During the 1850s about 900 Highland Scots settled at Waipu, north of Auckland in New Zealand, a district that to this day is very proud of its Scottish origins.  Many had earlier tried to establish a Gaelic-speaking Highlanders’ settlement in Nova Scotia, which today is part of Canada.  Their later move to warmer climes in Australia failed, and they eventually found their way to New Zealand.  Others followed from Nova Scotia, once news of the infant settlement in New Zealand reached them, and still others came independently from Scotland.

Southern Cross 20 September 1853

Southern Cross 20 September 1853

On 17 September 1853 the first of these intrepid travellers arrived in New Zealand.  The Gazelle, a ship owned by the brothers Duncan and Murdoch McKenzie and commanded by Murdoch, arrived in Auckland with more than 120 migrants from Nova Scotia who were later to settle at Waipu.

This new article on the Clan Matheson Society New Zealand website outlines this extraordinary migration and links to resources that tell more of this amazing story.

 

 

 

 

Haggis ceremony, Highland dancers; the Scottish Clans Association will have it all at its annual dinner on Saturday 14 September in Auckland. For many clans this is their annual event, so you will meet other Mathesons there. You’ll need to book by Saturday 7th, so check their website for details or contact Donald Matheson (donaldm@slingshot.co.nz) to arrange a ticket