Friday, November 18, 2011

Dunedin Celebrates Scottish Heritage




Saturday 19 November

Follow the skirl of the bagpipes for the Grand Opening of The Scottish Festival at the Dunedin City Library. The lassies vying for the Queen O’ The Heather will be introduced. This will be followed by short talks commemorating the 120th anniversary of the Dunedin Burns Club. The opening of the Robert Burns Poetry Competition also begins. Plus, at 2.30pm, join us in the Octagon where Professor Tom Devine, from the University of Edinburgh, will unveil a plaque on the Robert Burns statue – describing the Burns statue in Dunedin.

Saturday 19 November


Write a poem in English or Scots, inspired by the life or works of Robert Burns. Entries close on 10 January 2012. Competition organised by the Dunedin Burns Club. Free entry. Forms available from your local library or

Saturday 19 November

The "Death" and Reinvention of Scotland. Join Scotland’s leading historian, Professor Tom Devine, at the Otago Settlers Museum. Professor Devine will discuss the historical fears surrounding the ‘death’ of the ancient identity of Scotland and the ‘invention’ of Scottishness in tartanry, song, story and myth. Free entry. Advanced booking required by Ph 474 2728 or email

Saturday 19 November

Social ballroom dancing with the Dunedin Scottish Society. Fairfield Community Hall, Fairplay St Fairfield. $5.00 entry fee to pay at door. Plus bring a plate. Ph 476 4423
Monday 21 November
12noon to 12.30pm.

Piper in the Octagon presented by the Dunedin City Council to celebrate the Scottish Festival.

Monday 21 November

In Search of Scotland.

By using wonderful 19th century images from John Parker Lawson’s Scotland Delineated (1858), those visiting the exhibition will be able to travel Scotland in their mind’s eye. Beside each image are books from Special Collections that highlight Scotland’s cultural, social and economic past. Call in and view the exhibition which runs through to 16 December. De Beer Gallery, 1st floor, Central University Library, 65 Albany St, Dunedin. Opening hours Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm. Ph 479 8330. Email

Monday 21 November

The Lowland Clearances and the Scottish Exodus to New Zealand. Long lost in Scottish history – the story of the lowland exodus is brought to light. Join Scotland’s leading historian, Professor Thomas Devine, OBE (University of Edinburgh), as he reveals the true scale of the ‘Silent Clearances’, and their significance for Scottish emigration to New Zealand in the nineteenth century. This will be followed by a book signing plus wine and cheese reception with the Deputy British High Commissioner. Free entry courtesy of the Dunedin Public Library. Venue at the Dunedin Library. Advance bookings required. Email or Ph 474 3690. Professor Devine’s participation in the Scottish Festival is brought to Dunedin by the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, the Otago Scottish Heritage Council, the Dunedin Burns Club, the Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society and the University of Edinburgh.

Tuesday 22 November

Unveiling of the Sylvia Stewart Sculpture. Join the Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society for this special unveiling. A stone taken from the Leith to Edinburgh and sculpted there by Sylvia Stewart is now located at the Edinburgh waterfront. A reciprocal structure is made from Edinburgh rock and is being unveiled on the Leith side of the Stadium in Dunedin by Professor Tom Devine. For the exact location follow the sound of the pipes.

Tuesday 22 November

The Puzzle of Scottish Sectarianism. Free event at St Paul’s Cathedral. Talk by Professor Tom Devine why Scotland is unique in 2011 in having an anti-sectarian strategy and laws thought necessary by the Scottish Government.

Tuesday 22 November

Ceilidh (musical evening) at Robbies Bar and Bistro, McAndrew Rd. Come along and enjoy a great night of celebration and entertainment. The contestants for the Queen O’ The Heather will be there. Free entry provided by the Otago Scottish Heritage Council.

Wednesday 23 November

Highland Bus Trip. Leaving at 9.30am. Sightseeing with entertainment (small pipes). Organised by the Campbell Clan. For details Ph 473 9921.

Thursday 24 November
10.30am and 5.30pm.

What Lies Beneath: NHNZ Film Screening: In Search of Good Keen Whalers. See one of the best preserved whaling stations from the 1830s whaling booms plus a picture of the harsh life endured in one of our first truly integrated communities. Free screening in the Teen Space, City Library.

Sunday 27 November
12 noon – 4.30pm.

Come to the Scottish Highland Games for a great family day out. Pipe Bands, Highland Dancing and Marching. Fun events that everyone can join in – Tossing The Sheaf, Caber Tossing, Deadweight Carry plus Carrying the Stones. Events for Children with Gumboot Throwing, Egg and Spoon Races and plenty more. No event entry fee. Prizes in all events. Compete for trophies and cash prizes in the Scottish Shop/Caledonian Society Handicap Mile Race. Also the Crowning of The Queen O’ The Heather will take place at the games. Gate fee $10.00. Children under 14 free. Caledonian Ground, Logan Park. This event is organised by The Caledonian Society. Ph 4544863 or 4558839.

Sunday 27 November

Old Time Sequence Dancing. Taieri Scottish Dance Club. $2.00 entry fee. Methodist Hall, Wickliffe St, Mosgiel.

Monday 28 November

At 7.30pm Scottish Country Dancing provided by the Burns Scottish Country Dance Club. Entry by gold coin donation. Soft shoes required. Dunedin South Presbyterian Church in Chalmers Hall (back hall) King Edward St. Ph 4890453.

Tuesday 29 November

Life and Folkways of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Come and meet acclaimed Canadian writer Alistair MacLeod as he reads his stories. Barclay Theatre, Otago Museum. Ph 479 4936

Wednesday 30 November
St Andrews Day.

St Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland and St Andrews Day is celebrated by Scots all around the world. Always a great get-together at Robbies Bar and Bistro, MacAndrew Rd. Lunch at 12 noon. Price is $12.00 for lunch and entry by ticket only. Tickets at the Scottish Shop and Robbies. Hosted by the Taieri Scottish Society.

Wednesday 30 November

Holding Fast: From Scotland to the New World, 1791-2011. Dr Alistair MacLeod discusses the history and culture of Scottish settlement in Nova Scotia. This public lecture will be held in the Archway 1 Lecture Theatre, University of Otago. Ph 479 4936.

For any enquiries phone the Secretary, Susan McLean, 489-3565 or email

The O.S.H.C. thank the following sponsors for their generous contributions to The Scottish Festival.

Dunedin City Council

The Greenhouse Florist

The Scottish Shop

McRobies Robbies Bar and Bistro

See the above programme on a pdf downloadable from the following website:

[Sorry the timetable has formatted so bizarrely in its interaction with Blogger. I tried to tidy it up but life is too short! It annoys me that thoughtless web designers insist on providing important info like this programme ONLY on pdf as many of us browse on smart phones these days and can't access pdfs that way. - PC]

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