You can catch up with news from  branches of the Clan Matheson Society around the world, in the 2014 international newsletter.  Members of the Clan Matheson Society in New Zealand have just received their copies by email.

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.

Canada has one of the world’s boldest and most recognisable flag.  Introducing it in the 1960s wasn’t without controversy, but the parliamentarian and former soldier John Matheson persevered.  Read more about him here.