13 February 2010
The personal highlight of my tour down under was meeting up for the very first time with an uncle and cousins whom I only discovered I had after family research in Scotland just before I left for the trip. A grandfather (my father's father) whom I had never met, named Charles Anderson, had left Tarland in Aberdeenshire in 1913 and emigrated to New Zealand. Following the outbreak of WWI he returned with the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, a formed unit, and fought in France being wounded twice. On return to New Zealand in 1919 he eventually took up the offer being given to returning servicemen of setting up a farm in Almadale near Feilding. He had six more children in New Zealand and died in 1987. It was a real thrill to meet up with my half-uncle Gordon Anderson (below) and his wife Sheila and three of their daughters. It was also particularly poignant for me to be wearing the Anderson tartan in recognition of my 'Kiwi' grandfather Charles Anderson. Before catching the ferry for South Island we stayed overnight with my 'new' cousin Yvonne (below) and her husband Peter who gave us a wonderful tour of Wellington - a great end to the North Island part of our trip. Photo shows the ferry route through the Cook Straits.