmes to prevent this cross-breeding. Moggie Grayson will introduce this fascinating subject.

Wednesday 28 August 2019 (NOTE: change of topic)
Scotland and the Moon Landing The Floral Border in the Garden of History

How did Scotland contribute to this amazing feat of fifty years ago? Some Scottish inventiveness and a very up-to-date direct link!

Saturday 28 September 2019 at 3.00pm*
25 years – A Silver Celebration with a tassie of tea and more!

The meeting to found VUWSIG was held in December 1994 and so we are now in our 25th year – cause for celebration!! A special afternoon tea and entertainment is planned. RSVP is required by 18th September – phone Linda 567-0557; Edith 388-8069

Monday 28 October 2019 afternoon*
Stravaiging round the New Zealand coast (without Neil Oliver!)

40 years a professional geologist with GNS Science (and predecessors) – possibly best known as ‘the geologist at Te Papa’ and as a science communicator, Dr Hamish Campbell will give an illustrated account of some of his adventures as a co-presenter on ‘Coast New Zealand’ (3 series of episodes produced by Auckland based Great Southern Television in 2016, ’17, ’18) – “behind every co-presenter is a great Scot”. As usual this meeting will include a short review of VUWSIG in 2019 and look forward to 2020. #Nearer date see website for venue and time



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