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The Otaki Scholar and Ōtaki: A Legacy of World War 1

The Otaki Scholar and Ōtaki: A Legacy of World War 1

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  • Fri 21 Sep ’18, 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Sat 22 Sep ’18, 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Thu 27 Sep ’18, 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Fri 28 Sep ’18, 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • Sat 29 Sep ’18, 10:00am – 2:00pm
  • View all sessions


Otaki Museum, 49 Main St, Ōtaki


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

For 75 years a student from a Scottish secondary school has travelled to New Zealand annually to visit selected schools and to see the country.

The student, from Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon’s College, holds the Otaki Shield which commemorates a sea battle fought in the Atlantic during World War 1. A former pupil of Robert Gordons College, Archibald Bisset Smith, captained the SS Otaki which was sunk by a German raider the Moewe.

Captain Bisset Smith went down with the ship and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery. In 1937 his family presented the Otaki Shield to the college in his memory.

This annual visit has helped to develop a strong relationship between Robert Gordon’s College, Ōtaki College and the Ōtaki community. Otaki Museum is hosting an exhibition to commemorate 75th anniversary of the scholarship.

It features many of the scholars who have visited new Zealand, their interactions with local people and with national dignitaries, the voyage here by ship, the reciprocal Sander Scholarship which enables an Ōtaki College student to travel to Scotland and the SS Otaki story.

The exhibition will be open to the public from the afternoon of Thursday 19 July and thereafter every Thursday- Saturday, 10am – 2pm.

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