Newsletter Number 25 August 2017

At the 155th Annual General Meeting of the Caledonian Society of Otago held on July 27th in the Guthrie Pavilion of the Bayfield Sports Trust Building 2 Shore Street Dr. L.M.J. (Morgan) Hewland was elected President of the Caledonian Society. Dr. Hewland takes over from Kieran Columb who has stepped down after 4 years of exemplary service to the Caledonian Society. In his time as President Kieran has been instrumental in developing and extending areas of involvement for the Society notably the Otago A and P Show Circuit and Special Outside Events like the Queenstown Rural Festival. Being regularly involved with these events has provided the Caledonian Society with great opportunities for public promotion and to demonstrate the traditional Scottish event activities still as popular today as they were 150 odd years ago. In his Annual Report Kieran made note of the importance of good communication in the affairs of the Caledonian Society and the attempted improvements made by means of Newsletter,Website and increased involvement with various Clans and associated Scottish organisations. Sincere thanks for your efforts on behalf of the Caledonian Society Kieran. The Society wishes Dr. Hewland well in his term as incoming President.

Also at the AGM long serving Secretary John Stinson and Treasurer Rhondda Rowley stepped down from their positions. Both have contributed significantly to the fortunes of the Caledonian Society in their respective roles a fact acknowledged by President Kieran Columb in his Annual Report. The Society although light on membership remains in a healthy financial state so important for any non profit organisation. Mrs.Netty Lastovicka has been appointed incoming Secretary with the position of Treasurer still to be filled.


Kieran Columb congatulates Dr Morgan Hewland on becoming president








Officers elected at the Annual General Meeting were

Patron R.T. Cain QSM

President Dr. L.M.J. Hewland

Immediate Past President K.J.Columb

Secretary Mrs.N. Lastovicka

Vice Presidents I. McDonald Mrs.N.Lastovicka

Auditor Audit Professionals

Historian/Archivist J. Stinson

Also during the Meeting a Life Directorship was awarded to outgoing President Kieran Columb while two new Directors were elected Mrs.R.Rowley and Mrs.B.Allen

Mid Year Function

 The Annual Caledonian Society of Otago Mid Year Function was held at a new venue the Edgar Centre on Sunday July 23rd.As always the Function was a hugely enjoyable occasion and the Edgar Centre came in for favourable comment as a well appointed and comfortable venue. Unfortunately the Function date coincided with an extreme Dunedin Weather Event which saw our Guest Singer Mary Phillips stranded in Central Otago over the Weekend. It was pleasing to have a number of people from various Dunedin Clans and other fellow Scottish organisations sharing the day with us.

Entertainment was provided by Francis Brodie Pianist, and Highland Dancer Courtney while Ray Goodfellow once again performed stirling service as our Official Piper for the day. The formal Haggis Ceremony was performed with great style and considerable vigour by Ian Seatter who received warm applause for his efforts. Guest Speaker for the Function was Amy Little who spoke on her career so far in the Hospitality Industry and her hopes for future attainments in the same Industry. Amy was a recipient of the Caledonian Society Educational Grant awarded annually to a young person chosen on application by the Caledonian Society Directors to provide assistance in their chosen career path. The Society wishes Amy every success in her future endeavours.

Special Thanks to Wayne Allen for his work in organising the Mid Year Function and acting as MC on the day at the Edgar Centre.

Enjoying the meal at the Edgar Centre








Courtney Corfield dancing at midyear function











Scotland Trip

 Caledonian Society Life Director Ian McDonald and his Wife Avis are shortly heading to Scotland and England for a planned Six Week Holiday. They will be spending a week in Edinburgh including attending the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and have then hired a Camper Van to travel around in. They are hoping to fit in visits to the Orkney Islands,Applecross (Where Ian’s Great Grandfather came from) the Isle of Skye and a fair bit in between. They will head down to London for 1 week before retrurning home. Ian and Avis  are both looking forward with great anticipation to their trip and will no doubt meet a number of new friends along the way. The Caledonian Society wishes Ian and Avis all the best on their travels.


Visiting USA History Professor

 Last Month saw a visit to Dunedin from Professor Timothy Forest Assistant Professor of History at the University of Cincinatti in the United States. Professor Forest was here to continue his research project into the Highland,specifically Hebridean Scots in New Zealand in the 1880s. He contacted the Caledonian Society in light of his awareness of the Caledonian Societies involvement in these schemes or at least their active endorsement of them. Professor Forest spent time at the Hocken Library researching the Caledonian Society’s records from this period which he found an invaluable aid towards the completion of his project. While here Professor Forest was taken by Caledonian Society Life Director Wayne Allen to the Catlins to gather information on schemes organised by the Colonial Governments in 1884-1885 and again in 1886 to establish discrete settlements of Crofter Fishermen from the Hebrides in the Catlin River District near Waikawa. In both instances the New Zealand and British Governments would have offered 10,000 acres of land,passage and loans to the Crofters. Ultimately both schemes failed.

During his stay in Dunedin Professor Forest was presented with a copy of Cabers and Ceilidhs the 150 year History of the Caledonian Society of Otago. Professor Forest much enjoyed his time in Dunedin during which he gained a Meeting with Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and was grateful for the information and assistance provided by the Caledonian Society.


Otago Scottish Heritage Council

The Otago Scottish Heritage Council of which the Caledonian Society has been involved with since its inception in 1925 continues to enjoy a successful and progressive year. Attendances at the Monthly Meetings have been consistently good with the regular succession of guest speakers proving particularly worthwhile. The Speaker at the June Meeting of the OSHC was Jeff Harford the Manager of Otago Access Radio who provided an interesting insight into the services provided and the opportunities available for non profit organisations to take advantage of through Access Radio. Following on from this John Stinson was interviewed on Access Radio regarding the activities involving the Caledonian Society and their commitments for the remainder of the year.


“Combined Clans and Societies Otago”

 The Caledonian Society of Otago is an inaugural member of the newly formed Combined Clans and Societies Otago. The group has been formed to promote and assist in all things Scottish including Scottish Clans and Society’s. To increase membership of all the Society’s belonging to this group and to encourage other Clans and Society’s to join the group so that we can all share resources and information to obtain funding to hold bigger and better Scottish events in the future.  A combined group can do more than individual Clans or Society’s to raise awareness of Dunedin’s past and present Scottishness in this current age. A combined Clan’s Movie Night will be held on Friday September 1st at the Metro Cinema Dunedin. The film is entitled “Tommy’s Honour” Tickets are $20.00.  This is a private viewing. Goody bags will be distributed to each ticket holder. Wine,Snacks and Fruit Juice are all included in the price of the ticket. Prizes to be given to the lucky ticket number and seat number. Ray Goodfellow will play the bagpipes. The Caledonian Society has eight tickets available for the Film Evening and it will be a case of first come first served. For further information and to purchase tickets please contact Netty Lastovicka 021-2176883 or email netty.last


Upcoming Events

September 1st Combined Clan’s Movie Night Metro Cinema

November 19th Paape Cup Children’s Athletics Meeting Caledonian Ground

November 25th  South Otago A and P Show Balclutha

November 26th St. Andrews Day Combined Stalls and Entertainment Day Octagon

January 27th 2018 Otago Taieri A and P Show

February 3rd 2018 Palmerston Waihemo A&P Association Show


Laughter Is The Best Medicine


A man in Alaska was arrested for bigamy. He had a Wife in Nome,another in Fairbanks and still another in Juneau. The Judge looked at the culprit sternly and asked “How could you do such a thing?”

Replied the bigamist “Fast dog team”.


An African Chieftain flew to London for a visit and was met at the Airport by Newsmen. “Good  Morning Chief” one said “Did you have a comfortable flight”? The Chief made a series of raucous noises-honk,oink,screech,whistle,z-z-z-z-then added in perfect English “Yes very pleasant indeed”.”And how long do you plan to stay”? asked the Reporter. Prefacing his remarks with the same noises the Chief answered “About three weeks” I think. “Tell me, Chief” inquired the baffled Reporter “where did you learn to speak such perfect English”? After the standard honk,oink, screech,whistle and z-z-z-z- the Chief replied “Short-wave Radio”.